coffee-circle-white-bkgrnd-200Shannon is Mention’s Content & PR Manager, where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal advocates. She’s based in New York. Get in touch with her at @ShannnonB.

Social and web monitoring is a great source of leads that often goes untapped. I knew that Workable (beautifully simple software that helps you do your hiring) had been experiencing great success generating new leads — companies to use their software — with media monitoring, and wanted to learn more.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Rob Long, Sales Director for Workable, about how they’ve approached lead gen via media monitoring, and he had some great tips to share.

How & why do you use media monitoring?

We use media monitoring for several reasons, but primarily for lead generation. We especially look at conversations about our competitors and for when people are looking for alternatives.

Additionally, we look for general industry chat in order to stay on top of trends and to identify what our audience is interested in, such as HR tech, recruitment software, tracking systems, etc.

We also monitor people talking about Workable for opportunities to join the conversation and get to know them better, as well as for tracking conversations around content that we have produced.

Aside from monitoring competitor names, how do you identify leads?

We’re looking for people who are just starting the hiring process, especially those who are having trouble hiring. We’re able to add the the most value to the people who are asking questions or seeking advice. It’s those conversations that lead to the best relationships and the strongest leads.

How do you determine what keywords to use to identify leads?

Honestly, through trial and error. We’ve tried tracking the the same terms as our Google Ads keywords and it resulted in too much noise. We monitor “Workable” (with a lot of none keywords, having such a generic name), as well as competitors’ names, and general industry terms, such as “recruitment software.”

We’ve also tried monitoring “we’re hiring,” which resulted in way too much noise that wasn’t specific enough. When we changed it to “we’re hiring London,” we saw much better results and were able to create a lead gen list of all companies hiring in London.

How do you approach these conversations? Any tips?

The key is not to be too sales-y. If someone is asking a question, provide a useful answer. If someone is looking for a tool like yours, then tell them about your product and why it could help. The point is, you are adding value either through a useful answer or telling them about a tool that could solve their specific problem. Some of my communications have been too blunt for our competitors tastes, but that doesn’t come into it.

Keep communications light and conversational, be human. Most importantly, be helpful. These relationships take time to build, be patient and start simple.

This has worked for us, as we have a number of demos set up this week from this approach!

What’s the process of nurturing leads from media monitoring and building relationships?

If someone is unhappy with the competition or looking for an alternative or new tool, we try get to know them better before jumping in the conversation. This often leads to a demo, and then a happy customer, and sometimes even a brand advocate.

This recently happen when someone tweeted about being unhappy with the redesign of a competitor’s UI. I looked her up on LinkedIn, saw that we had some people and things in common. She also had a unique LinkedIn URL I really liked, so I sent her a compliment via Twitter.

lead generation

When she asked how I stumbled across her profile, I was completely transparent and told her how I saw her tweet about the user interface and thought she might be interested in Workable. This led to a demo, and then her spreading the word about our company via Twitter, without me having to prompt her.

What other types of conversations are you having because of media monitoring?

In addition to discovering people who are unhappy with our competitors, we also like to see what about their product they are happy with. This is a great way of learning what matters most to potential customers.

As mentioned, we keep tabs on general industry conversations such as #HRtech to see what people are looking for.

One of the great things about finding people on Mention is that they are inherently social. If they’re happy with your product, they’re likely to talk about it with their networks. We like to do what we can to keep those conversations going.

You can also create easy reading lists in Mention, especially with conferences to keep an eye on the conversation if you’re unable to be there. With Mention, it’s much easier to see the entire conversation from original tweet to final, compared to Twitter.

One of my favorite Mention hacks is using the platform to collect tweets for a Storify after our bi-weekly #WorkableChat. Unlike on Twitter, tweets on Mention don’t have a shelf-life and are easier to search. It’s all right there in the timeline you need them. I just copy the link from Mention and paste into Storify.

Any other media monitoring and Mention tips you’d like to share?

You can’t expect any approach to be a silver bullet. You have to put a bit of work in and optimize your alerts to cut through the noise, but the more you optimize, the less time you spend. It’s really, very worth it in the end. Mention makes it very easy to optimize your alerts, take advantage of the options and features.

The great thing about media monitoring is that it makes it easy to test different approaches to your community conversations. Test as much as you can till you figure out what works.

Also, save your tweets in Mention — you can always quickly go back and scroll through your timeline or favorites. It’s great, because you can favorite things you don’t necessarily want to fave on Twitter on Mention in order to save them.

Any advice for those hiring?

This isn’t something we’ve done but someone might want to try it. If you’re trying to hire a team of PHP developers, you probably want to know which other companies have big teams of PHP devs which could be a talent pool for you. By searching for “we’re hiring php location” you might identify those companies and the talent pools. Like I say, I’ve never tried it but I am sure someone has!

Rob LongRob Long is the Sales Director at @Workable and the Co-orgainser of @talenthackers. He likes guitars and sailing. Say hi at @_RobLong.

Shannon Byrne is the Content & PR Manager at Mention where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal advocates. She’s based in New York. Get in touch with her at @ShannnonB.

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