How Social Behavior Can Predict Future Sales

truck discounts, Comcast or Time Warner could offer phone/Internet bundled packages, ADT could set up a free estimate for home security...and the list goes on.

What's Missing?

So why aren't more companies taking advantage of this opportunity? For the most part, they're still focused on present day rather than planning ahead. Conventional analytics or social monitoring tools would likely miss these indirect cues, meaning businesses that rely on these type of siloed solutions miss these not-so-subtle hints—and the valuable opportunity they represent.

Businesses should be investing in end-to-end social management tools that allow proactive marketers to broaden their scope of monitoring beyond their brand and their competitors. With the right tools, savvy marketers can listen for cues, terms, keywords, and phrases that indicate future behavior or needs and act fast to engage with prospects.

Close the Loop with Instant Engagement

Beyond just listening, quickly engaging customers is also key, and the right tools must include a built-in mechanism that allows marketers to respond immediately on the same media platform or service. The ability to act fast is critical not only for reaching prospects at the most opportune time but also for maximizing workflow efficiency as the predictive process accelerates lead generation.

Aside from just providing deals and discounts on products and services, marketers can use this crystal-ball approach to provide helpful advice, resources, and information that, while maybe not producing a sale this time, can open the lines of communication, build trust, and lead to a future purchase or recommendations down the road.

Get Started with Your Own Crystal Ball

The ability to accurately identify qualified leads and potential customers has long been the holy grail of marketers. Now, through the power of predictive social behavior, we can not only deliver a solution to address their needs and wants but also take the next step to instantly engage them as prospects before they express a desire.

Here's how to put predictive social behavior to work for you:

  • Formulate a baseline of activities, behaviors, keywords, and contextual clues that your existing customers have in common.
  • Fine-tune your monitoring strategy to look beyond conventional keywords and search queries to spot these contextual cues.
  • Immediately engage prospects whose patterns, behaviors, and posts seem to match the baseline or indicate an upcoming need or purchase intent.
  • Automate the process with a solution that integrates monitoring and engagement functions to allow you to respond quickly to changing behavioral patterns.

All of these steps can help ensure that you are efficiently using social media to help build your sales funnel. But keep in mind that this proactive approach demands the right tool to do to all four steps within one application. By devising a strategy for a pre-emptive strike and applying the right weapons, proactive marketers can fill the sales funnel with more highly qualified leads who are more likely to buy, effectively driving up sales, engagement, and profitability.

Jeffrey Revoy is CEO and president of Viralheat, an enterprise social media management product and data platform company.

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