How to Use Social Media to Uncover Customer Pain PointsApril 05, 2021 | By Wayne O'Neill
Social media has become an increasingly valuable tool to help service providers build authentic connection with clients. This is because target clients are dropping more clues than ever before about their pain points on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
In fact, a recent survey found that social media consumption has increased 72% since the COVID-19 pandemic and there has been a 43% increase in social media posting. And, the increase isn’t just checking out or posting cute family pictures online.
Your target clients are talking about the business and political issues in their industry on social media because industry conferences were canceled or postponed. Instead of key conversations taking place in-person at conferences, those conversations are happening in real-time on social media platforms.
Customer pain points are hiding in plain sight and there is a treasure trove of information that can help you advance the conversation with clients. It’s your job to find these clues, develop multiple paths of connection with key players in your industry, and connect your solution to each customer’s business and political issues.
How to Find Clues About Pain Points on Social Media
There are a few different ways you can use social media to uncover customer pain points. I’ll walk you through the key steps in the process.
1. Start by creating a list of owners, decision-makers, influencers, and purseholders at your target clients. Know the players so that you can gain an understanding of who you will be talking to when presenting your solution to address the target client’s challenges.
Then, go find each individual’s social media accounts on various platforms. Start with LinkedIn to make sure you are connected to these individuals on a professional level. Also consider looking at Facebook and Twitter to see if these individuals have an additional social presence.
2. Gain an understanding of the organizational structure. LinkedIn provides valuable intelligence about the organizational structure of a target client. Look at each connection’s job title, role, and/or work history to understand what role each person plays in the organization.
Look for clues about what level of authority, influence, and decision-making each individual possesses. Understanding how decisions are made will set you up to properly address the pain points that each individual is experiencing at the various levels of the organization.
3. Gather intelligence about what each individual is talking about or who they are following. Again, start with LinkedIn. Capture information about what magazines or business books they are reading, what podcasts they listen to, what industry issues they’re talking about, which thought leaders they reference, what disruptive thinkers they follow, what articles they have written, and what their interests are.
These clues reveal a lot about what’s top of mind for each individual. These individuals want to look connected, informed, and influential. Find out what they’re talking about to uncover some pain points that are pertinent to their role in the organization.
4. Look for additional industry connections. One of the most underrated tools on LinkedIn is using second and third-degree connections to find additional layers of connection to the individuals in your target client. Look through these additional connections to find other players in the industry who could provide you with context or other valuable insight about the business and political issues in the client’s industry.
You can either pull up their profiles to observe what they are talking about or connect with them directly on LinkedIn to start a conversation. Look for entry points such as similar work history, college or university connections, organizational memberships, or other commonalities to make the initial connection.
Use the Clues as Fuel for Authentic Connection
After playing the role of a CSI gathering intelligence about pain points, it’s time to turn these clues into fuel to build authentic connection with your target client. You’ll need to answer several key questions:
- Who are the real decision-makers? And, are you connected to these individuals?
- Who are the internal champions and influencers? Are you connected?
- Who are the navigators that can help guide you through internal decision-making?
- What are the key business and political issues that are important to the client?
- What is the order of priority for each of these business and political issues?
- How are you going to address each competing priority?
- What is the timeline for solving their problems?
- Who can you bring into your solution to help address each challenge?
You may not be able to answer each of these questions right away. So, go back to social media platforms to fill in any gaps about the various types of pain points. Continue to explore direct connections to individuals in the target organization and tap into those secondary connections to gain further understanding of what’s happening in their industry.
Keep this in mind. Target clients are not going to be swift to reveal their pain points to you. You may find a few pain points resting on the surface of the RFP. But, the real points need to be unearthed. Social media is a great tool to dig up these pain points and find clues about how to solve challenges.
Use the contextual clues surrounding your client’s challenges and motivations. Find the internal issues floating around in your client’s organization. This is where you can build multiple paths of connection talking to second and third-degree connections to gain further understanding of what’s really happening inside the organization and in their industry.
Create a Narrative Connected to Business and Political Issues
When you fully understand the big picture, you will be well-positioned to create authentic connection with the target client. You will be able to answer their most important questions, talk intelligently about what’s happening in their industry, and, most importantly, create your own narrative and connect your impact to the client’s business and political issues.
Ultimately, you will show empathy for your client. You will show them respect that you did your homework and sought to understand how you can help address the larger challenges they are experiencing in the post-pandemic marketplace.
You don’t want to just show up and try to win work. Without empathy and authentic connection, you’ll be just another service provider on a long list of interchangeable firms. Differentiate yourself by caring and using the intelligence you gathered to present a comprehensive solution.
RESET Can Help You Use Social Media Effectively
At RESET, we help service providers leverage their connections to create faster, more sustainable revenue. Through our proven business coaching approach, your firm can grow in a more collaborative and intelligent way.
Social media is a highly-effective tool with direct connections and multiple paths of connections to other individuals to help you gather intelligence about your target clients’ pain points. We can help you and your sales team identify the best ways to utilize these connections to gather the clues you need.
We’ll help you see connections that you may not have considered before, look for other pathways to gather intelligence, and then understand how to utilize the information you gathered from your connections. Then, your firm will be on the right path to be leveraged for value and impact to win revenue-generating accounts, not just short-term project work.
– Talk to us today about scheduling a 15-minute coaching consultation to help you use social media for solving customer pain points. Let’s dig into your connections to find new opportunities to build authentic connection with your target clients.