Customers are out there, and now hyperlocal technology is making it easier for businesses to find them. Nearly three-quarters of the small and medium-sized businesses surveyed by Business.com said they participated in lead generation practices, and 50% of these marketers said they plan to increase their lead generation spending in the coming year.
Of the tactics that businesses regularly use, 19% of B2C companies and 11% of B2B said social media was the most effective. What’s stopping social lead generation from entering the mainstream is a lack of targeting. While most of these platforms do provide businesses with cost effective ways to target potential leads—introducing new products, answering questions about services, and building brand awareness—they can also create false expectations, particularly when businesses spend precious time courting leads from outside their geographic markets.
Hyperlocal vendors are aiming to resolve this issue, providing businesses with simplified ways to pinpoint the geographic location of the leads they’re targeting. Here are six tools that businesses can use for location-based lead generation.
1. Twilert: Get new leads in your inbox.
As the name suggests, Twilert is a tool that alerts users when the keywords they’ve selected have been mentioned on Twitter. Twilert takes geo-location a step further than Twitter, which lets users pinpoint tweets sent nearby or within a certain distance of a city, by enabling businesses to search for tweets sent from specific streets or landmarks. For example, a yoga instructor could create an alert for people mentioning “yoga” and “recommend” near her studio. When that happens, the instructor can reply via Twitter with invitations to come by for in-person tours. Businesses can also use Twilert to get a list of leads who’ve tweeted about any topic from a certain area. Twilert offers a free trial for new users.
2. WeLink: Collect social chatter from potential leads.
Designed as a social media monitoring and engagement platform, WeLink provides lead generation tools that businesses can use to sending the right messages to the right customers at the right time. Businesses select which locations to monitor by drawing a circle on a digital map, and WeLink captures the chatter happening among leads on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, and Foursquare. Based on this chatter, businesses can reach out to the leads by sharing offers and running targeted ads. Businesses can contact WeLink for specific pricing information.
3. Geofeedia: Archive social content from multiple sources.
Timing and location are both important elements in a successful lead generation program. Geofeedia delivers on both, providing businesses like retailers, hotels, and restaurants with the ability to see what potential leads are talking about and sharing from inside their places of business. Geofeedia also offers insights into the conversations going on inside competitors’ locations. For example, a retailer can find out when shoppers at a neighboring store are tweeting about products being out of stock. When that event happens, the business using Geofeedia can immediate interact with those shoppers and offer its assistance. Geofeedia searches Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Viddy.
4. Echosec: Stream information from multiple sources.
Although Echosec was primarily designed for law enforcement and security personnel, the location-based social search platform also offers a number of tools for brands with brick-and-mortar locations. Echosec searches through meta-data in digital publications to allow users to search physical regions for online messages, images, and videos. Businesses can uncover where people are talking about them or the services they offer, they can hear exactly what those people are saying, and they can weigh in on conversations with personalized offers. Echosec enables users to stream information from multiple sources using its “seeded search” functionality. Echosec offers a free version with basic search tools.
5. Base: Visualize leads with mobile mapping.
Some businesses can wait for leads to come to them, while others (like home services professionals and suppliers) need to go out and close deals by visiting with prospects in person. Base offers lead management and CRM tools that are fully integrated with mobile mapping. Designed for sales reps and small businesses, Base maps out a business’ leads and identifies which leads a user should visit based on his or her current location. For example, a business owner who’s out drumming up business can sort his leads based on a combination of proximity and potential deal size. Base offers a Starter plan that costs $25 per seat, per month.
6. Synthesio: Focus on the highest-value leads.
Not all leads are created equal. Synthesio is a platform that tracks real-time social and mainstream media conversations and helps businesses focus on the conversations that matter most from a financial perspective. Businesses can target their research with geo-location tools, narrowed down to the city level. Once a business has selected a geographic target, it can research leads based on the conversations happening on social networks around the world. Using Synthesio, larger brands can foster one-on-one customer relationships and involve themselves in community conversations. Businesses can contact Synthesio for pricing information.
Know of other lead generation platforms with geo-location tools? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.