When it comes to lead generation, the process can be more pain than pleasure: email blasts to your database while you wait with crossed fingers, cold calling event attendees who may not even fit your buyer persona, following up blindly after visits to your landing page. Social media offers a vast new resource in which to find these leads, but many businesses find the volume of users to be too much to handle. Imagine sending an individual message to each contact on your email list. Now multiply that by ten (or twenty, or fifty) to the scale of social media. So the standard practice is to focus on a small number of users at a time to slowly grow a customer base. Fortunately, automation has come along to raise the stakes! When done correctly, automated lead generation offers marketers and salespeople the ability to find, connect, engage, and converse with a much larger volume of leads in order to maximize their efforts and ROI from social media. Here are some tips to help you to make the most of these exciting innovations.

Segment Your Audience

For most businesses, their target audience will be composed of several types of people in different job positions, locations, and perhaps even industries. A good practice for automated outreach is to separate your audience into groups that have these traits in common and focus on one at a time.  For example, have a group devoted to leads that are entrepreneurs or startup founders, and another devoted to web developers and designers.

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If you have several people performing outreach then assign each person to their own portion of the audience. Over time Socedo users have found that zeroing in on each category of leads allows you to cater your automation and outreach technique to what works best for each specific demographic.

Make Your Auto-Messages Broad but Relevant

One thing that can derail your automated outreach efforts quickly is sending an irrelevant and impersonal message to a lead on social media. Be sure you’re using a tool with a customizable message feature, like the auto message template in Socedo, to avoid this misstep and cater to your audience. Your automated message should be broad enough to be sent to multiple leads and still make sense, while still maintaining enough relevancy to capture the recipients attention. You can accomplish this by following the previous tip and dividing your target audience into portions and drafting an applicable message for each. Another helpful trick: include a compliment or praise in your message. Leads will be much more receptive to those who start a friendly exchange.

Prepare Resources to Accommodate the Response

Automation allows social sellers and marketers to exponentially increase their outreach, but on the flip side you must be prepared to deal with the increased amount of responses. Messages and inquiries can come pouring into your inbox by the hundreds if you’re at the top of your auto lead gen game. But all of that attention will mean nothing to your bottom line if you don’t have the ability or resources to respond to them. Develop a plan to follow up with each of your leads (or as many as you can) in an appropriate amount of time in order to maximize your conversion rate. One possibility is to create templates of the typical responses you want to be sending out, based on the general types of feedback you’re getting. Having these predetermined message topics can definitely speed up your response time.

Monitor Your Metrics to Know What Works

Speaking of conversion rates, you should absolutely have a way to know what yours is! The scalability of your lead generation means relatively nothing if it’s not actually increasing the number of sign up, download, or page visits you wish to receive. Monitor how successful your super sized lead gen efforts are through follow-back rates, DM response rates, page visits, link click-through rates, etc. Utilizing these features through tools like Socedo and Google Analytics will give you a much better idea for what’s working and what’s not. From there you can make adjustments to optimize your ROI.

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There’s no doubt that automation is a game changer when it comes to lead generation. But as with most powerful things, you have to wield it responsibly. Following these tips will help your keep your efforts in check and lead to large scale rewards fro your business.