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Sales Consulting
July 18, 2021

The Social Media Prospecting Hack That Got a 31% Reply Rate

Kyle Vamvouris
CEO, Vouris
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Social media for sales prospecting? It’s a hot topic in sales development circles, and for good reason. 

Everyone is on social media these days. Your mom. Your boss. Even your high school sweetheart’s pet chinchilla has an Instagram page. 

But most notably, your customers are on social media. They’re using it to connect with others in their industry. They discuss all sorts of fun, work-related topics, like how to tackle common problems, or which vendors to use. They’re highly engaged, which makes them prime targets for sales prospecting.

But how do we reach them? We don’t want to be spammy. No one likes a salesperson trying to slide into their DMs. 

A lot of the advice out there is to actively engage with the community and add value. And you absolutely should do that. But if you’re looking for something that’ll get you results fast - something that lets you be relevant and build real relationships - I’ve got just the thing.

In this post, I’m going to teach you a powerful social media prospecting hack I’ve used to get a 31% reply rate. In 5 simple steps, I’m going to walk you through how you can use Facebook groups to identify and engage high-value prospects.

Sounds pretty good, right? Here’s how to do it for yourself. 

Professional Callout

Easy as this tactic is, it requires a thoughtful approach and finely-tuned messaging. Your outreach messaging has to be actually relevant. And authentic. Not only to your target audience but also to someone in your chosen FB group. Don’t ruin my awesome tactic with scammy nonsense. 

If you’re looking to improve your team’s prospecting results, feel free to reach out. We’re experts in all things sales, and we’d love to talk.

Step 1 — Find A Facebook Group

To start, you'll want to find a Facebook group that is really popular with your potential buyers. It helps if you’re already plugged into your target community on a variety of social media platforms.

If you don’t already have one in mind, you’ll want to look for...

  • Topics that are highly relevant to your target group.
  • Pages that offer value and useful information to the audience.


Group size may vary, but 1000 is a good minimum. It’s a relatively safe bet to assume you’ll be able to reach 5-10% of the list, though your results may vary. 

In my example, I was looking to introduce myself to fellow entrepreneurs and startup founders. I was already a member of a few paid groups for people involved in the startup world, so I picked one of the biggest and most popular to mine for contacts.  

And that’s exactly what we’ll do in the next step. 

Professional Callout

Paid groups are one of the most effective places to begin your search. These are online hubs where people are engaged and active. People are paying to be there. It’s automatically more exclusive and valuable.


Step 2 — Scrape The Data

Now that you’ve picked your group, it’s time to get some contacts from it. You’ll do this by scraping the data with an online tool called Phantom Buster. 


Phantom Buster
If you need some leads... and you want them fast...Who ya gonna call? Phantom Busters!


Hint: I made a free trial account in Phantom Buster and did this entire process without having to pay. Gotta love a good trial. 

By scraping customer data from your target Facebook group, you get a large initial list of pre-vetted contacts. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make an account on Phantom Buster. 
  1. Install the Phantom Buster browser extension.
  1. Search for the Facebook Group Extractor “Phantom”. 
  1. Follow the steps in Phantom Buster to specify a group and filter details. 
  1. Launch your program!
  1. Download the resulting CSV when ready. 

I got ~10,000 contacts from the group I chose using this data scraping method. It probably took less than 10 minutes. 

Professional Callout

Using data scraping tools such as Phantom Busters may violate Facebook's terms of service. Haven't heard of it being a problem, but something to be aware of. If you want to avoid the risk entirely, we recommend hiring someone for cheap on Upwork to do the scraping manually.


After this step, there’s just a little bit more work you have to do to refine the list before you’re ready to begin outreach. 

Step 3 — Filter Your New List

Refining your list is all about increasing the chances of having successful conversations. 

If it only makes sense for you to talk with a specific persona, filtering the scraped list by that variable (such as job title) will keep your process efficient and un-spammy. 

This is an important part of the process as it keeps you from bothering people you have no intention of selling to. It also improves your end results. 

If the variable you want to filter by isn’t available (i.e something other than the basic FB bio fields), you might want to do some manual digging. Or hire someone to do it for you. 

When I tried out this tactic, I only wanted to reach out to startup founders/CEOs. The majority of people don’t post job titles on Facebook, so I ended up with 1000 leads. Still a significant win. 

Professional Callout

Narrowing your scraped list will help you reach the more “qualified” contacts. You’ll waste less time on conversations that never lead to anything, and keep from bothering a large portion of your FB community as well. Again: Don’t be spammy.


Step 4 — Get Contact Details 

Gathering contact information turns your new lead list into contacts that you can actually have conversations with. Last stop before real selling! 

To do this, you’ll just run the scraped name and company through your database (i.e data provider) to get emails. (I ended up with 700)

Caption: A few of the major data providers.

Professional Callout

Database not robust enough? Pay someone to do this for you! One time, I hired a guy on UpWork to write me a script to automate this process. Cost me 70 bucks.


You should also expect your list to shrink again during this step. I ended up with ~700 contacts after getting all the contact details I could. Sure, that’s a lot less than the 10,000+ in the group. But it’s also 700 high-quality contacts I didn’t have last quarter. 

Professional Callout

End up with fewer leads than expected? Not a problem, especially if you started off with a slightly smaller group. Just reach out with more tailored, individual emails or cold calls.


Step 5 — Begin Outreach

Now, the fun can start! You’ve done all the tedious work (and let’s be honest, it wasn’t THAT bad), so now you can get cracking on what you’re best at. 

With already-established connections and a legitimately authentic message, your outreach efforts start out from a higher level than the average cold call. 

First, craft your outreach message. This needs to be:

  1. Low-stakes and low-pressure. 
  2. Relevant.
  3. Valuable. 
  4. Authentic. 

Run this by a few people until you’ve got a message that feels good and resonates with your FB group contact list. 

To make it extra easy, here are some email templates you can use: 


Template #1 [Build Foundation]

Howdy  {{name}}, we are both in {{group name}} and I took a look at your background and thought it would make sense to reach out. 

We are working on a tool that does {{something it does that would be relevant to the person}} and I was hoping to get your thoughts on it.

Are you open to a quick conversation? 

Talk soon,

{{name}}

 

Template #2 [Spark Conversation]

{{name}}, I saw that you were also a member of {{group name}}! I've been a member for {{number of years}} and love {{unique aspect of the group that you like}}.

Curious, how long have you been part of {{group name}}?

Talk soon,

{{name}}

 

Template #3 [Soft Sell]

Hey {{name}}, we are both in {{group name}} and because of your background, I wanted to run something by you. Hope you don't mind.

One of the things I see pop up in the group often is {{relevant challenge}}.

That’s what we fix. Wouldn't it be nice if {{ideal state}}?

Are you open to learning how we've helped other in your space?

Talk soon,

{{name}}


Consider also reaching out via LinkedIn or a cold call (my personal favorite). Your best bet is a multi-channel sales cadence - often with a strong emphasis on cold calling.

Once you’ve got your message dialed in, you’re off to the races!

My Results 

The first time I tried this trick, I got a 31% email reply rate. 

If I’d been more selective about my chosen Facebook group, it’d probably be even higher. But regardless, now I have a solid tactic for my sales playbook - and so do you! 

Here are the steps, one more time: 

  1. Find A FB group popular with your target audience.
  2. Use Phantom Buster to scrape the data from the group. 
  3. Filter your list based on your target customer characteristics. 
  4. Gather contact details.
  5. Start reaching out to your contact list and building relationships. 

Results may vary. You get that. Now go try it for yourself and let me know how this worked for you!

If you’d like to discuss these tactics in more detail, or just get some perspective on your sales strategy, Vouris can help. We partner with early-stage startups to build, scale, and optimize their sales teams to drive rapid and sustainable growth. In a quick call we can evaluate your sales operations and provide key insights for improving your team.