May 15, 2024

How to leverage social media activities to outreach leads

Discover folk - the CRM for people-powered businesses

Cold outbound is dead. The average sales channel is becoming more saturated than ever. And, with a lot of competition out there, it's getting harder to stand out when everyone can generate the same emails and direct messages using AI.

At folk, we've been exploring how businesses can make outreach warmer. It's been a subject we've been thinking about for a long time. As a Co-Founder who often gets a lot of cold emails myself, I started by thinking about what made me want to reply someone who reaches out in this way. I noticed that it was the direct messages that were timely, had the right content and context.

That's why we've just launched a free tool that can help you leverage your lead's social media activity and help you nurture a business relationship from the start.

In this blog post, I share how you can turn your engagement on LinkedIn into potential clients using an effective outreach strategy.

What is a social media outreach strategy?

Social media outreach is the process of using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook to raise awareness of your personal brand and build new relationships with your target audiences.

Don't confuse it with a chance to spam influencers. Doing so will quickly get you blocked, harm your personal brand and outreach efforts. Instead, the goal here is to focus on using your social media posts to share value-add content that will help your target audience.

Why you should pay attention to your social media outreach strategy

A good outreach strategy requires time, experimenting and a deep understanding your target audience. Over time, it will help you build your personal brand as a Founder and increase your company's brand authority.

The right social media outreach campaign can help you to:

  • Generate social media lead: Your outreach strategy on social media can play a part in helping you gather information on potential leads.
  • Gather insights into target market:  Through your interactions you can gauge their pain points and how your product might be able to help them solve their problem.
  • Increase your social media engagement organically: Spending time commenting on relevant posts can help you increase visibility and build rapport.
  • Increase your social media marketing organically: Creating value-add content through your outreach strategy can play a role in your social media strategy.

In the long run, even though it can be tempting to focus your outreach strategy on getting more social media followers, you need to make sure you have the right content strategy in place in order to attract the right target audience. Otherwise, you will end up with the wrong social media lead. Part of this strategy should be about choosing the right social media channels for you.

How to choose the right social media platforms for you

As a Founder, you might not have time to be on every single social media platform. That's why it is important to pay attention to where your target audience is likely to hang out. In both B2B and B2C, this is likely to be LinkedIn. Especially if you want to focus on building rapport with key decision makers.

How do you use LinkedIn?

Start by understanding how others use it. A lot of professionals have different use cases when it comes to LinkedIn. Some are there to learn. Some are there to network. Some are a bit of both. As part of your outreach campaign, the focus shouldn't be on posts that are sales-focused. Instead, you need to focus on creating value-add content that will appeal to your target audience. That way, you can ensure that the right people will interact with your content.

Should you use a personal or company account?

For an outreach campaign, I suggest using your personal LinkedIn account. A company account is more for inbound campaigns. By using your personal account, when you follow-up with a lead that responded to your social media content, it becomes more personal and helps you build rapport.

How to build an effective outreach campaign

Creating an effective LinkedIn outreach campaign as a founder involves strategic planning, personalization, and consistency. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you build and execute a successful campaign.

1. Define your objectives and target audience

Avoid wasting time attracting the wrong social media lead from the beginning by understanding your ICP. Identify who your ideal prospects are. Consider industry, company size, role, geographic location, and other relevant demographics. LinkedIn's advanced search and Sales Navigator tool can be invaluable for this and you can easily import search lists into folk X and create a sales pipeline for them in folk.

Next, be clear on your objectives. Identify what you want to achieve with your outreach campaign. This might be social media lead generation, building partnerships, or increasing brand awareness, your objectives will guide your messaging and strategy.

2. Get your profile ready

It's okay to start with zero followers. But a blank LinkedIn profile will make you come across as spam. People want to understand what you're doing, what you've done and your professional story.

To get your LinkedIn profile ready, make sure you have a:

  • Professional Image: Ensure your profile picture is professional and your headline clearly states your role and value proposition.
  • Compelling Summary: Your summary should outline what you do, how you help your target audience, and a call to action.
  • Testimonials: Showcase your credibility through the recommendations section, and share relevant achievements to build credibility.

3. Develop a content strategy

Similar to understanding your ICP, developing a strong content strategy will help you target the right audience with your digital marketing efforts. It can also create boundaries for you so you know what stories to tell on your LinkedIn posts and make sure you keep it value-driven.

At a high-level, developing a content strategy involves understanding

  • Your content pillars: This is a key theme or topic your content will focus on that you will become known for and build brand authority around.
  • What original insight you have to share: In other words, thought leadership. This might be an opinion on a newsworthy topic.
  • Understanding others in the field: What are other Founders doing in your industry?

Bad practices to avoid when it comes to outreach marketing

Below are some bad practices you should be aware of as you boost your sales and marketing efforts on LinkedIn. They can not only harm your business growth, but also your social selling efforts.

1. Copying and pasting someone else's post

Copying and pasting what another Founder has posted is frowned upon and also known as plagiarism. Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped some people from doing this.

However, this can damage your personal brand and is easily spotted. On top of that, it can be hard to re-build your reputation, deter people from your product or service and lead people to question your ethics in business and general business practices.

2. Using generative AI for your outbound email campaigns

While generative AI is a useful tool to save time and bounce ideas off. It is easy for someone to figure out that you've used it thanks to some noticeable phrases such as 'in today's landscape'. Over time, this can lead you to coming across as spam and can affect your reputation.

If you intend to use generative AI to save time for your outreach, make sure you are:

  • Factchecking: There's a disclaimer both the free and paid versions of Chat GPT suggesting it can make mistakes, so you need to fact check important information especially in a heavily regulated industry.
  • Editing: It's easy to spot something that is written by generative AI these days. That's why giving it a quick edit to align it with your tone of voice can help.

To avoid it all together, I suggest making use of the AI feature 'Magic Field' in folk especially in your email outreach. It uses existing information you have on a contact and allows you to create prompts, so that you can save time personalizing your outreach. This way you can build more genuine connections.

How to capture leads from your outreach campaign

So, your content marketing strategy and efforts have paid off and you've now made some meaningful connections through the valuable content you posted on LinkedIn. But you have a problem. How do you capture all the social media profiles of the people that have interacted with your content so that you can send them outreach messages?

If you've got a folk account, we have a free LinkedIn comment exporter tool that is the perfect solution. All it requires are four easy steps.

folk newest feature LinkedIn comment exporter
folk's newest feature is a free LinkedIn comment exporter tool

1. Download our LinkedIn comments exporter for free

If you've got a folk account, you can download our tool for free. Simply head to the Chrome browser and click the 'Add to Chrome' button on the top right.

2. Go to your LinkedIn posts

If you publish your own content, head over to your high performing posts and identify groups of people that you want to contact as a potential lead. This also applies if you follow brands and thought leaders in your space that you want to export as a lead.

3. Click on 'export leads'

Once you've identified them, click on the 'Export leads' button to capture their contact information. You can either do this with an individual profile basis or export a full list.

You'll then receive a list of leads in your inbox as a .CSV file that includes information on who engaged with the post, their reaction and what they commented that you can use to personalize your outreach with. Saving you all time from doing this manually.

4. Activate your list with folk CRM

All that's left is for you is to watch the quality of your lead generation efforts grow. Simply import your list into your folk CRM so that you can find their emails in one click and make use of our features including 1-click contact enrichment, email sequences and pipeline management.

folk CRM


Social channels can be intimidating, but your online presence in LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to attract new clients, create brand loyalty and increase website traffic. It can also share valuable insights into your potential customers business goals so that you can build genuine connections with some quality leads. With folk's free LinkedIn comments exporter, you can say goodbye to manually adding contact information from new leads you get from your online presence.