Finding Prospects' LinkedIn linksIf you have decided to add social media information to your CRM so you have permanent contact information for your prospects, clients and partners – congratulations! That’s a decision that will benefit you for years to come.

The simplest way to start is to add the fields to your CRM, and input the information manually for each prospect. It usually only takes a couple minutes for each prospect.

But if you have hundreds or thousands of people in your contact database, those minutes add up. And you may not want your sales people taking the time to do this research. If that’s the case, hiring a virtual assistant or giving the project to an intern might be a good solution.

It’s important to note that getting links to social media profiles can be a little more complicated than you would expect. Some people are very easy to find. But none of the social media platforms have perfect search, and it can be surprisingly hard to get to the right person.

We’ve been doing this for clients, and here are some tips:

  1. Start with LinkedIn’s search. A simple search will turn up the right person most of the time. If the person has a common name, use the advanced search to narrow your options by geography or company.
  2. Go to the person’s website or blog. Many people have links to their social media profiles there.
  3. If you have an email from the person, check their sig file. There may be a link to their profiles there.
  4. Google them. You may turn up a website that has links to their social media profiles.
  5. Use software to do the matching. IKO System (www.iko-system.com) and Fliptop (www.fliptop.com) will match your contacts to their social media profiles. Neither comes close to delivering a 100% match rate, but they can save you a lot of time.
  6. Start using Bump (www.bu.mp) to import the social profiles directly into your phone – no keying needed!

Do you have tips for finding social media profiles? Please share them in the comments.