Generating new leads is important for every business. But with traditional display advertising losing its effectiveness, more and more marketers are realizing the power of social media for lead generation as compared to a communication tool for creating brand awareness.
Stats say that social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. In fact, as per few industry surveys, B2B marketers are now saying that social media has a bigger impact on lead generation than PPC.
But, generating leads from social media is neither easy nor cheap. It can be very difficult to pick right signals out of the noise. You need a proper step by step execution plan to identify your prospects from the crowd. Take a look at the following steps to consider for social media lead generation for your business.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before investing your time & money in social media, profile your target customer and identify the networks where he is present. There are number of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and targeting all at the same time will require a lot of resources. So, if you have limited time or resources then target the channel where your audience is more active. For example, if your target audience majorly includes women then targeting Pinterest is a good idea, as 83% of Pinterest users are women.
2. Content is the Key For Generating Qualified Leads
Social media is a great medium for engaging your target audience. But, the mantra is to share valuable and informative content to help & educate your audience rather than blasting them with your product updates. Valuable content is like a magnet, it pulls people towards your website and your business. Create viral content that inspires people to share. So, It is very important to align your social media strategy with your overall content strategy to plan what type of content you will use to build a strong social media presence. For example, if Twitter is your preferred platform to engage your audience then make sure your subject lines and headlines are both short and concise, making it easier for them to share your message well within 140 characters.
3. Listen to What Your Audience is Talking About
Listening to your consumers is very important. Try to understand your prospect and the type of content that appeals to him. Listening to your audience will also give you an idea of what people are saying about your brand and competitors as well. And it will also help you in understanding your audiences’ needs, the type of problems they are facing and the type of information they are looking for. Discover the particular keywords people are using to talk about your product niche. Furthermore, this will help you in creating that will successfully address the needs & concerns of your prospects.
4. Maximize Engagement
The type of content you share will determine your level of community engagement. If you start sharing promotional content without building any trust then people will not read it. Remember, on social media, it’s not all about you. Make sure to create plenty of relevant & interesting content and establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche first. Respond to their questions and feedback to create a strong relationship with your prospects. Try to initiate a conversation with your followers by following them and sharing their updates to show up on their radar. Lead nurturing is a step in the right direction to engage with your future prospects and driving them your sales funnel as quickly as possible.
5. Be Consistent with Your Efforts
Generating leads from social media is an ongoing process. It may take a few months before you start seeing results. So, in the meantime, keep creating content to feed your lead nurturing engine. It all boils down to building a strong social media community Always remember that social is a two-way street, so keep the lines of communication open. Keep updating your content on a regular basis and never delay in responding to their questions.
Generating leads from social media is very easy if you’ve a strong online community. So, maintain a constant dialogue with your community. But remember it’s not all about you; follow the 80/20 rule, which says that only 20% of your content should be used to promote yourself and 80% should be entertaining and informative, so as to engage your audience.
Ways to Generate Leads by Using Social Media
Finding and maximizing your lead generation by using social media can be done quickly and effectively, if you know how to identify those leads. It’s not tough to identify a valuable lead if you put a little effort and use the right keywords. Here’s how to search leads on each of these social media sites listed below.
How to Find Leads on Twitter
Twitter is a gold mine for lead generation and driving purchases very quickly. It’s much more cost effective than other social channels. Here’s how you can use twitter for lead generation.
Make a list of seven to eight keywords you want to target. Use twitter search and enter those keywords in it and also use a few different combination of those keywords. The search results will show you who is talking about those keywords and on the basis of their profile you can judge whether they qualify as a lead or not.
Take part in twitter chats. Join a general conversation on your industry to learn from other experts participating in the discussion. You can also start a chat on your own to help promote a new product or service. To participate in your own Twitter chat, you can find a specific #hashtag to reach your audience. Provide useful information to educate your followers and establish yourself as an industry expert. For finding relevant hashtags, you can use hashtags discovery tools like Hashtag.org or you can use hashtags used by your competitors and influencers in your industry.
Lead Generation Card
Twitter’s lead generation card launched earlier this year is a tool that integrates information about your brand or a specific offer into the tweet. Your lead generation card can contain multimedia too, such as a product or advertising campaign image, details about the offer, and a call-to-action button. When your users expand your tweet, they can check your offer and even express interest without leaving Twitter.
The case study of @RockCreek, an outdoor gear and apparel company showed a 4.6 percent engagement rate with more than 1,700 new email contacts in less than a week by using lead generation card.
52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013.
How to Find Leads on Facebook
Creating useful content has been the mantra to get leads from Facebook. Share link of your content on your page wall. You can also post photos, videos, and open ended questions about the product you want to promote and link it to your webpage. As Facebook now allows you to include Call to Action in your content, you can run ads on Facebook and share special offers with your audience to capture leads.
Contests & Giveaways
Running a contest is also a good way to capture a lead, especially if the prize is the product or service that you are trying to sell. This way you use Facebook to drive traffic to your landing pages and can earn a lot of potential leads.
But, before you plan to to put your efforts in lead generation from Facebook, understand its algorithms first. For example, Facebook uses an algorithm called Edge Rank to discard content which is boring and which doesn’t ignite an interaction. So, always update relevant, compelling content that invite interaction like open ended questions.
So, pay attention to your content and make sure you are not spamming your fans with promotions and brand-centric content.
77% of B2B marketers say that they have acquired a customer through Linkedin.
How to Find Leads on Linkedin
Join relevant groups in your industry to expand your reach. To join a group use Linkedin search you will see a search bar on the top left hand side enter a related keyword in it and use the drop down menu to select groups; it will show you the related groups.
After joining a group, stay active by participating in discussions. Your aim should be to add value by responding to other group members questions. You can maximize the engagement by adding a lot of value-added content, including links to your own content from time to time. You can include a clear call to action in your content, so that when the participants will open that link, they will arrive at the landing page that has gated content ,and you can collect the lead from there.
Linkedin advance people search can also be used to generate leads. Start your search by selecting people from the drop down menu on the right hand corner. You can go further and search for key people in your industry by job title or within your target companies to engage with the decision makers.The results can be sorted by relationships and you can also use keyword field to narrow your search.
According to a report, 70% of ecommerce users reports that they go to Pinterest while looking for items to buy. According to a ComScore report, Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites. Now this tells you something about the importance of finding your prospects on Pinterest.
How to Find Leads on Pinterest
Add a hashtag to your desired keyword and use Pinterest’s search functionality. Once you get the results you can pair it with other keywords to get more specific results. The pins in the results will lead you to the desired prospect.
Create original inforgraphics depicting your product benefits or include industry data points. Pinterest users love visual data.
Use contact capture forms, linking your pins with landing pages, promote pinterest-only special offer and run contests to generate leads.
Social media can be a very effective lead generation tool for businesses. Tie a specific goal with your social media efforts, for example, get 100 leads via Twitter by end of the week, and you can measure your ROI.
“84% of b2b companies are using some form of social media marketing. However, “best in class” companies generate over 3X their share of all leads (17% vs. 5%) from social media as do average performing companies.” – Marketin Profs.