Everybody knows social media is big—but why does that matter to businesses?
How can entrepreneurs put the online community to work for them?
Here’s the truth: Simply opening up a Twitter account or creating a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough; you have to know how to turn your connections into qualified leads.
How to Generate More Leads
Generating leads through social media is about more than asking for contact info. It’s about various steps to build a platform, establish expertise, and track results along the way.
- Prove Your Expertise. Before you can draw new leads through social media, you need to build a community of followers. Create quality content, demonstrate your authority, and engage with others in a way that means value for your audience.
- Cross-Promote. Community doesn’t happen out of nowhere. Promote your Facebook page on your blog and your blog on Twitter and so on. Use every channel to point users to your other profiles.
- Engage. Don’t just promote your own content, but engage with others about theirs. Retweet interesting articles; respond to customer questions; do whatever you can to build engagement.
- Think Offline, Too. Put the social back in social media by using your offline connections to promote your presence on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and so on.
- Track Results. Keep detailed statistics on followers, subscribers, responses, etc., so that as you try new tactics, you can see what achieves the best results.
Lead Generation on Specific Channels
Beyond the general principles of building a solid online presence and community, there are specific strategies you can pull from to use on different networks. Here are some specific ideas for Facebook, Twitter, and blogging!
- E-Mail Subscription – By adding an e-mail subscription form to your Facebook fan page, you turn your page into a way to increase your newsletter subscribers.
- Special Offer – People who come to your Facebook page are likely to have at least some interest in your products, so use a coupon, discount, or trial offer to encourage them to learn more, turning them into solid leads in the process. Here’s an example from a food blogger/cookbook author, using both a coupon and an offer for free meal plans to draw in leads:
- Live Chat – Make it easy for clients or potential clients to reach out to you by offering a live chat when they can ask questions or get more info. They’re automatically leads you may be able to turn into customers.
- Give Away to Sell – Offer free content—blog posts, articles, etc.—that show off your authority and value, and then sell research reports, consulting, etc.
“Creating a community of followers through Twitter and a regularly updated stream of content on a blog builds engagement, boosts the company’s presence on Google, and ultimately brings in more potential customers.” eMarketer
- Use the Influencers – When you find an influential reporter or analyst, use the advanced search feature to see others they’ve been talking with on Twitter. This can reveal more individuals to identify as leads.
- Look at the Competition – Likewise, watching your competition can be helpful in finding prospects. Are the influencers talking with your competitors?
- Build an Audience – Your first step in generating leads is regularly creating the kind of content and community that draws new readers.
- Entice Readers – Find ways to get readers to give you their contact information, whether by offering them the chance to view a webinar or request more information or get a free trial of one of your products or services.
- Call to Action – When you want readers to give you their info, ask them. But test different ways of doing so to identify what works best. From fonts to colors to placement on webpages, figure out which call to action gives the best results.
How Can Social Media Change Your Business?
As social media’s influence continues to grow, with more and more individuals active on the various networks, the opportunities it offers your business will only expand.
How could tapping into this world help your company connect with and convert prospects? Might social media activity be a catalyst for new growth and change in the way you gather leads? Take the right steps, and you could find Twitter, Facebook, and the like to be game-changers in your marketing plan.