Using Social Media For Lead Generation

Social Media for Lead Generation

This is a guest post by Shanna Mallon from Straight North.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

On Facebook

  • 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:
Special Offers in Social Media
  • 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.

On Twitter

“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.
Use the influencers
  • Look at the Competition – Likewise, watching your competition can be helpful in finding prospects. Are the influencers talking with your competitors?

Through Blogging

  • 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.

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  • http://www.hisocial.com/ Hisocial

    Hi Shanna,

    Great post, but one of the links you mention is not working (the special offer example)

    I totally agree , one of the main goals of social media should be increasing your leads. As you mention, social promos usually work quite well on this matter

  • http://twitter.com/lizonomics Lizzie Maldonado

    love the post! i’m with hisocial, however, the links didn’t work for me because there are quotations included. great read though!

  • http://www.salesportal.com/ SalesPortal

    Keep in mind that that it’s not a one-to-one ratio; not every social connection is going to become a lead right away. A lot of companies forget that social media involves building a relationship with your audience that turns into leads in time. It’s not always quick or easy.

  • peter freer

    Thanks for the article. My main question (and this is around B2B) is just what is the best network to build a community? In many cases I have seen a business start with Facebook only to realize that the most logical place is actually Linkedin. But other than the “follow a company” on Linked In prompt, how does that actually promote a community there? I follow companies, and watch the updates but the conversations are not there?

    It feels like Linkedin is not truly social or networking, enough at times.

    I will share this article.

    Peter

    http://www.messageworks.ca

  • http://www.kronikmedia.co.uk/blog/ K.Singh, London

    Another useful way to generate leads is to use good call to action within your posts on Facebook or Twitter. The same call to action methods that apply to websites and blogs can also be incorporated into your status updates. A simple Click here to find out more or Join our programme today can have a big impact on engagement.

  • Shanna

    I just noticed this as well — thanks for pointing the problem out, guys! I’ll see if we can get them fixed.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Hey Shanna, it has been fixed, I don’t know why the links had quotations in them. Thank you.

  • stefen henes

    great written

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    In order to generate leads from social media, it’s all about what you are sharing and how active you are. If you only log into your accounts every once in awhile you can’t expect to gain any business. It’s important to sign in regularly and share content that is interesting.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Social media is now considered as the effective medium wherein you can generate qualified sales leads. But of course don’t expect so much from it when you are just starting out. You cannot get overnight result. It is a product of hardword, dedication, patience and the use of the right approach.