Social media is mostly associated with spreading the word about your brand rather than sales, although that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is one of the most popular channels adopted by businesses to boost business online through digital marketing.
When used correctly, social media platforms can return more marketing value than simply brand building and networking with existing customers; you can also use sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to generate leads to convert into sales.
Furthermore – possibly the best aspect of generating leads via social media is that it is cost-effective and produces measurable results. Research has shown that social media marketing can increase your sales revenue by up to 24% when utilised for lead generation.
Here we take a look at the various ways you can turn your social media marketing campaigns into lead generating machines and ultimately, make more sales.
Starting with the basics, you have to consider lead generation as a way of gathering intelligence on your existing customers and potential ones. The areas you want to concentrate on are as follows:
- What kind of topics your target market has an interest in
- What service or products you provide that you can sell to them
- What their pain points are in terms of why they would buy your products or services and what problems they address
- How you can convert their interest into a sale
In the digital era, lead generation is all about content in its various forms: email opt-ins, video marketing, paid advertising campaigns, blogs and gated white papers, as per our previous article – How to use Content to Generate New Business Leads.
It is now easy to collect the data you need by drawing your target audience in with compelling and relevant content in all media formats and simply ‘gating’ it to encourage providing information to access the document or video. You can keep it simple and just request a name and current email address or you can perhaps ask product or service-related questions to get an idea of what they’re interested in. It’s always best to keep your online forms simple, without cluttering it up with too many questions.
The Role of Social Media Networks
So, how exactly do social media platforms come into play when it comes to lead generation?
Well, when you consider that 40% of people spend more time networking on social media than they do face-to-face, you can be pretty certain that your target market will be amongst them. All you have to do is pick the right social media channel for your business.
Facebook has evolved considerably in terms of its advertising power. Changes made to its algorithm allow users to generate leads through paid ad campaigns which can be extremely budget-friendly compared with the more mainstream option of Google AdWords.
However, you don’t necessarily have to spend any money to generate leads on Facebook. You can run a contest to attract a lot of attention and shares while generating more email addresses for your CRM database. Give away your products or services to the winner of a simple raffle-type competition and you’ll get a wealth of responses. The only downside is that your leads won’t be qualified and that there’s a chance an element of them will only be after any freebies on offer!
It’s worth putting plenty of content on your Facebook page so that it’s more like a website. There should be more of a purpose behind your profile than just to build your brand and so it’s a good idea to put a call to action somewhere to encourage more than just ‘likes’ to your page.
Twitter cards were introduced in 2013, making lead generation on Twitter a whole lot easier to achieve. Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich media like photos and videos that drive traffic directly to your website. When you Tweet a link to your website content, your card is attached making it easier for you to engage your audience and get them to see your website.
There are different Twitter Cards available from the basic Summary Card through to the Player Card, to which you can attach video, audio and media files. You can get plenty of help developing your lead generation campaigns from Twitter direct via their manual, Getting Started Guide. You can also use Twitter’s extremely useful analytics tools to find out in real-time just how your campaigns are running.
LinkedIn is considered the best social media platform for B2B advertising and because it specifically caters for networking professionals, it’s a natural fit for lead generation. You can now link your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account and post on both platforms simultaneously.
The best way to generate interest and ultimately traffic to your website using LinkedIn is by publishing interesting content using the network’s authoring tool. When you publish an article, blog piece or information about a special offer, always place a call to action at the bottom of your piece to encourage engagement.
Not only should your piece of content warrant sharing within LinkedIn, you can link to it from other networks like Twitter, as mentioned above and also by putting the link manually on Facebook too. In essence LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to have your content hosted somewhere other than your website.
The other reason creating and publishing your own unique content on LinkedIn is so effective for lead generation is that the network regularly promotes pieces to its 400 million users, according to the fields they’re working in which can connect you directly with your prospects.
Instagram is probably the least developed tool for lead generation among its social media counterparts. However, it’s still possible to generate leads when you keep it visual. Instagram is a sharing network for photos and videos principally and users can share and comment on the posts that catch their eye.
If you want to generate leads, you need to read and respond to any comments to garner further engagement. Instagram is also a great platform for short video clips which, if you’re entertaining and creative, it is relatively easy to generate interest that can go viral. Not only is Instagram great for brand building and really getting your name in front of your prospective client base, it’s really effective as a tool to engage your audience and turn them into clients.
The good news is that you don’t have to do this all by yourself, you can employ the services of a digital marketing agency like ours to help you manage your social media pages adequately, and at a very resonable fee.
If you need further assistance on bespoke digital marketing strategies or require help on implementing the tips provided here, do contact us and one of our experts will be in contact.