Attaining popularity on social media platforms is an absolute must for businesses these days.
More and more marketers have started seeing social media as an indispensable tool for marketing, as well as lead generation.
How do we know that? Well, the Google trends graph tell us for one.
Social media is essential for brand building and connecting with your target audience. So, if you are just using it for likes, shares and comments, then you are late to the party.
By now, your competitors probably already have a social media marketing strategy.
As Jacquelyn Smith explains in Forbes, “You can really get to know the customers needs through social listening. It’s a great way to research a market and initiate a conversation leading to a sale.”
According to Business2community, the share of marketing budgets spent on social media is expected to be more than double over the next five years, from 11% today to 24% by 2020.
Therefore, it’s high time you make proper use of its potential.
In this article, we’ll discuss ways in which you can use channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to gain quality leads from social media for your business.
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing for Business
First, let’s talk about what lead generation means in today’s world
The definition of lead generation, according to Google, is “the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’s products or services.”
Therefore it is not simply about selling your product but also gathering information about your customers including their interests, their pain points, their likes or dislikes, and what will make them spend on your product.
Before the internet, marketers used to send direct mail-outs or give away forms in newspapers or magazines to collect information from potential buyers.
Today, social media has made it much easier for marketers to reach their target audience. With almost all of their information already online, all marketers need to focus on is how to maintain the attention of the target audience and convert them into leads.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you maximize your use of social media marketing.
With over 86 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the best platforms for marketing as well as sales. Businesses can share links, videos, images and posts on their Facebook pages to reflect their personality and style as well as reach new customers.
Have a look at these example Facebook ads.
Simple, but effective. Plus, there is a lot more you can do to capture the attention of people on Facebook.
For instance, people love contests. They’re fun! They demand engagement!
You have probably come across companies giving away prizes such as a new iPad or a $500 gift voucher. Perhaps you don’t need to be told that the company easily earns the money back through clicks, likes and conversions.
But here’s another angle to consider: people willingly provide their personal details to participate in such contests, which means you have an opportunity to obtain whatever information you are seeking from your target audience and improve your business.
Better yet, contests are a great way of increasing your email database.
Another great way to add value to your Facebook page is to create customised Facebook tabs. The ‘tabs’ feature allows companies to promote something distinctive and unique.
Take, for example, Coca-Cola’s House Rules tab on its Facebook page. Here, the company asks its fans to commend, post or share whatever they feel about the brand.
Also, don’t forget to keep your company’s logo as a big part of your profile or header image so that Facebook users know and remember it.
Always treat your Facebook page like a website and continually add new content. Create a schedule and make sure there is a good mix of photos, videos and compelling posts to generate more traffic.
A while back, nobody knew how to track leads through Twitter. However, today most marketers use Twitter for widening their reach and turning their followers into customers.
According to this article in Business2community, around 79% of users recommend brands that they follow. A further 85% of users feel more connected to businesses after following them. Tweak your tweets a little and see what effect it has on your profits!
There are a few more quick ways to gain leads on Twitter, including Twitter Cards.
Twitter Cards are a lead generation tool which help in capturing attention as well engaging your audience. They work directly within your promoted tweet to collect users’ contact information in exchange for your offer, and increase your odds of conversion.
Furthermore, they are concise, don’t require much work and are definitely worthwhile. You can post many different types of cards including summary cards, photo cards, gallery cards and more.
Here is an example of an amazing gallery card on Twitter.
Also, never miss out on your brand mentions. An article in eMarketer reveals that 83% of consumers say online reviews influence their perceptions about companies, and 80% report that negative online comments affect their purchasing decisions.
Therefore, it is crucial that you monitor what people are saying about your business online.
You should respond immediately, or as soon as possible, if someone has mentioned the name of your brand on Twitter.
See how one of the most influential brands on Twitter – JetBlue – respond to some tweets by their customers.
You can also host virtual events or start a campaign on Twitter to further engage your followers and generate leads. It could be anything from having a live discussion on a particular day, to answering questions in a company Q and A.
The trick is not to initiate a conversation directly about your company, but rather the industry that surrounds it.
LinkedIn has almost limitless power when it comes to generating leads. In my view, LinkedIn is the social media platform to rule them all and the main one that you should focus your energy on.
LinkedIn has more than 400 million members worldwide. You can expand your network by signing up to LinkedIn Premium, which offers a one-month free trial.
Premium gives brands, individuals and companies on LinkedIn a unique opportunity to expand their reach by providing the user with facilities such as sending 15 InMail messages a day to potential leads/clients, seeing who’s viewed your profile in the past 90 days, and finding connections faster with the option of Advanced Search.
LinkedIn’s publishing platform is a great tool for marketers to share their thoughts as industry experts.
They can also use this platform to post important information or insights that might help job seekers.
Over time, publishing timely and relevant content is a surefire way to generate more leads.
According to Hootsuite’s blog, countless professionals are now using LinkedIn as a blogging tool, and gaining an opportunity to engage a new audience for their business. See an example of how you can post on it below.
The last of the social media titans, but not the least!
Instagram is relatively new, yet one of the fastest growing social media channels in today’s digital landscape. In its short life span of just six years, it has amassed over 500 million users.
Can you afford not to reach them? Nope, of course not!
Until recently, people primarily used Instagram for sharing photos, getting likes, and adding followers. However, in 2015, things got a shake-up after Instagram introduced paid advertising.
Using this advertising platform, businesses can now generate leads by holding quizzes, training or just sharing a photo of their brand. Plus, it’s super easy to connect your Instagram account up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts to cross-promote content.
Certain companies such as Mercedes Benz are brilliant at integrating their Instagram content on Facebook. Take a look at this example.
Once again, it’s simple but effective marketing. On that note, always remember to respond to comments on your Instagram posts!
While it’s cool to get thousands of likes and shares on a photo, it’s equally important to keep a tab on the comments people leave for you.
You don’t have to have long conversations… but if someone comments on your post or tags your brand, respond to them. This will help you expand your community and build relationships.
See a great example of how to keep communications short but sweet below.
One of the other major benefits to using Instagram is its video sharing feature. This provides a unique opportunity for marketers to share brief video clips about their products or services.
Videos are an engaging, interesting and informative way of communicating with your target audience as well as a neat way to showcase the benefits of your offering in under two minutes.
Lastly, be sure to use relevant #hashtags with everything you post.
Hashtags are the hallmark of Instagram. Finding leads isn’t easy in such a large community so adding popular or distinctive hashtags to your photos will help you find leads in a more organized way.
For instance, if you’re offering matrimonial services, you could post photos along with hashtags like #matchmaking or #findtheone to reach a larger audience seeking help in this regard.
You could also create a brand-specific hashtag for a contest or promotion. For instance, Dry Soda used the hashtag #fridayDRYday to distinguish their post.
Also, see the general use of a hashtag below by a coffee shop owner.
The list of how to connect with your potential leads on social media platforms is endless. These are just a few pointers on how you can use social media to generate leads, and most of them can even be used across each platform!
Social media is integral to raising awareness of your brand and generating more leads for you. It is woven into almost every nook and cranny of our personal and business lives so use it to amplify your content creations as people discover and share them.
Guest Author: I’m a blogger and designer and I work as a creative head for Designhill. I write on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, digital marketing, interactive content. My creative work has earned me several laurels over the years.you can folow me @Campbelljof