What did we ever do with our social media? It is such a massive part of our lives, both personal and professional, in the ever-evolving digital landscape we live in. Why? Because it’s effortless, and most of the time, it’s free.
As a business, you should be using social media to your advantage, and generate a consistent stream of leads. It’s an incredibly useful tool as it allows you to direct your followers to take action, from the swipe-up action on Instagram and Snapchat to sharing links to targeted landing pages. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include personalised call-to-actions (CTAs) in your captions.
What is social media?
Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. It’s the collective of online communication channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. They are dedicated to community-based interactions and collaboration.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying, attracting and converting strangers into someone who has indicated some interest in what you’ve got to offer. It means you are enticing someone to your company’s product or service in what feels like an organic manner. The person feels like they have made the decision to insert their details and are happy to do so in exchange for something that brings value to them.
An example of a lead generation tool would be a blog post, live events, job applications, coupons or discount codes and online content.
If you put some content onto your website, with a compelling title, subheading and synopsis, and that person feels like they would really benefit from that piece of content, then they will happily enter their email address to download that piece of content. It’s seamless and natural.
However, you are gathering their email addresses so you can market to them and move them down your buyer’s funnel in a much more organic and natural fashion.
The importance of social media for lead gen: How social media can generate more leads
Lead generation is all about attracting the right people to your business and building on brand awareness – it’s not the same thing as selling. Lead generation allows you to learn:
- What is of interest to your target audience
- What products or services could you offer them to solve their problems?
- What their pain points are
The fantastic thing about social media is that you can target your audience directly based on what channels they use. If you’ve already created detailed buyer personas, you’ll know this kind of information about them. You can even create highly targeted sponsored posts or ads, based on anything from their demographics, interests or pages they follow.
Lead generation in 2019 is all about gated content, video creation, email opt-ins and paid ad campaigns that are aimed at getting potential customers into your sales funnel – and a lot of it is done online.
Social media plays a massive part in this, and you can use it to help your business generate more leads than ever. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, make the process easier because all the information that people share online about themselves is there for you to use. We are currently living in a time where people spend anything up to 10 hours a day on their mobile phones, with 40% of people spending more time socialising with others online than face-to-face. So, it’s safe to say, if you’re not optimising your social media presence effectively in 2019, you’re wasting valuable time and effort.
No matter what size your business is, or what product/service you’re offering, it would help if you always were using social media to generate leads.
Creative ways to use social media to generate leads
The great thing about social media is that people are so over-consumed by advertising and PR that they can spot it from a mile off. People don’t want to feel like their being sold to; they want to feel like they have made up their own opinion on something and decided to buy it because THEY wanted to – if that makes sense?
Social media is a great tool to do this. People are scrolling through their feed, so why not target them more naturally? Think about it like dating – if you knew the love of your life hung out at a particular bar on a Saturday night, you’d go there and find them. It’s practically the same thing – without sounding like a stalker. Disclaimer: you should never stalk anyone.
Here are three creative ways to use social media to generate more leads:
1. Target and retarget
Remarketing allows you to re-engage with people who have previously visited your website/landing page. Facebook will automatically add these people to an audience (you can create as many as you need based on your needs) which you can then serve ads to either via boosted posts or Facebook business manager.
2. Social media influencers
Social media influencers are a fantastic opportunity for business to use to target your audience directly. They already have an audience that you want to market to, so you would piggyback on top of that and collaborate with them. Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that involves brands partnering with prominent social media’ stars’ through a trusted source.
These social media influencers have a unique ability to influence their following’s purchasing decisions through authentic relationships and the trust that they have already built.
Chatbots are a powerful piece of technology that is taking the marketing world by storm at the minute. There are software applications available to business that mimic written or spoken human speech to simulate a conversation.
They’re most commonly used in the customer service space but can be adapted for most industries. You are effectively plugging pre-empted answers into a bot, who can then answer some frequently asked questions quickly and efficiently should your audience want to know more.
You can do this via Facebook Messenger and encourage your audience to enter their email address should they want to find out more.
Best practices for social lead generation
As marketers, I’m pretty sure we all know how valuable social media is, but are you using it effectively for lead generation? In this section, we’re going to look at how you actually use social media to generate leads, and what are some of the best practices to adopt.
Share links of gated content
You need to create content that is so valuable; people are going to hand over their email address for it. Everyone loves useful content, and after researching your target audience, you should know what topics they will be investigating. Therefore, you can create content that you know will bring them value. Share some content that you know they will appreciate it.
If you use a digital marketing platform like Zymplify, you’ll be able to create targeted landing pages that are specific to the content that you’re offering. There is no point sharing content that you cannot track or measure the success of.
Zymplify’s platform allows you to track and analyse landing pages and attribute the success to the appropriate channel. You can create separate channels depending on what social media platform you’re using, and you’ll be able to see what’s working best in real-time.
Run a competition
People who use social media love competitions, and this is a perfect way to generate leads for your business. Create a competition around your product or service, create a landing page and get people to put in their email address as their entry. It’s as simple as that.
Make sure the competition is relevant and super attractive to your audience, and you will notice a huge influx of leads.
Hangouts, webinars and live videos
People are over the super-polished feel, and they like to interact in real-time when it comes to social media. By using hangouts, live videos and online webinars, you can really show off the personality to your organisation and get to know your audience on a much more in-depth level.
Promote a webinar a week in advance and encourage people to enter their email address to secure their spot. Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity around it, and people will want to be involved.
You need to ensure you are putting time, effort, and some of your marketing budget into social media lead generation. A lot of the time, it’s completely free, until you create sponsored or boosted posts – which are worth every penny.
Not only will you be able to create highly targeted audiences, and get right in front of your ideal customer, but you’ll be able to generate a consistent stream of leads that you actually want. Think quality over quantity every time.