How To Use Social Media To Generate Leads (Quality Not Quantity!)
Social media presents exciting opportunities for all types of business. It offers a playful and engaging way of connecting with customers and prospects by striking up conversations and sharing interesting content. Social media isn’t necessarily a sales tool, but it is an important way of creating and nurturing relationships and expanding your presence in your market. It is also a free channel for your marketing messages – one that can prove extremely profitable for your business.
Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy…
- Gives you better visibility on Google (as social media platforms are highly indexed)
- Builds trust and understanding between your business and your customers
- Provides real-time opportunities for customer service and reputation management
- Allows you to promote a wide range of content to a virtually unlimited audience – for free
Social media is always developing, so it’s vital to continually optimise the way you use it to engage with your followers. So, how do you use the main social media channels to generate quality leads?
1) Gated Content
Whenever you publish a blog, launch a new product, or hold a special offer, advertise it on social media. This is the best way of notching up social shares, building a reputation and increasing your organic traffic. And it’s free, too. Anyone can click on the link in your social media post and access your free content. Gated content is a bit different. This is something that the user has to provide some kind of information for – e.g. a phone number or email address –to access the content.
Many companies take advantage of gated content on their websites to attract leads to their newsletter list. Social media is another great place to promote gated content. Create a normal social media post containing a link to a downloadable e-book, brochure or other exclusive content. The content will be accessible through a landing page, in exchange for the information fields you require. To make gated content a successful social lead generation strategy, make sure it is sharply relevant to your target audience and provides them with the information they need to progress through the sales funnel. You can increase the reach of gated content by taking out paid social advertising.
2) Social Advertising
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all provide an efficient targeted advertising service, for a fee. You can be very detailed about your target audiences on social media advertising, allowing you to reach very specific markets. Your advert could link to content outside of the social media platform - e.g. your website - or you could keep your lead generation within the platform. This may increase your hit rate among users who don’t want to visit external content at the time they see your advert.
For example, Facebook Lead Ads allow users to engage with your brand without leaving Facebook. The advert encourages the user to provide you with information in exchange for an incentive. This incentive could be similar to gated content on your website – a special offer, a whitepaper, a coupon, or a sample product.
If a user is interested, Facebook auto-fills the lead form with information they already have on file, saving prospects time and making it more likely they’ll take up your offer. The information fields you harvest can be customised at the time you set up your advert.
3) Interactive Contests
A lot of people like taking part in contests and quizzes. The idea behind them is simple. The user provides some information in exchange for the chance to win a certain prize or incentive. To run a successful contest, you have to have a prize worth winning. In particular, the prize has to be perceived as valuable by the target audience you want to attract. So don’t run contests with generic prizes just for the sake of it - offer a prize that relates to your services, such as an extended customer warranty, a free upgrade, or a hefty discount. You could also give away physical products if this is your line of work.
There are several ways a customer can enter the contest. Either they can share certain content on social media, or like or follow a certain page. Or they could share user-generated content, such as a photo of themselves holding a home-made banner with your company name or promotional details on. They could even click through to a landing page outside of the social media platform to fill out a form. This last option will deter some people as it involves an extra step, but the leads you do get are likely to be ‘hotter’ – i.e. more likely to convert into customers.
4) Live Video
Social media provides a couple of fun and interactive ways of engaging with your brand through live video.
- Hangouts: The live video is provided as a type of gated content, hosted on an external site, and accessed by providing certain information.
- Webinar: The video is hosted on the social media platform itself as an interactive presentation or webinar. This opens your content up to a wider audience. Encourage your followers to post questions and feedback during the video. You can also offer live incentive content during the video, such as a special offer landing page, or a custom tab (if using Facebook Live).
The actual content of your video is up to you and depends very much on your business. It could be a question-and-answer session, or a training seminar, a live auction, a wine tasting, an exclusive online course, a virtual tour of your office, or a straightforward introduction to your products and services. Start with an understanding of your market and what your prospects find valuable, and then use your imagination!
Gain More Leads From Your Social Media Activity
Social media marketing is a core part of any modern digital marketing strategy. To find out more about how you can use your favourite social media platforms to your best advantage – whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn – please give us a call today on 01332 982022.
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