Lead generation – that’s the name of the game in marketing isn’t it? There are various methods to market a business, whether offline or online. Rather than bore you with those “other” methods, let’s get right to it.
Everybody wants to market their business and generate leads using social media. The HOW is the doozy!
Of course you can use social media to generate leads. At your fingertips you have access to thousands of people – it’s a networking event on steroids. But, how do you use social media right to attract the right audience and generate the right leads for your business?
How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads
Before you can generate leads using social media, you first need to understand lead generation as a generation function of sales and marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
You have to know everything you can about your audience. Create what is known as a customer avatar by identifying a specific person to talk to.
- Who exactly are they?
- What is their sex?
- How much money do they make?
- What are their fears and concerns?
- Do they have problems or challenges that you can solve?
In the interest of transparency, I’ll tell you right now that almost every marketing person will harp on this point. And how if you don’t do it you’ll be lost.
But let’s be honest here, since we’re friends, right? Understanding your audience is an exhaustive, evolving process. This means it takes research that you will repeat over again as your business changes, times change, and your audience changes.
Now that I’ve contradicted myself by even including this point in this post, I’ll give you the real reason why it’s included.
If you identify a single person to talk to, it’s easier to have a conversation. It’s easier to talk to her on social media. It’s easier to create a product he/she wants. It’s easier to create blog posts because you know what kinds of content she likes to read/watch/consume. It’s easier to create ANY copy, really, because you know who you’re talking to.
This is why you need to identify your audience. Give her a name and a face, a voice and bring her to life. Then get to know her by going where she goes, and study what she’s doing.
2. Spell Out Your Goals
You can’t start any type of marketing without a goal. In this case it’s lead generation. What are your goals for using social media to generate leads? Consider these 4 questions as a starting point as you build a lead generation campaign:
- How many leads do you want to generate, and in what period of time? Quantify this goal for measurable results. For example, do you want to generate 15 leads in 5 days?
- Exactly who do you want as a lead? In addition to identifying the demographics of your target audience, you will also want to consider where they are in the buyer’s journey, and the product life cycle.
- What makes a perfect lead? For example, is it age, or some other demographic factor? Are they ready to buy, or are they simply seeking information? If you’re a B2B brand, does you lead have a specific level of revenue required for your services? Should your lead work with a certain set of clients?
- What would attract that perfect lead? For example, would your lead be attracted to an explainer video, or is a 15-minute sales phone call the best option for you? Would an in person demo work best, or can an online demo suffice? Would a quiz attract your perfect lead, or would a whitepaper be more appropriate?
Drill down the answers to each of these questions to help you clearly set quantifiable goals.
3. Create a Content Strategy
Nothing is done without content. Without content, you have no marketing strategy whatsoever. You’ll need to create content for your website/blog and social media that has the purpose of your marketing campaign in mind: Getting more leads.
After that, almost everything else rests on content to promote your lead capture pages.
A lead capture page, also known as a landing page, is the page where you capture people’s email addresses and/or other pertinent info so you can land in their inbox and send them targeted information.
The goal? To ultimately convert this LEAD into a PAYING CUSTOMER.
4. Create Compelling Content
If you want someone to trust you to give them information so that the lead can become a prospect, you’re going to have to work for it. Great content uses images, video, audio, and is engaging and relevant to the audience.
If you want to use social media to generate leads, you have to create compelling content. Compelling content gets people to take action. That action could be to hit the ‘like’ button, hit ‘share’, or click through your website pages to find out more. It evokes a response and an emotion, and inspires people to DO something. That’s the goal. Get people to MOVE and RESPOND.
5. Put Sign-Up Forms on Social Media
An easy way to use social media to generate leads is to simply put your sign-up forms on social media. For example, you can put a sign-up form right on Facebook. In this case Facebook can become the landing page. When applicable, put the sign-up form where the content is so that you can get a higher conversion rate.
Don’t stop at Facebook though. Add the link to your sign-up form to all your social media bios. Promote your optins across social media, and pin the post to your profiles where applicable. Regularly promote your special offer; don’t expect people to see it when you only share your offer once. Then, instead of sending people to your website’s homepage, direct traffic to your lead capture page so that they can sign up.
6. Improve Your Social Media Profiles
Sometimes before someone clicks through your links they’re going to check your profile. If you have a blurry head shot, and a half-completed profile, a visitor is not going to click through, visit your website, and give you their email. Nope. They’re going to click away, never to return. Don’t let that happen. Make it a point to improve your social media profiles, and be sure to keep them updated with current information.
7. Spend Some Money
If you’ve created an awesome content marketing strategy, but hardly anyone is seeing it, then it might be time to pay for sponsored posts on social media networks that have that offer. If you want to use social media to generate leads, it is ok to pay to play! Capturing leads is one of the ways that you can use social media advertising without spending a fortune. For example, you can create a boosted Facebook post and drive the traffic to content on your website.
8. Offer Something Substantial
Giving away a freebie, also know as an optin offer, to get the email address is a classic practice among digital marketers. But, you can make this work even better by ensuring that the giveaway would only be wanted by your target audience. Make the free offer a substantial offer, one so good that your ideal customer would gladly pay for. This will help to ensure only qualified leads actually subscribe to your list.
9. Create Multiple Landing Pages
When using social media to generate leads, you will direct fans and followers to a specific page on your website, as mentioned above. If you don’t have a website, I’m going to first recommend that you make one. The fees for website domains and hosting fees have dropped to such minimal rates, that there is no excuse not to have your own website. Your website doesn’t have to be huge either. In fact, you can start with a personal website that highlights who you are and what you offer for prospective customers.
However, to take your lead generation via website efforts a step further, you can create a specific, targeted landing page for each social media network. In this way, when your audience clicks through the link on your content they are taken to a special page that welcomes them and makes them feel at home.
With the number of people within your target audience using social media, making social media work for you as a lead generation tool is honestly a no brainer. I don’t know your target market, but I’d bet they’re on social media, somewhere. You just have to go and find them!