For businesses of all types across various industries, a commonality lies among the differences: A robust lead generation strategy is one of the most important and fundamental parts of business growth and scalability. While it can be difficult to identify avenues that produce quality leads with high purchase intent, there are several great ways to improve lead generation — social media usage being one of them.
Social media is among the most lucrative ways for businesses to gain traction with qualified leads and boost the efficiency of their lead generation strategies. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others can be used to drive social media lead generation, or a series of activities undertaken through social media channels to acquire leads. This means that companies can tailor their social media content like posts, live videos, and clickable content to garner better results in accumulating sales leads, building brand awareness, and attracting external social media users.
Some benefits of using social media as a vantage point for attracting leads include that both organic and paid content can be used to appeal to potential customers, increase brand awareness, and obtain contact details like email addresses from potential leads. Best of all, businesses can leverage social media marketing to not only address their target audience, but also find ways to engage with people who may not already be paying attention to their content.
An example of reaching a broader audience would be the implementation of a referral campaign, which incentivizes target audience members to refer a product or service to their friends, family, and other internet connections. This is a great way to capture the attention of people and attract new leads who may not have even heard of a certain business, but become aware of it because of the referral.
Social media lead generation strategies can also benefit B2B marketers by helping them identify B2B buyers interested in certain products and services. When these users are highlighted, marketers can deliver relevant content to the target market, curated with specific messaging and advertising to act as a key part of their decision.
Now that we’ve walked through what social media lead generation is, and the benefits of using social media platforms to accrue new leads, let’s discuss some strategies to actually make it happen.
Here are 7 best ways to leverage social networks to improve and increase lead generation for your business:
1) Leverage the power of social proof
A recent survey from Bright Local found that 79% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. With over 81% of 18-34 year olds with at least one social media account, this statistic is crucial for businesses utilizing social media to drive lead generation.
What does all of this mean? These numbers prove that social proof is necessary to build credibility and attract quality leads. Use customer testimonials, use cases and case studies, and consumer reviews as part of the content you market to your target audience. Be creative with how you implement social proof so that the content does not seem fake or forced.
2) Offer personalized incentives.
If we know one thing, it’s that everyone loves free stuff…or even almost free stuff. By offering access to resources like ebooks, whitepapers, and other downloadable PDFs or documents, you can obtain contact information from the leads most qualified in exchange. Similarly, you can promote discounts, gift cards, or other special offers to gain traction and attention among your target audience.
3) Use referral campaigns.
As mentioned earlier, referral campaigns are an efficient way to engage with people who may not already be familiar with what your business has to offer, and convert them into leads. The reason this strategy is so effective is that your audience is doing the hard work for you! By having people reach out to their own personal connections about your business, those referred can see your business through an organic perspective, and may even become leads because of it.
4) Engage directly with your customers.
Using features like tweet chat on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook live, or LinkedIn messaging, you can interact with your target audience in a more direct manner. For example, on Instagram specifically, you can post stories with polls or questions to invite your audience to respond, which also gives you the opportunity to respond back to them.
Another proactive way to engage with social media users is to practice social media listening and actively look for comments or conversations happening online to see what people are talking about. This is especially important in regard to your business specifically, other competitor brands and businesses, and any complaints or positive reviews that may exist. If someone were to post about how they are looking for services similar to that which your business provides, you could use that opportunity to engage with that person and potentially convert them into a qualified lead.
5) Utilize lead generation ads.
Each social media channel has its own lead ad type, which can all be used for greater effect.
- Facebook lead gen ads are designed to help you collect contact information from your audience directly from mobile ads rather than from a landing page. This makes it easier for potential customers to fill out their information right on the Facebook platform, and simplifies the process of following up with these potential customers for your business.
- Instagram lead gen ads are similar to that of Facebook lead ads in that they collect information like email addresses, birth dates, career fields, etc. Instagram lead ads can optimize direct marketing campaigns, help your business learn more about your customers, and more.
- LinkedIn lead gen forms are well-known for their efficiency. According to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, LinkedIn lead generation form campaigns have 2-3x more conversions compared to sponsored campaigns. These forms, which can be downloaded to be used by your sales teams and uploaded into your CRM systems, allow potential customers to send their professional information to you with the click of a button.
6) Set up retargeting ads.
Retargeting ads can be largely beneficial in converting customers who are on the fence about making a purchase decision. The best part of retargeting ads is that they can be customized to appeal to specific actions, like encouraging people to return to their abandoned carts to finalize the purchase they were thinking about. In fact, data shows that retargeting ads have a 10x better CTR than display ads, meaning they can bring you much better results for the same amount of effort.
7) Host a virtual event!
If you’ve ever attended a virtual event or tuned into an Instagram or Facebook Live, you were probably pretty interested in what the content was about. Virtual events are one of the best ways to attract a highly relevant audience group and offer expertise or special insights.
Even if you may not yet feel like a social media lead generation expert, you are equipped with some basic fundamentals to starting your efforts. At Lift Digital Marketing, we specialize in social media marketing services and lead generation strategies. Consult with us to find out how you can optimize your lead generation processes to boost engagement, customer base, and sales for your business!