Social Media as a tool to generate leads has made lead generation a better prospect. It is an interesting tool to pull business leads. It is the best way to hunt, and engage with prospects. Around 85 percent of marketers with more than three years of working experience have agreed that social media has played a vital role in lead generation and boosting their business. I agree to this as well.
In lead generation, information is collected about target audience which is then verified and sent to sales team of an organization. There are different ways to collect leads through social media. In this blog post I will be sharing some of those ideas which will help you in generating online leads using social media.
Advertising on Social Media Channels
As compared to normal social media posts, promoted posts reaches out to a wider and targeted audience. Advertising is an advanced targeting tool, while normal social media posts reach to limited audience (organic reach) based on geography and certain groups, using paid promotions you can reach out to niche audience.
Many people love Facebook for its ability to target people according to their interest. It is a huge platform with more than 1.49 Billion active users and from that ocean of people you can choose people according to their age, sex, country, city, interest etc. For example, a band can target people who like hip hop-music; an author can target people who love sci-fiction, etc. It lets you target audiences according to their behaviour, like their purchasing power and donations.
As a professional community platform LinkedIn is best to target your customer according to specific companies or employees. You can target people on the basis of the industry they work in, their designation, seniority, where he works, or how big the company is.
Using Twitter you can target people based on their following, network or people who follow your competition. You can target people who have a similar follower base as yours. It is a great way to target audience and reach people real time. Considering rate at which Twitter is growing it makes sense to put some portion of your budget for Twitter advertising.
These are some of social websites that you can consider while choosing the advertisement route. Using social media advertising you can target people who fit the mould of your prospects.
Social media advertising helps in lead generation and has proved itself to be an effective method. You may target specific audience on Facebook or specific companies on LinkedIn through a B2B white paper. Gated content (white papers and case studies) along with audience targeting makes social media advertising an effective tool to target and get the kind of audience you want.
Promoting Gated Content
Gated content as tool to generate leads is very popular among social media managers. It is a method by which you share and promote content that requires user to provide specific requested information to get access to content. For example, unless until a user fills in his email ID in subscription, box he won’t get access to white paper.
Effective way to generate leads using gated content is to promote a specific piece of content like webinar, podcast, white paper with your target audience over social media. Let people land on landing page to access the content. In order to access the content now a user must provide information requested. This could be email address, phone no or even follow us on Facebook button. Once user performs necessary action s/he gets access to entire content. This is a win-win situation for both; gated content also helps to eliminate casual visitors who never had interest in your product. This way you weed off unlikely buyers and this provides your sales team with quality leads. This is the best way to generate quality leads through social media and collect information about your targeted leads.
Contests let you engage with your potential audience and gather information about them which you can pass on to your sales team. Users participate in competition on social media websites in order to earn the price that is for grab, in return they help you to generate leads, create brand buzz and increase reach. You need to be careful while choosing the gift that a winner will get, make the incentive that relates to your business or product. Anyone will enter into a contest that offers a free trip to Singapore or a free iPhone (Oh Yes!, I want it). However such users will be of no use for business as they are only interested in prize and not your product.
You should not waste time of your team by flooding them with contest leads that are not helpful. Your contests should contain offerings that would attract your target prospect. Instead of a generic contest you should run a contest that offers a free trial of your product or you can upgrade the customer to a higher tier of your service. These people who enter contests will be genuinely interested in the offering. You got to decide entry points through which audience can enter in your social media contest:
Participate by retweeting, sharing, following or liking
This is easy and hence you will get a lot of entrants but, this will give information that may be less valuable from a lead manager perspective as the information that you get it something that is available publicly through their public profile.
Remember: Facebook algorithm will punish posts that ask for likes and shares explicitly.
Visit to Landing Page: You can make people visit your microsite dedicated for competition and allow them to participate in competition by filling up a form. This will make participating a bit difficult but one can stay sure that people who take this little effort are genuinely interested in your product and competition and they can serve to be a good and valuable lead too. In addition to contact information ask for the entrants about their business, business size, interest in the product and industry, etc. yes, true adding fields may decrease the entrants but, it will always be considered as a qualified lead.
Hangout and Webinars
When you host a Google+ hangout you get in touch with prospects directly. Hangout can be kept limited to few people or be open to anyone. People need to register in advance if you decide to limit the audience. This is different from gated content as it gives a real time experience to them; it is not about connecting with content that is lying there for months and won’t move either. This way you get an opportunity to connect with your target audience and further use these contacts to sell or upsell your services.
You should focus on inviting people in hangout that fits your lead generation needs. When the hangout is focused on your product it shall pull people who are interested in that particular type of product. It may attract a small pool of people but, it generates a database that is useful for your sales team. Customer service sessions in hangout are also extremely useful. When the hangout session is less about the product promotion and there are experts who are discussing topic it will attract many people but, it may not help market your product or service.
Make sure that use hangout as an opportunity to lead participants to your website, landing pages, contest or forms of gated content. The more no of people visit your website probability of increasing leads increase. Hangout may give limited amount of information about the lead like name and email however if you lead them to the gated content you can pull more information about them like phone number.
When you finish the hangout it is uploaded to your YouTube channel. Make sure that video has well written description and links to your website too. YouTube can bring more eye balls for sure.
You should never hesitate to reach out to participants after the hangout. Thank them to have participated and guide them to the gated content, inform that it is valuable to them (!) and encourage them to reach your team in case they have any questions. These small efforts after a successful hangout will get you more leads than you expect.
Social Media Listening
Social media listening helps you in understanding what people are discussing over social media that is relevant to your business. Make sure you are listening every conversation happening over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and websites including forums. For social media listening you can create Twitter search streams and lists that help you participate in Facebook or LinkedIn groups. This method cannot gather much information about prospects as the other lead generation tactics. But, this puts you directly in contact with people who are interested, or have bought and used your products or services.
It gives you an insight about sentiments, trends and mentions. You should not only engage ins social media listening for your own product or services but you should keep an eye on conversations happening around your competition.
Make yourself available for an immediate response anytime for a conversation that requires you to intervene or where your comment can add value, build this conversation. When interaction builds up, you can pass on this contact to your sales team.
Searching on Twitter is less effective when compared with Twitter chats. Initiate and participate in chats that are relevant to your business and follow people who are a part of that chat. Engage them on the same lines as your chat and also continue the conversation even when chat is over. People do not like it when you approach them without any context, just out of the blue. Engage them in Twitter chat as it is the best way to break the ice and make people receptive to your business.
What can be done is that you host a Twitter chat and attract prospects who can participate in the conversation. If the chat is relevant they won’t get distracted and leave.
Geo Targeting the Search
Businesses having presence across different geographies require connecting with local audience, creating awareness about the product and expanding consumer base. There are companies that geo target their posts on social media and advertisements, in order to reach to clients interested in your business. But, I have observed that only few businesses take advantage of geo targeting.
HootSuite allows you to type a keyword in its search option and see Tweets nearby. Hootlet Chrome extension is another tool for geo targeted search. You can type the address of your business and then you will find Tweets from tweeples within 500 meters to your address. This way you connect people who are in your neighbourhood and engage with them.
Example, imagine a car expo happening in New Delhi. You being a small company is unable to set your own booth and engage with people visiting the exhibition. How can you use Twitter and connect with people attending event seating from your office? Yes, by geo targeting. Look for venue on Google Maps and find people tweeting in that area and you can reach out to people who are tweeting from that particular area and ask them to use your app for free.
Thus, with this type of geo targeted searches on social media the sales team can have two types of information: the location of the prospect and their interest in your product or service. With this information they can easily approach them on social media and convert them into customers.
To drive and engage with your prospects platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube are of great use. Use them effectively to drive lead generation. Twitter chats, LinkedIn and Facebook groups are places where you must have your presence officially. As an initial step track these conversations and engage with right people. Find people who are interested in content that you post, product or service that you sell, treat these individual as prospects. Listen to them, engage and follow up. These steps create the same huge impact that you always wished to make. Use tools discussed above to create an impact and generate more leads.
Now you can tell me how you was using social media to generate leads and if you find above tips useful.