One of the most integral steps in creating a social media strategy is defining goals. During this stage of the process, most everyone indicates they want to generate leads with social media and increase sales as the primary goal. The consensus is that spending dollars on marketing is supposed to increase profit and increasing the value of a business.
While there are other objectives that can be achieved with social media, most all business owners look past those because they generally can’t be tied directly to ROI (branding for example).
Of course, there are many benefits to investing in social media marketing outside of lead generation but ultimately, the vast majority of business owners would take more money over anything else. That’s what they’re in business for, right?
Generating leads doesn’t carry the same definition for everyone so it is important to understand what a lead means to your individual business.
Definition of a business lead:
According to BusinessDictionary.com, a business lead is defined as “An inquiry, referral or other information, obtained through advertisements or other means, that identifies a potential customer (prospect).”
How Can you Generate Leads with Social Media?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that you can actually generate leads with social media. Unfortunately, you don’t get to control the timing of when those leads start coming in. You have to earn the trust of your customers and followers before they are likely to recommend you to their connections.
Social media is all about conversation. Social media networks provide the tools to have these conversations with customers and prospects. Customers who know and love you are more likely to recommend your products or services to their connections. The golden ticket to winning the social media game is understanding how to bring an individual up through the realm of being a customer to becoming an endorser to ultimately being an evangelist for your business. Endorsers and evangelists on social media are the conduit to providing your business with leads.
But that’s simply too easy to state and not fully understand. So let’s jump down the rabbit hole for a minute…
Strategies to Generate Leads with Social Media Platforms
Collect email addresses directly from Facebook. Email forms from the most popular email marketing platforms can be embedded onto the Facebook page using custom Facebook tabs.
Create compelling content. Give your audience a reason to share your content with their connections. Every status update in your Facebook content strategy should include the question: “Would this cause my audience to stop scrolling through their newsfeed and engage with the content?”
Engage with your audience. Social media is all about conversation. Conversation requires engagement on both sides of the equation. Engaging with your audience tends to show the prospects that you are plugged in.
One of the biggest benefits of Twitter is the ability to generate and drive traffic. Sharing short messages that include a link can direct interested readers to where they can find out more and opt-in to receive additional resources.
Use Twitter to build engaged communities of relevant and interested people who will engage (favorite and retweet) by creating compelling content.
LinkedIn is a professional social media site solely for networking and business purposes. This results in more qualified engagement than other networks.
Often overlooked on LinkedIn is creating status updates to let the connections know what is going on with your business. Compelling status updates result in a higher level of engagement on an already highly qualified network.
List Twitter and Facebook, status updates can also generate and drive traffic to conversion spots where they can opt-in and receive additional resources.
To establish engagement, start participating in LinkedIn groups and reaching out to contacts using advanced search features or recommendations. Creating engagement either publicly in group discussions or status updates, or privately via the inbox messaging system, can generate leads for nurturing or sales enquiry.
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