How to utilize social media for lead generation

Social media can be an exemplary method for lead generation. The various platforms can be an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority or the go-to for information in your field, and even more so when paired with your blog, website, newsletter and other lead generation tools.

In every income bracket, at least 80 percent of people have reported using Facebook in the last month. No matter the household income level you are targeting, the statistical probability that they’re on social media is high — so are you reaching them?

Concerning monthly active users, Facebook has 1.55 billion. Twitter has around 330 million and LinkedIn about 467 million users. With approximately 2 billion people actively engaging on social media every day, your marketing efforts have the potential to reach hundreds, or thousands, or even millions of people, even if you have a tiny budget.

As a tool for lead generation, social media can be a very low-cost and easy-to-use method to garner interest and grow your following. But how do you begin?

Focus Your Efforts

During Chapter 1, Understand the Basics of a Lead Funnel, and Chapter 2, Developing a Lead Generation Strategy, you identified a couple of social media platforms you know your target audience is on, and that you’re comfortable using. Stick with that small handful, so that you don’t overwhelm yourself, and utilize some social media best practices to maximize your time.

Offer social-only offers

This will keep potential customers actively following your social media.

Post valuable content

Make it a healthy mix of your own (gated) content and that of experts in the industry.

Use the landing page + call to action combo

With social media, you can create a highly targeted landing page and utilize a very specific CTA.

Leverage audience targeting

Define your demographic, and then reach out to only that demographic to ensure a high signal vs. noise ratio. There is a lot of content out there, and you want to focus on engaging the people who are most likely to utilize your service or product.

Organize contests

The prize needs to be something that has a high enough value to attract people to enter, and it needs to be highly valuable only to your target customers. You want to use the prize as the very beginning of your funnel.

Go live with a hangout, webinar or live stream

You can either a) gate the video to begin weeding out non prospects or b) open it to a broad audience, and then direct viewers to a landing page, or c) utilize the video as a way to capture many email addresses for your email marketing campaigns.

Use paid ads

A/B test like crazy to find a combination of images, copy and CTAs that bring in targeted visitors who convert well and give you a high return on investment.

Platform-Specific Tips

It can be complicated to navigate all the social media sites out there.

Facebook

Facebook is the ringleader when it comes to the circus that is social media. With so many monthly active users, the platform is the industry leader when it comes to engagement between brands and their followers. Everyone, no matter the industry, should utilize the platform, so we’ll go a little more in-depth here than the others.

In the U.S., the 25 to 34-year-old age group is the largest percentage of users at 13 percent for women and 12 percent for men. In January of 2018, 78 percent of respondents in the 30 to 49-year-old age group were using the platform, and 81 percent of the 18 to 29-year-old age group were on it.

Set up your page for success:

  • Set up your business page: Enter relevant information into every line. View Facebook’s tutorial for more information on what fields will benefit your engagement.
  • Customize your business page: To stand out from the crowd, customize your page as much as possible. Utilize tabs, create useful (and shareable!) content, including a lot of high-quality images, and make sure to have calls to action on every piece of material you produce.
  • Create a call-to-action button: Facebook provides business pages with a CTA button — an easy way to encourage visitors to go to your website, message you, book with you, sign up for your email content, or any other number of actions.
  • Upload custom cover photos and profile pictures: In the past Facebook had many strict guidelines on what users could and could not do on their pages in terms of promotion — now, you can include a CTA in your cover photo.
  • RVSP forms and events: If you’re going to be hosting an online or offline event, utilize your Facebook Events page and create a sign-up for the event. Encourage your followers to attend, and collect their contact information in the process.

Downsides:

  • Algorithms change frequently.
  • Organic traffic can vary wildly.

Tie in your email marketing to your Facebook:

  • Newsletter tab: Capture email addresses of people who are already your followers by providing a custom form on a tab for them to sign up for your newsletter.
  • Provide gated content: Remember the offers and downloadable content we created in previous chapters? Not only will that help bring leads to your website, but you can also use it again on your social pages to get more email leads. Place your downloadable content behind an email-required gate, and once the visitor enters their email (and agrees to receive your content!), they can download your offer.
  • Offer exclusive treats: If you run email-specific promos or discounts, add an “Email Sign-up” button to your Facebook page. If you don’t, include the button anyways — it can be very advantageous to your business and accessible for visitors to sign up quickly.
  • Run a competition: When you run a competition (or sweepstakes) you can garner a lot of traffic to your page, quickly. Additionally, by having people sign up using their email address, you can grow your email marketing lists rapidly. Try using custom forms or other types of integrations on your Facebook page.

Facebook has its own built-in advertising functions. Facebook Ads are relatively low cost, and can garner large amounts of traffic to your posts. Publish a post that has a strong CTA, enticing picture, and a link to your email marketing or other sign-up landing page, and then boost that post. For as little as $5-$10/week, you can reach thousands of people.

Twitter

Twitter also has its own built-in advertising features, so if you’re willing to invest, you can promote your content to a broader audience.

Just as you did with your Facebook posts, you’ll want to target and focus your tweets on maintaining your brand voice. Twitter is a bit more expensive than Facebook — you’ll spend around $15-$25/week, but might still be worth the cost if your audience is more active there.

Things to try for lead generation success:

  • Twitter chat: There are times when a Twitter chat can be beneficial in growing your audience. Ensure you’re targeting the appropriate audience, and that you filter your content throughout. Engage quickly — this is a hands-on activity.
  • Lead generation cards:This feature is relatively new to Twitter, but is an easy way to engage users on the platform and outside. You can place a CTA button within your tweet, and a user would expand it, click the button, and be able to share their contact info — without leaving Twitter. You garner more leads, and the user doesn’t have to go off platform.
  • Tailor your audience: Similar to Google AdWords, Twitter now lets you share specific information with the platform, which will enable your ads to be shown to more relevant users.
  • Promote your account: Pay to promote your account to your target audience in order to grow your following. Then, tweet about relevant content, always including a CTA and link.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s boosted promotions are the most robust of the Main Three (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). With a more Google AdWords-feel, there also comes a higher level of audience targeting, network expansion, and better chances your ad will be seen and engaged with.

Be successful on LinkedIn by:

  • Saying hello: Introduce yourself to as many people you feel as if can be a relatable connection. If they’re a user in your target industry, or could give you a valued recommendation, invite them to connect.
  • Participating frequently: There are many groups, discussions and niche posts that are full of users looking for answers. Here, you can answer questions and establish yourself as an industry leader — and potentially create a new lead.
  • Purchasing LinkedIn Ads: There is a feature within the ad-buying program called Lead Collection, where you can directly gather your leads through your ad campaign. When your ad is displayed to a user, they can click on your CTA button and either follow you or go to your landing page.
  • Publishing articles: Utilize your existing content (maybe some of the articles in your archive) and publish articles or snippets, and then give a CTA to read or download the full content on your gated landing page.

The Others

Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, et cetera. There are dozens and dozens of social platforms out there.

The best way to be successful on any of them, and on the Big Three, is to utilize your existing resources.

Some simple tips:

  • If you have a short video, include that in your messaging and profile.
  • Engage, engage, engage — speak with the people on the platform in the way they speak themselves.
  • Share frequently, and always include something interesting, like a high-quality photo, video and CTA.

Finally, remember that the metrics used to gauge success will be different across platforms and industries. Pick the parameter that is most specific to your business, and use those standards, whether that’s followers, click-throughs, likes, or follows, and create a baseline to work from. Once that has been established, measure your progress weekly and monthly to ensure your ad dollars are being spent in the most advantageous way possible.

Links for success:

Chad is Director of Communications at JotForm. He’s also a frequent contributor to various tech and business publications, and an absolute wizard with a Vitamix. He holds a master’s degree in communication and resides with his girlfriend and cats in Oakland, California. You can reach Chad through his contact form.

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