Social Media and Lead Generation: What opportunities are you missing?

General

When many companies create social media accounts, they seem to view it as a numbers game. How many followers and fans do I have? How many fans liked my last status?

While it’s good to have plenty of followers, social media marketing can do so much more for lead generation. Its primary use has always been communication, bridging the gap between you and your consumers. If you are not using social media to its fullest potential, you could be missing out on some great lead generation opportunities.

Here are a few social media marketing and lead generation opportunities you may be missing out on.

Choosing the right social network for your brand

In the world of social media marketing, not all networks are created equal. Some are made for certain mediums. Some have different styles and etiquette that should be followed. In order to best target your audience, you need to determine where they are.

Most marketers recommend that all businesses both large and small have at least a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account. This is because these two sites have some of the largest audience potential, which means you have plenty of opportunities to reach your consumers. But what about other social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube? Could your audience be there too?

Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new forms of social media or help you generate leads. Instagram, for example, is one of the best sites for sharing unique photos

Move from company-to-buyer to peer-to-peer marketing

When you see an ad on a billboard or in a magazine, you and the advertising company are on two different levels. The company is not your friend. It is trying to sell you something. It does not care about your comments, likes or reposts. The company may boast that its products are the best, but c’mon, do you really believe that?

According to a recent Forrester survey, about 20 percent of buyers actually believe what a company says about itself. This tells us that spending too much time promoting your own website or product will not get you high results. If anything, it might drive people away. On the other hand, about 70 percent of the survey takers said they believed recommendations from family and friends.

So what does this mean for you, the marketer, on social media? Social media is probably one of the best ways to get reviews and conversations started about your brand. If you are following the 80/20 rule (posting 80 percent educational/informational posts and 20 percent self-promotions), this will give your audience plenty to talk about.

Imagine this: your dress designer company posts a great article about the newest fashions that are expected to hit the runways this year. One of your followers reposts the article to his or her Facebook fall, recommending the article. If the follower’s friends see how useful and relevant your company is, they will be more likely to visit your website following their friends, recommendation.

This is peer-to-peer marketing and it has proven to be more effective.

Promote gated content

We have already discussed that 20 percent of your social media posts should be self-promotion, but when it comes to your own content (as long as it is informational or educational) usually falls outside the self-promotion category.

You know, of course, that one of the best ways to generate leads on your own site is to get users to fill out sign-up forms. This will fill up your email contact list and help you reach more people. If you are creating great content on your blog, it should be gated, meaning that people must fill out a sign-up form in order to access it.

This is the type of content you should be sharing on social media. As your brand becomes well known as a leader in the industry, more people will trust what you have to say and want to read your content. By gating it, you get a solid lead, and your consumers get access to great information.

A few tips to remember about gated-content:

• Making your posts and tweets too enticing to pass up.
• Mix gated content with regular content. Some information, like small blog posts, shouldn’t need to be gated, but ebooks and white papers are great gated content opportunities.

Benefits of Facebook marketing

Facebook has one of the largest user bases in all of social media, so if you haven’t tried Facebook marketing, get on there now! You are missing out on plenty of opportunities, including a unique pay-per-click (PPC) opportunity you won’t find elsewhere.

Because Facebook user profile often mention topics each person likes – clothing, swimming, volleyball and more – it is much easier to target consumers and put ads right in front of people who will be the most likely to respond.

Facebook ads work very similarly to Google Adwords and other more traditional PPC types. You can either bid of what you want to pay for a click on an ad that appears along the side, or you can pay for a set number of people (usually in the thousands) to see your ad. Your cost will depend mostly on how popular or relevant your keywords are.

There are two main types of Facebook ads: paid ads or customer audiences. With paid ads, you reach out to new leads who might not have known about your product or service. With custom audiences, you target people that already established a relationship with you by liking your Facebook page or giving you their email address on your website. Once you decide which audience you want to target, you can create ads to appeal to them.

Twitter, Pinterest and many other social media sites have their own form of PPC. Find out which site your audience prefers and check out their PPC options.
Social media marketing and lead generation go hand in hand. In many ways, your social media pages are extensions of your website. They allow you to promote your message to a wide audience and get consumers into your sales funnel.

If you are using social media to its fullest, you should have no problem generating solid leads that will turn into loyal customers.

About the Author

  • Michael Bird

    Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden. Social Garden specialises in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Experts, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.

    Web: http://www.socialgarden.com.au

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