Before we get into how to generate leads through social media, we should focus on why you’d want to do this in the first place. Social media provides several advantages for gathering leads beyond just having a large amount of users.
For starters, you can attract higher-quality leads through social media. If someone is following you with their social media accounts, this means they already have an interest in your product.
These people are therefore more likely to convert. To increase sales it’s not just about increasing leads but increasing the right type of leads.
One of the reasons social media provides higher quality leads is because it feels more personal. When people are using their social media accounts, they are virtually surrounded by family, friends and other things they enjoy.
This is a much better place to approach them, versus a cold-call, for example.
Another great thing about social media is that it is cost-effective. These sites are all free to join, so they only initial investment you are making is time.
Of course, there are tools you can pay for that will take your social media efforts to another level, or you can pay to advertise on these sites. But these are not initially required.
It’s entirely possible to run an effective social media campaign without spending a dollar.
One of the first things you should focus on is linking to high-quality content. People need a reason to follow you on social media, so you want to provide them with some value.
For example, let’s say you run a company that repairs water damage around the home. Sharing an article on your social media accounts about how to prepare your home before a hurricane is something that would likely be of value to your followers.
When sharing content you have two options – you can share your own, or you can share from others. Both of these methods have their benefits, so you should consider doing both.
Creating your own content – complete with well-written, well-researched content and blog images – and sharing it draws more people into your website, which can then turn them into leads.
Sharing content from others helps to give you credibility. If people come to see your social media account as a valuable resource, they are more likely to stick around and follow you.
It also shows that you’re willing to promote other websites and that you’re not solely focused on your own. This helps to build trust.
Another strategy you can use is that of gated-content. Gated-content is content that you place behind a virtual gate.
Let’s say you write a guide on how to keep your basement from flooding. Rather than just showing this to anyone, you ask for their email address in order to unlock it.
People who are very interested in this topic – and therefore the services you provide – will most likely be willing to provide you with this information in order to access your guide.
If so, you’ve now successfully used your social media accounts – by promoting this content and getting someone to join your email list – to generate a high-quality lead.
Interact With Influencers
Of course, you don’t have to do all of the promotion on social media yourself. One option that a lot of brands choose to go with is working with social media Influencers.
These are people who have developed a large, active following on social media. If you can find one of these people within your niche, you can partner with them and have them promote your product.
For this to work you’ll have to pay the Influencer, and this amount will depend on who you want to work with. Before you agree to anything, you should fully research the person you are interested in working with.
If this person is going to promote your brand or product, you’ll want to know more about them and make sure they are suitable to represent your brand.
To find potential Influencers, look for people popular within your niche. They should have a large following and be fairly active with their accounts.
If you see other sponsored posts by them, this is a good sign they are open to other sponsorships. Either way, you can reach out to them to gauge their interest, and then go from there.
One great reason is through coupons or other promotions. Many people follow brands on social media with hopes that they will release discount codes.
If you can offer a discount code to your followers, you accomplish a few things. First, if people see that you do this, they are more likely to follow you in hopes of future coupons.
Second, if the discount is a good one, it might convince someone to commit to a purchase they were undecided about. And while your sale will be a little less, it’s at least a guaranteed sale, something you didn’t have before.
Hold a Contest
A similar approach to offering a discount is holding a contest. People love to win free things and you can use your social media accounts to draw them in.
Let’s say you’re an author who just wrote a new book. You could hold a giveaway on your social media accounts, offering not only a free copy of your new book but of your old ones as well.
In order to win, people need to provide you with their email address and share your post with their own followers on social media.
Now, for just the cost of a few books, you’ve potentially gathered a large group of email addresses from people who are interested in your work. And you’ve promoted your book exponentially.
Finally, up until now, we’ve mostly focused on advantages for online businesses. However, social media can be just as effective for gathering leads for brick and mortar locations, thanks largely to location-based targeting.
With location-based targeting, rather than just targeting based on age or gender, you can promote your stuff to people within your physical location.
This is great for places like restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses – like electricians or plumbers.
For these types of places, it doesn’t help to promote your stuff to people on the other side of the country. So location-based targeting is an invaluable tool for gathering high-quality leads.
Start Focusing on Social Media to Generate Leads
There are many methods to generate leads, but social media is one of the best.
Not only is it cost-effective, but also it offers a wide range of benefits for online and offline businesses alike. Take some time to develop an action list, then put your social media plan into practice.
With a little bit of time, effort and creativity, you should find that you are able to use social media accounts to your advantage, and start bringing in some high-quality leads rather quickly.
Dave Schneider is the marketing manager at Albacross, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me and runs the churn reduction app, LessChurn.