Social media might not be the first thing that will strike your mind when it comes to lead generation, but it should be. Social media impacts fostering sales leads and branding offering businesses greater RoI, enabling them to reach a broader audience at a minimal cost.
Businesses using social media lead generation strategies and tips are likely to achieve better results throughout the funnel – right from building brand awareness to boosting sales conversions. 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are incorporating social media as a key part of their decision-making process.
Social media listening is about monitoring the social channels of your brand for customer feedback or direct mentions regarding specific topics. It helps in establishing a bond with prospects and customers at different stages of social interaction. Most importantly, it creates a sense of community for advocates and followers.
What is social media lead generation?
Social media lead generation is all about implementing strategic marketing tactics specially designed for capturing qualified leads and pulling them into your sales funnel.
Generating sales leads on social media helps businesses to identify people who are interested in them. More importantly, these leads act as a bridge to the potential customers to make special offers and convert them as loyal customers.
Here are the key objectives of how businesses use social media as part of their lead generation process.
- Increase brand awareness: There will be 3.02 billion social media users worldwide by 2021. With more & more people taking to social media to research and sound off on brands, getting your target audience’s attention is easier to create brand awareness.
- Reach out to new customers: The best way to build an active audience on social media is to focus on the people who already know you best. By sharing relevant content, promptly interacting with them, and acknowledging their feedback, you can expand your audience and strengthen your relationships.
- Increase website traffic: The social media sphere is home to more than 3.4 billion active users. Social media is a great source of driving traffic to your website. They bring in ample opportunities to gain business visitors and convert into leads.
Social media lead generation vs lead nurturing
When we talk about lead generation through social media, it has a few important components. They are as follows:
Social media lead generation
It refers to the activities undertaken by businesses on social platforms to acquire new leads. Feeding leads into the sales funnel, qualifying the leads through different channels (chatbots, email, social, phone, meeting, or sales call) and then converting the prospects into actual sales.
Social media lead nurturing
Nurturing leads is about building relationships with potential customers even if they are not currently looking to buy a product or service. They may have signed up online to receive your newsletter or follow you on social media, but they aren’t necessarily ready to make a purchase.
Social media lead conversion
Conversion is the final stage of social media leads. It refers to the process of converting your potential prospects so that they make final purchase decisions.
You can figure out the differences between lead generation and lead nurturing from the below video.
How to use social media marketing for lead generation
Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, you can use social media across your sales funnel. It allows your prospects to become customers and nurture those new relationships, leading to better connections and eventually conversions. By choosing the right lead generation tools, you can not only acquire qualified leads but also increase your brand visibility.
Here is a lead generation guide including strategies for leveraging social media to attract new customers and keep them engaged. Follow the quick list of social media lead management ideas.
- Run social media paid ads for generating leads
- Leverage social media to drive traffic to your webinars
- Automate your social media lead generation with chatbots
- Use social media for content distribution
- Build a social media community
- Run contests on social media channels
- Social media video marketing
- Run referral campaigns to increase social leads
- Use social media listening for B2B lead generation
- Drive sign-ups with social media influencers
Let us discuss comprehensively how to generate leads through social media.
1. Run social media paid ads for generating leads
As per Gartner, “CMOs spent more than 21% of their marketing budget on advertising with 66% of that going to paid social media digital channels”.
Businesses that run paid ads campaigns encounter benefits such as reaching out to the exact audience, increased engagement, fan growth, and many more. But what about paid social media advertising strategy?
Running paid social media ads involves capturing the right data, getting vital insights, and using them to make your paid social media more powerful and effective than ever. If done in the right way, it acts as a great social media lead gen tool by saving business time and costs.
AdEspresso is a great tool that helps your social media lead generation strategy to rise above the fray.
Some key tips on how to run a successful paid advertising strategy.
- Define your paid social media objectives and core KPIs – Is it for increasing brand awareness and start conversations or increase purchases that can be directly attributed to your social efforts.
- Connect all your owned ad accounts in one place – One of the core challenges faced by marketers is proving marketing ROI, and to do that, they need to connect data across channels data in one place, then measure & analyze it all together.
2. Leverage social media to drive traffic to your webinars
One of the best ways for marketers to increase the traffic of video content on the website to promote an upcoming webinar is through leveraging compelling components of social media. Such ads are a bane for marketers to generate engagement, conversions, and capture an abundance of leads and attendees for your webinar.
Here are the key ways to promote your webinar through social media.
Increase signups with image advertisements
Images are one of the most engaging forms of content on social media. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Creating image shares for the social platform can be a winning strategy. They are a great way to tell a visual story of what potential attendees stand to learn from your webinar, and encouraged for signups.
Share blogs that highlight the webinar
In order to promote your webinar through blog posts, point out the challenges faced by your customers. You can position yourself as an expert on the topic and let people know about your webinar and its benefits. You can add a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to drive users to your webinar.
3. Automate your social media lead generation with chatbots
Instant messaging & chatbots are in vogue and have become powerful weapons for marketers today. Chatbots allow businesses to connect with their prospects even better than humans can, while at the same time dramatically lowering overhead costs.
You as a business won’t succeed by asking customers to reach out to you, in today’s omni-channel world. Instead, you have to meet them where they already are. 12% of people on the planet use Facebook Messenger in any given month. Hence, it is vital to allow consumers to make purchases without leaving the app.
Here is how chatbots helped customers of Omega bank to focus their research.
When customers ask for information about credit cards, the chatbot pulls options from Omega Bank’s website for them to browse. If they come across a product that interests them, they can click for more details or choose to browse a more targeted list. For example, when clicked “See more like this,” the chatbot displays other Omega credit cards that offer rewards.
Here is how chatbots act as the best social media lead generation tools.
- With AI bots, businesses can serve up predefined responses to customer queries across social platforms.
- Bots can decipher the intent of your visitors. If you know the intent, you know what will be your next action, which acts as the secret sauce of lead nurturing.
- Chatbots can use the previous interaction history to develop a specific profile of each customer, allowing them to deliver personalized messages, content, and product suggestions.
4. Use social media for content distribution
Content distribution is obviously part of the equation when it comes to content marketing. It is not enough to create exceptional content, until & unless you don’t distribute it wisely. Social media has a great impact on the content you post.
A strong social media content marketing strategy has the power to turn your brand to limelight overnight and turn your followers into fans. If you want to stand out on social media, you to follow few steps rightly. Then only you can measure your results and fine-tune your strategy over time.
Source: sprout social
Here are some recommended steps to build out a plan that has longevity and helps your brand and business grow.
- Identify your business goals: Outline your marketing goals to get better clarity on tailoring social media content.
- Planning of social content: Make a content audit to learn which social posts are engaging users to allocate resources & serve the audience better. Create a content calendar to visualize ideas and make strategy easier to execute.
- Distribute your content: Develop a content distribution strategy that identifies ways to actively distribute the content & get maximum exposure.
- Measure the results: Tracking the activities with the right social media metrics or KPIs like engagements, awareness, return on investment (RoI) can help to optimize your plan over time.
5. Build a social media community
Is your business having a social community? If NO, build it right now. You might ask why is it necessary to build the community on social media?
Social media community can be the best way you can stay connected with your customers. When you engage your social followers on their ways, you increase your visibility and reach. Having a community of loyal customers can make a big difference to your business and help to sustain in the market for a long time.
Singapore Airlines for example on how they used Twitter as a strong tool for branding. Their Twitter account is used for branding having gorgeous photos that have the Singapore Airlines logo in the bottom right hand corner.
Here are some social media lead generation tips for both B2B & B2C businesses to expand followers.
- Host social conversations: If you want to host social conversations, make sure that you unite them over their interest zone. It boosts the activity and builds momentum for your business.
- Provide incentives to your community members: You can showcase your social followers about the most shared content or start exciting conversations on your page. Give back to the members who go beyond in terms of engagement.
- Build personal relationships with customers: You can show your community people how dedicated you are to them by responding quickly to their posts and questions. The personal touch you give builds relationships and makes them feel connected to the community.
- Give your followers a voice: Your social community members will definitely feel special about being part of the bigger picture. You should provide them enough room to share their views and opinions.
So it is very important to listen to what the members of your community have to say and highlight their inputs.
6. Run contests on social media channels
Running contests is a great way to increase brand awareness and generate social media leads. Through contests, businesses can reap the significant benefits of gaining leads, and further, the participants will share their positive experience further with friends and colleagues that will create a viral impact.
IKEA for example, a well-known brand as they sell furniture all around the world. IKEA made a decent following across social media, with millions of Facebook fans and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. Its catalogs are full of striking visuals that are perfect for sharing via social.
They used social platforms for running content and acquire new leads. Ikea’s US page is far very popular attracting 1.7m fans. It is updated far more regularly, with three or four posts each day.
Here is how to allow people to enter a contest for lead generation through social media:
- By retweets, shares, likes & following – It is the easiest way so you can get a large number of entrants. Thus you can generate social media leads.
- Click through to the landing page – As it is not a direct way you can expect comparatively fewer entrants than for a contest. But you can gather information through a contest entry form.
7. Social media video marketing
Social media video marketing is one of the latest trends that businesses are adapting. According to the Web Marketing Video Council’s recent study, 60% of brands are now using video on social networks.
Social video refers to video content that is created & shared on social media channels. These videos can be updates, stories, profile videos, or comments on social posts. You can create one or several small snippets that act as brand-building tools for your business and share/re-share over time across different platforms.
Here are the key steps to create a successful social media video marketing strategy.
- Define our objectives for video marketing – You need to set clear goals of what you want your videos to accomplish.
- Decide on your platform – Choosing out of major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat can be a great way to start video marketing.
- Choose video types – There are different types of videos and their benefits like a product demo, about us, how-to, event videos, etc. You can select what fits your business needs.
- Plan out content production – Having a good content plan saves time and money. It should include a thorough analysis of elements that make a video complete.
8. Run referral campaigns to increase social leads
Referral campaigns or referring a friend can be a great way to engage your social media followers. Almost 92% of buyers are trusting the recommendations of their friends and family, referrals are a great way to break the ice with prospects.
A good example of a referral campaign is an annual event, Marketing Nation Online ran by Marketo. All the participants were encouraged to refer their friends through social media for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
You can create convincing offers for both the referrer and the referees such as gift cards or cash incentives. It might help encourage your customers to recommend you to their network. With social channels integrated with your marketing platform, you can set up a referral campaign across major social platforms and grow your customer base significantly.
9. Use social media listening for B2B lead generation
Effective social marketing demands a lot of hard work. So, you need to think of the best way to stand out? It is only possible with effective social listening solutions.
The social media listening platforms help you to understand your audience, the posts they follow, their online conversations in a better way and improve your digital marketing strategies. The added benefits of active social listening are for online selling, monitoring brand reputation, and customer service.
Adweek says “54% of customers prefer social messaging channels for care over phone or email”.
Key B2B social media lead generation tips through listening to social platforms.
- Identify prospects & draw them with offers: The idea behind using a social listening strategy is to find out your potential customers and nurture them to use your product or service.
- Look for customers who are unhappy with your competitors: This can work well as a good B2B lead generation hack. With social media listening across platforms, you can find out competitor’s customers who are unhappy and let them know how they can have a better experience with your brand.
Note: Regular practice of listening can be a great social media lead generation tool to build brand awareness and acquire new leads.
10. Drive sign-ups with social media influencers
A successful social media influencer marketing strategy helps you increase brand exposure, build authority, and connect with new audiences. It drives traffic to your site and leads new customers to your products and services.
Twitter and Annalect found that almost 40% of Twitter users felt compelled to make a purchase after seeing an influencer’s tweet. If your goal is to generate sales leads through social media, you need to use the power of social media influencers.
- Get them to strategically feature your product in their photos or videos, or have them tell a unique and engaging story about your brand.
- You can also work with influencers who will give honest reviews about your product, and/or provide tutorials and how-to content regarding your product.
- If your goal is to drive sales, an effective way to do so is to have your influencers promote unique discount codes.
Daniel Wellington, for example, successfully uses social media influencer strategy. You can find influencers promoting discount codes for Daniel Wellington products. Here’s an example from Dilara Kaynarca, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 150,000+ followers on Instagram.
The wristwatch maker was able to sell one million watches within just three years, all with the help of influencers. The brand generated revenue worth $220 million, which was a 214% increase.
Best platforms for social media lead generation
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram is four main social platforms that most of the businesses choose for lead generation and brand promotion. 38% of organizations plan to spend more than 20% of their total advertising budgets on social media channels.
Let’s discuss the best social media lead gen platforms.
1. Facebook for social media lead generation
Facebook is the most popularly used social platform for lead generation. There are 60 million active business pages on Facebook. It has the lowest CPC rates is one of the reasons why many businesses use it to promote their products.
The key ways to generate leads with Facebook are:
- On-page promotion: Businesses can create their own FB page. The people who like the page are a potential lead.
- Off-page promotion: It indicates promoting lead generation content on Facebook communities, groups, and other pages.
- Paid promotion: Businesses prefer paid promotions as it brings instant results. A variety of social ads with a specific purpose is offered by Facebook.
2. Linkedin for social media lead gen
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms when it comes to B2B social media marketing lead generation. LinkedIn has over 575+ million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis.
LinkedIn paid generation
LinkedIn ads help businesses to meet their key objectives :
- Targets a unique audience: More than 675 million active professionals are on LinkedIn. You can target them based on job title, function, industry, etc.
- Create effective ads: LinkedIn ads perfect for acquiring leads, brand awareness, or even event registrations.
- Control your costs: You can control your spending with flexible pricing options. You can also start with and stop your ads at any time.
3. Twitter for social media lead gen
Twitter is the most popular social media marketing channel for organizations. According to CMI research, 95% of UK marketers choose Twitter as a content marketing platform for lead generation.
Twitter ads are great when it comes to targeting and drilling down into your desired segment of users. Once location and language options have been confirmed, you have a choice to add keywords, handles, and interests.
Keyways to capture B2B leads on Twitter
- Outline your campaign objectives – to increase brand awareness, attract new followers, or drive traffic to your website.
- You can choose the audience you want to reach by using targeting features such as geographic areas or the followers of a notable account.
- Select your daily budget for your ads.
4. Instagram for social lead generation
Almost 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram, which is a pretty good sign of intent that marketers can tap to generate leads. If you have an engaged audience on Instagram and want to convert your followers into leads, then follow the below tips.
- Make use of Instagram lead ads – Instagram lead ads are designed to collect customer information such as email addresses, phone numbers etc. These ads can help businesses learn more about customers, improve direct marketing campaigns, and more.
- Add action buttons to your profile – You can add action buttons to your profiles that can include a link to your email, phone number, and business address so people can get in touch with your company. Instagram provides better options for lead generation, including Book, Reserve, and Get Tickets action buttons.
- Use ‘swipe up’ feature of Insta stories – One-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses. Stories can be tend to be more effective than a bio link, since all it takes is a swipe to act on an impulse.
Lead generation through social media must be a critical part of your marketing strategy
As the proverb says – Rome was not built on a day. Similarly, social media marketing lead generation is also a time-consuming task. However, the above mentioned best practices and tips to use social media for lead management will help your business to acquire more leads and accelerate your business growth.