So you’ve launched a social media campaign #campaign and you’re starting to feel the love. Your status updates, tweets, pins and posts are garnering a healthy collection of likes, and comments and are being shared far and wide. That’s all good news, but at some point you will want to see some payback, a positive shift in the bottom line as a result of your social media endeavours.
When it comes to lead generation, social media #socialmedia can be a powerful tool that gets more customers through your front door and opening up their wallets. HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report revealed that social media produces almost double the marketing leads of direct mail, telemarketing, tradeshows and pay per click advertising.
According to an infographic compiled by Wishpond, 77% of business to consumer marketers say they have acquired a customer through Facebook, and that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter.
A report by LinkedIn, Priming the Economic Engine surveyed 998 small and medium business owners in the United States and Canada to see how they’re turning to social media for growth. Of those companies that took part, 91% said that social media is increasing awareness of their brand.
In looking at lead generation, 82% of small businesses in hyper growth said that social media is effective for generating new leads. So, how can you turn social media into a lead generating tool without coming across like a used car salesman?
Host a Google+ Hangout – with a Google+ hangout you can broadcast a webinar to a select group of people based on a topic that shows off your business in a great light. You could host a hangout to demonstrate one of your products or services, or to talk about a successful case history or even to interview experts in your company or industry.
To generate social leads, use strong calls to action from time to time to encourage your audience #audience to try your services and/or interact more with your business by navigating to your website.
Get stuck into LinkedIn – the business-orientated social media network can serve as a lead generating tool in a number of ways. LinkedIn groups allow users to create and manage groups centered on a wide range of business #business topics.
As a small business owner and LinkedIn member you can create your own group or participate in others that are related to your fields of expertise and interest. By being an active participant and sharing your knowledge through posting comments and providing thoughtful content, you will boost your standing amongst like-minded individuals and customers.
To turn this into lead generating possibilities, pay attention to those who are asking questions related to what you do. Provide short, public answers and then follow up with a more in-depth response in a private message by using the ‘Reply privately’ feature.
And do so straight away while the lead is still ‘hot’ so to speak, but don’t rush things. This is just the start of a relationship and it will be over very quickly if your opening gambits are sales orientated.
Host Twitter chats – a twitter chat is a focused conversation held at set times. Each chat has a specific hashtag and attracts a specific audience. They are ideal places to leverage a community of people interested in the topic under discussion. The key is finding the right kind of subject matter that is going to resonate with your intended audience.
One way to get the leads you’re after is to notice which tweet chat participants mention you in the chat, and then follow (not stalk) those who you feel could turn into potential customers. You can tweet them and send messages outside of the chat, but don’t bombard them with sales messages. When you feel the time is right, start to make your pitch.
Don’t forget that simple tweets can also bring in quality leads. Social media company Red Rocket Media has provided a case study example of one of its customers; an international security firm that regularly uses trade shows to drum up trade.
To drive more people to their stands and set up meetings for their sales people, they embarked on a mini Twitter campaign, posting tweets leading up to the event and live tweeting during the show. The result was a 33% increase in the number of people visiting their stand and 30 appointments scheduled via Twitter.
Advertise on Social Media – this approach can help bring in quality leads, especially as you can target your promotional material to specific audiences. Consider Facebook and LinkedIn ads and promoted tweets.
On Facebook, you can also use the promoted posts feature to highlight your best content and drive traffic back to your website. Consider posting some exclusive material on your website or under a Facebook tab that can be accessed only when users fill in a signup form.
Nurturing Quality Leads
Social media can be an amazing source of quality leads. Everything you post, every interaction you have contributed to your standing and credibility. The better you come across the more likely people are going to want to do business with you.
So remember all the social media fundamentals of keeping your profiles up-to-date and informative, posting great content, being genuinely helpful and engaging with other users. You will win new leads by devoting time to social media, by knowing who makes up your audience and what they want.
It’s all about building great relationships. These can be nurtured over time to turn enthusiastic followers into customers.
MavSocial Social Media Management Software for Business