Introduction

Social media is no longer just a tool for keeping in touch with friends or sharing all one’s day’s details. It is also a crucial tool for connecting brands with customers. Statistics show that social media is continuing to gain importance in business. For instance, forecasts from Statista show that investments in social advertising will grow to USD 48 billion in 2021, up from USD 32 billion in 2017.

Current buying trends support this rising interest and investment. A 2018 consumer insights survey by PWC revealed that 37% of buyer decisions are influenced by social networks. 20% of respondents from the same study also rely on visual social networks (SlideShare, Pinterest, Instagram, etcetera) when buying. This increased reliance on social media is reason enough to invest more time and effort in lead generation service campaigns targeted at social media audiences.

Current buying trends

Figure: the importance of social media in purchase decisions

With social media, you can reach prospects in real time, conduct more targeted campaigns and generate high-quality leads.

How to generate high quality leads on social media

So, how can you start using social media to generate leads? We discuss nine tips below:

1. Integrate your lead capture forms into social media

First off, you should be using marketing automation software to automate your content marketing and interact with customers (if you are not, do some research and find a good tool).

That said, lead capture forms allow visitors to your social media pages to sign up for offers. It is a powerful tool when integrated into your marketing software. For instance, active campaign allows you to integrate your opt-in form with FaceBook, giving users the option of subscribing through their FaceBook account.

social media

Figure: You can integrate lead forms into social media  (example, active campaign)

2. Pin a post on your FaceBook page

You can pin a post on your FaceBook page above your timeline and use it as a lead magnet to attract new traffic and build up your email subscriber base. For example, if you want people to sign up for a webinar, pin the promotional banner to your page. If you want to target new traffic with offers, create a welcome message that encourages new visitors to stop there first. A pinned post will not slip below your timeline even as you continue publishing new posts.

To pin a post, navigate to the post you want to pin. Click on the three dots at the top right corner of the post. Select “pin to top of page” in the drop-down that appears. When you refresh, the post will appear at the top of the page and will have pin on it.

3. Advertise on social media: FaceBook lead ads and LinkedIn Lead gen forms

Advertising on social media is one of the most targeted social media marketing tactics. FaceBook and LinkedIn are the 2 main platforms for reaching b2b audiences.

Facebook lead ads

Lead ads are a type of advertisement that allows you to run lead generation campaigns on Instagram and FaceBook. The easiest way to set up lead ads is from your company page.

Click publishing tools>forms library>create. You can choose to create a new form or duplicate an existing one. Then follow instructions, providing all necessary information in every section and tab.

While setting up the forms, you can decide the kind of information you want to ask from your leads.

As well, you can set up your leads to synchronize with your CRM, where you can view and manage them in real time.  To do this, go back to publishing tools and on the bottom left, click leads set up.

When your lead generation campaign goes live, the forms will pre-populate with visitors’ information. Your leads don’t have to do anything unless they need to update any information.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

LinkedIn lead gen forms allow you to easily capture leads from connections and other people who visit your LinkedIn pages. When a person clicks on your call to action (e.g download), they will be redirected to your lead gen form. The form will prepopulate with details pulled from the lead’s professional profile.

You can also track your campaign’s efficiency by monitoring details such as form fill-rate, number of leads generated from each segment and cost per lead. Additionally, you can integrate with your CRM.

4. Using Hashtags on Twitter and LinkedIn

Hashtags have long been used on Twitter to categorize posts and discussions that contain certain keywords. Hashtags have become so popular that they are now being used on LinkedIn.

You can use hashtags as part of your lead generation on LinkedIn, to be a part of conversations happening in your industry. Note:

  • Do not overuse hashtags. More than three will be considered annoying, especially by professional crowds.
  • Research the popularity of your hashtags and only use those that will drive your objectives.

5. Share authoritative content on LinkedIn

Posting long-form content that offers useful tips is a great way to attract new clients and establish yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn. To write high-quality content:

  • Research your topic thoroughly,
  • Be consistent with any assertions you make,
  • Post regularly,
  • Respond to comments and,
  • Answer any questions that readers ask.

The more people read your posts, the more leads you will generate. Include calls to action in your posts and embed lead gen forms to capture leads.

Besides text content, you can also share video content and SlideShare presentations.

6. Social selling

Social selling refers to using social media to build relationships with prospects, with a view to converting them into customers in the future. For most sales people, social selling is a more preferable option for lead nurturing than cold calling. With social selling, sales people deal with prospects who have interest to connect and who have most likely also engaged in social selling.

If you have been engaging with customers on your social media profiles, you are already engaged in social selling. Note however that bombarding uninterested people with messages does not count as social selling. Such spamming tactics irritate users and are thus not effective for lead generation. Social selling is targeted and focusses on building relationships with people who have declared an interest.

  • The key to social selling is to listen strategically. Customers share their problems, needs and wants on social media; pay attention, engage them, and only then can you offer them something of value.
  • Social media is also a great way to connect. If you are already on the same platform as your prospect, all you have to do is request for a connection. If this doesn’t work, ask a mutual connection for an introduction.

7. Use geotargeting in your search

Geotargeting is a great way for local businesses to reach customers in their vicinity. You can use geotargeting on posts or ads, and in so doing maximize your ad spend. But geotargeting also plays another role; when combined search, itis a great way to uncover potential leads on social media.

For example. Say you are selling CRM software and you want to target local businesses around you. With advanced search features, you can find relevant discussions, filter them by origin so that you are left with conversations from your locality, and then reach out to those prospects regarding their pain points.

You can use native features in your social media platform to conduct a geotargeted search. For instance, an advanced search on Twitter. Or, you can also use social media management tools like Hootsuite to manage all your social media activities and capture all your leads in one place.

8. Use webinars

A Webinar is a powerful lead generation tool, especially when integrated with social media. But a webinar without attendance can be a flop; you need a high attendance or registration rate for your webinar to qualify as a success. Other success measures include post-webinar downloads and webinar views.

There are two main ways to generate leads when hosting a webinar:

  1. Introduce it as gated content. This way, people will have to sign up with their email or social media account to register.
  2. Offer it to a wide audience and embed discount offers, free trials and contests during the video. This will encourage people to interact with your website or social media platform. You can also offer rewards to attendants.

Offer an “exclusive only” webinar. For instance, a webinar targeted at 100 “top sales managers”. The advantage of this is that whoever signs up will be a high-quality lead. The trick for targeted professional groups however, is to offer them content and training that is of value and that will make selling easier for them. Dedicate enough time to creating content that actually matters. Participants in a survey by trends report cite good content as what actually matters if you want to run an effective webinar.

Use webinars

Figure: 2015 B2B Lead generation trends report

Once your webinar is over, follow up with anyone who signed up or anyone who leaves comments.

9. Use custom tabs on Facebook

Your Facebook page or profile already has menu items such as: timeline, about, photos, publishing tools, etcetera. Facebook also gives you the option to add custom tabs. You can use tabs to highlight an event that you want your audience to notice. For instance, you can:

  • Create a new tab to run your contest or highlight coupon offers.
  • Showcase downloadable offers such as eBooks and reports
  • Call attention to your company’s values and what you stand for. This is especially important for big companies or if you want to target a special interest group that has environmental concerns or similar values.

Conclusion

Social media for lead generation works. The key to success begins with having a strategy and choosing the right platform based on your buyer persona. There are hundreds of social media platforms out there. Though Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, are the biggest platforms, they may not all be relevant for your target audience. Find where your persona likes to spend their time.

As well, the tactics discussed above are only representative of what you can accomplish with social media. There are many other ways you can utilize social media to generate leads. As learning all these tactics will take time to learn and expertise to activate explore the option of outsourcing your social marketing campaigns to lead generation services and take advantage of all that social media has to offer.

Abbey HoustonDigital Marketing
Introduction Social media is no longer just a tool for keeping in touch with friends or sharing all one’s day’s details. It is also a crucial tool for connecting brands with customers. Statistics show that social media is continuing to gain importance in business. For instance, forecasts from Statista show...