Maybe you’ve invested a little work into your business’s social media, but you haven’t seen the results yet. Or maybe your business has been doing just fine with a minimal social presence. Either way, there are still many successful businesses out there that have yet to buy into the hype of social media. Can it really revolutionize lead generation as much as its biggest boosters claim it can?
The answer is yes—but it requires that you pay close attention to how you’re deploying it. The tactics that you use will make all the difference when it comes to getting those coveted leads and conversions. Here are six reasons why social media could be the secret sauce you need to boost your power to generate and convert leads—and the steps you need to take to make it happen.
1. Social media has great tools for demographic and behavioral targeting.
One of the most important parts of lead generation is making sure that your leads are actionable and valuable. Social media makes this easy because most platforms provide robust built-in tools that allow you to target your ads by demographics and behavior. If you know your customer base well, this allows you to precision-target the customers who are most likely to provide you with actionable leads. That segmentation allows you to distinguish between, for example, people who are just beginning to investigate your field and experts who know what they’re looking for, and to serve each with a more precisely and effectively written ad.
2. Social media offers easy ways to share the most effective content.
The content you need for lead generation is rich, authoritative and relevant. This includes infographics, polls, videos, image galleries and more. These types of content tend to have higher engagement over simple posts of text. That engagement is key to lead generation since it generates more interest and helps create the image of your brand as relevant and in-touch. A video retweeted by the right Twitter account can open an incredible amount of doors for your brand (and this can be taken even further if, as we’ll talk about later, you choose to join forces with an influencer).
If you want to jump in even further with high-engagement content, all kinds of formats are available. Some companies run contests (a great source to gather emails and personal information), while others choose to host live demonstrations and webinars that can do an excellent job of showing the value of a product or service. All of these types of content create brand awareness in ways that stick with customers for longer and encourage the engagement that helps generate leads.
3. Social media offers a great opportunity to funnel leads to your website.
Your website is one of your most important lead generation tools, and the combined power of a great website and social media presence can create a valuable multiplier that directs more, and better, leads to your site. Social media is an effective way to draw in leads because it shows people what it knows they’re already interested in, so they don’t even have to go looking for your page. If you’ve got eye-catching content and a good marketing strategy, social media can help get your content in front of the people you want to see it.
Don’t forget that it’s also possible to do the reverse—you can add buttons to your website that lead to your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. You can increase the lead generation value of your social media profiles by adding “share” buttons to blog posts, videos and other media from your website.
4. Social media has different platforms that are good for different types of businesses.
It’s always important to choose the right platform to cultivate your leads, and social media makes that possible by offering a variety of choices. Facebook is good for general audiences and local businesses thanks to its robust reviews and event listings. Instagram is good for B2C businesses and companies with well-developed visual aesthetics. LinkedIn is increasingly a key element of the B2B lead generation toolbox. Twitter and Reddit are good for niche interests with active online communities. Each offers its own set of advantages and allows businesses to target a different customer base—which is exactly what you need if you want to generate the most relevant leads.
5. Social media allows direct communication with your customers
One of the most revolutionary features of social media is that it creates a direct medium for communication between brands and their customers and allows you to find better ways to optimize your web presence. A potential customer who’s not sure about whether your company carries business service bonds to protect its customers or other types of surety bonds can get a quick and easy answer by asking their question directly to your brand through social media. It’s a great way to show potential leads that your company cares about their business and is attentive to the needs of its customers.
6. Social media allows brands to leverage influencer marketing
The rise of influencer marketing is one of the biggest social media trends of the past few years. The concept is relatively simple: Social media users who have a significant following among other users with similar interests allow companies to leverage their influence through paid partnerships. These influencers have the power to improve lead generation by bringing potential leads over the tipping point—and studies suggest that their ROI is quite healthy.
If you already have a partnership with influencers in your field (such as bloggers or other content curators), ask if they have social media profiles that you can post guest content on. For those new to influencer marketing, take some time to read the many available guides to help you decide which influencer partnerships can offer the most bang for your buck in lead generation.
Social media is still growing and changing in many important ways, so it’s understandable that some businesses haven’t fully embraced it yet. But it’s now a mature enough technology that if you’ve been waiting to jump onboard the social media train, now is the time. The platforms are robust and stable and the leads are out there, waiting for the right business to snap them up.