It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It can be used to build brand awareness and create relationships with customers, and it can also be used to generate leads and drive sales.
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and build relationships. However, generating leads through social media can be tricky. It takes time and effort to find the right strategies and tools that work for you.
In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the lead generation process in social media and share some expert tips to help you boost your success.
How Social Media Generates Inbound Leads
Any business that operates online needs to have a solid social media presence. Potential customers are always active on social media, so your marketing team needs to know where they are. Digital marketers can use social media to generate inbound leads for B2B and B2C products.
Your social media presence should be focused on creating relationships with potential customers. Once you’ve established a relationship, you can then start to generate organic leads.
Alternatively, you can pay for ads on different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which can drive customers to your website. It’s essential to understand which platform your target market is using. Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all have different demographics using their platforms.
- Facebook is great for targeting a broad audience
- LinkedIn is better for targeting business professionals
- TikTok is a newer social media platform that is perfect for targeting Gen Z audiences
If you focus your efforts on the wrong platform, you could be wasting time, and ad spend.
How Businesses Can Use Social Media to Generate Leads
Whether targeting B2B or B2C sales, an excellent social media strategy can boost conversions and overall spending. 90% of people will purchase goods and services from the brands they interact with on social media.
The two main ways brands can develop a lead generation process in social media are:
- By driving traffic to their website or landing pages
- By connecting with potential customers directly on social media
The first method is pretty straightforward. You simply use social media to drive traffic to your website. Visitors can learn more about your products or services and sign up for your newsletter or contact you for more information.
This can be done through various means, such as starting a podcast and sharing the episodes on social media. Also, you could run ads that lead to your website or use call-to-action buttons on your social media posts.
The second method is a bit more direct. You can use social media to connect with new customers directly and nurture a relationship. People like to feel noticed by brands, and being able to ask questions directly and receive a response builds customer loyalty.
Communicate with your followers to attract more potential leads. Many followers like interacting with whoever they follow, so regularly responding to comments or DMs can go a long way. Be sure to use a friendly, casual tone like a real person and skip the business jargon. Social media is about connecting and having real conversations so use it accordingly.
Lead Generation Workflow for Social Media
The lead generation process flow starts with finding out where your audience is on social media. You need to understand which platforms they use. Plan your marketing strategy based on the social media website and the type of content your audience is enjoying.
Identify Your Target Audience
The first step is to identify your target audience. This can be done by creating buyer personas. Ask yourself who your ideal customer is. What do they do for work? How old are they? How much money do they earn?
If you are already active on social media, you can try looking at your analytics to see who has been engaging with your content. You may find that your buyers have more than one persona, which is great, but it means you may need multiple marketing strategies. Understanding customer behavior is just one piece of the puzzle that will prove your lead generation efforts successful.
Find Out Where Your Target Audience Is Active
The next step is to find out where your target audience is active on social media. Take a look at your competitor’s social media pages to see where they spend the most time. They will likely have already identified where the audience for the product hangs out online.
If your product is only relevant to business executives, most of your social media marketing should be spent on platforms like LinkedIn.
Engage With Your Target Audience
You need to provide valuable content that solves people’s problems, answers their questions, or even just engages in conversations with them.
You should create unique content for each platform as everyone is different. Twitter, for example, prefers short-form content with swift calls to action.
Take Mannequin Mall, for example. This mannequin supplier showcases its illustrated photos on Instagram and uses hashtags to connect with a broader audience. On Twitter, they share unique insights and link out to their blog.
Whatever the content you’re making is, it needs to achieve these two things:
- Be optimized for the platform it’s being used on
- Solve a problem or answer a question your target audience has
Build Trust and Credibility
The key is to build trust and credibility with potential customers so that they will eventually do business with you. This can be done by providing helpful information, responding to their questions, and even offering free resources.
Your content needs to be better than your competition, even if it’s offered for free. If you can establish yourself as a leader in your industry, potential customers will flock to your social accounts and websites for answers to their questions.
Nurture Your Leads
Once you have a customer from your socials on your landing page or website, you need to nurture them in this part of the lead generation process flow. Often customers may click through from your call to action, unsure if they want to purchase anything. It’s the job of your website to provide them with even more information to continue to build up trust.
If you can’t convince them to sign up there and then, try and collect their email address so you can stay in contact with them.
This can be done by providing a lead magnet, an incentive for potential customers to give you their email addresses. Some common lead magnets are ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, and even free courses.
Convert Leads Into Customers
The final step in the process is to convert your leads into customers. This should be a relatively easy task if you have followed all the steps above. You just need to offer them something they can’t resist at a price they are willing to pay.
This could be a discount on your products or services or even a free trial. The important thing is that you make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
Social Media Lead Generation Examples
Social media is big and unruly if you don’t know what you’re doing. It can be tempting to just set up a profile and start posting random content hoping that something will stick. But if you want to use social media for lead generation, you need to take a more strategic approach.
You could be a master at one platform, but what works there may not translate well to the others. It’s essential to learn how to create content for each social media website that you’re planning to use. Not only that, you should take the time to learn how paid ads work as well.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with over 2.9 billion active users. There are a couple of lead generation strategies that work well on Facebook.
You could create a lead magnet and use Facebook ads to drive traffic to it. Give something away for free that your audience will be happy to trade their contact information for.
A great way to increase conversions is by adding Facebook Pixel to your website. This is a piece of code that sends data to Facebook about the people who visited your website. Facebook will then use dynamic ads to show your website visitors the products they looked at.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social media platform with over 1.3 billion active users. It’s owned by Facebook, and you can craft campaigns for both using the Meta Business Suite.
There are three main ways to generate leads on Instagram. The first is by posting content and using hashtags. Research popular hashtags in your industry and add them to your posts. This will make your content more discoverable to potential customers searching for that hashtag.
The second way to generate leads on Instagram is through influencer marketing. Find popular influencers in your niche and reach out to them about working together. They will promote your products or services to their followers, who could become your customers.
Finally, you can pay for Instagram ads which can drive people to your social page or directly to your website. If you’re selling goods, you can sell them through the Instagram app.
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals with over 690 million users. It’s a great place to build relationships with potential customers and nurture existing ones.
There are two main ways to generate leads on LinkedIn. The first is through content marketing. Share blog posts, infographics, and other helpful resources that your target audience will find valuable. You can also run paid ads on LinkedIn, which can be very effective if you target them correctly.
The second way to generate leads on LinkedIn is through networking. Connect with potential customers and start building relationships with them. Most of scouting, networking and connecting can be automated through the help of automation tools like LinkedHelper.
Join groups in your industry and participate in discussions. Attend events and meetups where you can connect with even more people.
Twitter is a microblogging social media platform with over 217 million daily active users. It’s a great place for real-time conversations and building relationships.
There are a few different ways to generate leads on Twitter. The first is by tweeting valuable content. Short-form content is key on Twitter, so there can be no fluff. You can create Twitter threads for when you have more to say, but the less, the better on this platform.
Another way to generate leads on Twitter is through lead generation cards. These special tweets have a call-to-action and allow people to sign up for your email list without leaving Twitter.
You can also add a newsletter sign-up button directly to your Twitter profile. This makes it quick and easy for your audience to sign up and hear directly from you.
Youtube is the second largest search engine globally, with over 2 billion active users. It’s a great place to share long-form video content.
Youtube has a couple of different free and paid lead generation strategies. The first is through creating helpful videos that your target audience will find valuable. These could be how-to videos, industry news, or even vlogs about your businesses day-to-day.
You can also include calls-to-action in your videos and link to your website or landing pages in the description box. You can also create a Youtube banner and add your links directly in it. If you have a lead magnet, you can mention it here.
Finally, you can run paid ads on Youtube. These could be video ads that people see before or during other videos or banner ads that appear on the side of the screen. Paid ads are a great way to get your content in front of more people and generate leads quickly.
Lead Generation Tools For Your Business
We’ve only mentioned five social media platforms in this article. There are even more that could benefit you that we haven’t touched on, including Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
It’s impossible to be an expert on them all. Many companies hire a social media team or outsource this to another company.
When hiring a team to join your business, you must allocate certain team members to focus on the social media aspect of the company. This includes posting, responding to customers, and qualifying leads.
Whether you tackle social media on your own or hand it off to a marketing team, it’s up to you. Tools are available to help you master the lead generation process in social media.
Let’s take a look at the best lead generation tools your marketing team needs:
Media Monitoring Software
Media monitoring software lets you track what’s being said about your brand online. It can help you quickly respond to any negative sentiment and take advantage of any positive mentions.
This software is essential for managing your social media presence and building relationships with a social audience.
Social Media Scheduler
A social media scheduler lets you automate your posts so you can free up time to focus on other tasks. This is especially helpful if you’re managing multiple social media accounts.
It saves you a lot of time by letting you bulk create your content for the week/month and let it roll out automatically. This gives you more freedom to interact with your audience and respond to queries.
Ads Campaign Tool
An ads campaign tool lets you create and track your paid social media ads. This is a great way to reach more people and generate leads quickly.
It’s important to remember that lead generation takes time. You need to build trust with potential customers before they’re ready to buy from you. Paid ads can help speed up this process by getting your content in front of more people.
Social media is a powerful tool that can help you generate qualified leads for your business. There are many different platforms to choose from, each with its own unique benefits.
The most important thing is to be consistent with your posting and engage with your audience. Don’t just try to sell them something. Build up trust first, and let them come to you when they’re ready to buy.
About the author
Axelle Dervaux has experience in digital marketing with a focus on B2B marketing for SaaS companies. She’s working in various marketing fields such as SEO and SEA, social media, lead nurturing, customer retention, product marketing. She is the Marketing Manager at clicdata.com, a cloud-based business intelligence, and data management platform. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.