By now, virtually every business has boosted its social media presence in order to increase exposure, build a better relationship with customers and to become recognized as a thought leader in their industry. But there’s another benefit to social media that most companies haven’t take advantage of yet: it’s a great tool for lead generation.
Gathering high quality leads is vital to business growth and is THE top priority for most sales teams. More and more businesses are implementing lead generation strategies today, and social media needs to be part of it…and not simply because it’s cost-effective and easy to implement (although, yeah, those are really good reasons, too). A recent study showed that Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Ready to use social media for lead generation? Here are five ways to do it!
1. Leverage Gated Content
Want a better idea of who your audience is, where they are and how to reach them? Gated content is a great way to find out, and social media can help you get them there. You can use it to promote gated materials living on your website, such as white papers, ebooks and guides. You can also set up invite-only webinars or private Facebook Groups with registration forms. This not only helps you learn about the industries, job titles and locations of your visitors, it puts your products and services in front of them during all stages of the buyer’s journey.
2. Run Paid Social Campaigns
Social networks’ algorithms are frequently updated in order to give users a better experience (that is, putting less overtly promotional content in front of them). That means you’ll need to supplement your organic posts with paid posts. This ensures that your content will be seen in users’ news feeds and receive engagement. An added benefit: because platforms today offer advanced targeting capabilities, you can go after the audience you believe will find value in your content. Checkout our video on this topic in the Marketing Lounge.
3. Offer Incentives
Can your business provide a free demo of your product or service? Or a no-obligation consultation? How about a fun contest or sweepstakes? Free trials, discount codes, and other incentives are great ways to generate leads—I mean, who doesn’t want free stuff, even it if means sharing some personal information? And social media is an ideal way to promote any campaign or promotion you may be offering.
4. Use Social Media for Sales Outreach
Phone calls and emails are tried and true outreach channels when attempting to engage a new prospect or one that’s gone cold. But social media is closing in fast; it’s less intrusive and promotes a two-way conversation. Try joining industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and join conversations to connect with peers and prospects. Also check out LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which allows you to research and compile lists of targeted companies and contacts by industry, revenue and geography. It can also help keep you informed of news and changes at the organizations you may be targeting.
5. Make Analytics Part of Your Lead Generation Strategy.
Using social media to collect solid leads? Then use Google Alerts, Mention.com and other social listening tools to monitor relevant conversations between customers or potential buyers and chime in when possible. It’s also a good idea to invest in social media management tools like HubSpot or Sprout Social which come with advanced reporting to monitor which platforms, posts and ads are performing best for your business, allowing you to focus your efforts and get maximum ROI.
The Next Step – Lead Nurturing
Once you’ve acquired leads from your social media efforts, it’s important to remember that not all of them are ready to speak to sales; they need to be nurtured. If you use marketing automation software like HubSpot, you can use automated workflows (series of emails) to nurture them into a sales qualified lead (SQL), with content related to what they’ve shown interest in. Read more about our Top Marketing Automation Workflows.
Looking for help with your lead generation efforts on social media? Reach out to the social team at Brainstorm. We specialize in developing strategic social media programs with educational content, videos and more, all designed to help build your brand and your sales pipeline!