If you've been using social media for your business, but are frustrated with the lack of solid business results you're seeing, this article is for you.
One of the key goals of any social media strategy is to generate leads. Attracting quality prospects is paramount, and social media is, hands down, one of the best ways you can do this.
To underline the effectiveness of using social media for lead generation, take a look at these recent stats:
- Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate (source: HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report)
- Social media produces almost double the number of leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC (source: HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report)
- Companies who use Twitter receive 2x the number of leads per month than those that don't (source: Inside View)
As social media reach increases, so does rate of new leads.
But while leads are a critical piece of your business's overall marketing strategy, keep in mind that they are just that: leads, not conversions.
That said, attracting leads is an absolutely necessary first step in your marketing funnel. Following are some ways you can attract qualified leads through your social media efforts!
1. Participate in Twitter chats
Organizing or participating in Twitter chats can be a great way to connect with like-minded people in your niche or industry.
Search out hashtags related to your business, and then jump right in and start participating. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, schedule your own chat at a specific time, and encourage your fans and followers to participate and to spread the word.
2. Answer Twitter questions
Want to answer questions live on Twitter? This can be a great way of increasing your visibility and garnering new leads.
There are a couple of ways you find relevant questions to answer:
- Type the following into Twitter search, replacing social media with a term relevant to your business: -http ? “social media” (Thanks Social Media Examiner for the tip!)
- Visit You Asked It to answer random questions from Twitter users.
3. Participate in LinkedIn groups
Become active in industry-related LinkedIn groups to make new connections and generate qualified leads.
If you're not already part of any groups, you can easily find some to join using the LinkedIn Group Directory.
Can't find a group you like? Consider starting your own group based on a general topic related to your business. For instance if you sell health supplements, you could start a group for ‘Health and Fitness professionals'.
4. See Who's Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile
You may have seen a little box on LinkedIn that looks like this:
If your privacy settings allow, and/or if you have a premium LinkedIn account, you'll be able to see who has been viewing your profile.
It can be a little tricky to use this information to generate leads, however one way is to make sure you follow these people on Twitter, or like them on Facebook. Start engaging with them via social media and you never know where it will lead!
5. Hang out on Google+
Google+ Hangouts (and now Hangouts on Air) are a great way to meet and engage with new and existing connections and customers.
Hangouts on Air gives you the ability to broadcast webinars (for free!) to an unlimited number of people, and even allows you to record your discussions and instantly save them to YouTube.
You can then share and promote your hangouts to your website visitors, social media followers and email subscribers, increasing engagement and attracting qualified leads.
6. Create ‘Pinnable' Images
If you're looking to generate leads via Pinterest, one of the best things you can do is to make sure you're creating and pinning some original images.
You can do this through pinning images from your blog posts, or preferably by creating and pinning infographics or captivating product photos.
Example of a simple infographic found on Pinterest
Being active and engaged on social media is perhaps the quickest and most effective way to generate relevant leads for your business.
Whatever social media strategies you use, keep in mind there is no replacement for continually generating high-quality, thoughtful content. Ask yourself who your ideal customer, client or connection is, and then write with them in mind.
How are you using social media to generate leads? Do you feel like what you're doing right now is successful? How can I help?