How to Get More Leads from Social Media
Generating leads is vital in order to maintain a steady and sustainable stream of potential new sales. Not every lead will turn into a customer, of course, but building a substantial lead generating machine is necessary. The Internet presents a number of opportunities to produce leads, and to build an audience for your business and its products and services.
Leads can be generated through a variety of methods. Personal contacts, trade shows, gated inbound content, email campaigns, and more. This article is going to focus on social media as a lead generating machine.
With social media, it’s best to reach out to potential leads after they have read your content or expressed interest in your products or services. Social media offers an excellent way to engage with potential leads, and to gauge interest. As users express interest, you can follow up with comments, personal messages, offers, and other lead generation methods.
There are a variety of social media networks, probably more than you can reasonably manage on a small business budget. Facebook is perhaps the most well-known social media network and is regularly used to generate leads. For many businesses, LinkedIn is a great lead generation tool. Twitter is also a valuable both for branding and generating leads. If you are ready to move your social media activities beyond brand awareness, we’ve got some suggestions on how you should approach each channel, and lead generation in general.
Understanding Your Clients and Their Pain Points
Social media platforms can be crowded, and it’s difficult for businesses to stand out. One of the best ways to resonate with your audience is to address their ‘pain points.’ A pain point refers to a problem or challenge faced by a consumer or business.
As a business or entrepreneur, your goal is to solve particular pains. As a marketer, you will generate the most sales and highest revenues by focusing on potential customers who have pains that are addressed by your products or solutions. Identifying pains is an entire exercise in and of itself. If you are already selling products or services, it’s important to identify which pains your goods will address or solve.
iPage, for example, knows that business owners and managers are tight on time, and often want website management to be as simple as possible. That’s why we focus on selling easy-to-use Internet and website solutions, including our themes and drag-and-drop website editing services. That’s also why we offer a variety of value added services, such as search engine optimization, content, and branding. We offer these products because they solve pains.
As you are crafting your social media posts, blogs, and content, you should consider the pain points of the people you are looking to inform or start a conversation with. And addressing these pain points with your social media posts is essential. Customers will see your posts and recognize that your company may be able to help them overcome some of the roadblocks they face. The leads you get from social, may, in turn, become paying customer.
Pick The Right Channels and Use Them Wisely
There are a variety of social media channels, and they each excel in certain ways, while lacking in other areas. It’s important to recognize that each social media platform is different. Not only do they offer divergent ways to present content, but the way audiences use them is also very different. Understanding your audience, and how to reach them on each social media channel, is essential for generating leads.
LinkedIn- Great for Business Leads and Relationships
LinkedIn is perhaps the best social media channel for business-to-business customers. As a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is considered more ‘buttoned up’ than Facebook and other platforms. When people log into LinkedIn, they are actively looking to improve their own business, promote their products and services, and to learn valuable information.
LinkedIn makes it easy to publish articles that people in your network will have access to. As you build up your professional network, you can start publishing content that will be read by like-minded professionals, or people who may have need of your services. A web designer, for example, could publish a “Web Design 101 Tips” article. Not only will fellow web designers see this content and come to respect his or her expertise, but people searching for a web-designer may come across the content.
By publishing high-quality content that addresses pain points, you can build up an audience. People who read your blog posts may reach out, or else refer you to someone who might need your services. Your blogs should get straight to the point, offer high-value information, and be written with a professional tone.
Longer articles generally perform better on LinkedIn. This is because they convey more information, and thus do a better job of solving pains. Many LinkedIn readers will read articles in excess of 1,000 words, so long as the information is providing value, and addressing their pains. Including pictures, infographics, and illustrations will generally produce more engagement, shares, and reads. This, in turn, will generate more leads.
As users comment on your content, you can respond and engage them in a conversation, or ask questions. When you first touch base, it’s best to skip a hard sales pitch, but instead to simply introduce yourself and then learn about your potential lead. As you produce more high quality content, you increase the chances that businesses and potential leads will find your content and then contact you with questions and concerns. Be warm and professional while also trying to add value and create trust.
You can also generate potential leads by reading other people’s content and commenting on it. Again, avoid a hard sales pitch. If a writer raises a particular pain, and you have an article that addresses that pain, you can tell them about it. If they solicit a need for a product or service, go ahead and contact them.
Another great way to generate leads with LinkedIn is to join groups and to participate in discussions. There are numerous professional groups on LinkedIn that have been set up around a wide range of industries. Try searching for groups that are relevant to your business or product. If you sell dental equipment, for example, there might be professional dentistry groups that you can join.
Facebook- Keep Things Fun & Engaging
Facebook is arguably the best platform for B2C businesses. However, you need to make sure you closely consider your approach. Using the platform as a business is much different than using it for personal use. Facebook is best used for relationship building, not hard pitches or anything people might consider ‘spammy.’
As a business, you must consider your audience and their mindset. Most people logging into Facebook are doing so for pleasure. They want to laugh, have fun, smile, and find content that is personally enjoyable. Your content should generally be fun, enjoyable, and engaging.
When it comes to addressing pain points, this means that Facebook is best for addressing ‘fun’ pains. An ice cream parlor, for example, can solve the pains of a hot summer day by providing a refreshing, cold treat. The same is true of many other business-to-consumer industries, such as restaurants, pubs, video game companies, and many of the homemade goods sold on places like Etsy. By building relationships and making your Facebook posts fun, you stand a much better chance of generating leads.
In general, b2b companies won’t gain as much traction on Facebook. That doesn’t mean that they can’t find success, however. Generally, posts that are lighthearted tend to perform the best, even if the topic is serious. If you do want to convey a lot of information, one great option is an infographic, which have some of the highest viral potential of any type of media.
Twitter- Great for Thought Leadership
Twitter is dominated by thought leaders, or people who are the most knowledgeable about a given subject. When you use Twitter to generate leads, your goal should be to establish yourself as a thought leader. This means frequently commenting on current events, sharing high-quality articles/content that you have produced, and generally being an active, outspoken leader.
Other people will follow you, and you should follow thought leaders and potential leads. By posting content on your own channel, you can direct your Twitter followers back to your webpage, and then try to convert them with email newsletters, gated content, and other methods.
Conclusion: Building Relationships is Essential
There’s an underlying theme for using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for building leads: relationship building. When you use a social media platform, focus on the ‘social.’ You want to avoid hard pitches, and instead focus on adding value to your viewers. The exact methods of adding value vary from platform to platform, as well as from industry to industry, but your primary focus should be solving pains.
When you solve pains, people will come to trust you. They will check back for more content, and may even reach out to you directly, which makes them great leads. By adding value and solving pains, you will also lay the groundwork for a trusting relationship should you reach out to them. Ultimately, trust is essential for converting leads into paying customers.