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  • 17 June 2014
  • Dr Billy M.

Prioritize social media leads for your business

In your personal life, social media allows you to connect and stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and potential resources. Your business, on the other hand, can benefit from lead generation — the process of enhancing consumer interest in your company's products and services. You can capture contact information and build a list of potential clients to whom you can send newsletters and sales information.

Social media has emerged as the top channel for lead generation among most business sectors. You can leverage this platform to generate your social media leads by engaging the community of potential customers, typically by sharing useful and quality content that showcases your expertise.

Connections are really about building relationships with potential customers

Build a network with strong ties
Determine the best way to connect with prospects, since getting to know them and establishing relationships is an integral part of the sales process. Although social media allows you to achieve this quickly and easily, you need to decide which platform — such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest — is best for connecting and interacting with prospects.

To create strong ties, you need to show that your business is accessible, has individual consideration for its customers, and, most importantly, has the time to listen and respond to prospects. Connections are really about building relationships with potential customers and getting to know them online by communicating and sharing information.

Share content to influence connections

As part of your content marketing initiative, publishing and sharing content via social media can significantly boost your lead-generation efforts. Here is a tip: Most prospects are not looking for, and do not care much, about your products. More than anything, they are seeking immediate solutions to their problems.

The content you create must be helpful in order to drive people to your landing pages, thereby generating leads. If you have valuable content on your website, you can only gain qualified leads by requiring them to fill out a form. However, with social media platforms, you can track prospects that have accessed your content without the extra effort and burden of soliciting their identity.

Respond to feedback, customer questions, and comments

When it comes to social media, it is vital that you track conversations and respond to inquiries, general comments, and feedback genuinely and promptly. Set aside a few hours on designated days of the week to address complaints, respond to questions, and acknowledge that feedback has been received.

Your response should focus on delivering a valuable answer. When you reply, you are not only addressing an individual, but also the community. If possible, refer them back to resources on your site — i.e., a blog post or how-to video — so that they understand your product in a new light. The better your social media customer service is, the more you are likely to generate traffic, and potential leads, through your site.

Amplify lead generation via focused social ads

Invest some money in paid advertising on social media. This can be in the form of promoted content on Facebook, sponsored tweets on Twitter, or an ad on LinkedIn. With any smart social advertising strategy, the goal is to link to a lead-generation form. When a user clicks on a link, they are typically led to a promotional offer — a lead generation card that expands to reveal the offer with a sign-up form that requests a user's name, email address, and respective social media platform handle.

Image- and video-based social media

Always remember that human beings are visual by nature. Because of this, you should make use of the numerous visual social media platforms for lead generation, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Instagram and Pinterest offer the opportunity to generate leads through use of visual content by creating a loyal following from your target audience. Although not perfect for every market or industry, you can create and monitor a strategy that will increase direct, as well as indirect, leads.

Optimized YouTube videos can also be effective lead-generating tools for your business. Having an informative how-to video or even one that makes audiences laugh provides visibility for your business.

Social media leads serve to drive revenue, which validates the worth of any social media costs. Regardless of your sales cycle, social media creates a complex and productive path to lead generation, making it imperative for you to incorporate this marketing tool into your business strategy.

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