Lead Generation with Social Media Networks

By rinnie on Monday, March 25th 2013

Lead generation with social media networks

Social media has compliantly changed the way we do business. It has directly affected how we connect with consumers B2C (business to consumer) and on the B2B (business to business) level. As a result, these websites allow our companies the benefit of having access to data and sales that would not have been possible ten years ago. A lead generation builds the consumer base so that the business’s brand or online presence becomes more approachable and marketable. This in turn leads to higher sales and a stronger, more loyal customer base.

Lead generations can be accomplished a number of ways. Each path provides our companies with the material and data we need in order to understand our online presence. For example, things such as followers/ likes/ fans etc. are very important because these so called fans have direct access to our brand’s page. These people are able to see things that are uploaded instantly on to the social media network. Thus, they have an ongoing and direct relationship with the brand. This interaction is vital because of that correlation and link that social media provides the brand and the viewer.

In addition, traffic is an aspect of lead generation which can help a company determine if its website is being viewed by the numbers they desire every day. Programs like Google Analytics help companies understand who is looking at their pages, at what time, from what country and more. This information is invaluable to brands that want to make sure that they are reaching the target audience. It is also a great way for companies to see if they are popular outside their demographic. For example, mailing lists are just one way of gaining customers. The analytics of these email programs allow us to see who is clicking and opening our emails. These let us know what is working and what is not in order to generate leads. Typical marketing tactics aside, there are also a variety of other ways that a company can engage and draw in the customer.

Key Performance Indicators and Their Help

Key performance indicators (KPI) help companies and individuals identify their social media performance. As a result, a KPI is a very useful tool that can help one track their growth, popularity, and consumer base on the web. Of course each KPI is critical based on the outcome of several factors and goals. For example, a company or individual’s goals can greatly affect how they read the outcome of their KPIs. It is necessary that each of these factors are taken into account when calculating the social media growth of a group or person. As a result; the KPI is necessary if we wish to turn the attention of a consumer into a paying customer. This is the only way quality lead generations are created – the ability to turn the viewer into a client. In short, KPIs are very important because they offer companies a chance to see beyond their social media accounts at face value. The data supplied to them lets them target and adjust their online presence as they see fit. These KPIs allow us to keep up with our online pages so that we can continue our dynamic and popularity growth with fans. This is how quality leads are generated.

The Real Deal: Statistics Prove Lead Generating Success with Social Media

A recent study done by the SocialMediaExaminer.com showed incredible results after interviewing more than 3300 business owners. Those asked about their business’s social media experience included both self employed business owners and companies that had more than a 1000 employees. Thus, the study encompassed nearly all types of business from the small local store to the major corporation. Also, each B2B and B2C were both equally represented at 50 %. In short, these statistics prove that social media boost lead generations for all companies no matter what the size.

SocialMediaExaminer.com reported that at least 93% of business owners said that social media was an important aspect of the marketing tactics. This exemplifies the role of social media marketing into today’s world. Those who have the ability and drive to expand their business understand the importance of social media in today’s marketing world. However, at least one third of those asked wished to know how to measure the return on their investments (ROI), and how to integrate their social media activities. This means that some businesses either do not know how to read or use analytic software, or realize that it even exists. They are also unsure how to cross social media platforms in order to generate leads.

Understanding social media in today’s world is very important because it is how people are able to expand their understanding and knowledge of a business. If we cannot keep our companies up to date on these matters, then we risk losing potential clients and generating leads. Thankfully, businesses owners show promise in expanding their social media usage. At least 58% of users spend at least six or more hours a week on their social media pages. This helps a business expand their customer awareness with consistent quality data that is updated often.

This also leads to the survey’s finding that the top benefit was that 78% of business owners found social media helped increase theirs business’s exposure. The next best perk was increased traffic at 72%, and improved SEO (search engine optimization) at 62%. All of these perks alone are a good enough reason for a company to invest in their social media accounts. This statistics also show us why it is necessary for us to increase of social media presence if we wish our business goals and success to remain relevant with the modern consumer.

The Top Social Media Outlets that Companies Use to Generate Leads

The survey study performed by SocialMediaExaminer.com showed that out of all the platforms available four really stood out. Facebook was the clear winner with 92% of the vote. It was followed by Twitter at 84%, LinkedIn at 71%, and blogs at 68%. One should also take into account social media websites that were not mentioned, but that are growing in popularity every day: Pinterest and Google Plus. Businesses need to take advantage of the free accounts available on all of these platforms in order to drive their businesses and increasing brand awareness.

General Ways to Generate Leads Using the Facebook Example

Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform in the world. With billions of users logged in each day, it only makes sense for business owners to take advantage of the networking possibilities and global scope of the platform. Business owners can create fan pages that are both dynamic and personalized to the goals of the company. It takes little effort for fans to like a company which will then allow them to become immediately prone to any updates the company makes.

Businesses need to develop posts that promote their brand subtly while also staying abreast of popular culture within their industry. They should also engage with customers by asking them to engage in the company. This can be accomplished by listening to fans, and asking what they want. When this is done, companies should use short words like comment, like, click, find etc. Call-to-action words need to be simple and short. Also, asking a question on a post is one of the most proven and effective ways to involve fans.

Most importantly, companies should not try to be something that they are not. This will keep fans loyal to the cause of the company and more likely to relate with you. For example, if your business goals are rather serious then do not post outrageous links to memes. Community outreach and local content driven posts are a great way to keep fans updated on the local economy, society and industry of your company’s community. You should link to other users who have posted interesting and relevant ideas. This will allow your fans to see that you are interested and trust what others have to say. Posts like these can also forge a viable community relationship with your followers when posting things that promote the common good.

The best thing to keep in mind when promoting your business is to have an end goal in mind. Most likely, that end goal is to develop leads, nurture them, and funnel them into paying customers. If you pay close attention to the analytics of your social media, then you can use that information to your advantage. Which posts were most popular? Is there a better time to post than others? The answers to these questions will help you target your ideal audience, niche base consumers, and even B2B outreach. You will be able to learn how much each like, fan, and click is worth if you use your information properly. Once you study your data, implement change so that you can see positive results.

14 Additional Ways to Engage Leads:

  • Keep shorts post to keep the consumer interested.
  • Post at different hours to grab the attention of different consumer groups.
  • Do not use shortened URLs. Keep those real!
  • Thursday and Friday are the best days to post because people spend more time on social media as it gets closer to the weekend.
  • Use action words like go, click, save, download, post, comment, like, retweet etc.
  • Keep content fresh and dynamic by staying on top of industry news.
  • Ask Questions
  • Ask fans to help in your creative process by naming or designing something for your business.
  • Get outside help (see outsourcing section below).
  • Special offers for each platform.
  • Place content everywhere and in as many ways possible i.e. polls, video, pictures etc!
  • Customize content per community and platform.
  • Grab consumer attention with witty and thoughtful headlines.

All of these suggestions can be basically utilized on all social media platforms. Of course, each platform is different and will require a different skill set to produce quality posts that engage the users on that particular website. In that case, consider the following advice when posting on:

Twitter

Twitter is the second most popular social media website for a reason- its short and to the point. Users have to get out their message in less than 140 characters. That means that posts need to be succinct but engaging in order for the consumer to feel drawn to the company. The best posts are funny and thought provoking. Do not be afraid to experiment when it comes to posting various content. You should also try posting at different times of the day to see when you get the best results.

Pictures on Twitter are a great way to show instant consumer news or products. The great thing about Twitter is that people can easily retweet Tweets that they like. This helps spread the news about companies and help them go viral. Always use a hashtag on posts to keep track on what is trending and to help boost company awareness. When used correctly, Twitter can engage leads and nurture them into prominent and loyal clients.

Google Plus

Google Plus is still relevantly new to the social media world in terms of popularity. However, both consumers and businesses are quickly understanding that it has clear advantages that cannot be found elsewhere. For example, Google Plus offers businesses the ability to have a post schedule. This helps regulate posts and keep them updated. Also, the headline of the Google Plus page can be customized unlike in Facebook. Many companies are using animated GIFs to attract the attention of consumers. Google Plus accounts can also use the hashtag to keep track of their trending posts. A business can/ should update and personalize their signatures so that circles will view the company in a more professional opinion. Visual content is an especially hot commodity on Google Plus. When posting videos or pictures, be sure to add links to that the user can be directed straight to a landing page. This will help you judge what is being viewed. Overall, Google Plus has clear advantages that use both visuals and text based posts to generating leads.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most professional networking site around. This being said, businesses should not post funky or witty posts. This will distract LinkedIn users from a businesses’ main goal which is to promote this business. LinkedIn is used mainly by B2B companies looking to network or partner. In order to promote a positive image on LinkedIn, keep posts relevant and intelligent. This will keep potential business partners on their toes and interested in the dynamic your company has to offer.

Additional Social Media Platforms

Visual platforms like YouTube or Pinterest are growing in their popularity because they offer consumers the chance to actually see an idea. Pictures and videos are much more relatable, and easy to grasp in an instant. It takes no time to look at a picture, whereas people must actually think and read a post. Thus, these platforms are growing thanks to their ability to allow users to engage in the content visually. It can be difficult to gain the attention needed on these websites because content is constantly updated. Posts should be highly professional and interesting to look at if you wish to generate leads on these websites.

Strategies on How to Get Information from Social Media Audiences

One of the most important aspects of successful social media marketing is turning fans into leads by getting their information i.e. emails. There are several ways that you can get these emails. One of the most proven ways is to offer something such as a discount; free information, free shipping, personalized advice etc. A simple call to action should be more than enough to get fans to sign up as they will already be interested in your company.

Also keep in mind that things as simple as understanding the psychology of call to action buttons or pop-ups can also help engage fans. For example, the size, color, placement and wording will all have an important impact on the mind of the consumer. Ideas such as this help you combine your efforts when nurturing your leads.

Nurturing Leads

Once you have that email, then you need to use newsletters and email blasts in a way to retain customers while softly promoting your business. You do not want to bombard customers with emails; keep things balanced. You can create rich content with enough support and visuals to get your idea across. Content should be educational, smart and engaging. Include widgets in emails to keep live feed updates of your social media accounts. This integration is a huge part of lead nurturing.

For example, integration is very important because it brings all of your social media accounts and loose ends together. People can see what you post one site in comparison to another. It also allows you the ability to reach more people who may or may not have multiple accounts and preference for one particular platform.

Outsourcing Can Help

Many times businesses lose focus when it comes to their social media concerns. Other times, they do not have a clue as how to start if they are new to the concept. In order to avoid wasting time or money, consider enlisting the help of specialist who can create great content that will increase your brand’s awareness and online presence. Outsourcing to specialists will ensure that you have the best of the best. Hire people who have proven results. Also, you can take ideas and strategies from one outsourced project and use them to create future content and campaign strategies. You often need to invest money into your company in order to make money. However, this is one example where a sound investment in outside help will be both cost effective and vital to your continued social media success.

Offer a special and specific discount that will allow you to see if people are actually using and reading your emails. As mentioned earlier, companies like Constant Contact, Chocobrain.com, or Hootsuite Pro can help you keep track of who is clicking on what and when. These metrics are your friends! Use this data as you would when organizing information for your social media content. They will tell you what posts are the best, and which are duds. This information will help you understand how social media funnels leads into paying and loyal customers.

Retaining and Converting Leads

This is the most important part of social media. Now that your content has crossed the divide of the B2C, you have gained their information and attention. Yet, how do you make customers into continual paying customers? Much of the information found under “Nurturing Leads” will help you retain and convert them. Landing pages need to eye catching and professional. You can also create specific landing pages with strong clear call to actions for each post made on your social media accounts. This will help you target specific clients and keep track of what is being viewed via metrics.

Most importantly, you just need to be smart about your content. As mentioned above, do not oversell! This cannot be stressed enough. You already have the fans, but you want to keep them. Take the time to create posts that link your company to the consumer. This is essential in B2B and B2C relationships and strategy.

Concluding Thoughts on Lead Generation and Social Media

As a modern business, your goal is to provide consumers with an answer to their problems. However, you have to implement specific strategies in today’s world if you wish to gain and retain customers. The best way to this is with a dynamic and compelling social media marketing strategy. If you wish to compete and stand out in each platform, then content has to be engaging and unique to the company on that it provides a direct link between the business and the consumer. Once you have their attention, then it is crucial to turn them into customers. This is the hardest part because you need to subtly sell to them without being overbearing. However, the best practices of social media campaigns offer a dynamic that will is both promotional and informational. You should keep these things in mind when reviewing data and creating content. When in doubt, do not be afraid to enlist the help of outside specialists. They can make a difference in your success. In conclusion, pay attention to the details, wishes, and data of your leads if you wish to be successful converting them.