The impact of social media is hard to deny – just look at the daily headlines. An estimated 69% of U.S. adults use social media, and 88% of those under 30. People may boast about likes, followers and retweets, but businesses report that social media generates leads.
Social media was initially used to grow brands and connect with customers, but now it is generating new business. Hootsuite reported in March 2019 that more than half of businesses do some form of social advertising, and that number is growing. Approximately 28% of marketers have social media marketing plans or intend to start one in the coming months. Social media, used judiciously, can play a cost-effective role in your lead generation efforts. Here are some pointers:
Know your audience and pick the right channel
You choose to advertise on a TV show or website because your ideal prospects are likely to view it. The same is true for social media channels. It is not about the number of users; it is about the users who are likely prospects for you. For example, Facebook drives the most traffic in the U.S., Pinterest appeals to women and Snapchat draws younger adults. However, LinkedIn reaches more C-level executives and is far more effective at generating B2B leads.
Create gated content
People search the web for advice and tips. To demonstrate your expertise, post blogs, guides, whitepapers, tip sheets or other content that would be invaluable to your potential customers. To garner leads, make a small amount available via search and put the bulk behind a “gate” that requires users to leave contact info. If the content interests them enough, most readers will be willing to provide basic contact details to gain access.
Offer discounts and run contests
Studies have shown that people will follow companies when they get a coupon, discount or entry into a contest. These will also attract people wanting freebies, so one way to improve the quality of the leads garnered is tying the prize or promotional pricing to your products, such as a free trial or free upgrade. Contacts gathered this way are more likely to be genuinely interested in your product.
Lean into social media advertising
While social media content can be targeted to some extent, advertising is the best way to reach a select group of potential customers. Social networks offer forms that gather leads directly within the network, but choose your platform carefully, considering the value being offered in return for contact details. Some social media sites automatically populate the contact information, so potential customers only have to click to connect. LinkedIn’s lead forms are pre-populated with details from the user’s LinkedIn profile, so are Facebook lead ads. Facebook owns Instagram, so ads can run on both. However, Instagram’s lead form only pre-populates the contact’s email, name, telephone number and gender.
LinkedIn is all business. Many use the site to find out about new products and approaches. Join in conversations and pose questions that will appeal to your target market. This appeals to LinkedIn’s algorithms and introduces you as an expert. Additionally, using their Post Options allows you to send the post to select groups and Twitter too.
If your content or product is highly visual, Instagram and Pinterest can be effective. People, particularly women, go to those sites for ideas. Pinterest boasts that 98% of Pinners try ideas they found on the network.Hootsuite reports that 77% of brands anticipate increasing their social media presence. If you are seeking to improve your social media marketing, DemandWorks Media can help. We are changing the lead generation game with more targeted, predictive methods. For more information on generating B2B leads on social media, fill in our contact form, email [email protected] or call 312-204-7275.