— June 18, 2018
Are you struggling to generate additional leads for your growing business through social media? In a poll, 63% of online marketers admitted that social media lead generation was their most difficult challenge. However, 70% of those same marketers stated that converting these leads into customers was their highest priority.
It should be noted that having a social media presence does not automatically guarantee a successful lead generation strategy. It is unwise to assume that potential customers will magically come to your offerings without a proper plan for engagement and outreach. While having a presence is the first step, it is not inherently useful in appropriate lead development.
There are plenty of incredible tactics and techniques that can be utilized by your brand to increase your potential for lead generation through social media channels. Irrespective of the market and size of your business, the following advanced methods can be used with great success to generate leads for your brand through social media marketing.
Advertising directly on the platforms means using your budgeted money to spend on targeting individuals who might not be engaging with your product or service page to do so. This is used apart from organic posting to push lead generation.
Social platform advertising is one of the most reliable bets for advanced marketing techniques. It not only gathers leads but immediately puts them in a situation where they can convert into paying customers.
Most channels require a significant amount of lead time to yield some form of Return-on-Investment (ROI). An example of this is content marketing, which is one of the strongest players in the long run (after garnering SEO traction and harvesting links), but takes an extended amount of time for returns to be seen.
Platform advertising barriers to entry can be incredibly high, AdWords being a great example. Countless businesses are vying for advertising space for specific keywords in Google, YouTube, Blogspot and other Google services. While this platform can provide consistent results for brands, it takes a good bit of time, experience, and expertise to master optimization of ad copy and placements.
There are four main categories of social media platforms that allow advertising focused on lead generation:
- Social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+
- Microblogging platforms, like Tumblr and Twitter
- Photo sharing sites, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest
- Video sharing platforms, like Facebook Live, YouTube, Vimeo, and Periscope
Harnessing these platforms and optimizing ad placement can work wonders for your business’ social media strategy.
A brand example of platform advertising done right is the ultra-successful Slack. They had a Facebook advertising campaign called “Make Work Better”, aimed at doing just that. They focus on the user’s feelings, are imaginative with their copy and imagery, and provide a snappy tagline and great CTAs.
Tips to cultivate perfect platform advertising chops
- Use social media to engage with your email subscribers. Not enough businesses are using social media to build lasting and profitable relationships with their current subscribers.
- To be successful in leveraging social media for growing your business, you must create a systematic approach to building your network and your brand.
Actionable Facebook Advertising
Facebook Ads is one of the largest and consequently the strongest method to quickly access specific demographics of people. Utilizing their advertising platform for lead generation through actionable Facebook advertising is a beautiful advanced technique to bolster your social media marketing efforts.
When your marketing team has captured awareness and created the necessary demand for your product or service, potential customers can click through action-focused Facebook advertising to perform tasks such as:
- Signing up to your website for further information
- Installing and interacting with your mobile application
- Visit your e-commerce store
- Opt into an email subscription form, and much more
Understanding the type of groups that are interested in converting into sales will assist your brand in reconnecting with these people later and encourage them to complete transactions. Facebook offers four different types of advertising that translate well between desktop and mobile devices: video ads, photo ads, carousel ads, and link ads. ‘Call-to-action’ (CTA) buttons and the copy on these advertisements urge action from your audience.
Social media is pure marketing. For this reason, it should have a CTA now and then. Do not be scared to promote your business, add a link to your landing pages, invite some feedback from visitors, or suggest next steps for your intended audience.
A brand example of lead driving with actionable Facebook advertising is Thistle, which delivered a chunk of a long-form blog post with a high quality, branded image, and then followed it up with a ‘Learn More’ button that clicks through to their website.
Tips for actionable Facebook advertising
- Don’t overdo it by stuffing your copy with CTAs. Nobody is going to sign up to your site, subscribe to your email list, download your app, and visit your store all in the same ad space.
- Do proper research before diving in. Get to know your audience, define them, and then cater to their needs.
- Study your competition well. See what other businesses in your niche are doing regarding their actionable Facebook advertising campaigns.
Contests and Winners
Running contests, announcing the winners of those contests as well as the prizes won, works exceptionally well to push your audience’s attention towards your brand.
Not only does social media help businesses bond with their audiences that own the marketplace, but contests can help speed up a brand’s ability to build relationships by hacking into what is known as the ‘Rule of Reciprocation’ – If your brand gives your customers something, they feel as if they should give your brand something in return.
Contests and winners through social media channels are lovely for social media marketing and can assist in many ways:
- Boosting online engagement: In an era where customers strive for deeper connections with markets, contests work to inspire the audience – to make the first move, to reach out and interact with your business.
- Building email lists: Your customers are already aware of traditional lead harvesting advertising strategies. Hence, convincing your followers that they are being rewarded for providing information improves chances of the contest turning into a successful lead generation event.
A brand example of proper utilization of contests and winners is Qwertee. They ran an incredibly successful Facebook contest. Users just had to ‘like’ their page and submit an email for a chance to win 1,000 free shirts each week. They ran the contest every week to reach their goal of getting a total of 100,000 Facebook ‘likes’.
Tips for stellar social media contests
- Read through the terms and conditions of your chosen social media platform before pulling the trigger on a contest. Some rules and regulations forbid certain types of contests.
- Make it clear that the contest is not being put on by the social platform.
- For Facebook, only business pages can be used to run a contest. If you only have a personal Facebook profile, you’ll need to create a business page before launching your first contest.
Sharing Gated Content
Gated content requires users to fill out information before accessing it. Sharing links to content that is gated is a wonderful tool for increasing lead generation via social media. This gated content works to boost the interests of your audience to realize their worth and then use them as potential customers.
There are some trade-offs to gating content, just like any other marketing technique. Gating of content is performed with the primary goal of generating leads, which can be nurtured through marketing funnels or other means.
However, there are other reasons brands gate their content. Sometimes, the content is too valuable to be provided for free. Other times, brands are looking to deliver their content only to parties interested in converting to customers.
The downside to gating this content is that once it is positioned behind a form, the content will almost always not be viewed as often. Ungated articles are far more likely to reach viral stages compared to gated ebooks that require visitors to sign-up.
While gating can be a potent tool to generate leads through social media audiences instantly, it should be used carefully as not to scare away potential customers. Ideally, it should be placed later in the marketing funnel.
A wonderful brand example of gated content done right is Pardot. Their Salesforce lead funnel page was designed to persuade visitors to download the marketing automation white paper. Customer logos near the CTA showcase other major brands that use Pardot, which helps convince their visitors.
Tips for making wonderful gated content
- Determine if your objective is to build awareness or to generate leads.
- Research to see if your competition is offering ungated content – the one which you’d like to have as gated content for free. Nobody is going to download an ebook that is freely available from a competitor.
Hosting Webinars or Twitter Chats
Hosting Twitter chats or webinar-style video conferencing via social media with your potential leads – is one of the strongest ways of interacting one-on-one with audiences interested in your product or service. This form of social media marketing is the most personal approach to reaching consumers.
The process for diving into live social media webinars and Twitter chats is simple: Discover a topic that will appeal to your specific segment of the industry, and then plan a chat or webinar on that exact topic.
However, note that these webinars and chat sessions are in no way meant for directly trying to sell your brand’s product or service. Instead, they serve to inform your audiences about topics that have already piqued their interest.
Webinars are very low-cost methods to get your business’ message to a broad audience and effectively attracts plenty of leads. Utilizing Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram Live are perfect, free methods to attack the ‘one-to-many’ approach for lead generation.
One of the most well-known brands taking advantage of “webinar” style social platform marketing is Buzzfeed. Their consistently high-quality use of Instagram Live and Facebook Live for marketing efforts includes their popular watermelon explosion stream.
Tips for great webinars and Twitter chats
- Keep things simple. Whether going for Twitter chats or live video feeds and conversations, don’t overwhelm your audience.
- If you are going the webinar route on Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat or any other video streaming service, make sure your video feed and internet connection are of high quality. Nothing is worse than a frustrated viewer.
Leveraging of Cold Outreach
Harnessing the power of cold outreach is an incredible resource and skill to have when performing proper social media marketing processes.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for these processes. Their messaging service has been proven to be three times more effective than similar emails, so their potential for networking and lead generation is incredibly high. LinkedIn has over a half-billion users, and their cold outreach processes allow marketers to send messages to any of them.
The overall goal of LinkedIn and other business-minded social platforms is to assist in building business relationships with other users. So, don’t let the fear factor of cold messaging outreach on social platforms turn down the heat on potential lead generation opportunities. Make sure no stone is left uncovered, including those stones which have yet to interact with your brand.
Tips for interesting emails for outreach
Ensure that the email is drafted in a way that it is specific to the particular recipient. General emails read like spam.
Include a strong CTA in the mail, for instance, ‘what would you like me to do’, ‘should we meet up’, or ‘should I call you’.
The techniques mentioned above are some of the most reliable strategies in assisting brands to achieve substantial success in generating leads for their businesses on social media.
Billions of people around the world are using social platforms to interact with one another, and with businesses as well. Harnessing this incredible power to reach out to your consumers and convert them into your customers is one of the most vital assets your business has when it comes to marketing to your audiences.