Social media commands the attention of billions of people and cuts across every income level and social class. If you’re looking for your customers, they’re on social media.
The challenge is that most of the things marketers and businesses do on social media are interrupting them. People don’t log on to Facebook to see your ad or clever CTA. They’re not on Snapchat to see that subtle product placement. Irrespective of what you believe, they’re not on Instagram to be influenced.
That leaves us in a difficult position. On one hand, we need to implement solid social media lead generation tactics and prove an ROI. On the other hand, our prospects aren’t looking for us on social media.
There’s an art and a science to lead generation on social media. In this guide, you’ll learn what not to do as well as what will give you an edge and help you stand out from the crowd. When done right, leads will be the least of your worries.
What not to do
Before we jump into social media strategies and tactics, it’s important to understand what you should avoid at all times.
Because even if you get the other aspects right, this will hinder your ability to generate leads or you’ll generate a large number of unqualified leads. You may end up wasting resources on people who’ll never become customers. Many brands have gone through this and mistakenly decided social media wasn’t for them.
Don’t actively target those who can’t buy
There are many constraints around who can and cannot buy a product. Sometimes it’s obvious like when someone is at a company and needs a manager to approve a purchase. At other times, it’s not as obvious like when you’re going after a general consumer market.
If you use generic messaging then it can appeal to almost everyone which means you’ll spend more than you need to reach your real target market.
Before diving in with social media lead generation, create crystal clear buyer personas and messaging that will only appeal to them. The people who aren’t qualified will ignore your offers or posts and clear the way for the right prospects.
Use a shotgun approach
The other thing you want to avoid is figuring out what will work for you by trying everything in a haphazard way. Today you’re on Instagram trying to contact influencers, tomorrow you’re on Pinterest trying paid ads, and the week after that it’s Facebook groups.
Each one of those strategies can work and has worked well for people in the past. If you want to get the same kind or results then be methodical about it. Think about the synergies between your brand and the platform you’re trying to use.
It’s often difficult for B2B brands to gain traction and generate qualified leads on Instagram. Fashion brands don’t do as well on LinkedIn. Almost every brand has a place on Facebook.
The demographics of the platform, type of content, and so many other factors play a part in whether or not a social media platform can work for your business. Assess all of them beforehand and choose one or two to focus on based on KPIs important to you.
Doing everything manually
The last thing to avoid is doing everything manually. Yes, you want to do things by yourself at first to get a feel for the platform and how it works. Once you’ve put a system in place, automate as much of your day-to-day activities as you can.
This will free you up to follow up with leads and build meaningful connections with potential prospects. The best part is that there are countless automation tools that emphasize the safety of your account while allowing you to scale your efforts. You can easily program it to target specific users to initiate the first contact. After that, step in and take the conversation forward.
Many of the things I’ve mentioned here seem obvious. I agree that they appear to be but can you say you’ve not been guilty of at least one? Most of us have because it’s easy to take the path of least resistance when you’re not vigilant. Always check to make sure you’re not making simple mistakes.
How to do social media lead generation the right way
Successful social media lead generation isn’t about the actual lead generation tactics. You and I both know how to do that. Create a solid CTA and direct people off the platform to a landing page where they can take your desired action. Sometimes, it happens right on the social platform.
It’s not difficult once you have the trust of your followers or a certain amount of clout. The hard part is getting those eyeballs and commanding attention in the first place. That’s what I want to focus on here.
Put your audience needs first
I’ve mentioned that people are on social media for things other than clicking on your links and becoming a “lead.” With that being said, they still have specific needs related to your products or services. Focus on those.
For example, if you have software that helps them create newsletters, they still have issues with writing headlines, email content, formatting, and everything in between. Help them with those needs and, when you’ve shown you know what you’re talking about, ask for more.
Show up every day and build community
Social media moves fast and forgets easily. The star (July 31, 2020) becomes nothing more than a memory today. To stay relevant and get a steady flow of leads flowing through the door is to show up every day. Social media doesn’t sleep so neither can you but that’s where automation comes in.
The core focus of posting or otherwise interacting every day is to cultivate your community and connect on a deeper level. Many influencers, though successful in their own right, don’t have a strong community.
Brands that have put authentic interactions front and center have excelled while others have fallen by the wayside. An example of this is the way Drift does social media marketing and lead generation. It’s a B2B brand that makes software for different aspects of customer communication.
The former head of marketing, David Gerhardt, and other members of the team are always sharing candid insights and customer love. It can be a simple 30-second video with a single tip or a reposted image of customers loving the product.
Incorporate social media listening
The last step to ensure your efforts on social media are rewarded is to listen to what people have to say. You can do everything by the playbook and still fail.
Because the playbook can’t take all the possible situations you’ll encounter into consideration. That’s where social listening comes in. You’ll be able to gauge sentiment around your brand and what you’re doing in general. From those insights, you can adjust course or tackle a situation that has the potential to spiral out of control in the beginning.
For example, if you post something on social media that’s meant to be a joke but people take it the wrong way, it can go badly. If you get in front of it when the conversation starts then you can apologize quickly, admit your fault, and take steps to rectify it.
Social listening will also give you an idea of what people like (or dislike about your competitors) you can capitalize on that to enhance your strategy. In many cases, you’ll be able to acquire customers as a direct result of social listening. This is exactly what Close did.
The company paid attention to what prospects were saying and stepped in at the right time. The rest almost took care of itself.
Social media is where you can tap into an almost limitless number of customers for your business. But, there’s a caveat. If you go about it the wrong way, people will avoid your brand like the plague.
This article has laid out simple strategies that’ll make it easier to set up a working system on social media. Focus on the needs of your audience, be consistent and unique, and incorporate social media listening strategies.
Yes, it’s simple but most things aren’t as complicated as they seem. Let me know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to share.