A general misconception about social media is that it is used for brand building and not selling. In reality, social media is more than just a medium to connect with your customers and a platform to showcase your brand. If employed correctly, social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram can generate solid leads for any business. And the best part is that generating leads on social media is extremely cost effective, and guarantees results.

Now, the real question is: How can you transform social media marketing campaigns from a branding exercise to a lead generating source?

Social Media and Lead Generation – What’s the Connection?

What is lead generation? Lead generation is about bringing the target audience into your sales funnel It is not selling, rather gathering information about your potential customers. You are able to find out:

  • What are they interested in
  • What can you potentially sell them
  • What are their pain points
  • How can you convert them into paying customers

For the longest time, leads were generated in ways such as sending out surveys by post, or by having to fill out a form in the back of a magazine. But the rise of internet transformed how leads were generated. The current times call for email subscriptions, digital ad campaigns, and video marketing that are used to get potential customers into your sales funnel. As all of this takes place online, it is faster and easier to track, and the opportunity to gather data for each lead is incredible. The most common piece of information to collect from leads is the email address.

Now, let’s get into how social media platforms play a significant role. Social media eases the process of gathering intelligence on leads because of all the information people share, and also due to the high amount of people on sites such as Facebook and Instagram. In a time where people spend more time socialising on social media than in person, social media becomes the ideal place to locate your target audience, and to convert them into new sales leads.

Selecting the Right Channel

Attempting to generate leads from the wrong social media channel is an oversight most marketers makes from the onset. Begin with knowing and understanding your customers. With over 1.47 billion daily active users on Facebook, it is often assumed to be the number one choice. However, it might not always be the most appropriate choice. For instance, B2B marketers have a greater chance to generate leads through LinkedIn than Facebook. So, finding out which social media platform(s) your target audience is most likely to be active on is the first basic step in lead generation.

Generating Leads via Facebook

To be able to generate a sizeable amount of leads through Facebook requires running paid ads. The tweaks to Facebook’s algorithm have made organic reach far challenging than ever before. But the good news is that Facebook Ads are far more economical than Google Ads.

If you are looking to run paid ads or simply trying to convert your followers into leads, below are fw useful tips.

1. Run a Contest

Contest have been extremely popular on Facebook for many years, and still continue to be. Although it attracts a lot of freebie seekers, it is nevertheless a great way to drive traffic to your page, build your audience, and collect information about your prospective customers who can eventually be reached with the right ads at the right time.

2. Build a Custom Tab

Facebook allows you to set up custom tabs on your page. Custom tabs are a great way to showcase custom content along with the default tabs such as “About” and “Photos” – which make for a great place to set up a contact form. These forms are perfect for capturing leads on Facebook without having them to direct them to an external website. To grab more eyeballs, make sure you link custom tabs in your posts or when using paid ads.

3. Consider your page like a secondary website

Your Facebook page is more than a tool to amass fans and followers. Utilising your page as a lead generation tool will also influence the style of content you post, the type of ads your run, and even the tabs you set up.

Generating Leads via LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the top social media site for acquiring B2B leads. As it appeals to professionals, it is a natural lead generation tool. Then again, make sure you define your goals before going into this.

1. Offer a Free Sample

It is a great trick for acquiring strong leads. LinkedIn Premium allows business to reach solid leads based on job role and other relevant criteria, then reach them through InMail directly. The most significant upside is that it helps you reach the decision makers directly.

2. Combine LinkedIn & Inbound Marketing with LinkedIn Publishing

Cold calling and email blast might still work, but inbound marketing is found to be more effective in driving more leads into your sales funnel than traditional outbound methods. Inbound marketing is incredibly valuable as it focuses on attracting prospective customers via SEO, blogs and social media. Content marketing falls within the realm of inbound marketing. In fact, inbound marketing is driven by the principle that content is the key to educate your target audience which in turn inspires them to take action. The increasingly popular publishing platform on LinkedIn is an ideal ground for:

  • Showcasing your technical know-how
  • Providing insights about your industry that professionals will notice
  • Acquiring qualified leads in the process

3. Get on SlideShare

SlideShare now acquired and integrated into LinkedIn is an impressive content sharing platform. As most people are visual learners, slide decks are the perfect vehicle to explain a concept or tell a story via slide decks in a way that hooks the viewer and keeps them following along. Ensure that your LinkedIn and SlideShare accounts are connected so that your presentations are seen on your LinkedIn profile.

Generating Leads via Instagram

Many consider lead generation on Instagram rudimentary when compared to Facebook. While in fact, Instagram has grown to become a significant medium for yielding leads. With a wide reach and exponential level of user engagement

1. Locating your customers on Instagram

Whether your audience love adventure travel, luxury holidays or beach staycations, audience targeting enables you to serve ads to the people you care about most. Once you pin down the location and identify the demographics such as age, gender, and interests of your target audience, it is easier to target your ad to the right people. Further to these, there are more helpful targeting options too that are based on connections.

  • Custom Audiences – Create an audience of your existing customers
  • Lookalike Audiences – Reach a new audience of people who are similar to customers you care about
  • Automatic Targeting – Instagram helps you quickly create an audience that might be interested in your business, using various indicators such as locations, demographics, and interests

2. Be Strategic with Scheduling and Posting Content

If you are wondering about how many times a day or week should you post, there is no rule of thumb. Many agree that no more than two a day should suffice. If you decide to publish two posts, then maintain an interval of a few hours as you don’t want to spam your followers with back-to-back posts. Another thing to bear in mind, is the timing of the post. People tend to spend more time on Instagram in certain hours of the day, for example lunch time or after work. So work out the best time to post after a test run.

3. Run teasers of onsite content

Instagram can be cleverly used for nurturing leads. Have a go at teasing website content or a blogpost with a crafty Instagram post, and try driving traffic to a product page or a particular landing page. As long as it is relevant and attention grabbing, your followers can convert into potential leads.

Social Media isn’t simply a branding tool

Transform the way your business utilizes social media, and start exploiting Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram for more than just branding. Acquire more value by using these platforms to generate leads. If you are inspired to harness the power of social media marketing, drop us a line at girish@markathon.io