Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden. Social Garden specializes in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.
You have your social media accounts all set up and ready to go, but do you know how to use them to generate leads?
Read on and learn how to use each social media platform to generate solid leads and make your social media marketing an overall success.
Facebook is like the hub of social media. Everyone can post content from other sites to it, and nearly everyone has a Facebook account. This makes the social media platform instrumental in your lead generation plan.
Above all other social media platforms, Facebook's advertising services target exactly who you want and can put your content right into the hands of those most likely to use it. After all, you spend so much time creating great, quality content on your blogs so you might as well share it with new potential clients.
The Promoted Post feature puts your best content on the Facebook feeds of those most likely to be intrigued and click. You might promote a link to a free ebook or upcoming webinar you are hosting, or you might promote your most popular blog article. The only think you cannot post is a direct link to any sort of landing or product page. This is not the time to sell.
Whatever promotional angle you decide to use, make sure you have a sign-up form or some way of getting visitors to give you their email addresses. This is the best way to collect the leads that click on your posts.
Sending out well-crafted tweets with defining hashtags is a great start, but you might have more success generating leads if you are participating in or hosting Twitter chats. Any Twitter account can host a discussion and anyone interested is allowed to participate. The host will decide on a relevant hashtag so everyone participating can find the most recent posts by searching for the hashtag.
If you are unsure about hosting one, try participating in a few chats to see how it is done. You will meet both other industry leaders as well as consumers, and you will be free to voice your own opinions on certain subjects. This is a great way to gain exposure for your brand and introduce it to a new group of consumers.
Whether you are participating or hosting, there are a few things to keep in mind when posting. These will help you make better use of your time and hopefully generate more leads:
- Stick to the designated hashtag.
- Add insightful comments that show your understanding of the industry and the topic at hand.
- Stay on topic and do not pitch any of your services or products.
- Research the people who are active participants by checking out their profile. If you think they might be a good fit for you, follow them. More than likely, they will follow you back.
Be active in Twitter chats and your brand will reach new consumers.
Cendrine Marrouat of Social Media Slant hosts a monthly Twitter chat using #smslantchat where users discuss various aspects of digital marketing.
Want to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your company? Instagram, the photograph platform, is perhaps best used for showing off the personal side of your business. It gives you the chance to showcase your staff's antics and offer a glimpse at what it is really like to be a part of your company.
By introducing your staff members to the world, you're giving a face to your brand and humanising it. Your brand inspires these people at work every day so show your consumers why it is so great to work for you and be a part of your company.
You can also send live updates from promotional events you attend and show readers what you are up to. This is a great way to attract people to a local event or trade show that you are participating in, and you can offer small discounts to followers who attend the event or trade show and stop by your booth.
Want to show off your company's creativity and style? With Pinterest, you can create a board that represents your brand, and you can create multiple boards to meet the needs and wants of certain sectors of your audience.
To generate the best leads from Pinterest, optimise your pins for maximum pin-ability:
- Craft the perfect board to match your audience's tastes
- Select visually stunning images - create your own or use others you love (Hint: tall images tend to get more pins)
- Use your URL or UTM parameters to lead visitors back to your website
- Create a short and sweet copy description - less than 200 words is best
- Include a relevant hashtag if necessary
Promote your boards on multiple sites and encourage your followers to pin their favourite posts.
One of the best lead generation features about LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups. The site hosts hundreds of individual niche groups that participate in monthly, weekly and some even daily discussions together. The groups bring all sorts of industry professionals with similar interests together in one place where they can talk about the issue that matter most to their business.
There is no limit to the amount of groups that you can belong to, and you can always start your own group. You might start a small business support group for your area and invite other local small businesses in your area to participate. You can share marketing ideas and connect with other businesses who might be interested in doing some cross promotion with you.
Regardless of whether you start a LinkedIn group or participate in existing ones, you should be regularly posting questions, commenting on other's opinions (politely) and answering any questions that people post. Like Twitter chat, active participation is key, and you should avoid doing any sales pitching. Doing so will only make people think that you are there to sell it them.
Research the participants in the group and take note of anyone who continually asks questions. You may answer them directly on the group chat and then follow up with a more in-depth direct message. This will help you build a good relationship with your fellow group members and portray your expert knowledge.