How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads

use_social_to_generate_leadsWhen you’re connecting on social media, you aren’t wasting your time. With each interaction, your target audience finds another point of commonality and engages another level deeper with your brand. But, at the same time, wouldn’t it be great if you could use your time spent on social media to actually generate leads? You can, and it comes down to using social media to its maximum potential.

Social media gives you an opportunity to get close and interact with your customers, so you know their pain points, you know where they stand in the buying process and you know what they value in your brand. If you’re not already, you should be using social media to build trust and to position yourself as the best in what you do.

This is different from the traditional method, where you have one chance to to self-promote, displaying your products and services and leaving it up to the customer to make the purchase decision. Social media gives you the time to build a relationship before reaching the decision point.

Check out some statistics on the effectiveness of generating leads using social media versus a more traditional method:

  • When you compare the average lead conversation rate and social media lead conversation rates, the latter are a higher by 13 percent
  • Companies that use Twitter get two times the total number of leads every month compared to those that do not
  • Social media produces almost twice the number of leads of PPC, telemarketing, trade shows or direct mail

Now, your company is most likely already on social media. So to generate more qualified leads, it’s time to ramp up your efforts.

Twitter

Twitter is one of the best channels to connect and interact with like-minded individuals in your industry or niche. Search out hashtags that relate to your business and join the conversation. If you feel ambitious, plan a chat to be at a specific time on a specific topic and encourage your followers to participate and spread the word.

Also, search for your industry keywords to discover what questions and discussions are happening around them, which will help you get to know your customers’ complaints and problems, and give you a chance to answer them. When you effectively and satisfactorily answer their questions or provide a solution to their problems, you increase your standing as an industry leader and build trust and visibility, leading to more leads.

LinkedIn

Not only should you have a profile on LinkedIn, but your business should have a page as well. Plus, you should be joining industry-related groups and participating regularly. Share articles, ask and answer questions, post events and webinars…any interaction within a group lets others know that you are a thought leader and interested in pushing your business forward. The LinkedIn group directory will help you find groups to join if you aren’t part of any. You can also consider starting your own group based on general topics regarding your business or industry if there isn’t a satisfactory option.

One of LinkedIn’s most interesting features is that you can see who’s viewed you profile. This may be a stretch when it comes to generating leads, but you can check out if they are good prospects, and then like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Pinterest

Even if your business isn’t visual-centered, you can still create “pinnable” content. Pinterest recently rolled out article pins that make blog posts and articles more attractive to pin. Be sure that any photos or images you include with your content are interesting, attractive and a good representation of your content. Don’t forget to pin captivating product photos, infographics and other industry-related images.

Facebook

You should already be answering every comment or question you receive and keeping your audience updated with promotions, but you can ramp up your efforts to generate leads by creating and/or posting compelling content that people will share. Simply posting product information isn’t going to cut it for generating leads on Facebook. You must search out or create content that will push people to share. It may be a silly photo, an infographic, a helpful blog post, but people won’t share it unless they find some value in it or it delights them in some way.

Engaging actively on social media is perhaps the fastest and most effective method to generate relevant and qualified leads. There are practically limitless opportunities to interact with potential leads. The bottom line is that you’re constantly looking for ways you can deliver content to your audience, answer their questions and meet their needs.

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