Social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and, if used appropriately, generating leads. However, it’s the last point that brands tend to have the most trouble with. As marketers, everything we do should have a business impact, and there’s no better way to prove business impact than generating leads and proving good, old-fashioned ROI. So, without further ado, here are some do’s and don’ts for generating leads on social media.
DON’T continually broadcast your messages.
DO make the switch from monologue to social dialogue marketing.
Social media is intended to be social – meaning it’s a conversation between you and your community. Start off on social media by listening, and find the topics that your audience is interested in. Once you have a firm grasp of the types of conversations that take place on each network, begin contributing to them. This will help you position yourself as an expert and build trust with your community. Then you’ll be top of mind when they need advice or when they’re ready to talk about your product. No need to broadcast, your prospects know where to find you when they’re ready.
DON’T be overly promotional.
DO add value.
Adding to the previous point, the type of information you share will determine your level of community engagement. Promotional content is not likely to get much engagement, and certainly won’t build any trust if brought up too early. Make sure you’re adding value to your community and building relationships first, and earning the right to discuss your product. Let your prospects see you as a resource, and they’ll be sure to come to you when they need to discuss solutions.
DON’T miss the opportunity to sell, when it arises.
DO use a social media monitoring solution to ensure you don’t miss valuable opportunities.
Set up social media monitoring to alert you when your brand name, your competitor’s brand name, or your product category is mentioned. For example, if someone has a question or complaint about a competitor, offer him or her advice to help solve the problem. This can go a long way in building a relationship, and your prospect isn’t likely to forget you when its time for contract renewals.
Are you sensing a theme yet? Generating leads on social media is all about social conversations.
DON’T treat all networks the same.
DO utilize the unique features each social network has to offer.
Each social network has unique opportunities for generating leads. For example, get fans to your Facebook page with great engagement and content and let them discover your Facebook Tabs where they can download an eBook, subscribe to your email list, or participate in a survey or contest. Or get fans to your LinkedIn page, where they can discover your product pages.
The Moral of the Story?
Generating leads on social media is about building a strong social community through conversation, and building relationships. Discuss promotional content sparingly, and only when initiated by the other party. Your goal is to stay top of mind, so that your prospects reach out to you when they’re ready to buy. When that time comes, make sure you’ve optimized your social profiles (and website!) for conversions. Keep experimenting with different messages, calls to action and lead generation tactics to see what resonates with your community. Social media can be a great tool for generating leads, but you have to realize that it’s less supportive of on direct response than your more traditional lead generation channels.