Whether you’re a small business or an established company, B2B or B2C, social media is an important strategy for capturing leads and building your customer base. Email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and other promotional strategies are all helpful, but if you aren’t engaging and building your client base on social media, you’re leaving money on the table.
Fortunately, there are plenty of clear, practical ways you can use social media to build leads and capture customers.
Here are 12 strategies to implement to kick your social media marketing campaigns into high gear.
Facebook is a great way to generate business engagement, simply because of the sheer number of people that use the platform. No matter who you’re targeting, you’ll find them on Facebook. Here are four ways to use this extensive network of access to your advantage on Facebook:
1. Share your blog posts. One of your goals is to get new leads back to your “home base” – your website. By sharing your blog posts on social media, you’ll encourage viewers to visit your site, while also promoting your in-post CTAs and product offers.
2. Install a Form Tab on your Business Page. Few people realize they can do this, but you can create a lead-capture form right on your Facebook page. Use it to offer a freebie in return for contact information, and use some of your posts to promote the free giveaway.
3. Run contests. People love a contest, and you can build a great database of leads by running one on Facebook. Offer a valuable giveaway in return for an email, letting prospects know that they will also receive a newsletter, blog updates, or marketing information.
4. Use Facebook Promoted Posts and Other Facebook Ads. When done well, Facebook ads can be a great way to generate new leads in a targeted demographic. Promote your blog posts and direct people to your sign-up form for your free giveaway.
The quick nature of Twitter makes it a frustrating platform for some entrepreneurs, but it remains a great way to generate leads, build community, and gain new customers. Here are four ways to build leads on this platform:
5. Use Twitter Cards. Twitter cards are a little-known, but free part of the Twitter Ad platform. While you do have to enter a credit card number to sign up for Twitter Ads, you won’t be charged for the cards. Once set up, use these lead generation cards to allow your followers to submit their contact information to you with a single click in exchange for freebies or contest entries.
6. Educate followers about your products. Although Twitter is a short-form platform, you can still use it to easily share links to informative articles or to your own blog. Use this strategy to educate your followers and to drive readers back to your site where they can convert into new leads.
7. Build an active, targeted following. You can have more followers than any of your competitors or anyone else in your industry, but if you’re interacting with the wrong audience, it’s all for nothing. On Twitter, you have to take the time to build a targeted following—people who will relate to your tweets and the solutions you offer. Apps like Narrow can help you build a passionate, active community to engage with, market to, and convert.
8. Focus on ONE link. One mistake many businesses make on Twitter is to add multiple links and hashtags to a lead gen tweet. Remember that prospects feel paralyzed by choice, and that presenting a single option makes it more likely that people will follow through on the action you’re trying to promote. Keep things simple with a clear call-to-action, one link, and no other hashtags or mentions.
9. Use Promoted Tweets to supplement organic reach. Like Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads can help you get your message in front of new prospects in a targeted demographic. Use promoted tweets to supplement your normal outreach, following the guidelines described above to encourage the highest number of new viewers and prospects possible to complete your lead-gen activity.
Despite competition from sites like Instagram and Snapchat, Pinterest is still growing rapidly. As a result, this social network represents a great way to bring in new business to your company since the highly-visual medium can be adapted to fit any industry.
Here are three great ways to leverage this important resource and build leads from Pinterest:
10. Share images and links to blog posts. The simplest way to generate new leads and customers on Pinterest is to use the content you post there to drive social followers to your own original content. Since your blog posts are housed on your site and contain compelling calls-to-action—at least, they should—this strategy is a great way to introduce them to your on-site sales funnel.
11. Offer free reports or worksheets. Another great way to build leads from Pinterest is to publish cards that promote your company’s free lead magnet content pieces, which should ideally provide valuable information in exchange for an email address opt-in. Carrying out this strategy will build a lead base that you can then nurture into customers, though—for best results, it’s a good idea to pair this technique with an automated email solution that will follow up once the lead magnet is requested.
12. Directly offer products for sale. Pinterest is a great place for companies with physical products to promote their items. With a great image of your product linking back to your sales page, you’ll find that it’s easy to generate both sales and interest through Pinterest.
Capturing leads on social media doesn’t have to be daunting. It’s key, however, to follow up with all new leads quickly. You don’t want people to forget why they’re hearing from you, or what your original offer was. An automated email follow-up can be a very helpful for this purpose, as can testing, testing, and testing some more! Combining these recommendations with the techniques described above will help you focus on what works best for your brand.
How do you use your social media presence to generate new leads and new customers? Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comment section below!
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About the Author
Sujan Patel is the VP of Marketing at When I Work and founder of ContentMarketer.io. He's helped companies like Mint, TurboTax, Salesforce, and others land more customers, make more money, and grow their businesses. As the Founder and former CEO of Single Grain, he grew his business from a bootstrapped consulting startup to a multi-million dollar digital marketing agency.Follow on Twitter More Content by Sujan Patel