If you are interested in leveraging social media for leads, that is awesome! Because this can only mean that:
-Your brand already exists on social media.
-Your brand has been successful at other brand goals such as awareness and engagement.- (Or) You are a first timer on social media and want to explore the benefits of how businesses use social media for marketing.
So congratulate yourself on thinking in this direction. Now that you are ready to move above and beyond your previously set goals, let’s get started!
The key to getting the right answer to the question – ‘How businesses use social media for marketing or to generate leads?’ is simple. Start with understanding social media – What it means for people and what it means for brands.
What is ‘social media’ for your consumer?
Many people think of a few social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as social media. But in reality, there are so many! LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Quora Telegram, Youtube, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumbler also fall under the category of social media. So what exactly is social media? Social media are interactive technologies and digital channels that allow users to facilitate conversation, share and consume information, entertain and generate content. This is what social media is to your consumers.
What is ‘social media’ for your brand?
As a brand, social media is a place where your leads already exist in the form of followers. The place where users connect and enjoy is the same place where your brand should connect with its fans too by creating engaging content and conversations. Social media is the place where brands become human and the place where it can find its niche. It is also the place where your brand is within the reach of your consumers. Social media is the first place your customer uses to voice out their opinion about anything. Who knows.. Maybe that opinion could turn out to be a valuable review about your product or service.
The hidden agenda behind every social media plan…
Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. 66% of marketers that spend at least 6 hours on social media per week have gotten more leads. (Source)
You need SMM. The term SMM or Social Media Marketing is a service that a digital marketing agency provides to a brand that wants to widen its reach, create awareness about its brand or a new product launch, increase traction on its social media page and more. But one of the most important reasons for brands to take the help of social media marketing agencies is to generate leads – The hidden agenda behind all brand goals! Goodwill is important but at the same time it’s business and sales that your brand ultimately needs.
How businesses use social media for marketing…
Generating leads is a messy process when you are trying to figure things out for your own brand. There are biases, emotions, or no emotions at all – only profits that you want to see. That’s fair! But go up this road with a social media agency that has the expertise to conduct research, analysis, tests, understand the different demographics of every platform and arrive at a solution that works for your brand, guess who is the winner… You will actually land up saving time and money this way.
Many of your customers might be on Instagram, rather than Facebook or Google. Therefore, figuring out the platform that you should be trying to generate leads on, is the first step and is crucial. This can only be done via experimentation. Who knows what you might discover!
Here are some lead generating social media strategies used by business today:
#1 Post Valuable Content
Consumers today are really smart. They can tell when you are posting something for their benefit or yours. So not everything that you post on your feed should seem like a sell. Make sure your content provides value to your followers. Your content bank should include buckets like education (regarding your industry) or advice. It helps to post content that is evergreen, and that which talks to the same niche. This will ensure that a user who sees your post and likes your page will keep receiving content that is as per his linking. This is better than having a user watch some trending content on your reel for example and then never interact on your page because of conflict of interests. While creating content, be generous in providing information. Always ask yourself- ‘What’s in it for them..’
#2 Run Contests
It doesn’t really take much effort or resources to think of a contest idea for your niche. Discounts, offers and contests are always attractive to consumers. But to make sure you get quality leads through your contest, always make sure the prize is tuned to the likings of your niche and your brand values. Let’s elaborate on this…
If the prize is an iPhone, and your’s is a cookware brand, chances are that your contest will attract more junk leads. As such leads would be interested in the prize and not in your brand.
#3 Use Social Ads
Due to the variety of demographic and geographic segmentations on social media you need to use social media advertising. Social media ads also known as ‘paid ads’, can be optimized according to your niche and your goal. Knowing the algorithms behind the success of paid ads on different platforms is a plus. Paid ads are inexpensive compared to traditional media and can be measured anytime. With the help of pixels, you can also track where your leads are coming from.
If you are running ads on social media, you should be collecting insights too. Insights are nothing but feedback on your messaging, design or targeting. For example, the lead quality of an ad created with bright colors could be significantly better than one created with white or light colors. Or sometimes ads that have faces in them work better than those that are only textual or vector based. This is why experimentation or testing is important when it comes to using social media ads for marketing campaigns.
#5 Call To Action
Every piece of content that you post on social media should direct your audience to a particular action. Why give users information in exchange for nothing… You can ask them to visit your website, book a seat, DM or call or maybe just ‘share’ or ‘like’. It could be anything! In the case of some social media platforms adding a link in your post is not an option. So you need to make sure that all your contact details are in your profile and maybe, spruce up your profile while you are at it.
#6 Go Live
Videos in general are one of the most attractive ways to gain the attention of your customers on social media. Live videos are even better – provided you have something worth listening to. Your topic selection should be good and your presenter should be strong. You can also have a session to answer queries that your viewers comment alongside your video. Other ways to use live videos is to demonstrate your product or have an interesting conversation with a subject matter expert.
#7 Landing Pages
Just like a neat profile you also need to have a proper landing page. Sometimes your landing page would be your website. But if it is for example a webinar, you need to have specific details about it on a landing page. The look of your page should be seamless, both design and content wise and should be optimized for mobile screens as well. But most importantly your ad or post should be relevant to your landing page for best results. After all, you have made the effort of convincing a user to click on it. Thus you might as well display what was promised in your ad.
#8 Referral Campaigns
Earlier referrals happened by word of mouth. But social media has changed the scenario today. Have you tried a referral campaign that is social media friendly? – Just imagine the success rate. Referral campaigns are great for doubling the number of interested leads. If you start a referral campaign on social media you can promote via multiple marketing channels. The catch here is to track where your leads are coming from. For this you can use systems or tools that can help speed up the process.
#9 Social Selling
Over 90% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing. (Content Marketing Institute, 2021: Source)
Social selling is a new way of selling via social media. It is not about hard selling, but it is more about building bridges with your consumers or partners. You can get very creative with social selling. Take LinkedIn InMail for example. Even out here, you need to have a credible profile and get endorsements for your skills before you start, as that is the first thing users are going to check if they receive an InMail from a stranger. Your style of writing or rather copywriting for such mails will matter in this instance. On Facebook you can join groups where you are bound to have like-minded people ready and interested in your product or service.
A fresh start in social media deserves fresh thoughts and ideas from experts who have been there and done that. If you are looking for a social media marketing agency in Mumbai or globally, try searching for a hybrid digital marketing company that can promise the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign and change the face of your business online.