How to Use Social Media to Collect Leads
Social media isn’t just a great place to catch up with family, see your high school friend’s new baby photos, or get into heated political arguments.
When implemented thoughtfully, marketers that focus on offering value and building relationships with their audience can easily tap into the goldmine that is social media for lead generation.
There are many ways to pick up leads through social channels. Typically, lead generation falls into three buckets:
- Pursuing individual leads
- Promoting gated content
- Promoting products and services
Keep in mind that people are more likely to purchase from companies and individuals that they know and trust. Offering value, giving advice, and building a relationship is key to generating leads from social media.
For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on sharing eight tips on the three big platforms for lead generation – Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram.
Generating leads through Facebook is often done through paid ads. In this way, you can target the exact audience you want. Whether you’re looking to send a retargeting ad to someone that just visited your website or sending an ad to new customers based on location or other demographics, Facebook allows you to pinpoint your ideal audience. Whether you decide to pursue paid or organic, here are some ways you can leverage Facebook to drive leads to your page or website.
Optimize your page like a website
Facebook pages are free, and so are the customization options. It is important to fill out everything possible to let your audience know what to expect from your business. Here are some tips.
- Embed your email list signup form directly on your page. For example, here’s how to do this if you use JotForm.
- Optimize your about page to tell your story and let people know what you do.
- Focus on adding compelling visuals like organized photo albums to draw in your audience. Consider your page as your website.
- Make sure your branding feels cohesive between your Facebook page and website. For example, if your website is dark blue and the Facebook page uses light blue, even though they’re both shades of blue, it’ll look disjointed. You can even lose credibility or be seen as less professional if the customer goes from your website from a Facebook page, particularly if they were directed from a paid ad without prior experience with your company.
Create a Facebook group
Facebook encourages the use of groups, and they’re an excellent place to attract fresh leads. Lucky for marketers, creating a group from your existing page is simple. Just click the dots next to the ‘Share’ button and select ‘Create Group.’
Groups can be centered around anything from advanced HTML support to fly fishing hobbyists. The sky’s the limit when creating a group for like-minded individuals that gives them a space to discuss the topic and exchange advice and support. If you host a group for your target audience, you can initiate conversations and get to know them before offering your services. They may also naturally migrate to your services or products once you’ve built a rapport.
If you decide to create your own Facebook group, pick a topic that’s broader than your actual business and add value for the consumer. For example, instead of a group centered around SaaS accounting solutions for high-level tech companies with over $1M in sales, you can create a group for SaaS companies looking for tax advice.
Engage in conversations
Organic reach can be difficult due to Facebook’s most recent algorithm updates. The platform is skewed toward interactions and engagement, so you need to reach out to your audience to be seen.
Whenever someone comments on your page or sends you a message, be sure to respond promptly. Algorithms favor active companies as opposed to those that don’t engage with their audience. In addition, you can spark discussions through your content and posts. Ask for questions and opinions.
For example, say you sell your graphic design services. You could start a post sharing tips for basic graphic design or one asking people to share their favorite logo. Get people chatting about your business topic to offer insights, be seen as a subject matter expert, or start a discussion.
LinkedIn is the gathering place for professionals and career-minded individuals. No longer a digital portfolio site, it’s the center for business advice, networking, and professional content. It’s an excellent place to target businesses and individuals with your services. Many people are there with the purpose of finding business contacts.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn prefers users to engage in conversation. The more people interact with your post, the more it gets shared. Ask thoughtful questions seeking advice on certain subjects.
Just be sure to stay relevant to your brand. For example, starting conversations around SEO are great for SEO agencies, but wouldn’t be a good match for a law firm. You want to ask questions that apply to your business to attract the right audience.
One of the ways you can manage your communication is through LinkedIn automation software. Automation software, available to LinkedIn users, makes use of a smart inbox technology to help manage customer communication and engagement.
By automating the process, you will ensure you don’t miss new opportunities and boost your overall engagement with potential partners.
Offer helpful tips and advice
Many people on the platform are there to learn and grow as professionals. The more generous you are with offering insights and sharing your expertise, the more value you’ll get from engaging on Linkedin.
Instagram works particularly well for ecommerce and lifestyle brands as well as companies that want to appeal to Millennials and GenZers.
Keep in mind, links can’t be shared in in-feed posts, so you’ll need to say something like “link in bio” to direct people to your website link in your profile.
Use hashtags strategically
Adding relevant hashtags to your post can help increase organic reach. People actively search for hashtags, especially if they’re trending. Only include a few hashtags at a time, as any more than that begins to look spammy.
And most importantly, make sure the hashtag actually applies to your content. If your post is a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot your company did, you could use a relevant and popular hashtag like #PhotoOfTheDay.
Research your own product
You need to understand how your product or service is being viewed on Instagram. This is similar to researching your competitors.
For example, if you own a bar, then look for other bars on Instagram. Draw inspiration from the type of content they share and see what gets the most likes and engagement. Is it cocktail recipes? Pictures of people singing karaoke? Drink specials?
Take screenshots or share links of ideas that you like that could be applied to your business. Take note of the hashtags your competitors are using. Store these in a swipe file that you can reference as you create content for your own account.
Utilize Instagram Stories
People love to consume content through video, and Instagram is no exception. People spend more time watching stories than scrolling their feeds, so it’s a great opportunity to grab their attention. There are two approaches to using stories.
- Get creative and make short video content of your product(s) and service(s). You want to be sure that it’s entertaining and visually striking. It needs to get people to stop scrolling in order to keep watching.
- Be authentic. This could be sharing behind-the-scenes content, talking about what you are working on, offering tips, etc.
Social media has become so much more than a place for companies to focus on branding. If you know who your target audience is, you can reach out to them and engage in meaningful, rapport-building conversations that ultimately convert social media conversations to actual customers.
Briana Strauss is the partnership marketing manager at JotForm, where she spends her time building relationships with other exciting SaaS companies. When she’s not in the office, she loves going to a yoga class and running along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.