Generating leads on social media seems like a fairly straightforward process given most of us know how to navigate various popular platforms. It’s as easy as signing on, posting content, and getting the sale, isn’t it? No, far from it. With the perpetually changing landscape of social media trends, algorithms, and regulations, it’s becoming harder every day for brands to get face time and generate leads.
If you’re a brand and have been suffering from low viewership and engagement, it’s probably because you’re doing it in the wrong places, not engaging your target audiences, or posting mediocre (and possibly spammy) content. Bad news - what you’ve been doing isn’t working and it’s time to rethink your lead generation strategy. Good news - you can do it now, from anywhere, and with any budget.
Here are 10 ways to generate more leads on social media:
1) Share gated content
Gated content is content hidden behind a virtual gate. If the content is of value, interested readers will be willing to provide some basic contact information in exchange for access on a dedicated landing page. Forms of content include but are not limited to, white papers, ebooks, webinars, case studies, blogs, videos, infographics, and mobile apps.
2) Use social media advertising
With the constant rollout of social media algorithms and updates, it’s becoming more difficult everyday to get engagement on organic social media posts. How many times have you posted something only to have it drop to the bottom of your feed with few engagements? Our social timelines are an ephemeral space, where you’d be lucky to have someone click ‘Read More.’
Let’s face it, social media favors those who are willing to pay to play. While organic social media posts can be targeted to some extent, social media advertising allows you to collect leads from laser-focused groups of potential customers. Promoting gated content to highly specific target audiences is a great way to keep advertising costs low while ensuring the leads you collect meet certain desirable criteria.
But beyond simple targeting, social media advertising has evolved to include specific social media lead generation tools and customizable ad formats such as: Facebook Lead Ads, Instagram Lead Ads, LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads. The great thing about these types of ad formats is that users don’t have to leave the platform, which increases conversion rates.
3) Create custom tabs on your Facebook page
Your Facebook Business Page is a great place for lead generation on social media. Every business page is equipped with tabs which function like menu items. When you create a page, each template will have default tabs such as About, Events, Posts, and Photos. Adding a custom tab for gated content and lead generation forms is an easy addition that can score you more leads.
4) Run contests and giveaways
Running a contest on social media sounds like a pretty straightforward process, right? Free goods will have people begging to give your their information, right? Sure, who doesn’t like free stuff? There are, however, two important things to consider. First, the prize up for grabs has to be valuable enough that people will actually be interested in entering the contest. And second, it has to be valuable specifically to the people who have the highest potential to become your customers, and not much value to anyone else. Otherwise, you get a bunch of people who just want free goods but don’t add much value to your business after your contest ends. After all, those prizes only have value to people who are genuinely interested in using your product.
5) Host a webinar or live video
Webinars and live video events are one of the best-performing types of content for gated content offers. There are two approaches to generating leads with webinars and live video. The first option is to present the video as gated content, requiring interested viewers to register in advance by providing their contact information. The second approach is to open the video up to a wide audience and generate leads from viewers by directing them to desired calls to action such as offers on a landing page or custom tab on your Facebook page.
6) Use geo-targeted search
For brick-and-mortar businesses in particular, using social media for lead generation is all about going local. Most local businesses already know about geo-targeting for social media posts and ads, but fewer are taking advantage of geo-targeted social search to uncover local leads.
Think about this: You run a physical therapy practice in downtown Los Angeles. Who are the greatest leads for your business? Anyone in downtown Los Angeles who has suffered from a sports or car accident injury. Luckily for you, these life moments are just the kind of personal detail people tend to share on social media. By performing a geo-targeted social search, you can find these exact people and reach out to invite them to your business or direct them to a special offer lead generation form.
To complete this, simply enter your search terms and location in your social media platform or management software. You’ll then see current conversations with your desired parameters. Useful tools that enable geo-targeting search include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer.
7) Use targeted social media listening
Social media listening is all about keeping a virtual ear to the ground to understand what’s happening in your industry, and who’s talking about you and your competitors online. It’s an important source of actionable insights—including potential leads who are looking to engage with businesses just like yours.
By monitoring important keywords and handles in your industry, you can uncover conversations people are having about you, the competition, and relevant products and services. You can then reach out to the people behind these conversations to make a connection, share information that’s helpful, and establish a relationship that will position your brand as the go-to resource when they are ready to buy. Easy to use social media listening tools include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer.
8) Engage in social selling
Social selling combines the elements of social listening, lead generation, and sales development, but is essentially about establishing and building trust and relationships. By participating in online conversations and engaging with potential customers in your target audiences, you can establish yourself as a trusted resource. An easy way to do this is by sharing creative content or subject-matter expertise and nurturing those who engage with it.
9) Create an online community
Creating an online social media community or participating in conversations in groups is another low-cost method for establishing awareness and building relationships with potential customers. Sharing content and engaging posts in your respective industry or niche increases your visibility, and therefore your chances of generating leads. But do be mindful of not oversharing promotional posts, as to avoid spamming. It’s best to present value through expertise and less sales pitches.
10) Use custom chatbots
They’re fast, efficient, and low-cost. If you’re considering a dive into the world of AI chatbots, Facebook Messenger is the best place to start. With over a billion users and climbing, Facebook is a goldmine for engaging in conversations with qualified leads. At the most basic level, you can power on an automated messenger to engage a user when they visit your Facebook Business Page with simple responses. If you’d like to get more granular you can build custom chatbot sequences. Sounds a bit complicated but it simply involves mapping out a conversation with a series of questions and responses that guide the lead to a desired outcome. Offering ebooks, discount codes, free trials, or educational content are all excellent ways to move leads down the funnel.