Over the last several years, social media has emerged as an effective tool for generating leads. Two-thirds of online adults use social networking, and almost half use it daily. Your prospective customers are using it to discover new offerings and educate themselves through the buying journey. This makes social media a vital channel to engage with your target audience across, with the end result being greater amplification of your message and more qualified leads generated.
Understanding the buyer
It’s critical to understand how your buyer uses social media. You need to know what social platforms they use, how they use them, and what behaviors they exhibit, in order to determine your best social media mix.
Content as the foundation of your lead generation efforts
Buyers are much more likely to engage with you on social media when you offer them compelling content. Types
of content formats that work well includes blog posts, white papers, webinars, infographics, slide presentations, and videos. Any type of content with the ability to inform or entertain can be used; the common denominator is providing value to your customer. The content you share should be helpful, relevant, and engaging. For some products and services, comical and playful content is effective. If you choose to gate content behind a form on a landing page, it will give you an opportunity to gather contact information and generate a lead when someone accesses it.
The different social channels
There are many social media sites you can use to support your lead gen programs. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn receive a lot of attention and deservedly so; they’re the big four of social, with massive memberships ranging from LinkedIn’s 225 million members to Twitters’ 500 million and Facebook’s 1.1 billion. Despite a late start, Google+ has rocketed to second place in total users; with over a half-billion. When starting out, you should focus on one or more of these networks. Which channels you choose to pursue rst will depend on your industry, your product or service offering, and where your customers/prospects have matriculated online.
As you gain experience and grow your content database, expand your efforts to other social sites that appeal to your buyers. Look in particular for brand-agnostic community sites and forums where your buyers spend time. You should use every channel that is relevant to your buyers, but make sure that you have the bandwidth to execute well in any and all channels in which you decide to have a presence. You’ll have far more impact going deep than going wide.
Who to build your networks around
Numbers of followers and fans, by themselves, aren’t necessarily the only thing you’re after. Ideally, every connection you make would somehow be linked to your goals and objectives in business, both now and in the future. Keep these firmly in mind as you create your social strategies and execute them.