This may come as news to some business owners, but did you know you can use Social Media to generate leads? Or even if you have been trying to use Social Media and have not produced any credible leads, you are reading the right article. Lets face it, a lot of people/businesses post their questions on places like Twitter or Linkedin to find feedback of companies someone else may have used previously.
A lead is like getting someone into your shop, they can browse and hopefully they will find something they like. Getting good quality prospects is paramount in generating leads, you don’t want to try and sell information back to Google, when they already have the information at their hands.
Social Media is now on-par with producing leads as SEO and even email marketing. Looking at the graph below, there has been a major shift in the way businesses should be focusing their marketing efforts.
Not only has the above shift changed, but also there has been a change from outbound marketing (customer finds you) to inbound marketing (you find the customer). From the graph below, it shows how Social Media has grown in terms of inbound marketing where businesses actually get in touch with potential customers to offer their services.
This is just a phenomenal amount of potential leads you can easily generate from Social Media. So I can hear you thinking, how do we target these markets, and filter out all of the junk. Also I should point out that leads are NOT conversions. Think of a lead as someone knowing about your business, that new Twitter Follower, or Facebook Like. These are one step closer to becoming a conversion, but not quite there yet. In a funnelled marketing strategy, a lead is the first step on the ladder of conversion.
The following are a ways in which you can attract quality leads through your Social Media profiles.
Participate In Twitter Discussions
The main way to get your brand and name out there is to participate in other people’s discussions. This could be someone asking someone else for help with a particular issue, you can then offer your opinion. You can also reply to people on your news feed. The more replies, the more chance it has of filtering through to their followers news feeds.
Answer Twitter Questions
As previously stated in the introduction of this article, many people will ask questions on Twitter, but just searching the word is not enough, as you’ll notice a lot of spam / other businesses advertising their products. What we need to do is take out the junk which will leave you with a nice clean list of questions for you to jump straight in there and answer.
Lets take for example “Website Help” is what we are looking for. If we type this straight into the Twitter search box, you will see something like the following:
There is nothing here that we can help with. But now if we tweak the search so it looks like the following: “website help” ? exclude:links
Basically this searches for the direct text “website help” we also include the question mark to filter for people asking questions. We will then exclude “links” as if you keep these in, you will get other companies advertising their services directly on Twitter. Now if we search the above, we get a nice filtered list like below:
Now you can see that the results are more refined, but still not great, but it will easily allow you to scroll down and find people to help by answering their questions. I.E. the Tweet we favorite’d on the image above.
Participate In Linkedin Groups
There are thousands of groups on Linkedin, most target markets will be covered, so it’s just a case of joining a group and start helping in the discussion, and build new connections. You can use the Linkedin Groups Directory to find groups to follow.
If you cannot find a group for your target markets, you can easily create one, which should soon grow.
Follow Your Linkedin Viewers
Once you have logged into your profile, and click on the home page, you will see a box like this:
Now when you click this box, you will see the people who have viewed your profile. Some may already be connections, where others are new people you do not know. You can then view their profile and start following them on Twitter or if they have a Facebook Page, like their page and start commenting on their posts. Engaging with them on Social Media could turn them into potential lead.
Create A Google+ Hangout
Google has a nice video tool called Google Hangouts. There are hundreds of Hangouts happening all over the world on any number of topics. Google even use Hangouts to talk about their services and give hits and tips on using tools such as Analytics and Webmaster Tools. If you consider yourself an expert or have a presentation you would like to share with the world, create a Hangout.
Create Pinterest Images
Pintrest is now extremely popular. For those who don’t know, it is pretty much an image sharing website, with a slight difference. You use it as a type of picture board, where you can get images from anywhere on the internet, and “pin” that image to your own board. If you create an infographic, cartoon, lifestyle type picture, and add your logo on, and also include your URL when pinning images, other users can then re-pin that image to their wall, which will be shared with their friends (and so on).
As long as your active and engaging on Social Media, you are all set to generating good quality leads in the quickest and most effective way. There are many different Social Media stratergies out there, but there is no replacement for continually generating high quality leads through engaging and helpful content. You have to put potential clients or customers in mind when writing content, and engage with them.