Often the incomprehensible pace at which the world is moving — sometimes beyond what we can predict or imagine — keeps changing the business rule book and how we interact with consumers every day.
Social Media is no more a factor of just “likes”, “comments”, and “shares”.
Slowly and steadily, it has evolved into a sophisticated catalyst enabling consistent traffic and generating quality leads for businesses.
According to Social Media Examiner’s industry report, more than 90% of marketers are laser focused on social media right now.
Clearly, social media works. But, how do you tailor a social media strategy to generate leads for your business?
Listed below are 5 tips that will take your lead generating strategy to the next level.
1. Know Your Audience
The first to step to creating a lead generating social media strategy is to understand who you are communicating to.
Without a general understanding of your ideal customer, your social media strategy won’t be effective.
So, how do you get to know your audience?
Conduct User Interviews
Call some of your current customers and ask them 10–15 questions about their experience with your product(s) or service(s).
Asking a few simple questions about why they chose your company over your competitors or what their experience with your customer service has been, etc. will help you develop customer personas.
By segmenting your current customers into persona groups, you will be able to target your ideal customers more effectively.
Send A Survey
Not everyone is available for a phone conversation. Send a survey to your customers in addition to offering a phone conversation.
Keep your survey short (15 questions max.), but be calculated about what you’re asking. Stay away from questions with a yes or no answer. Stick to the 5 Ws: “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Why”.
Definitely throw a “How” question in there too if you’d like. A question like “How did you find our company” can tell you a lot about your customer’s research method.
Study The Data
In addition to speaking with your customers one-on-one or sending a survey, study the data you have. Identify trends in purchase history, website page visits, content views, etc.
Compile trends into a simple spreadsheet like the example below. Use the top tips to create customer personas to refine it further.
Now you have a better idea of who your ideal customer is, you can brainstorm content that will attract new leads.
But, which social media channel do you publish content to?
2. Understand The Platforms
Every social media platform has its own unique characteristics and loyal user base.
So, how do you pick the platforms that are the best fit for your business? For the sake of keeping it simple, we will focus on the three platforms used the most among marketers — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
*Pro tip: Focus on 1–3 social platforms if you’re just launching your social media strategy. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Focus on quality over quantity.
More than 86% of social marketers regularly use Facebook to target potential customers.
Tips to using Facebook effectively:
- Use native videos: According to a report by Quintly, Facebook native videos receive 186% higher interactions compared to native videos posted on other social platforms. Because videos tend to attract more engagement than static posts, they are being favored in the Facebook algorithm — meaning your video is more likely to show up in a potential customer’s newsfeed.
Use Facebook ads to convert leads: Facebook advertising is one of the most sophisticated social advertising platforms out there. Here’s how you can leverage it:
Create a custom audience: Follow the parameters below. Once done, create a lookalike audience based on this data to market to users who are most potentially match your database.
- Use reach and frequency ads: This is a hidden gem. Reach and frequency ads give you more control over your advertising dollars. Couple this with sequencing, which allows you to set an order for your ads to appear. Using this, you can create an entire story based on various buying stages to ensure your leads convert in the best and most cost-effective way.
More than anything, consistency is key on Facebook. Remember, your audience doesn’t want to be sold to. They want to be educated, informed, and they want to relate to your brand on a personal level. When you’ve built trust with your potential audience, you will grow your customer base exponentially.
Twitter can be tricky at times in terms of generating leads. However, for those who have it figured out, it is magic.
3 ways you can use Twitter for lead generation:
- Set-up conversion tracking: Conversion tracking is a powerful way to target your users. It helps you remarket to an audience who already has an affinity for your services. Here’s how you can set up conversion tracking. This will collect audiences for which you can segment further to market in a cohesive way.
- Always bid manually: Automatic bidding makes you spend faster, and doesn’t ensure good results. Stay at the top of your game by bidding manually and having more control over the results.
Promote your top-performing content: It’s important to have a mix of advertisements and educational material as well. Despite what we may have heard from watching “Glengarry Glen Ross”, it’s not the best move to “always be closing” via social media.
Once in awhile, promote your top performing content to a targeted user base. Again, building trust with your customer is key. Sharing educational content will help position your company as a thought-leader and trusted source for information.
A Social Media Examiner survey found that about 40% of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn for lead generation compared to Twitter (15%) and Facebook (37%).
Here are some ways you can optimize your efforts on the platform:
- Optimize your company page: Add relevant tabs, add images to your content, publish videos, and optimize your page for keywords related to your industry.
- Post at least once daily: Ensure you do not have an empty company feed on LinkedIn. That is a big no. If you think people don’t check you out on LinkedIn, you’re wrong. Post at least once daily with relevant content to provide insights for people who come to your page looking for information about your company.
- Use LinkedIn ads: The reason B2B marketers swear by LinkedIn is because it enables them to reach out to potential customers using various parameters like location, seniority, geography, job title, skills, school name, company name, age, gender etc. Though ads on LinkedIn are typically more expensive compared to other platforms, they can be extremely effective when you take the time to create a targeted custom audience.
3. Measure, Measure, and Measure
According to Marketo, the lead generation metrics marketers should track are:
Number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads): It’s important to put quality measures in place (e.g. a lead score) and only count leads that pass a certain quality threshold as MQLs.
Cost per MQL: To achieve the greatest results with the resources you have, you’ll want to minimize the cost per MQL.
Cost per Sales Accepted Opportunity: If you have a sales team and they run lengthy sales cycles (anything longer than one week) you’ll find that the Cost per Opportunity is an important metric and might not correlate exactly with the Cost per MQL trend.
First-Touch ROI (by program): Which programs are bringing in quality leads that eventually convert to dollars for your team? How much revenue resulted from those programs? And how much did you spend to generate that revenue?
Multi-Touch ROI (by program): If you take a multi-touch ROI view of your programs, you’ll find that some of your best performing programs look like losers from a first-touch perspective.
Click here to view Marketo’s guide to lead generation.
Tracking your metrics (and the right ones) is an important step to ensure you are doing everything right. Use social media tools like Simply Measured or True Social Metrics to track your engagements and Google Analytics to track conversions.
4. Stay In-The-Know
Remember Oreo’s dunk in the dark Tweet from the Super Bowl back in 2013 that won the internet? Their social media team took advantage of a blackout during the game to Tweet a witty post that quickly went viral due to the relevancy of the post itself.
Your business can do this too — and you should.
- Make an events calendar: Create a list of the top events, conferences, or seminars that happen in your industry and add them to an events calendar. Take into consideration a typical attendees’ psychographic interests and create 2–3 pieces of content you can use to market to them relevant to the particular event. Be sure to take note of the event hashtag (there is a high chance it will be promoted on Social Media) and use it to target people with your content.
- Don’t forget the holidays: Take advantage of the hustle and bustle going on during the holidays. People may not be in the office, but they are still on their phones and checking out their favorite social media platforms. Producing holiday-themed content is a great way to keep your business top-of-mind. For example, publish a blog post titled “This Holiday Season, Learn How You Can Level Up Your Customer Experience” and promote it to your look-a-like customer base on Facebook.
Social Media enables people to have conversations 24/7. How can your brand listen and influence your audience’s decisions?
- Monitor your mentions: Review the people who are mentioning your business in their posts and use mentions as an opportunity to have conversations with your target audience. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all monitor mentions, so you should be able to monitor them easily. The best practice is to respond to mentions within 24 hours.
- Monitor industry keywords: If you sell services in the marketing industry, you should monitor keywords like “growth hacking”, “social media”, “branding” etc. to help you develop relevant content for your target audience. Be sure to monitor both short and long-tail keywords as your audience are probably using both forms when searching on Google.
- Monitor the competition: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Watch your competition like a hawk. Always compare your strategy to your competitor’s. You have similar target audiences, so why not?
Social media has opened up various opportunities for consumers and businesses alike. It’s time you take advantage! Bookmark this link and revisit it from time to time to understand where you stack up and where you can get better. Happy lead generating!