Editor’s note: This post was written by our wonderful Paper.li publisher, Ann Smarty. She includes many insights that are helpful to small businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to have success on social media.

 

According to a collection of statistics from Iron Paper, by 2015 a full 54% of B2B marketers had used social media to directly generate leads (a following statistic attributed most of these to LinkedIn). That only covers those connecting to other businesses; for B2C companies you can expect an even greater return.

Hubspot spoke about this back in 2013. They found that they were able to more than double their success in generating marketing leads through inbound marketing – including social – than with all the conferences, trade shows, floor displays, real-life advertising, and even PPC.

But I am probably preaching to the choir here; we all know the power of social media. So how can you improve your own leads? It is much simpler than you might be fearing. All it takes are a few new aspects to be added to your already running campaign.

Incentivize Both Clicks and Engagement

Believe it or not, you don’t just want one or the other. Clicks drive traffic which take leads and turn them into conversions. Engagement generates further visibility, which bring in more leads. The two cycle into one another, and so failing to corner both will leave you with an uneven marketing structure that helps no one.

You should be incentivizing both clicks and engagement in equal measure on your social profiles. There are plenty ways to do it, but some of my personal favorites that have been shown to give great results are:

  1. Hashtag campaigns that encourage people to share their experiences, anecdotes, or even jokes and puns. Local hashtags are working best when it comes to awareness. Research local events, charities and small businesses and use hashtags to attract their listeners. Use local directories to find those: DirJournal, Yelp and others.
  2. Contests that ask people for user generated content, such as photos that can be retweeted/reposted/reblogged and double down as effective visual content;
  3. Create and optimize videos! Video content helps conversions and lead generation. If you also optimize videos on Youtube, you can build a powerful asset for brand discovery and recognition.
  4. Setting up a voting website and engaging your customers into creating their own wishlist will give you lots of insight into what your audience needs and likes
  5. Just asking! Calls-to-action can be a simple and powerful way to get people to comment, re-share, and click all in one post. If you don’t ask, don’t be surprised if they don’t respond.
  6. Give special offers for followers who share content. Have you ever seen those “Pay with a like or tweet” ebooks and webinars on blogs? These are fantastic, and you can do it with other things as well (giving points on services, discount codes, etc).

Paper.li tip: Use the Paper.li “Newsletter” feature to re-enforce your calls-to-action and contest promos.

newsletter

Take Advantage Of Paid Advertising On Social Platforms

Social advertising is some of the most effective social marketing available, and for a very reasonable price. Add in the ability to better customize those campaigns, and it is no wonder it has become so popular.

But don’t underestimate other platforms and their advertising. Twitter is a bigger investment, but it is more open and public. Instagram and Pinterest are still newcomers, but it means you have less of a crowd to fight through with your featured content.

Paid ads are a must on social networks. So narrow down your focus and put your money where your mouth is.

Further reading: A Brief Guide to Facebook Ads

Hold Tweetchats To Connect With The Industry

Tweetchats

Tweetchats are effective for generating both the clicks and engagement. Anyone who has watched the insane engagement gained through these live Twitter chats knows they have some serious force behind them. By hyping up and then having a conversation, you will gain followers, visibility, and (yes) leads.

Try getting some interesting guests or using some timely and trending topics to reel people in. Give them plenty of notice, and consider starting a bi-weekly, monthly, or even weekly chat. By making it consistent you can potentially create a list of regular leads that bear fruit.

Paper.li tip: Use Paper.li to archive your Twitter chats and build a third-party brand asset at the same time! That’s what we are doing to further promote our #VCBuzz chat

VCBuzz Paperli

Aim For Authority, Not Popularity

A couple of weeks ago one of my Twitter accounts (a personal, quiet one) was added by a celebrity – which is fine, I see no reason why a celebrity couldn’t add my sleepy, barely updated personal account. But I couldn’t help but wonder: why?

Taking a look at his profile gave me my answer when I saw his high number of follow backs. He was using a well-known tactic of casting a wide net and pulling in as many return follows as possible. His name carries recognition and so people are happy to hit that follow button.

My issue with this kind of thing is that it is technically fruitful, but not actively so. You are getting followers who will probably never bother to respond to anything you say, retweet you, or go to your side. These are not leads any more than they are valuable social likes.

You should not be aiming for popularity if you want social lead generation. You should be aiming for authority, and showing people that you are one. Be more selective, and your efforts will probably bear more results than if you randomly add people to your list.

Do you have a tip for generating leads on social media? We would love to hear it, so comment below

Image source

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and manager at ViralContentBee.

You can learn more
about Ann here.

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7 Responses to “How To Generate Leads From Social Media”

  1. Gloria

    Useful tips! I really like it, Ann 🙂

    My favorite technique is joining online conversation and engaging people.
    Thanks to some real-time internet monitoring app called BRAND24 I can see every public conversation relevant to my business, product, niche, etc. Also, every “can anyone recommend…” or “where can I buy…” relevant to our products. All you have to do is to react, answer, help, recommend your service. It really works, truly recommend trying!

    Reply
  2. Anand

    As people now a days spend more time on Social media , it is good platform to to promote the products or services , and the above tips from you how to it are very useful in generating results.Thank for the blog.

    Reply
  3. Ramesh Kota

    Social media reaches people more fats than any other platform, need to know tips and techniques to promote products or services through social media.thanks for the blog got some idea on how to work on it.

    Reply
  4. D. Hutcherson

    This article is really worth my time. No doubt generating leads with social media marketing is an innovative way to lift the curtain and lets you in on some of those underground secrets of the 6-figure earners and, in time, translate into more web traffic, leads and sales for your brand. You explained it very well..

    Reply
  5. Stephen Davison

    This article is worthy for all social media marketers.

    Generating leads through social media is really a challenging task for marketers because it requires patience and continuous efforts towards the goal. However, adding more video content, images and infographic could attract the people to engage with people.

    Reply

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