Today, new business deals rarely root from random cold calls or accidental walk-ins; instead, you are more likely to start business deals with people or corporations you have already had prior communication with — these prior communications are often coined as “leads”.
What exactly is a lead?
Well, this is a person or company who has expressed some interest in your product, service or solution someway, somehow.
In other words, instead of getting a random sales call, from a company you’ve never heard of or interacted with, you hear from a business or organization that you have already started talking to. There are various levels of leads which you need to pay attention to:
- Direct Leads: These are generated through content that links directly back to your website or landing page, where visitors share their personal information such as name/ email/ contact information, etc, in the aim to receive something back from you (ebook, coupon, infographic, etc.)
- Indirect leads: These are generated, by steering website visitors from other pages or sites to your website. For example, a call-to-action at the bottom of your blog post can lead a visitor to your landing page.
- Marketing-qualified leads: This form of lead is basically a prospect who has expressed interest in your products, services or solutions. They are not necessarily ready to purchase from you but are open to discussion about the possibility of doing business with you.
- Sales-qualified Leads: SQL’s demonstrate more than an expression of interest in services and products you offer. You can identify this lead from the avid engagement of the person or corporation with your content and brand, They download multiple pdf’s, have subscribed to your newsletter, comment on every blog post, etc.
Basically, a lead is anyone who is interested in learning more about your offered product, services or solutions; and gives you the means to keep in touch with them.
As much as landing pages and gated content, have proven to be successful channels to generate leads, it is important to acknowledge that leads can also come from different places such as social media ads, comments on status updates, etc.
If you’re ever stuck for ideas, you can search “how to grow an email list” or “how to build a newsletter.” Those are basically lead-gen idea machines.
In this article, we will focus on how you can generate leads from social media in particular? Below are some great tips!!
GENERATING LEADS 101 (THE STARTER’S GUIDE):
First, these are not new ideas, and we are sure you have your own great ideas about how to go about generating leads for your business. Think of them as the basics to get you started on being a lead-gen ninja.
- Get people to fill forms before giving them access to your valuable website content as an alternative to just giving it away for free. Great tools for this are Lead Pages or SumoMe, or even the MailChimp for WordPress plugin.
- Everyone loves gifts; in exchange for everyone sharing an email or their contact information with you, run a contest and give something to the winner. Shortstack is an easy way to integrate contests into your social media profiles
- Post a link on your social media bio that links directly to a lead-capture page; this works for pages such as Instagram where the profile is the only place to show a link.
- Use landing pages instead of just sending people to your site’s homepage. This is a more targeted option which you can tailor to suit your needs. Don’t have a landing page, check out Unbounce
- Add a call-to-action link for anything you republishing on other social pages.
- Track engagement and clicks, and measure the ROI by using bit.ly links or UTM parameters whenever possible
HOW TO GENERATE EVEN MORE LEADS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA?
Now you have a fundamental base layer to benchmark from i.e. contests, landing pages, call-to-action links, etc., below are next-level strategies to get more leads from social media:
1. COLLECT EMAILS WITH TWITTER LEAD GEN CARDS
Twitter cards are packed with bonus multimedia and interactive elements that help make tweets engaging. Twitter cards have been proven to be a fantastic way to generate new leads from Twitter.
The cards allow followers to click a button that automatically sends their email address to you. They don’t need to type, or fill out forms, etc… just a few clicks and it’s done.
Sound too good to be true? Check out how Rock/Creek gained over 1700 new email subscribers in less than a week using Twitter cards.
Twitter cards are very user-friendly and a lot more impactful and effective, when you pin them to your profile and leave them at the top for folks to find!
How to Setup a free Twitter lead gen card:
- Log in at Twitter
- On the top right-hand corner of your timeline, click your profile picture, then select “Twitter Ads”
- Select “Cards” by clicking on “Creatives” from the top menu on the Twitter Ads page.
- Great! Now that you’re done, click the big blue button on the page to create your first card.
If you want to integrate Twitter cards with your current email list, that is possible as well. Here is a guide on how to do it with MailChimp.
Once the card is made, you can compose a tweet and publish it. All the leads that come from the card will be available to download from the Creatives dashboard inside Twitter Ads.
How to pin the tweet to the top of your profile:
- Compose and publish the tweet
- Find the tweet and click on the icon with the 3 horizontal dots, just below the tweet text
- From the options present, select “Pin to your profile page”
2. USE FACEBOOK LEAD ADS TO GET “ALL THE THINGS” DEMOGRAPHICS
Average Facebook cost per click: 10 cents. Adwords: 80 cents!
Facebook ads have proven to be one of the most cost-effective ad channels compared to other online marketing platforms in Ghana. Average Facebook cost per click is $0.10 (less than 50 pesewas) whiles Adwords are $0.80 (approx. GHC 3.20). Not that you need more convincing, but Facebook ads in our experience, are very effective in this market, and their lead ads are a great tool for those interested in generating more leads from social media.
In just 2 clicks (or taps), an individual can forward any of the below information which is all auto filled to make it extremely easy:
- Full name
- Job Title
These types of lead ads, particularly on Facebook, are very impactful to identify market personas, segments and demographics.
How to create a Facebook lead ad:
- Go to Facebook Ads Manager
- On the top right corner, click the green “Create Ad” button
- Choose “Collect leads for your business” from the list of possible ad types.
- Choose your business page, the settings, the creatives, the demographics, and you’re good to go!
3. SEED YOUR LEADS THROUGH FACEBOOK “ASK”
Neville Medhora has a great article on why people should try consulting as a side job. In this article, he discussed possible ways to get your first clients. Some of his methods could be applied to generating leads as well, but the one that stood out the most, was the idea of using your existing networks as a base to start building leads.
Neville gives a number of examples, and gives a free sample of what this could sound like:
Let’s say you wanna get started doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as a consultant…..but you’re at the bottom-of-the-barrel and don’t know where to start.
I would suggest you post this on your Facebook, and in any business groups you belong to:
I’ll send you updates to make on your site for free! Send me your most popular page on your website (Google Analytics –> Behaviors –> Site Content), and I will make suggestions on how to best SEO the post. I will do keyword research on your page, then send you:
Title tag updates
Meta tag updates
Description tag updates
Which links you should add to your site
Tell you about any terms you should avoid using.
Tell you any content sections to add into your post.
Option 1.) Comment here with a link to your post, and I’ll send you all the updates you should make via a personal message.
Option 2.) If you’d like me to do ALL OF IT FOR YOU….PayPal me $50 and I’ll do it all. We will just need 15 minutes of time over a Google Hangout or Skype session. This small price can often get you ranked 300% higher in the search engine results.
I look forward to helping you out! Feel free to ask me any SEO related questions. I’ll answer them here.
Holy crap!! Can you imagine how much interest you’ll get in a post like that?? Even with ZERO EXPERIENCE someone can get lots of people to take them up on that offer
This is an unbelievable way to get people interested and engaged.
How do you do this?
- Write a post on Facebook or in any business group you belong to on Facebook
- Offer people something amazing for free
4. GETTING LOCALIZED LEADS USING SOCIAL-GEO MONITORING
Tap into your local community, churches, etc and see who needs your help. This is a great and easy way of checking if anyone within your vicinity is interested in trying your product, service or solution.
Hootsuite has a good example of what this can look like:
… if you’re a chiropractor, you can type “chiropractor” in search and find people in your area who might be in the market for you. You could also type in “sore back” or other relevant terms in order to find these leads as well.
Twitter’s Advanced Search is a great place to find this type of information.
- Navigate to the Twitter Advanced Search page
- Enter the keyword into the “This exact phrase” box
- Choose your geographic location in the “Near this place” section
Bonus: Twitter advanced search allows you to select only tweets that include a question mark. This allows you to capture only people who are asking questions say for help, advice, research etc on your keyword.
Another great tool for generating leads in Followerwonk, which provides valuable insights into your Twitter followers.
To see a follower map:
- Create a free account at Followerwonk
- Go to the Analyze tab
- Add your Twitter username and select “analyze their followers.”
- Scroll down the results page and you’ll eventually see the map, which you can click on to zoom in and even click on the individual people closest to an area (clicking the dot opens up their Twitter profile).
5. COLLATE RSVP INFORMATION TO CHATS AND THE LIKE
Don’t forget — it’s a two-way street — give prospects the opportunity to follow up with you. These platforms not only nurture engagement and goodwill but serve as a lead generation tool.
For example “Product Hunt” has a list of their upcoming events and gives you the option to “Remind me” which directly connects to a simple email capture form. Once you fill that out, they now have a lead that they can see about following up with. This is an easy way to see that prospects are following up with you.
6. ADD LEAD CAPTURE TO YOUR SLIDESHARES
This is probably one of the best sources for high-quality leads. Slideshare provides options for you to collect leads. Within the site, you can customize a message as well as the information you want to collect, and instruct Slideshare on when to display the form during the slidedeck.
How to set up Slide share lead gen:
- Step 1: You can start creating your lead form by clicking on “Collect Leads” in the navigation bar. Pick a presentation from “My Uploads” in your dashboard or upload a new one.
- Step 2: Set up your lead form.
- Step 3: Preview your lead form and publish.
- Step 4: Review your leads.
7. WHISPER CODES FOR PHYSICAL STORES
This is a great way for tracking in businesses. A whisper code is a phrase shared on social media that when that customer repeats in your store, allows them to receive a discount or a special offer.
Amanda Webb wrote in detail about whisper codes describing them as a way to capture more leads from Facebook, but we are pretty sure it will work great regardless of the social network. There are only 2 steps:
- Make sure the phrase tied to a discount is unique, and
- Share this to your social media audience.
This also gives you a way to test if this strategy is effective, based on the number of people who use the phrase.
8. USE LINKEDIN GROUPS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Start chatting with anyone on your LinkedIn Group which is a great way to build connections and leads within a specific industry. The good news is you don’t even have to follow each other.
On LinkedIn, once you join a group, you can message fellow group members. Naturally, don’t’ span anyone! Instead, reach out sincerely within your group and message fellow group members.
Do keep in mind that LinkedIn has a structure so make sure to abide by them:
- Each month, you can send up to 15 individual free messages within the group
- You need to be a member of a group for at least 4 days.
- You need to be a member of LinkedIn for a minimum of 30 days in order to send messages to other group members
Here is how to get started:
- Visit the LinkedIn Group page
- Select any of your groups from the list on the right
- On the group page, look to the right column where it shows a section of group members. Above the avatars, there should be a link that says “x number of members.” Go ahead and click there
- You can search for any member or scroll through to find folks to connect with. Once you see someone to message, hover over their name and click the envelope icon that appears
TAKEAWAYS: YOU CAN DO IT! HERE’S HOW
By spending about 6 hours a week, approximately 66% of marketers observe lead generation benefits with social media. This means less than an hour a day to see benefits, without major investments.
About the Author
Reginald Addae is the Director of Marketing & Special Programs for Jumpstart Media with over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing.