Arguably the most important part of marketing, at least in certain industries, is lead generation. These leads can be used a number of ways, from traditional sending in the sales force all the way to cookie-based retargeting. With that said, marketing has come a long way from building the old-fashioned Rolodex. Now, a huge amount of information gathering is done online and stored electronically. In the age of social media, the power of social selling has never been more important.
Introduction (cross-platform comparison to cover main aspects of generating lead from social media)
In the world of social media lead generation, not all platforms are equal. Each platform has its unique way of operating, and caters to different demographics. One of the important tasks in social media marketing is knowing which customers can be found where. Naturally, the most diverse user base is Facebook, because so many people have an account. It’s also one of the easiest platforms to format posts for. Here’s a post that compares Facebook with a very different platform, LinkedIn.
Mike Gingerich gives us a great comparison of LinkedIn and Facebook, as they can both be used for advertising and lead generation. In brief, Facebook is the network where nearly everyone gathers, and has over a billion users. Many small businesses leverage Facebook for leads, because it’s a place where local businesses are the easiest to follow. Finally, most of the advertising done on Facebook is business-to-consumer. LinkedIn, on the other hand, has a much smaller membership base and is great for B2B advertising. Both networks are great for advertisers because they give business owners easy access to advertising platforms.
This universal easy access makes you wonder which platform is “better.” Well, like so many other things, it depends. LinkedIn still is a place where professionals gather and network, and where sales professionals go to generate leads. Because members tend to be more professional, they also have a high average salary. You can target users based on the information in their profile, use InMail, and specify business or personal profiles for marketing efforts. On the other hand, LinkedIn is weaker in terms of cost (rather high), and the spammy nature of too much InMail.
Facebook marketing and lead generation is quite a bit different. Facebook Messenger and Facebook Live offer marketers great ways to interface with potential customers, and they both have high engagement rates. With its huge user base, Facebook is a cost-effective marketing platform. They’ll allow you to target certain segments of the user population and build relationships with consumers. On the other hand, it’s very difficult to generate organic (unpaid) traffic and you can’t use Facebook effectively for B2B marketing. In short, which platform you use depends on your budget and your goals. One isn’t necessarily “better” than the other.
Facebook is ubiquitous, and it offers a large variety of engagement opportunities for marketers. Here are some ways to leverage that engagement to increase your leads.
Facebook expert Leanne Peard gives us an extensive discussion on the use of Messenger bots for lead generation. These are powerful tools, because they give potential customers a chance to reach out in a way that gives them instant results. With the development of Facebook Live and Messenger for desktop, bots are more powerful than ever as a tool to build our sales leads.
Peard now gives us a guide on how to program Messenger bots to gather leads. In this case she uses Many Chat, a Messenger management application, to build a “growth tool” bot. These gather information while chatting with the human Facebook user. You’ll want to ask the user to opt into bot responses and advertising, in order to avoid being labeled “spam.” Essentially, the idea is to use these bots to turn engagement with content (live or canned) into further marketing opportunities.
Facebook groups are a place where niche communities can gather. For instance, they might center around a game or favorite book. Mike Gingerich points out that these are excellent opportunities for lead generation, and explains how to do it. Allowing for close engagement within a closed group gives marketers a private place to talk with their constituency, while also giving excellent advertising value and all the lead generation tools.
Here’s why this works so well. Being part of an exclusive group makes a member feel “special,” and allows marketers to deliver targeted advertisements. Links placed in group discussions is highly effective for lead generation, and if admission to a group requires permission, there’s a great opportunity to ensure members are your target audience. When there’s a common affinity among members, they’re less likely to be unhappy with advertising, and they’re more likely to click through links. It’s easier to promote offers in videos when people are interested in what you have to say, and live offerings are popular. Finally, watch parties and pinned posts are a great way to reach members who can’t be online at a given time.
Facebook groups are a great way to get customer emails, and it’s fairly easy to do. First, leverage member-only content to get people to fill out opt-in forms. This is an old-school technique, but it still works beautifully. Second, use onboarding questions to get emails from those who want to be members of your group. There are several ways of doing this, from the blunt to the subtle. Usually, you’ll want to offer people something in return for their email address, however. In order to use this technique, set your group to “private” and add the questions in group settings. Third, use the cover image to direct members to a landing page. This one invites members to input their emails for better results. Fourth, use a call to action link that offers the opportunity for members of the group to interact with your company further. All of these tips are easy to implement and highly effective.
Before advertising on Facebook, it’s important to know what segment of the membership you want to target with your ads. From there, it’s easy to use targeting to reach the right people and generate leads. Demographic targeting is an automated setting in the Facebook ad dashboard, and using it is a great way to improve your return on investment. Likewise, by using the posts to direct traffic to your website, the ads quickly turn into leads. For boosted post ads, choose your typical ad targeting demographics instead of different ones. Another option to consider is customizing the boosted ads in order to appeal to different demographics, then making the settings match your target. The best part of the targeting technique is that you only pay to advertise within segments that have the best chance of converting, which saves a lot of money.
LinkedIn is one of those button-down places dedicated to business activity, right? While this may be true, it’s still a vibrant community that lends itself to lead generation. However, in this case leads are more likely to be in B2B sales.
Here, you’ll find a mixture of trends and best practices. Right now, the trends in lead generation are: video marketing for desktop and mobile, the use of hashtags, using groups to share content based on common interests, employee advocacy, user insights, and targeting. Best practices are: optimize your business profile, be in the front of people’s minds, use search to find prospects, engage with leads and referrals, contact profile visitors, join groups, buy advertising, cross-promote content, use SEO techniques, and encourage conversions with your posts.
In this post, Gingerich goes into more detail about the twelve best practices in the last post. However, his goal here is to direct the traffic to your company blog. Engaging content is the biggest draw, although the other best practices help as well. Group engagement is great, as is sharing posts with LinkedIn users who you think might benefit. Publish some of your posts on LinkedIn, leverage the power of influencers, and know your audience. Finally, use the content to nurture existing relationships.
Twitter’s an oldie but goodie when it comes to lead generation. In fact, there are a lot of reasons why businesses, and consumers, still love the platform. Lead generation is one of them for businesses, and customers love being able to reach out to brands.
There are a number of ways to generate leads using a Twitter account, but you’ll want to understand trends first. First, use posts that contain video thumbnails, or leverage live video options. Second, use Twitter’s news features for market analysis. Third, Twitter use is an excellent way to boost your standing in search engines. Fourth, Twitter is an awesome place for influencer marketing. Fifth, don’t forget remarketing. To turn these into leads, use a landing page, encourage sharing, find people with the search features, partner with influencers, participate in discussions, leverage contests, take advantage of your bio, and finally pay for advertising.
Everyone loves video, right? In fact, this is the hottest medium on the internet, and as a result it’s a gold mine for marketers.
Briefly, this blog post gives some excellent options for turning live video into a lead generating machine. These aren’t steps necessarily, but a string of ideas. First, infomercials aren’t dead…especially if they’re live. Second, encourage interaction with Q&A. Third, hold a live event featuring influencers. Fourth, live events are awesome. Fifth, people love product demonstrations. Sixth, touting product launches live are a great way to generate “buzz.” Seventh, offer exclusive content for those who give their personal information. Eighth, contests and interviews get people’s attention. Ninth, let customers see what you’re like behind the scenes. All of these options generate leads by either encouraging engagement or directly gathering customer information with their consent.
Check Out All of Our Social Media Lead Generation Posts Below!
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