Social media provides so many opportunities to generate leads that there is sure to be a great method of lead generation for every brand. My favorite lead generating technique is the use of contests. Contests are fun and engaging for consumers, and very valuable for brands. People who participate in contests are more likely to be genuinely interested in your product, making lead conversion easier down the road (LePage, 2015).
Social media advertisements such as Twitter and Facebook ads allow companies to fine tune their target to a particular locale or interest group. Sponsored posts are also a great way to generate leads. I prefer sponsored posts to ads because they blend in more seamlessly than ads.
Blogging is always a great option, says every social media manager, ever. Blogs are a great way to link people to places where information can be gathered. An example of this is downloadable content. By giving information about a particular topic and generating interest from that article, you can increase the likelihood that someone will want to download free related content. It is at the download page that you can reap the benefits by requiring consumers to provide their contact information.
Hosting hangouts and webinars is something that we do not see as often as the above-mentioned methods of lead generation, but definitely worth considering. One aspect of hangouts and webinars that the other techniques do not provide is immediate feedback and interactions with potential consumers.
After engaging potential consumers on social media, it is time to work on converting these leads. Converting leads can take place on two different levels. The first, soft lead generation involves people who are interested in content, but are not necessarily interested in products yet (Kelly, 2012). The best way to reach to convert these leads is to try to get email addresses and send a variety of information their way, working to get the person’s interest and offer them incentives to become a product consumer. Once someone has purchased the product, the next step is customer retention, aimed at making him or her a loyal customer. The second lead is a hard lead. Hard leads refer to people who have indicated that they are interested in your product and are actively involved in considering it (Kelly, 2012). At this point, social media efforts should be developed toward instilling trust in the brand and product by establishing a relationship with that consumer.
My favorite social media success story from the past year was the “Always #LikeAGirl” (Links to an external site.) campaign. The videos of girls talking about how they were told they did something “like a girl” were powerful, evoked emotions, established a relationship with women everywhere, and went viral. The videos were popular television advertisements, as well as on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. The call-to-action and hashtag were genius, giving women everywhere a way to share their own “#LikeAGirl” story in a world where it is increasingly acceptable to do things like a girl and show girl power. I love that the Always brand name fit well with the hashtag as part of the headline, and that the brand used its audience to sell its products, not the products themselves. This social media campaign really illustrates the power of people and the human element in product promotion.
Kelly, N. 5 Tips for Moving Social Media Leads Into the Sales Funnel http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-tips-for-moving-social-media-leads-into-the-sales-funnel/ (accessed 2015).
LePage, E. 6 Need-to-Know Ideas on How to Generate Leads on Social Media: (accessed 2015).