High-quality leads are the backbone of every thriving B2B business. You can have all of the paid traffic that you want, but unless you are able to attract prospects who are willing and ready to buy what you’re selling, you are going to have a hard time generating the cash flow you need.
As the various social media platforms continue to dominate the internet marketing world, they are also dominating the lead-generation world and are by far one of the best ways to have a steady stream of high-quality potential clients clicking through to your website on a consistent basis.
So, how do you do this? Let me show you some steps:
1. Select the right social media channel(s).
Before you get started with the specific tactics and strategies that can lead to getting tons of new leads into your sales funnel, make sure that the social media channel you are pursuing is ideal for your business.
For example, if you look at B2B marketers, 44 percent of those responding to a survey said they had generated leads through LinkedIn, 39 percent through Facebook and 30 percent through Twitter.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of your own target demographic and where its members are likely spending their time on social media, I recommend this guide by Sprout Social.
2. Generate leads with LinkedIn.
Since LinkedIn is the platform that generates the most leads for B2B, it’s a natural place to start. Given the company’s recent acquisition by Microsoft, even more professionals will be networking and connecting on this platform.
And that makes sense: The site, unlike Twitter or Facebook, is built for professionals and business owners to connect. In contrast, Twitter and Facebook are built for anyone with a wi-fi connection.
Here’s information on how you can maximize lead generation with LinkedIn.
3. Directly connect with potential leads, and offer free samples.
One of the hardest parts of B2B marketing is that you often have to go through gatekeepers whose job is to keep people like you (translation: anyone trying to sell anything ever) away from the boss.
LinkedIn can help with this issue. It lets you walk right past the gatekeepers and into the lion’s den. Just make sure that you have a high-quality sample or presentation ready to show when you get there.
2. Use Slideshare.
Since Slideshare was recently purchased by LinkedIn, you now have the opportunity to use it to your advantage.
With Slideshare, you can create high-quality slide decks that offer industry insights and other relevant data to your consumers, to drive leads to your sales funnel. Just be sure to link your account with LinkedIn, and always include a call to action at the end of the slide.
3. Generate leads with Facebook.
Let me be up-front with you. If you want to generate leads with Facebook, odds are you will have to invest some money into an ad campaign at some point. Luckily for you, Facebook ads are less than half the price ($0.80) per click compared to Adwords ($2.50).
So, if you have the budget (or you want to try to beat the algorithm and do it organically), here are a couple of ways to increase lead generation on Facebook.
Treat your Facebook page like a sales page. One of the big mistakes I see many entrepreneurs make is that they don’t take their Facebook page seriously. The navigation is off, there is no clear CTA and there is no way it is generating leads, they’re thinking. But, in fact, they — and you — have to treat your Facebook page like a great sales page or website. Use a clear call to action, a regularly updated news feed and high-quality, professional photos.
Run contests and giveaways. People love competitions and free stuff, so these are absolutely some of the best ways to generate leads with Facebook. Depending on your industry, you could run a book or coaching give-away, an advertising or copywriting contest or any number of other things. Anything you can think of that will get people to willingly and happily put their name and email into the CTA box will only serve you well.
4. Generate leads with Twitter.
Twitter is still a relatively new player in the game, and depending onhow its business fares in the next couple of years, this social media company may end up experiencing some massive changes.
However, it is still one of the most used social platforms available, and if you really want to crush it with lead generation, then learn how to use Twitter with strategies like the following:
Use Twitter cards. Twitter cards are lead-generation tools quite similar to the Facebook ads that have become quite infamous over the past three years. As you do with Facebook ads, be sure to take full advantage of Twitter cards by using images that stimulate the human brain and spark emotion; pair them with copy that is short and sweet.
Run live events. Hosting a regular AMA (ask me anything) on Twitter Chat is a great way to connect with your audience, and if you end your chat with a plug for your company or a CTA, this option will help you offer tremendous value without directly advertising your company.
While lead generation with social media can be hit or miss, when you use the above tactics, you can expect to generate more leads, and more importantly, higher-quality leads, across all of your social media platforms.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com