Social media marketing has moved from a curiosity to a necessity for most businesses. 97% of businesses worldwide now use at least some network to promote their brand. And yet, many of them lack the direction necessary to reliably succeed.
The reason: simply creating a Facebook page may not help you achieve your marketing goals. While you can undeniably generate and improve brand awareness, you may not get further than that in helping your business grow. So can social media really be used for building leads? The answer is yes - as long as you know how to go about accomplishing that goal.
Understanding Social Media As an Engagement Tool
First, a disclaimer: at its core, and as its name suggests, social media is not a lead-generation tool. Your audience does not use Facebook, Twitter, or other networks with the express purpose of signing up to enter your database. They do, however, look for engagement with your brand - which is an impulse you can use to enhance your lead generation.
This simple truth, above all, means that your marketing efforts on social media should not aim to simply push the benefits of becoming a lead, or links to sign up pages, on an ongoing basis. Instead, your brand can benefit from focusing on the type of content that is most likely to help you gain credibility and relevance in the eyes of your audience. Once you have accomplished that goal, you can turn your efforts toward lead-generating content.
Embracing Thought Leadership
For example, videos tend to perform particularly well on Facebook. Posting a video does not directly help you generate leads; however, it can be the precursor to a more directly conversion-oriented update. A video about content your audience is actually interested in can pique their interest, so that when you post a link to a landing page following the video, they become more likely to click on it.
The key, in other words, is to build thought leadership before focusing on lead generation. If your audience trusts you to provide relevant information, they become more likely to follow your offer, sign up on your website, and become a lead.
Tracking Your Clicks
As long as you don't invest in lead ads (more on those later), the most successful way to generate leads on social media is to post links to landing pages, and succinctly convey the benefits of clicking through and signing up to your audience. The only way to keep these posts successful, of course, is to understand just how well they work in convincing your followers to convert.
That's where click tracking comes into play. Social media analytics platforms generally tell you how many users click on your posts, but - without paying for promotions - don't go further. If you use a platform like Google Analytics, on the other hand, you can set up tracking URLs that help your analytics efforts go further. Simply tag each conversion-oriented post, set a conversion goal in your analytics setup, and analyze the conversions by individual posts.
Building a Lead Campaign
Finally, this post would be incomplete without discussing the most straightforward way to generate leads using social media: creating lead ads. Both Twitter and Facebook offer their own variety of this method, which essentially takes your website landing page out of the equation. Instead, users can sign up for a newsletter or piece of content directly on your network of choice, with part of their information auto-populating into the sign up form.
The result is less friction. Social media users don't just have to fill in less information, but can also get what they want without having to leave their network of choice. Twitter's Lead Generation Cards and Facebook's Lead Ads are both effective ways to reach your target audience and turn brand exposure into database contacts.
Make no mistake: whether you focus on organic thought leadership content or paid lead ads, social media marketing can enhance your lead generation efforts. Lead conversion rates are 13% higher on social media than average, an increase that improves to 100% when compared with outbound methods.
But of course, effective lead generation on social media requires a strategy aimed toward achieving that goal. By building thought leadership content, tracking your clicks to make improvements, and building a lead ad campaign, you can do just that. In the process, you will once and for all answer the question whether social media can really be used for building leads.
To learn more about how to use social media to build leads for your business, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310!