Marketing

How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads

Use Social Media to Generate Leads
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Social media lead generation is one of the most effective ways to find new prospects for your business. To make the most of social media lead generation, you need to connect with potential customers interested in what you offer.  You’ll need a strategy for collecting and following up with those prospects.

Generate leads from social media

How to generate leads from social media

How efficient is social media for generating leads? According to Social Media Examiner’s 2022 industry report, 66% of marketers generate leads from social media after spending only six hours per week on social marketing.

Furthermore, social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate.

In order to build your audience of potential customers, you’ll need to create your social media campaigns with a strong marketing perspective. Start by establishing a clear picture of your target audience, then use that data to choose the right social media channels and create content that your target audience will love.

Finally, you need strategies to ensure that your best potential customers will see your posts and follow up with them as soon as they react to your call to action.

Define your target market

Before you can create social media content that resonates with your audience, you need to understand who your target market is.

First, define your best prospects using demographic data: age, gender, location, job titles, income, family status, education, etc. Then flesh out your description by adding interests, hobbies,  and social media behaviors.

For example, your target market might be:

  • 25 to 34-year-old women.
  • Live in urban areas.
  • Single, child-free.
  • College educated, income between $50-100K.
  • They’re interested in fashion, beauty, and pop culture.
  • And they use social media to learn about beauty trends and connect with friends.

Choose the right social media channels

Choose the right social media channels

There are dozens of social media channels, but not all of them will be a good fit for your business. Your social media channels should align with your target market and business goals.

The demographics of the largest social media channels are complex, but here’s a quick overview:

  • Facebook: 2.91 billion users, largest age group 25-34, 43% female, 57% male
  • Instagram: 2 billion users, largest age group 18-34, 48.4% female, 51.8% male
  • TikTok: 1 billion users, largest age group 10-19, 61% female, 39% male
  • Twitter: 211 million users, largest age group 18-29, 38.4% female, 61.6% male
  • LinkedIn: 810 million users, largest age group 25-34, 48% female, 52% male
  • Pinterest: 431 million users, largest age group 50-65, 78% female, 22% male
  • Snapchat: 319 million users, largest age group 15-25, 54.4% female, 44.6% male

But you’ll also want to consider the engagement level of each channel for different industries. So, for instance, if you are targeting the fashionable women in our example, you could find them on several of these channels.

But TikTok has a 1.26 percent engagement rate in the beauty industry, while Facebook’s rate is just 0.08 percent.

Create content your leads will love

Once you know who you’re trying to reach and where you’ll be connecting with them, you need to create social media content that will resonate.

This means creating content your target audience will find visually appealing, easy to read or watch, and relevant.

To get started, look at your chosen social media channels and see what kind of content is already doing well in your industry.

Look at the posts with the most likes, comments, and shares, and identify what makes them successful. Then, create similar content for your own social media campaigns.

Your content can include graphics, well-written textvideo posts, infographics, or links to your blog posts or landing pages.

Make sure your leads see your content

Make sure your leads see your content

Even the most well-crafted social media posts won’t generate leads if no one sees them. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need to consider how you’ll promote your social media content.

There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Use social media ads to boost the reach of your posts. You can target your ads to reach people who fit your target market’s demographic and interests.
  • Collaborate with other social media users with a target market similar to yours. For example, you could do a social media takeover, collaborate on a post, or do a live broadcast together.
  • Use social media tools. Hootsuite Insights will help you track social media trends and optimize your content strategy.
  • Increase your reach.  More people organically see your posts.
  • Create contests or social media giveaways. These are always popular and a great way to get people to interact with your brand.

Advertising is the fastest way to reach a broad market. But if you want to generate leads without money changing hands, teaming up with other social media users is a great option.

Get your leads to convert

The final step in using social media for lead generation is to get social media leads to convert. It’s not a social media lead if someone sees one of your posts but does not follow you or share their email address.  A social media lead is someone interested enough in your business to want to hear more from you.

The best way to get social media leads to convert is to include a call-to-action (CTA) with every post. A CTA is a statement that tells your social media lead what you want them to do, like “click here to learn more” or “sign up for our newsletter.”

You’ll want to offer an incentive or lead magnet to entice people to share their email addresses or follow you on social media. Some options include:

  •  Downloadable e-book or white paper.
  • A cheat sheet or checklist.
  • Free trial or demo of your product.
  • Coupon code or discount.
  • Free shipping.
  • Entry into a contest or giveaway.

Follow up right away

Follow up right away

Following up fast is the key to converting leads to customers. A quick follow-up can give you a significant edge over your competitors when using social media for lead generation.

In a recent audit of 2,241 U.S. companies reported in the Harvard Business Review:

  • 37% responded to a web-generated lead within one hour.
  • 16% responded within one to 24 hours.
  • 24% took more than 24 hours.
  • 23% of the companies never responded at all.

Why is this important? The same researchers also measured the results of quick follow-up.

After receiving a lead, businesses that followed up within one hour were nearly seven times more likely to qualify the lead (i.e., speak with a key decision maker) as those that waited an hour. They were also more than 60 times more likely to qualify a lead.

Your follow-up doesn’t necessarily need to be a phone call — it might be a welcome email to a new subscriber or a private message to a new follower — but automating an instant follow-up is still an effective technique.

Get social

Get social

When it comes to how to generate leads through social media, the best strategy is to focus on a well-defined target market. Use social media to create valuable content, advertise it to the right people, and follow up quickly when you get a social media lead.

If you do all three of these things, you’ll be well on your way to generating leads through social media.

Want some help with your social media? Talk to a content specialist at ClearVoice and find out how we can help you create compelling social content to share.

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About the author

Lauren Haas

Lauren Haas is an entrepreneur and writer with a passion for small business and marketing. Based on more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, she writes about content marketing and other small business topics for a variety of websites and creates strategies for clients.