The ultimate goal of marketing, regardless of the platform or method, is lead generation. The problem is, lead generation is the number one challenge for more than half (61%) of marketers. Generating interest in your brand is difficult to do when everyone in your industry has the same goal.
The best way to generate interest (and maintain it) is through social media. Social media is a useful tool to attract, engage and convert prospective customers. Sixty-six percent of marketers generate leads from social media after spending only six hours per week on social marketing, and it's massively underutilized. This means more room for your brand and business to get in front of the competition.
The key to getting the best results is knowing the basics and building from there.
Here are ten tips for converting social engagement into leads.
1. Know What Platforms Your Target Audience Uses
Before you do anything, it's crucial to target the handful of platforms relevant to your most active audience. By doing so, you ensure that your efforts will reach your consumers. After all, no matter how great your ad content is, it's useless if your target market doesn't see it.
Different platforms yield different results among various age groups:
- The share of the Silent generation (born 1928 - 1945) using Facebook has nearly doubled.
- 38% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18-29, and 26% of users are 30-49.
- 35% of Instagram users are between ages 25-34, and 30% are between 18-24.
2. Make It Mobile Friendly
Every year, mobile use increases in importance for marketing professionals. Most consumers are using their mobile phones when engaging with your ads. Without a mobile-friendly strategy, you'll likely lose out on a significant portion of your leads. Sixty-one percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from mobile-friendly sites
To make it mobile-friendly, first and foremost make sure all of your sites work on mobile devices. Then:
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Make it easily accessed by mobile.
- Format your content for scanning and small screens.
- Use various formats (video, infographic, interactive, etc.).
3. Run Lead Generation Ads
Lead generation ads are important because they capture valuable information about your customers through data collection and allow you to target a specific audience. The top three social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have lead generation ads that can bring in middle-of-the-funnel or bottom-of-the-funnel leads, depending on your ad content and targeting.
- LinkedIn has 2x the buying power of the average web audience, and their lead conversion rates are 3x higher than other major ad platforms.
- Facebook has 2.5 billion monthly active users worldwide and is being used for advertising by 92% of social marketers.
- Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, around 500 million tweets daily and 66% of people have discovered a new business on Twitter.
4. Post Gated Content
Gated content can play an important role in lead generation because it gives potential consumers something valuable in exchange for personal information like their email address, name and more. The key is to have the right mix of gated and ungated content because gated content contributes to lead generation, but ungated content improves SEO and brand awareness.
Consider developing social media posts, like white papers, ebooks, or webinars that lead to a landing page where followers can fill out the information to download the content. This will get you sales leads. On the other hand, use blog posts, infographics and YouTube videos for ungated material.
5. Help Users Solve Their Problems
Helping your community is a quick way to engage potential leads, build trust and attract customers. By determining what problems your audience typically has trouble solving and then offering up your expertise, you attract and engage with more consumers.
This can be done through a blog post addressing typical questions asked, how-to's, infographics and more.
6. Create Clickable Content
Wherever possible, make sure each post has a clear link and a compelling call-to-action. Consumers who aren't motivated to take further action aren't likely to make a purchase. So, create a clear, simple, strong CTA that encourages an immediate response.
Examples of successful CTAs you can use in a social media setting include:
- Download my webinar
- Contact us today
- Register now before it runs out
7. Offer Incentives
People love incentives! When they feel like they're getting something valuable out of the transaction, they're more compelled to share information with you. It also encourages social engagement on the topic when you include stipulations like following, sharing, liking, commenting and tagging.
Depending on the type of lead you're looking to collect, there are different incentives you can offer to sweeten the deal.
- Discount codes
- Freebies & Giveaways
- Flash sales & limited-time offers
- Buy one, get one
8. Include Product Demonstrations or Tutorials
If you can show what you're offering, do so! Offering visual content relating directly to your product or service helps people understand the value. It also gives them 24/7 access to content that will improve their experience with your product.
Recent studies show that 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product and 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. So give them what they want!
9. Consistent Branding
Consistent branding is the key to standing out from your competitors. Keep your brand message and promise in mind to deliver a seamless and connected experience with your target audience at all times. Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Creative elements such as your tone, imagery and color scheme, in particular, need to be consistent as your customers approach the point of purchase to avoid confusion and mistrust.
10. Engage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is content created by consumers who have used your product before. A person outside your brand generates it, making the product review more authentic, credible and trustworthy — helping drive social sales. This kind of content is essential because 61% of people now find information from "a person likes me" to be credible or very credible.
Engaging with user-generated content makes it known that you are present and responsive to your customers. Connecting with consumers who are talking about your brand can positively impact you because it shows you care about them and their business.
Examples of user-generated content (UGC):
- Reviews and testimonials
- Social media comments and posts
- Videos and blog posts
- Case studies
Bonus Tip: Work With a Media Partner
Learning what successful businesses do to convert social engagement can be easy, but implementing these practices into your strategy effectively can get complicated and time consuming. Working with a media partner ensures you maximize your efforts to attract, engage and convert your target audience to loyal customers.