Everybody knows social media marketing is very important but most folks are pretty bad at it. They have no idea how to reliably generate leads.
I had the same problem when I started. I could see the immense potential of social media but could not harness it. At first, I experimented with a lot of different stuff. Most of them were disappointing and didn’t show any results. After I made some major changes to my game plan things started looking up. For one, I figured out what to look for in analytics. I started to give importance to engagement metrics instead of paying attention to how many likes and followers I was getting.
After analysing the social media analytics, I got a clear idea how to convert the social media traffic to a constant source of leads.
All I needed to do was:
1. Pay Close Attention to Analytics Numbers
2. Figure Out A Way to Get Leads From The Traffic
After I tweaked my game plan I was rewarded with 60 plus leads in the first week itself.
Today, I am generating a lot more leads than 60 per week. But I don’t want to promise anything as what worked for me might not work so well for you. On the other hand, you might even end up putting my numbers to shame.
You need to adapt these strategies to your market and business environment to achieve results. These methods are just effective marketing techniques. You need to execute then properly to get leads.
1. Make Gated Content
Gated content is a fool proof strategy to generate leads on social media. Most of your audience on social media are people who haven’t bought anything. They are aware of your products and may even be considering. It’s your job to keep them engaged and gently persuade then to act.
Gated content can help you achieve exactly that.
Gated content is content that cannot be accessed directly. Your audience gets access to gated content only after they take an action – signing up for an email newsletter, posting something on social media or liking a page.
Having said that, I would not recommend doing gated content to everyone. You should try to give as much value to your audience as you can without asking anything in return. But, if you have some content that is just so amazing that people will gladly trade their name and email for it then go ahead and make gated content.
Since gated content gives you access to email addresses you need to be trustworthy. Don’t spam their inboxes with daily emails. One email after a couple of weeks is enough to promote your product.
The way you expose your gated content to your target audience is by posting or tweeting about it. You can place a link to the content with a short introduction.
When people click the link they are given the option to access the content if they share their email address.
Simple enough, right? Still, there are a lot of companies who fail to get leads through this technique. They don’t understand why nobody is interested in the gated content.
You need to remember that the main focus in gated content should be the “content” part of it. Your content should be worth it.
You should also keep the key to the gate fairly simple. Nobody will fill a long form to access the gated content because the effort required to cross the gate is greater than the benefit.
It’s also important to pick the right content to give away. There are a lot of options – guides, video, webinar or cheat sheets.
Depending on your niche some content might be better suited than others. To find out which type of content is better for your niche, take a look at what others in your niche are offering. Once you find the preferred content type you can start generating leads.
As discussed earlier you need to be responsible while promoting the gated content. Don’t tick off followers by constantly spamming feeds.
If you want to promote gated content that’s limited, make sure your audience are made aware of the scarcity. Remind them about the limited nature of the content you are offering. Try to promote your content in a way that doesn’t tick off your followers. You don’t want to constantly spam feeds with your offer.
2. Do Live streams
From a social media marketing perspective, live stream events are pure gold. I love these events.
Live streaming events are extremely popular these days. You get to spend quality time interacting with users and they appreciate that.
You can host these events on almost all major platforms – Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram. Many new apps are also targeting live streaming service and some of them have a huge user base. Periscope is one such app with more than 2 million daily users.
I mentioned the scarcity trigger as an effective means to promote gated content. Well, a live event is by its nature is limited and that attracts a lot of attention. Although live streams can be saved but there is nothing more engaging than being a part of a live event.
I feel the best platform for hosting a live streaming event is Facebook live. It has a considerable advantage over others. It covers more people than any other platform and allows the stream to be saved.
The best part is when you start a live event your followers are sent a notification. This ensures that you have an audience right from the start of the stream.
Starting a live event on Facebook:
Open the Facebook app. Click on the live button on the upper left corner.
Name your event.
Click “Go Live”.
After a 3 second countdown, the stream will start.
You may not have anyone watching right away but don’t worry, just try to keep it as entertaining as possible. People can also watch it later.
You can use live streams to host interviews or demonstrate a product. They are great for hosting live Q&A sessions as well. If you are looking to increase your audience live contest are the way to go. Brand vlogging is also interesting as live stream event.
Users prefer watching a video over reading a lengthy blog post. Studies show over 80 percent people would choose live stream over a blog post.
The last part is again about responsibly. You should not try to sell them a product. You should not spam live videos. Make sure your streams have value for the audience.
The amazing thing about live streams is that they can be interactive. You have a chance to have an open conversation with the viewers. Listen to them and respond accordingly to keep them engaged.
Video space is growing steadily and live streaming is leading the charge. It can do wonders for your marketing effort if you use it properly.
3. Twitter cards
What if I told you that there is an amazing lead capturing feature in twitter that most people don’t know about?
What’s more is that it’s completely free!
I am talking about Twitter Cards.
Twitter cards can be used for getting email leads. They are simply an extension of tweets that can be customized by adding text, photos, and videos.
You can use the card to design a simple email capture page. The user will be able to access the card without leaving twitter which makes the process very easy to follow.
The reason I recommend this is because you only need to create the card once and use it with any tweet you want. It saves a lot of time.
Here is how to make a Twitter Card for capturing leads.
Open your Twitter account. On the top right corner click on your profile picture and select “Twitter Ads” from the options.
Then, click “Cards.”
Select the option “Create your First Lead Generation Card.”
Now design your card according to your taste by adding an apt description. Add a background image.
Don’t forget to add a call-to-action
Give your card a name and then click on “Create Card.”
You can also pin the card to the top of your Twitter page, that way it will be the first thing a visitor will notice when they visit your Twitter page.
I don’t know why most marketers ignore cards. This is an amazing technique to capture leads via twitter. You can make multiple cards and swap them in case you are running more than one marketing campaigns.
It’s amazing to see how this little technique can help increase the size of your email list.
4. Become A Valuable Resource
This may sound like a very difficult task but it’s achievable if you have the proper approach.
Building an authority takes time but if you focus on helping people you might be surprised at the amount of attention you can get in a relatively short time.
When you help someone they, in turn, help you back. With social media, you can reach out and try to help your audience. Probably the best way to go about doing this is by hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) style interview.
Reddit is a great place to hold an AMA but other platforms are not bad either. If you have a greater following on Facebook feel free to hold an AMA there instead. In fact, you can hold AMA on any platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope. If you can connect with your audience you can have an AMA.
The way a typical AMA plays out is you set a specific time duration within which you have to answer questions from your audience. AMAs provide you the opportunity to help out your audience with their questions. In return, you get a lot of traffic.
There are several examples where an AMA helped brands get a lot of attention and kick-start their marketing campaign.
The team which developed the chrome plugin OccupyTheBookstore got a lot of attention when they held an AMA on Reddit.
The success prompted them to hold another AMA a year later.
AMAs are great to gather fresh traffic as people participating in AMAs often want to hear more.
AMAs don’t even need to be a one-time thing. Several brands run a continuous AMA channel on twitter or Facebook.
TSA created the Twitter channel, called @AskTSA, solely to help customers with their questions.
If you are receiving a lot of questions this is a good way to handle them. A dedicated Q&A page on twitter or Facebook can go a long way to helping your audience. It shows that you care for your users.
During AMAs, the primary concern should be helping people. Don’t try to make a sale, although there is nothing wrong with providing links to your profile.
Try, to be honest, and friendly. They should feel comfortable asking questions. Refrain from using complex explanations or corporate jargon as they are a big turn off for people. Your audience will appreciate your effort if you give open answers.
Another way of making yourself indispensable is by providing value through well-produced content. It really does not matter if it’s a webinar, blog post or video as long as its authoritative, detailed and actionable.
If the content, you create is helpful to your audience you will be seen as a valuable resource.
Generating leads through social media isn’t that hard.
You need to keep tweaking your strategies till you find one that works for you. Try to incorporate these four techniques into your strategy. Exploring the trending applications like periscope can also help a lot in generating leads.
People have increasingly become immune to ads. They see right through most marketing gimmicks. This is why social media marketing is more effective than traditional ads.
These techniques have plenty of room for creativity. You can shape them according to your needs and customize them for your niche.
If you put enough effort you may even get double a number of leads I got. So, go ahead, and put these techniques to use.
Which technique do you prefer for lead generation?