How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation (8 Strategies Revealed)
When brainstorming lead gen strategies, social media might not be the first option that comes to mind. However, you’d be surprised. Social selling is a powerful lead generation strategy gaining more and more momentum. Why? Because at the end of the day, no matter your industry of operation, you’re selling to a person.
Brands prioritizing social selling are 51% more likely to reach their sales quotas. That’s not surprising, given that 55% of consumers learn of new brands via social media.
With social media as a part of your lead generation strategy, you can connect with those who are already looking for your brand or a similar service offering, who follow similar keywords and hashtags or who are invested in important industry news.
Let’s look at a few ways you can use social media for lead generation.
What is social media lead generation?
Let’s start with the basics: a lead is anyone who expresses an interest in the products or services you offer but is not ready to buy. This person might have shared their contact information to download a valuable resource and browsed your website, but they are not clients yet. However, they have the potential to become a paying customer in the future.
For your business to grow, it’s essential to have many leads in your sales funnel, nurturing them, and eventually converting leads into customers.
This is where social media lead generation comes into play. Social media lead generation is about using strategic marketing tactics to generate more leads and grow your sales funnel with the help of social platforms.
Using your brand and employee’s social media channels to connect with leads, develop a genuine connection, and engage with them in order to transform them into prospects and paying customers. Consumers like to interact with brands on social media, and 69% of people say that messaging a brand increases their levels of brand trust.
Related: inbound marketing for agencies
With that said, social lead generation is not about bombarding people with tweets or spamming users using LinkedIn InMails. It’s also not solely about the number of new followers obtained in a week or month’s time.
Instead, social media lead generation is about lead nurturing by creating and engaging in meaningful interactions with your target audience.
Further reading: what is demand generation
What is the best social media platform for generating leads?
The best social media platform for generating leads is the one that your customers use most. If your audience doesn’t use TikTok, there is no need to create an account for your brand on that platform.
Also read: lead generation challenges
An important distinction to make is if you are a B2C or B2B company. For B2C brands, Facebook is commonly regarded as the best lead generation platform. Why? Because Facebook boasts more than 2.96 billion users per month. So apart from being the biggest social media platform in the world, it also offers marketers some powerful features to collect data and leads by means of its platform.
However, if you operate in the B2B sphere, LinkedIn might be your best bet. According to LinkedIn data, 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for lead generation purposes. Marketers say LinkedIn generates more than two times as many leads compared to other social media channels. This should be a convincing argument to choose that platform for you business to business lead generation strategy.
However, I will repeat myself and remind you to refrain from feeling compelled to use either of these platforms if your audience does not use them. Having strong buyer personas in place will help you understand where your ideal audiences spend their time on social media.
Also read: lead generation for agencies
8 social media lead generation strategies you should try
You can acquire new leads through social media in several different ways; I’m going to cover eight that you can easily implement in your company below. Not all might be a good fit, so pick and choose what’s easiest to implement while keeping your marketing and business goals in mind.
1) Start by creating a strong company profile
Whether you’re using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, any social media platform where your brand is present needs a top-notch company profile. The reason is simple: the first thing potential customers will see is your profile and company information.
So before launching any initiatives, begin by optimizing your profile. Make it relevant and interesting for your target audience by including:
Clear contact information,
A clear call to action,
A link to your website,
Quick links to newsletter or trial sign-up pages,
A short but powerful brand description,
Your company logo.
With these elements in place, your audience will be quicker to trust you, and your social media lead generation efforts will have more of an impact.
Related: how to start a social media marketing agency
2) Create zero-click content for social media
It’s important to create and share content that will resonate emotionally with your audience. Ideally, the content is powerful enough that it encourages engagement. However, if there’s no clear next step other than liking a post, you’re missing out on a conversion opportunity.
Published content needs to have a goal. Whether it’s to entertain, educate or share company news, it must have a reason for existing. Until recently, that goal was furthered by including a link, or a call to action (like or comment the post).
In the past few years, social platforms have started penalizing posts that contain links. After all, they want to keep their user base on their platform. Some content creators have come up with interesting ways to circumvent this issue by separating links with spaces, but it’s not ideal for the user experience as they are not clickable. Link-shortening services might be a good way to make your links available to potential leads.
There’s also another strategy that slowly gains traction: zero-click content. The content offers value by itself, without the need to click anything for more information.
3) Use social media for content distribution
You can create the best piece of content in the world. But if you don’t distribute it, it’s unlikely that people will find it. Leverage company profiles on social media to elevate your content marketing efforts and distribute content organically. 77% of social media marketers that do say it has been somewhat to very effective for their company in 2022.
As a company, posting on social media will boost your brand awareness, help you collect and nurture loyal fans and encourage readers to click, act and potentially convert.
Getting started is relatively easy too:
Decide on a goal for posting content and brainstorm what content would resonate with your target audience.
Then, create a content calendar to ensure consistency and track what’s been published and what has not.
Lastly, measure your results by analyzing impressions, engagement metrics, and conversion metrics to keep optimizing your plan and pushing out content that pleases your audience.
Tip: posting quality content at a regular frequency is crucial. Erratic posting will make it less likely for your content to appear on people’s feeds, making it hard to nurture leads.
4) Share client wins and testimonials
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools. So don’t hesitate to take advantage and share client wins and success stories on your social media profile.
Customer stories and testimonials not only build trust, they also act as social proof and encourage leads and undecided buyers to take action. After all, they highlight how you’ve helped solve a common pain point for a client—and how you can do it for other brands too. In fact, two out of three people are more likely to buy an item after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a business or service offering helped someone like them.
If you don’t have the resources to create a video, a simple graphic with a customer quote can be equally effective to highlight your success stories. At SPP, we use a static image that includes the quote, client name, job position and a photo of them on a branded background (as seen above). We also link to the relevant case study (if it exists). The quote catches the reader’s attention, and the client photo makes the testimonial feel personal.
5) Run contests and giveaways
Who doesn’t love winning free things? That’s why contests and giveaways are a popular tactic to get leads on social media. According to this study, benefits include:
Increased number of followers (65%).
Expanded brand awareness (62%).
Improved engagement rates on social media (58%).
Depending on the platform you use, you can organize different giveaways. For example, ask your Instagram followers to post a story or invite them to tag a friend below your post and follow your account to enter the contest. This increases your brand’s exposure and the reach of the giveaway.
Alternatively, encourage followers to sign up for a giveaway through a landing page. It’s the perfect tactic to build an email list.
6) Leverage social media paid ads
According to Gartner, “CMOS spent more than 21% of their marketing budget on advertising with 66% of that going to paid social media digital channels.”
Companies that run paid social media ads benefit from increased brand exposure, engagement, and conversions.
To make the most out of your budget, advertise on the platform your audience is most active on. Take advantage of the detailed targeting options at your disposal, and run experiments trying to find the best way to reach your audience.
You can take it one step further and utilize lead generation ads. Something which Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all offer. Lead generation ads come with prefilled forms. So people can easily sign up for an offer, newsletter, or access an e-book without spending too much time entering their personal information or being redirected to a landing page.
7) Generate publicity and drive traffic for an upcoming event
Have an upcoming webinar or online event? Use social media to promote it and expand the reach of the event. There’s also a chance it will introduce new people to your brand.
To make the most use of your social channels, keep the following things in mind:
Images are one of the most important formats in content marketing because they are the most engaging. For example, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than tweets without images. And image-based platforms like Instagram boast the highest engagement rate.
Alternatively, you can create a promotional video to highlight key speakers or learnings (and we’ll cover why video is another essential lead gen strategy for social media next).
Another option is to share blog posts that highlight the webinar. Share some high-level tips in the post and then encourage users to learn more by signing up for an upcoming webinar.
8) Harness the power of video
Video content is on the rise. There are more platforms than ever to create and consume video content. And social media platforms that did not include video have pivoted to highlight it further. For instance, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said back in 2016:
In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video.
So it’s no surprise that 60% of brands now use video on social networks. After all, 84% of online consumers buy products after watching a branded video.
Using video content as part of your marketing strategy will increase your brand awareness, boost your website traffic and generate more leads and sales.
Grow your industry knowledge
If you’re looking to add video content to your marketing strategy, start by defining the objectives for your video(s). Next, analyze the resources at your disposal. Will you need outside help, or can you craft a high-quality video in-house? Then, choose the type of video and content you want to feature and make a production plan to ensure all deadlines are met.
Service Provider Pro, for instance, has repurposed its video case studies into shorter snippets perfect for sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter.
How to track lead generation on social media?
Once you’ve decided on your preferred social media lead generation strategies, it’s important to measure success so you can tweak, optimize or stop unsuccessful initiatives.
Here’s a list of metrics to keep track of:
Replies or retweets,
Reshares or reposts,
The bounce rate of the page you directed users towards.
These are just a few examples of metrics you can use to track and measure the progress of your social lead generation strategy. Your chosen metrics must reflect your business, social media goals, and marketing strategy.
Generate more leads using social media
Generating leads from social media takes time. And if you’re starting from scratch, don’t attempt to implement eight new social media strategies simultaneously. Pick and choose what would work best for you. What you choose should depend on your buyer’s persona, marketing strategy, and business goals.
By leveraging social media to find, nurture and get more leads, you’ll gain the upper hand over your competition while boosting your organic growth.