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3 Ways to Generate Leads from Social Media

17 December 2020

Social media is a powerful tool for reinforcing credibility, interacting with customers, and driving traffic to your site. 

In fact, 75% of consumers turn to social media when making a purchase. 

But, staying up to date on the latest trends, creating relevant content, interacting with your audience, and optimizing ads can take away focus from (what should be) the bigger picture:

Generating leads and making sales. 

Receiving a cascade of comments or a noticeable number of shares and likes on each post contributes to brand awareness and acts as social proof

Unfortunately, healthy social media metrics don’t single-handedly nudge followers and fans into your sales funnel. 

In order for your social media marketing to generate leads and increase sales, your lead generation and social media strategy need to work together. In this post, I’ll show you how to make that happen.  

Note: Want to know which companies are visiting your site? Here’s a tracking tool that’s built for B2B? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days.

1. Personalize content to the needs of your leads

Most brands share content and urge their audience to “subscribe for more.” 

The ones who actually win the competition for attention, however, are those offering content that’s most relevant to their audience.

Personalization is an important part of advancing customer relationships. In a competitive environment that’s crammed with content, personalization is one of the few ways brands stand a chance at generating leads on densely populated platforms. 

Take financial services company BlackRock, for example. To generate more leads and broaden brand awareness, they focused their attention on LinkedIn to connect with investors. 

After crafting investing personas to target based on interests, income levels, and education profiles, they shared LinkedIn posts on advanced “niche” topics (like non-traditional asset classes) that were highly relevant to the types of investors they wanted to attract.

This personalized content campaign boosted BlackRock’s LinkedIn follower count by 222,000, added 1.25x value to their deals, and allowed them to drive more engagement than bigger brands like Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

For some startups, personalization is an early-stage marketing strategy that tips the scales of trust and credibility to drive growth.

This was the case for e-commerce companies like Luxy hair and Beardbrand. Both brands, who now clear six figures in revenue, relied on content tailored to their audience to make sales during the startup phase.

Here at Leadfeeder, personalization plays a critical role in our content marketing and lead generation strategy.

Our product helps salespeople identify the companies that are visiting their site. So when we create content, we backtrack from the problems and challenges salespeople face to ensure our material is useful to them.

2. Use social listening for savvy lead generation.

Did you know that 92 percent of companies reported investing in A.I and machine learning technology last year? 

Among those A.I. tools, social listening has piqued interest and is expected to gain even more traction this year.

It will open previously closed doors to meaningful conversations and give insight into what customers are saying and where they’re saying it. 

90% of customers admit to using social media to communicate with a brand or business. But only 8% of them agree to receive exceptional customer service. 

Pair this with the fact that the majority of social media users expect a response from you within the same day they pose a question, and it’s easy to see how social listening paves the way for superior customer service. 

But, the use cases for social listening transcend customer service and reputation management.

Companies like Pandora, a radio and music streaming giant, use it to create and promote B2B and B2C content that generates leads and strengthens their social media presence.

And social listening tools like Awario are starting to roll out features dedicated to lead generation. 

social media leads awario

With their Awario Leads feature, you can set relevant keywords, filter out competitors, and engage in social selling by replying back to recent mentions of the keywords you’re targeting. 

3. Channel followers into your email marketing funnel

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On a third-party platform, you relinquish control over how you engage with followers and convert them into leads. 

An unintentional guideline breach can result in your account being suspended, or technical problems force your platform to go down (Instagram and Facebook went down in 2019 for 10+ hours).

This can leave you in a tight pinch, especially if you’re not cultivating a following through your email list and basket all your lead generation eggs on one social media platform. 

A responsive email list is one of the most valuable lead generation assets you can own. That’s why a multi-channel approach that synchronizes with your email marketing efforts is essential.

But, how do you grow an email list to generate more leads from social media? 

Team up for co-branded promotions and events

 73 percent of marketers and sales leaders report webinars as a top lead generation tactic.

And according to research by American Express, companies that collaborate see an average of 44 percent more yearly growth and achieve better ROI than those that don’t. 

Partnering up with complementary companies is an effective way to grow your email list with social media.

When marketing agency Impacted, partnered with Wipster (a product they frequently use) to create a webinar valuable to both their audiences, they captured 900 high-intent email addresses and 225 attendees from new registrants. 

Use Facebook ads to promote your opt-in offer

Creating compelling Facebook ads takes time, money, and patience. But, once you target the right audience with a relevant message and offer, your email list will experience growth that’s quicker than passive tactics that rely on organic traffic and cold clicks. 

Depending on the effectiveness of your ads and the value of each subscriber, this can come at a low cost.

Fitness coach Mary Fernandez, for example, added 532 new subscribers to her list in 43 days with an average of 43 cents per subscriber. 

Spice up your LinkedIn activity

When Hubspot asked over 5000 marketers about the most effective social media channels, they found that LinkedIn’s visitor-to-lead conversion was almost three times higher than Twitter and Facebook. 

LinkedIn engagement is on the rise, and the popularity of the platform shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. To convert connections into permanent leads on your email list: 

Link to your opt-in offer from your profile page. Views and clicks are inevitable with an optimized personal/corporate page, use that attention to grow your email list by making your opt-in offer prominent. 

Use video to set yourself apart and dominate your niche. LinkedIn video isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. In fact, frequently posting punchy one-minute videos is how Goldie Chan skyrocketed her social media agency’s reputation, became a top LinkedIn influencer, and earned the “Oprah of LinkedIn” title. 

Create “gated content” that’s accessible only after your audience interacts with you. If you know your audience has a problem and you have a way to solve it, you can create powerful content that both validates your opt-in incentive, and drives more traffic to it. For example, this post by Adam Goyette got over 200 likes and 700 comments and rewarded Adam with free high-quality clicks to his opt-in page. Not too shabby for a single LinkedIn post, right?  

social media leads adam goyette

A connection is key to generating leads from social media 

The craving for connection is a natural, deeply ingrained human trait. 

We want to erupt into laughter after a good joke, cling a glass of wine at the table, and stuff our faces with burritos synchronize lyrics of popular songs to each other. 

At the same time, the nature of commerce demands that the pipeline is constantly fueled with leads. 

But, an engagement-rich social following doesn’t guarantee leads, and incessant demands and calls-to-action exhaust your audience and dwindle your conversion rates. 

Generating leads from social media means combining both social connection and commerce.

Listen to your customer’s needs, create personalized content that’s valuable to them, and engage them on your own terms and in your own sales funnel for repeated lead generation.

Note: Want to know which companies are visiting your site? Here’s a tracking tool that’s built for B2B? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days.

Anna Crowe
By Anna Crowe

Anna works as a SEO Consultant and writer for Search Engine Land. Over the last decade, Anna has successfully developed and implemented online marketing strategies, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 100+ businesses of all sizes; from the Fortune 500, to startups, and nonprofits. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).

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