I am sure you have all heard about Social Media Marketing, and how it can be the saviour of small to medium businesses. It is great to know about it, but how do we use it.
Many of you have likely started with an all or nothing effort having 4 or more social media campaigns. Trying to keep up with posting content on each one, on a weekly basis. But if you are anything like the majority, the excitement and novelty wears off quickly and they sit there dormant.
Best Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation
To turn Social Media into a lead generating tool, you need to invest time. Unfortunately small business owners rarely have sufficient time, given all the other demands of running business. So understanding which Social Media platform to use for your business is a good starting point, and also understanding its ability as a lead generator.
Keep in mind when you are looking at this, that Facebook also has the largest user base.
Best Social Media Platform Per Industry
Facebook has the furthest reach of all Social Media platforms, with over 2.6 Billion users. With over 70% of users visiting at least once a day, and over 50% visiting several times a day.
Facebook has an older audience than most other platforms. Therefore if you are looking for houshold decision makers, Facebook is the place to be.
Most business-to-consumer businesses would benefit from Facebook Advertising in one form or another.
Instagram has a younger audience, but it has a different target market. Any business that has a visual element to it would benefit from Instagram Marketing.
Businesses like landscapers, builders, painters, artists, e-commerce and similar businesses would benefit greatly as clients are able to see the services they offer and see it as a portfolio of work for the business.
Different to all the other Social Media platforms in the list as it is exclusively Business-to-business focused. That means, if you are looking to sell to individuals, it is usually not the best place to try. On the other hand if you are selling software to accountants, it is the perfect place to try.
Twitter is an anomaly in the user base, It is used by both businesses and individuals to keep track of news in the companies they follow as well as the people they follow.
The majority of the users on Twitter are professionals who wants to be kept in the loop. If you are selling a complex software, or a high level service, Twitter will work as a marketing channel. But the way you communicate must show a level of knowledge that is above par.
Now that we are familiar with which social media platform you will spend your energy on. Now its time to actually do the work, to get the leads.
Before you go spending money on driving traffic in your social media, it is important to get your house in order. Your company profile or page is the place people will visit. But once they are there, they need a way to contract you easily.
- Insert your contact details on the page/profile. including:
- A phone number
- An email address
- A chat functionality
- Create call to action buttons
- Book now for meetings
- Reserve your table for a restaurant
- Get Tickets for a concert
- Learn more for most other businesses
- Add a link to your page or profile
- In the profile add links to products or services that might be of interest to people visiting.
- Make sure the page you send them too has a call to action.
Create Compelling Content
We have all heard the statement that content is king. Never more so than in recent times on social media.
It is not like the good old days, when all that mattered was that you had content. Now the content has to be really good. Everyone on Social Media is competing for attention. If you want a piece, you need to have attention grabbing images, text and call to action.
Also make sure that the content you do create is clickable. People can move on past the initial ad, or post to more information, or to buy the product in the image.
A landscaper can show an image on Pinterest of a job they have done, and put a link to a list of all the plants used, and the ability to buy them all in one click. This is were compelling content, turns to lead generation or sales.
Create User-Friendly, Relevant landing pages
After all the work you put into creating the amazing posts or ads, finding and editing images, testing the text and call to action, where are you sending the user?
If you are serving up a social media ad, that is talking about the solar system installation special you are running, and the page that the user lands on is a general page all about the business and not specific, you will lose the client.
If you are running an advertisement on a social media platform for Solar System installs, the landing page needs to be a clean, easy to read place for the client to find out more information without clicking further. Assume the Ad has the call to action button say “enquire now” the first thing the landing page must have is an enquiry form, or a chat program to talk to someone. If the call to action button says “learn more” then the landing page must have all the information that a user may want to know.
Also don’t forget to close the user while they are on the landing page. Have the contact form front and centre at all times. Encourage the user with your language to enter their details for a no obligation discussion.
Use Social Media Ads
This is the expensive way of generating leads online, but it is also the fastest. All the previous methods are relying on people finding you and wanting your product or service.
In social media ads, we pay to be in front of our ideal clients, with the messaging that we want, leading to the pages we want. Social media ads are a different game, but it gets result fast. In most cases it can be as effective as Google, but much cheaper.
Facebook has many formats of advertising on its platform. It is one of the most powerful advertising platforms available in the social media world. They offer all different types of ads, but since our focus on lead generation in this article, let’s talk about that exclusively.
Lead ads take all the pain out of setting up landing pages. The advertisement that you create will have a click through that will go through to a form that is hosted by Facebook. Therefore you don’t need to worry about how good your site is.
There are a few things to keep in mind when running a Facebook lead generating ad, including:
- Create different ads for different target audiences
- Make sure the targeting on each campaign is as refined as possible
- If your target audience is too large (over 1M) add some hobbies that the users may have and try and tie that into the imagery or text
- Aim for the image to grab attention and the words to explain.
- Don’t steam the images from other websites
- Make sure you customise the form to gather only the information you need.
- The more information you collect, the less likely people will give the information.
- Connect the Lead form submissions to your CRM, and make sure you are calling all leads within minutes of signing up. This will increase conversions.
- Add the Facebook Pixel to your website, so you can track anyone that clicked the ad, then left, and later comes back direct to site to sign up.
Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so needless to say their systems are similar. You can even run the one ad through both Instagram and Facebook and see the results.
The audience is different and the way they interact with ads is different. But the way of setting up the ad and the steps to watch are very similar.
With Instagram, be really conscious of the imagery since this is what the platform is known for.
Being in a business-to-business industry myself, I have come to love LinkedIn’s advertising platform. It may not be as pretty or as intuitive as Facebook’s but it is powerful.
The ability to target your audience by their job title, seniority, or size of their company is very powerful. If you are selling software to large multi nationals, you are aiming for a different level of seniority than if you are selling outsourced IT services to small to medium businesses.
Other than the targetting, the LinkedIn solution follows that same format as Facebook, except it is harder to integrate with your CRM, so you have to keep an eye on your leads coming in, and make calls as soon as you see the lead.
Keep in mind, that every segment you target, needs a slightly different ad, that targets their needs.
Sometimes we have to incentivise a potential client to give us the details we need. depending on the type of lead you are aiming for, you can provide different ways of incentivising them
Contests are a great way to collect leads. It gives you an opportunity to find the details you need, in a way that they are happy to give it for a chance to win.
Make sure that you follow all the relevant laws and get all the permits you require. The last thing you want is a massive fine for running a small campaign, but once its online its there for good.
To grow the popularity of the contest, use an influencer to support it or talk about it, and that will improve the flow of potential clients.
Discount Codes or Freemium
Discount codes have been used as a marketing tool forever. Giving them in social media is tried and tested, and it works.
The concept is to give a voucher or a discount code if the lead gives you their details. The best at this are the software as a service marketers. They have perfected and coined the term Freemium. Freemium is giving away a free version of the software for a short period of time. But to receive access to the software you have to give them your information.
Gated Content or Lead Magnets
Gated content refers to having something amazing that the user can only have if they give you an email address. The most common thing used is a white paper. They are very common, but have amazing headlines that make you want to click. When you do, they ask for an email address, and in some cases a name and phone number. You need that data to unlock that gate.
The content is called a lead magnet, as it is used to attract the potential lead to enter their details.
Creation of this content is key, it must be sought after, interesting, professional, and actually good content.
Some of the most common lead magnets include:
- Email Newsletters
- Thought Leadership Articles
- White Papers
- Case Studies or Reviews
The above graph shows how important personalisation can be to lead generation, especially in business-to-business environments.
Although it is highly effective, it is not always easy. Some platforms like LinkedIn allow for the poersonlisation, others make it harder.
The closest we can come on Facebook and Instagram is target a very fine segment, and personalise based on interests or hobbies. An example maybe a Dog food company segmenting out people that have cats as well as dogs, and have the image of the dog eating the food and a cat in the background licking its lips. This ad will be more personalised than just having a dog eating food.
Also, don’t be afraid to re-target people who have visited your website in the past with new content based on what they did on your site last time. For example if someone clicks on an ad that talks about domestic electricians in your area. Make sure they are re-targeted with an ad that says “Still looking for an electrician?” This is personalised, as we know they were at one stage interested, and we could be bringing back the memory of the issue he needed the electrician for.
Measure, tweak and measure again
Marketing has changed from a creative persons field, to a scientists field. Every element of what happens on your ads, and what happens on your site is captured by Analytics software. But how do we understand it?
The simplest way to look at it is, what is getting me results? If its getting me results put more behind it. If its not performing cut the spend and use it somewhere else.
Take note that these ads need time to start getting the results that can help make an educated guess. In the first few weeks ads are going to bounce around, you may see an ad have 5 enquiry forms sent, then the next week nothing.