As we hurtle towards the final months of 2019, we find social media platforms in rude health. 59% of the public are accessing a social media platform daily, while more than a third are checking their profiles more than five times per day.
Such high usage makes social media a prime stomping ground for marketers looking to generate leads for their business.
Before we delve into the numerous means of generating leads through social media, let's backtrack and take a moment to reflect on what lead generation means for you and your business. Lead generation is a means of enticing potential customers with interest in your product or service into your sales funnel with the end goal of them making a purchase and becoming loyal customers.
With social media platforms, we find consumers to be more open to a conversation than they would with traditional lead generation methods, such as cold calling. Social Media also gives us the power to generate higher-quality leads through specific targeting.
With 2.2 billion monthly active users, there is a huge potential for lead generation on Facebook. There are several ingredients needed for marketing success on Facebook, namely being active daily, regularly posting content, sharing photos and videos, and running promotions.
When generating leads on Facebook, running targeted ads have particular significance. Facebook gives us three key formats where we can run ads.
- Boosted posts are used on ordinary posts extending its reach beyond organic to specific pre-designated targets. For generating leads this could be advertising a call-to-action, such as a newsletter signup, to an audience outside of your organic reach
- Right-hand column ads, the traditional Facebook ad, these result in cheaper conversions and have advanced testing options.
- Newsfeed ads look like native advertising but don't appear on your profile page. With these, you tend to get higher engagement than you would with right-hand column ads though they tend to be more expensive.
Not all advertisements on Facebook are successful. To make sure yours don't fall into this category, there are some steps you should follow before running an ad.
- Consider why you're running the ad. Not knowing this makes measuring the success of the ad unnecessarily challenging.
- Who are you targeting? Your ad will not be much use if you're generating leads that aren't useful to your business in the long-term.
- Consider how much money you'd like to invest in the ad. Bear in mind that Facebook will base total ad spend on several factors, including the creative being used, how well received it is by your target audience, the overall size of that audience and the number of impressions it generates amongst others. Always remember that when posting an ad you are entering a bidding war to appear on people's newsfeeds.
- Choose your format. Facebook lets you choose between using videos, images, collections, carousels, slideshows and canvases.
- Finally, you need to choose where you want your ad to appear, there is a wide array of options when choosing where you want your ad to appear. They include desktop and mobile newsfeed ads, right-hand column ads, audience network ads and Instagram ads (as Facebook owns Instagram) amongst others. Recently, however, selecting automatic placements tend to perform better than selecting any particular option.
Instagram has been rapidly evolving into one of the most important platforms for businesses. Its number of active monthly users is growing at a rate quicker than Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat while currently totalling in with an astonishing 1 Billion monthly users.
The platform also boasts 25 million business pages globally. Instagram gives us research indicating that 200 million users visit a business page daily, and 60% of sampled users say that they've discovered new brands on the platform.
You should be aiming to post once per day on Instagram.
When crafting your caption, try and avoid spamming the post with hashtags. However, this doesn't help you in terms of visibility, instead, you should post hashtags within the first comment of the post. If you do choose to spam your post with hashtags you may fall victim to "shadow banning". Shadow banning is when Instagram will simply not show your post if you're using too many hashtags, though you'll be completely unaware that this is happening, hence the name.
At the bottom of each post, you should include some form of a call to action.
By posting daily you will begin to aggregate organic followers, which will, over time, generate more leads.
When it comes to posting stories on Instagram, a frequency of 5-15 posts per day is deemed to be the magic number.
Rather than posting all you're stories for the day in bulk, you should be spreading out when you post them over the day to ensure you're content stands strong against people's short attention spans. It also ensures that you consistently pop up near the top of your followers' newsfeed.
If you find yourself blessed with more than 10,000 followers, abuse the swipe-up link feature. It's an invaluable tool for leading prospective customers to a landing page that can channel them into your sales funnel. There is a variety of choice for where your swipe-up link could lead potential customers to, including blog posts, whitepaper downloads, webinars or even to register interest in new products or services.
Like most live platforms, Instagram live presents a huge opportunity for engagement with your followers. However, using Instagram live within their lead generation strategy is a daunting prospect for most people.
This is mainly because not many people enjoy going on camera. Furthermore, if you get it wrong, you can hardly stop and start again.
To get going on Instagram live, you need to arm yourself with a well thought out plan.
- Make sure you have any equipment you may need during the video ready on stand-by.
- Pin the topic you're discussing within the comments. Without this latecomers are likely to be clueless as to what you're talking about.
- Start your live stream off with an opening question to get the ball rolling with engagement.
- Respond to questions and have a conversation with your viewers.
- Sign-off with a call to action as well as a reminder of when the next live session is along with its topic.
Twitter is a platform that marketers shouldn't turn their noses up at. 500 million tweets are sent daily by the platforms 126 million daily users. This represents a 12% increase in active daily users over the last year.
Twitter is a powerful platform for businesses acquiring new customers. Their research indicates that 66% of users have discovered new brands through using Twitter, 69% have bought something as a result of a tweet.
Twitter gives marketers a powerful and versatile tool when signing up to Twitter ads. When you first launch a Twitter campaign, you'll be prompted to decide on the objective of your ad from a choice of several options. Including:
- Maximising tweet engagement and getting more people talking about your business
- Boosting your video views when you want your video content to reach new people
- Increasing awareness of a certain tweet
- Generating more website clicks or conversions when you want people to visit your site and take action
- Build your followers and curate an engaged audience to amplify your message both on and off twitter
- Triggering people into installing your app
- Triggering app re-engagements for existing users
For generating leads, the most relevant choice would be to select 'generate website clicks or conversions'.
Give your campaign a name and set a budget of how much you're willing to spend on the ad. After doing this, you need to select some relevant keywords and choose who you're looking to target. Pay attention to how many people the ad could reach to see if it aligns with your expectations.
Generally, ads that don't look like ads get more engagement while adopting light-hearted content, such as memes, can boost visibility.
One Feature within Twitter that perhaps sets it apart from other social networking platforms is targetting followers specific to another account. For context, if there is an influencer operating within your niche industry, you can target your content directly at their followers as they're likely to be interested in the content you are producing
In 2019, video marketing is on the rise and no-one is benefitting more from this trend than Youtube. The video-sharing giant currently boasts more than 30 million active daily users and over 5 billion posted videos.
This figure is expected to keep on rising due to the general popularity of video content, particularly amongst Gen Z.
Optimising your content is arguably one of the most critical ingredients of generating views, engagement and eventually leads on Youtube. One of the most crucial aspects of optimising your content is keyword research.
The first step to keyword research would be to map out a hierarchy of topics. This technique can help you avoid falling into the trap of targetting broad topics with huge search volumes, which would see you obtaining a largely irrelevant audience.
Secondly, to combat the risk of gaining an irrelevant audience you should begin the process of generating keyword ideas and researching search volumes. From Chrome extensions such as TubeBuddy and VidIQ to web-based analytics tools such as Ahrefs Keywords Explorer and KeywordTool.IO, there are a variety of options at your disposal to do just this. Through using tools such as those mentioned you'll end up with a concise list of really relevant keywords and search volumes derived from your previous keyword hierarchy brainstorm.
Finally, you need to be crystal clear in regards to search intent. Like Google, Youtube will filter search results based on what it thinks people want to see. To start the process of understanding your target users search intent is, simply ask yourself the question: "What would someone searching for this want to see?" You can research this simply by entering the search query into Youtube and seeing what comes up. Similarly, you can double-dip with this strategy by entering the search query into Google and seeing what comes up. If Google's search results highlight a video on Youtube, then it's a pretty good indicator that people want to see video content concerning that search query.
Despite whispers that influencers are starting to abandon the platform in favour of others such as Instagram, Snapchat is still hugely popular. 190 Million use the app every single day, creating over 3 billion snaps along the way. Gen Z, in particular, is notably drawn to the picture messaging app.
Typically, Snapchat is not a platform geared towards selling. That being said it is a fantastic tool for redirecting people off the app and towards your sales funnel, as well as showing off your company culture.
More than any other social media platform, LinkedIn is very much geared towards B2B marketing.
The professional social networking platform is home to over 575 million active users, though its users tend to spend an average of just 17 minutes per month on it. This means that you have a limited time-frame within which to grab peoples attention.
Segmenting your audience should be the starting point for any good research in the build-up to a campaign. LinkedIn gives us a variety of tools to do just that, including segmentation by keywords, current jobs, previous jobs, industry or even non-profit interests. Typically though, when we think of how we can segment audiences, we tend to think of demographic variables. Typical demographic variables include
- Age: Allowing you to consider generational differences
- Gender: Allowing you to consider gender differences
- Income/Job Status: Allowing you to consider lifestyle and disposable income
- Education Level: Allowing you to consider how different groups will respond to marketing tactics and potentially level of income
However, beyond these stereotypical variables, we should also be considering psychographic variables. We can break psychographic variables down by behaviours and traits that an individual displays. Namely, personality, values, personality, activities, interests and opinions.
Once you've effectively segmented your audience you will be able to tailor messages specifically to your target audience.
In Conclusion, social media platforms offer your business a variety of ways to generate leads off the back of your digital activities.
While most platforms offer powerful tools for paid campaigns and promotions it is also vital to actively engage with your target audience on a personal level.
You must also pay great attention to the content you are producing and reshare it across multiple platforms to maximise its reach and aggregate more incoming traffic for your website.