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Best Practices for Social Media Lead Generation in 2019

January 10, 2019

11 Min Read
social media lead generation
Reading Time: 11 minutes

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.” – Ronald Coase

Today, almost 55 percent of internet users are on social media. They use it on a daily basis providing massive amounts of data to the platforms. This data is valuable for social media lead generation. The marketers can use it to target their audience directly.

There are actually a few reasons behind it:

  • Search engine marketing is now tough. It gets tougher with every new update. Many websites that previously ranked without any effort, now find it really hard to rank. These websites are searching for alternatives that can help them succeed in digital marketing.
  • Even a new website requires a lot of budget just to get it ranked for the keywords it wants to on a search engine.
  • It is costly. A campaign that would cost $1 for conversion on social media costs $4-$5 on search engines.

Most businesses are now using social media platforms for their campaigns. This is because they offer low-cost marketing to a selective audience.

Social media campaigns have always remained an important part of the digital marketing domain. In the early days, people used to think that social media is just another form of brand building medium. At that time, small businesses promoted content on social media. This content ranged from cold calling to social spamming. All in all it was a hit and miss scenario, where measuring return was a major problem.

Later, in 2010, Facebook introduced paid marketing. It allowed marketers to target social media users based on their interests. This opened a whole new chapter in digital marketing. Following suite, other social media platforms also rolled out their paid marketing channels. This allowed social media marketers with even more avenues for marketing.

Social Media Lead Generation Facts

Here are a few facts about social media marketing you should know to make a result-oriented social media strategy for your business.

      1. Social media marketing has reduced costs for 45% of businesses.
      2. Businesses grew by 24% by using social media for lead generation.
      3. Almost 68% of businesses are using social media to generate leads in 2018
      4. Biggest social media barrier for 77% businesses is a limitation in lead improvement
      5. An average lead costs $2.50 on Google and $0.80 on Facebook. That’s a 32% cost efficiency through social media advertisement.

Source: Hootsuite

Social Media Lead Generation vs Lead Nurturing

Many marketers can’t differentiate between lead generation and lead nurturing concepts. Here is a brief explanation of each and why they are important.

Social Media Lead Generation

A lead is simply an address, phone number, ID that helps the marketers target their audience. Usually, marketers ask for a name or an email address for marketing the users.

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Social media is a highly relevant way to gather leads. You can do both types of marketing including organic and paid on a social media platform. Marketers can also promote content through groups/communities, or through sponsored/native ads.

But leads alone don’t make a difference unless you nurture them. Here is what lead nurturing is:

Social Media Lead Nurturing

A lead gathered through any medium is usually cold. You need to make it warm before you can market to it. Therefore, most marketers nurture social media leads by taking them through a funnel. We have a full article on marketing automation and funnel creation. Read it to know how to target the right type of audience with better marketing opportunities.

The social media channels also allow nurturing leads by smart remarketing strategies. Marketers can collect leads and then remarket them to turn them warm. They can use polls, videos, forms right on the platform to send personalized messages. This helps nurture leads in a better way.

Check out this detailed infographic to learn how you can nurture leads through drip marketing

Expert Suggestions on Social Media Lead Generation:

Experts are of the view that marketers should test social media marketing with low budgets in the beginning so they don’t incur losses. They add that marketers should have a set goal in mind before they start marketing. This will help them measure the progress of their campaigns right from the start. Here is a summary of what experts say about social media lead generation.

Brooke Harper, Tenfold, says:

Lead generation is the main artery of the sales process. It is necessary to put focus into it to start scaling sales. Now, with the advancement in technology, there are many online lead generation techniques available.

Arun Kumar Biswal, Business Development Manager at PMSL Technology PVT LTD, says:

For social media lead generation, the first thing is to figure out which of the social media platforms to use. To do that, create a target audience. Set certain goals you want to meet with social media marketing. Also, have a financial plan that lays out the strategy.

Rebekah Radice, Author, Speaker, says:

Before you can convert social media fans into paying customers, know your sales process. Ask: How do you nurture your relationships? How to move them through the various stages of your marketing funnel?

Many businesses start social media marketing without a clearly defined goal. If you want to convert the right social media leads, you must get clear on your sales process.

Best Social Media Lead Generation Tips

Now that we know what is the right time to start social media lead generation process. Here are a few tips you should know before starting the process.

1. Share links of gated content

Everyone likes valuable content. If you have valuable insights about your product, you can put them behind a gate. Share this gated content piece to social media and gather relevant social media leads.

Here is what a gated content piece looks like:

Share-links

Source: Cloudways Magento ebook landing page

2. Run Contests On Social Media

One way to promote your product on social media is running a contest. You may say that it is an overused method. That’s true. But it still works.

There are two reasons businesses run contests. First, they get many leads that can benefit the business. Second, the participants of each contest can share it with more people. This increases the post’s reach even further.

The only negative part of social contests is that the leads gathered this way are not always relevant.

So, filtering relevant leads is essential through lead nurturing.

Contests On Social Media

3. Social Media Advertising

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn now offer ‘Lead Generation’ Ads. These allow marketers to collect direct leads with targeted marketing to social media users right on the platform. They don’t have to click those ads and move to a landing page to fill a form. The process is simple. Users click on the form and fill it. In response, they will either get an ebook or a gated content for free.

Social Media Advertising

Source: Adweek

See how a user adds name and email address to a form on a Facebook ad. The process took less than 30 seconds. This saves both the marketer and user time.

4. Hangouts, webinars, and live videos

Another strategy to generate leads from social media is by using hangouts, live videos and webinars. Most business conduct webinars on a particular topic with advanced registration. The idea is to collect as many leads as you can. Because the registration is in advance so most people will not even attend the webinar. But it will help the company get relevant leads.

Hangouts include a few people interested in a topic. An example is ‘Google hangouts’. The person who starts the hangouts can invite people to join it. At most 150 people can join the hangouts at a single time.

Live videos are not gated content. Business do live videos when they have an announcement to make, when they are present at an event, or when they want to quickly answer a few user questions.

For live videos, businesses can go for in-video promotion or gated content. They can also direct the viewer to contests and landing pages of their choice. There are many options available with live videos. Facebook and Youtube both offer live video facility. You can even add links to your webinar, or forms/polls to turn the viewers into leads.

5. Use geo-targeted search

Social media platforms also offer location-based targeting option. This allows marketers to send promotions to a targeted audience. They can send gated content to users and target with lead generation ads or polls to get feedback.

6. Click through to a landing page

A landing page is developed to turn leads into customers. For example, if you are selling cloud hosting, you should have a landing page for WordPress Cloud Hosting, Magento Cloud Hosting, etc.

Here is a screengrab of a landing page.

click-landing-page

Developing a landing page is also a good idea if you don’t have a gated piece of content available for sharing on social media.

Note: Social media users don’t like abrupt promotions, and unfortunately landing page sharing falls in that area.

Hence, while sharing your landing pages, focus on paid/sponsored promotions.

Best Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation

Here is a list of the best social media platforms for lead generation and selling products directly to social media users.

Facebook Lead Generation

Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform for lead generation. It has around two billion active users. Marketers can market to anyone in any industry with the click of a button. The CPC rates are also one of the lowest on Facebook and many dropshippers are using it to market their products.

With Facebook, you have three ways to get leads.

On-page promotion

Facebook allows businesses to create their own pages. This way they can get leads from people who have already liked their page.

For example, the image provided below is of Cloudways page.

page-promotion

At Cloudways, we often promote products on our social media pages. Only those who have liked your page can view these posts.

Note: On an average, the reach of a page is around five percent of the total number of likes it has.

But why is organic promotion important on social media? Organic reach is free. This means if a page has over 100k likes. It can easily market its content to around 5000 people for free.

Now think. If it had to market to 5000 people with paid marketing, the total amount will be between $3 & $8.

Businesses on Facebook can market gated content, landing pages, and even routine posts on their page.

Off-page promotion

Off-page means promoting lead generation content on Facebook communities, groups, and other pages.

Try to do precise off page marketing so that it doesn’t look like spam.

Here is an example of a Facebook social media group.

off page promotion

As you can see, this is an affiliate of Cloudways page. So, users who are a part of the page will be able to see this group in their feed. The group is for Cloudways members who have any queries related to the products.

Similarly, businesses can create their own pages and groups, both at the same time, to increase their organic reach.

Paid promotion

Most businesses prefer paid marketing promotions because they bring instant results. Paid promotion strategies work the same way as social promotions. Facebook offers a variety of social ads, each with a specific purpose.

Below is a screengrab of the lead ad types available on Facebook.

Paid promotion

After selecting the lead generation ad, you will get more options to provide a form and gated content links such as ebooks, demos, trials, and checklists. Add them to the ad to start promotion.

You can use lead generation, or conversion ads to collect leads.

Twitter Lead Generation

Twitter is another great lead generation social media platform. There are two ways to promote your lead-catching piece on Twitter.

Tweets/Retweets

Companies having a Twitter account can run a sweepstake or contest to get relevant leads. Those who participate in these sweepstakes can then share them to other users, increasing the reach even further.

A screengrab of Cloudways post on twitter.

twitter-tweets

Similarly, businesses can post their free content on Twitter and increase its reach with social media. The organic reach increases further when someone likes or retweets the post.

retweets

The above image shows a tweet has two comments, 11 retweets, and 20 likes.

Paid Promotion

As a user, you can use paid promotion cards on Twitter to gather leads. You can promote landing page posts for the same because Twitter cards offer you to collect leads on-site and then upload them to CRM.

Paid-promotion

This is a website click ad on Twitter. First the marketers will add a code on the website. Then they will use it to get people to take a particular action on their website or ecommerce store. The platform will only charge for a conversion.

LinkedIn Lead Generation

LinkedIn is for professional use only. Its users don’t share gifs, but resumes, career-oriented stories, and experiences. This gives Linkedin precise data about their interests and activities. They can use it to help recruiters target selected audience with relevant search queries.

LinkedIn Paid Generation

LinkedIn also offers forms that users can fill out manually. This saves time and makes the whole process simple.

LinkedIn Paid Generation

Here is a screengrab of LinkedIn lead generation ad

Similar to other social media platforms, LinkedIn also offers paid ads for lead generation. You will first need to create a LinkedIn paid account. Once done, you get to choose from three different ad types including text ads, sponsored content, Inmail ads. If you are a beginner, test with different ad types to see which one offers the most ROI. Once done, start using that ad type for your later projects.

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Instagram Lead Generation

Instagram is another good platform for generating social media leads. It has over a billion users and a highly engaged community. The main channel for promoting on Instagram is via Hashtags. Users can add relevant hashtags to their posts and they show up in searches. But Instagram doesn’t allow URLs. This means all content need to be either in text, photos, or hashtags.

For the promotion of lead-based content, you need to add relevant hashtags to the posts.

But as URLs aren’t supported, users can add the link either in an Instagram photo or add it to the profile URL. So, those who want to click on it can do so from profile link.

You can write ‘Link in bio’ so visitors can land on the relevant landing page.

Instagram lead ads

The second option is to get Instagram lead ads. The lead ads offer a clickable link within the sponsored post on Instagram, allowing viewers to land on the relevant page.

Here is a screengrab of the Instagram lead generation ad.

Instagram lead ads

Instagram offers multiple ad types for marketers to promote their products. Whether they want the audience to install an app, visit a website, generate lead, or shop a product, they can do that with the Instagram product ads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Social Media Lead Generation Platform is good for my business?

A one-word answer: Test.

You can use a number of platforms for lead generation, all depending on your requirements. But for starters, test each platform for at least three months before moving to the next.

The one that helps you generate the most leads will be the best social media platform.

How to know if I am generating relevant leads from social media?

The relevancy of generated leads is hard to find in the start. But once you have a strategy in place, you can remove leads that aren’t turning into customers. Find relevant leads on social media groups and communities from your industry.

How can I increase social media leads?

Here are a few ways to increase the number of leads you get from social media.

      • Use enticing titles within your posts that you want to share on social media platforms.
      • Find a successful strategy and work on it
      • Promote that strategy to your targeted audience
      • Experiment with a new audience and new ways of promotion
      • See what your competition is doing and follow that

 

Final Words

Generating social media leads takes time. It isn’t a one day process. Even expert marketers get confused when they can’t generate relevant leads from social media by following lead generation best practices. Therefore, it’s better to keep trying. Experiment. Try new ways of promotion, and explore new channels of social media marketing to get the ball rolling.

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Arsalan Sajid

Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startup Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!

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