Social media is a great digital marketing tool companies use to share content with their target audience. Social media platforms offer another online channel for companies to reach their target audience and increase their brand awareness. Companies are sure to find at least a percentage of their target market online with currently 3.484 billion active social media users globally. (wearesocial.com)
Social media can be used by companies to generate organic leads, by sharing links to targeted content such as case studies, blog posts, company videos, product demos and project updates. Companies have a platform in which they can communicate with leads and clients in a 2-way conversation.
Companies can also use social media to generate paid leads by running social media advertisements. This way companies can reach a much larger audience by targeting specific demographics with social media ads. Ads are displayed to potential leads, who may have never come across your company before.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at how companies can generate leads through organic and paid social media.
How to generate quality leads through Organic social media?
With any marketing strategy, you must first figure out who your target audience are and where do they spend their time online e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. (Check out our blog “Are you making good use of your social media channels” for more information on this). Once you answer these important questions, you can go about building a social media content plan with the goal of generating quality leads through your social media pages. Having a content plans makes it easier for you to stick to a strict posting schedule and helps you get into a routine of consistently posting content on a weekly basis.
How can you create a social media content plan to target your audience on the right platform and with the right content?
A content plan will help you decide what type of content you need to share on what platform and when you will share this content with your target audience.
Take a look at your company’s Google Analytics and social media platform insights, to identify trends with your social media posts:
- When do you have most engagement on your posts?
- What type of posts receive the most engagement?
- What days do your posts perform best?
This will guide your plan going forward.
If you don’t have any historical data to refer to, you can start with A/B testing by sharing different types of posts, on different days, at different times and by carrying out these tests you will find out what works best for your audience.
Once you know this, you can begin writing your content to target leads through your social media pages.
How can you create valuable content for your target audience?
Show your audience you are the expert in your area. Create valuable and engaging content, post it on your website and share the links to the content on your social media pages.
What should I write about?
Think about all the questions a client asks you and go about creating pieces of content related to these topics, this is the easiest way to start building content and populating your content plan.
What keywords do you want to rank for in search results pages – give some thought to this and write content around these keywords.
Have catchy titles and use eye-catching graphics to draw attention to your posts – so when potential leads see your content on social media – they will want to find out more and will click through to the content on your website. On your content pieces on your website, ensure you have another CTA to guide your lead through the funnel further by telling them what they could do next. Bringing a lead to your website from social media opens the opportunity for them to click around the rest of the pages on your website and hopefully will encourage them to contact you about your products or services.
(Check out our blog “How to re-use content on social media” for more ideas on content creation).
How to build relationships with potential leads on your social media pages?
It’s also important for you to engage in ongoing conversations with your audience. If your audience write comments or ask questions on your content, you should respond in a timely manner. This tells the audience that you want to talk to them, and you are interested in hearing their opinions on specific topics.
If a potential lead feels like they are being listened to, then they are more likely to want to do business with you or talk to you further offline.
Why should I use hashtags on my social media posts?
Using hashtags on social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, increases the reach of your posts. Your posts will be shown to people who are following specific hashtags, for example, #marketing, #contentmarketing. When you use a hashtag, your post will still go on your social media page, but it also appears on a news feed page with all the other posts using the same hashtag. The more hashtags you can use the more pages your post will appear and the more impressions your post will get.
It does take time to generate leads on social media. However, if you are patient with the process and build a great social media content plan, there is the potential to generate quality leads.
How to generate quality leads through PAID social media?
Even though it’s possible to target organic social media posts to some extent, social media advertising takes targeting to a different level.
Continue to read this post to learn;
- How to target your audience on social media advertising channels?
- What platforms to advertise on?
- What tools can you use on your ads?
- What does social media advertising cost?
- What are the benefits of social media advertising?
How can I target my audience on social media advertising channels?
You can specifically target certain groups of demographics on social media by selecting options from a list such as, age, gender, locations, job titles, industries etc. You can also target users based on their interests and behaviours. By being as specific as possible with your ads you can keep costs low as your ad will only show to relevant people in the audience you select who have the potential of becoming your leads.
What social media platform should I advertise on?
Knowing what platform, you should advertise on, goes back to knowing your target audience and understanding where they hang out online. For instance, a B2B company, will most likely use LinkedIn to advertise on, as LinkedIn is a platform used most for professional networking.
On the other hand, a B2C company such as a clothing brand or skincare company would use Instagram advertising as this is a more visual platform than the likes of LinkedIn. Instagram has a higher engagement rate than any other social media platform, if the product is visually engaging, whereas if a B2C post requires explanatory information, Facebook might be a better option, as on Facebook you can accompany an image with a text post.
The key to knowing where to advertise on social media, is knowing where your audience are online and knowing which platform you can share the type of ad you want to create.
Are there lead generation tools I can use for social media advertising?
When using social media advertising there is an option to use lead generation tools on ads to help collect leads e.g. Facebook lead ads, Instagram lead ads and LinkedIn lead generation forms. If you would prefer to bring visitors directly to your website instead of using social media tools, you can build a landing page on your website for specific campaigns. Be sure to set up tracking on these landing pages so you can monitor how your campaigns are performing once visitors come off social media platforms. Bringing a visitor to your website, opens the opportunity for the visitor to click around to other pages on your website – leading to a greater chance of turning them into a lead.
One of the newest tools available for social lead gen is a chatbot builder for Facebook messenger called MobileMonkey. This new lead generation tool allows you to easily build chatbot features to capture, nurture and qualify leads and eventually convert & engage customers.
What does social media advertising cost?
With social media advertising you are in charge, you decide the platform you use, the audience you select and the budget you want to spend on advertising.
When you build a campaign on social media the platform you are using will suggest a minimum spend, this is what you need to spend for your ad to be shown. Outside of the minimum spend, you can set a daily budget, or a campaign budget – and this is how much you are willing to spend, once your budget has been spent your ad will stop showing. Social media platforms suggest ways in which your ad can perform better, how you can get more impressions and clicks. They also show you insights such as, if you set a daily budget of €10 your ad will reach X amount of people and you will receive X number of clicks. These insights are only guidelines however – you set your budget and monitor your campaigns to see how they are performing and make changes where you feel is necessary.
What are the benefits of social media advertising?
- Its highly targeted, you can select specific audiences to target
- Generate brand awareness to a large audience
- Increases your reach to an audience who may never have heard of you before
- You select your budget – only spend what you want to spend
- Maximise your content – sharing content to as many relevant people as possible
- Generate website traffic
Organic and paid social media can both generate leads for your business. Paid social media is a great way for you to build a larger following on your social media pages and specifically target an audience selected by you, however, it is equally as important to continue working on organic social media, to build the content on your pages and provide relevant, valuable and engaging content to anyone who may come across your social media pages. Even if a follower/ lead doesn’t require your product or service currently, by consistently sharing content, you will remain top of mind to your target audience.