Over the last few years, social media has grown from a platform where we pass the time and watch cat videos, into a holistic tool that can level the playing field between businesses of all sizes, and drive companies forward online. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness or building an audience, there’ll be a social channel to meet your needs. Of course, social media is a massive topic with much to cover, so for the purposes of this post, let’s take a look at three key pieces of knowledge that can help you effectively generate leads through your social media channels.
1. Know what success looks like
A problem that companies often encounter when trying to ramp up their lead generation efforts on social media is measuring success. It’s very difficult to understand if your endeavours are paying off unless you know what it looks like to actually succeed. This means evaluating the content going out on your social channels each month, the frequency of your posts and the number of leads you expect to generate as a result.
Another layer to this is collaborating with your sales team to outline how many leads you expect to deliver and ascertain if this is in line with their needs – something which a good CRM software can help you track. This will, in turn, help manage expectations on both sides and give you the best chance of success. If sales want more leads than you’re delivering, you can try things like increasing post frequency, but this is only effective on some channels. For example, posting multiple times per day on Twitter can be useful, but the same approach on LinkedIn or Facebook can be seen as “spammy” and may result in losing followers.
2. Know what channels you should target
Sometimes it’s hard to get this message across to the powers that be, but it’s an unfortunate reality that not every social channel is suitable for every business. If your boss isn’t clued into this fact, then it’s understandable that questions will be asked if you’re not targeting the likes of Facebook for a campaign. Facebook may be the biggest social channel in the world, but if your audience is business professionals or actual businesses, it will do next to nothing for your lead generation aspirations.
The channels you choose to target are directly tied to the type of buyer persona you want to resonate with, but also the return on investment you expect to get back from that channel. For example, if you put $500 into a Twitter campaign and get 10 leads, but the same $500 can generate 50 leads on LinkedIn, which one would you choose? This also has an effect on your followers. If you’re not relevant to the people on a social channel, then you won’t build up a substantial following, nor will the followers you do acquire be of good lead quality.
3. Know what content drives engagement
Neither of the points above carry any merit if you don’t get this one down to a tee. You can have the right channels, audience and the best of intentions, but sharing content that nobody cares about will, ultimately, result in failure. You absolutely must put out interesting, engaging and - most importantly - useful content. If you tick these boxes, people will be more like to engage with your channel and content. That means clicking through to view the content and even parting with their details in exchange for more problem-solving information.
Central to success here is ensuring you put out your own content, not just curating it from other sources. You want to be seen as an authority in whatever field your business is in, a trustworthy source of information that people can rely on and come back to again and again. Your content is also crucial for people at all stages of the buyer’s journey - not all of your followers are ready to buy from you, but by providing valuable information, you’re helping them make a decision and potentially placing your business as the solution.
Social media has grown into a huge area for businesses to explore and these are just some of the key areas you should address to successfully generate leads. As with the rest of marketing, social media will continue to evolve - platforms will alter algorithms, privacy laws will change and the type of content we consume will keep moving. If you’d like more guidance on how your business can best leverage social media to generate leads, you can book a free strategy session with one of my team, they’ll be more than happy to help.
Jo Williams is HubSpot's Head of Marketing for Australia & New Zealand, leading a team of marketers to drive brand awareness and demand generation in the region.
You can find all of HubSpot's marketing resources, including free tools and training, at www.hubspot.com/resources
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