How to Leverage Social Media to Generate More Business Leads

Do you believe you’re doing everything you can to generate more business leads and grow your brand.

Yes, you’re adding posts regularly to your blog, sending out targeted emails and keeping your website high in the rankings. But there’s more to inbound marketing than pitching a gigantic virtual tent and waiting to see who drops by.

Your business needs word-of-mouth advertising, which is the best kind of publicity a brand can achieve. You also need to create a buzz about your product or service, and you must keep the buzz going until everyone is talking about your brand. You want evangelists for your business.

In other words, you need to leverage social media for your business.

Social Media Buzz Translates Into More Business Leads

We know you’re aware of the power of social media for business, or you wouldn’t be reading this. But I bet sometimes (if not all the time) it all seems so corporate now, so complicated, and so secondary to your goal of attracting more customers to your business.

Using social media for lead generation can be complicated, but it’s a vital part of growing your business. You cannot ignore or underestimate the influence of social media on consumers, or your competition will leave you behind in the dust.  Below are some ways to make sure you’re doing more then pitching a tent in the social media landscape.

Include a Form Tab On Your Business Facebook Page

This gives you a shortcut to leads. Why wait for people to link to your website to add them to your customer base. Strike while the iron is hot!

If it’s such an effective lead-generation platform, why don’t more businesses use data-gathering forms on their Facebook pages?

The only conceivable reason to pass up this golden opportunity to nail down solid leads through Facebook pages is the illusion of a privacy impingement. Make it clear that you collect contact info through a secure dynamic form tab that is not shared or posted publicly.

Or perhaps you think that utilizing your Facebook fan page for lead generation is too pushy or tacky? Maybe the Facebook user will appreciate the absence of hard-sell pressure tactics, and remember that next time.

Except in this ever-changing world, there may not be a next time. Don’t let potential customers slip through your fingers. Provide an easy way to collect your potential customer’s contact information without having to hit them over the head for it.

Remember, if you’re not gleaning leads from Facebook contact forms, your competitors are.

Give The People What They Want – Coupons And Discounts

It’s been said that some female Facebook fans, who guard their personal contact information with their lives, will give up any and all details at the drop of a hat, in order to get a 10-percent-off coupon for shoes.

While we apologize for the girly stereotype, the fact remains that most people have accepted the tit-for-tat reality that, even if there is such a thing as a free lunch, somebody still has to cover the tip money. Even if you’re a B2B, keep in mind Facebook users in particular tend to be primarily after discounts or promotions.

Consumers see three levels of privacy intrusion, and your lead gathering should just scratch the surface of the third level below:

  • CREDIT CARD INFO: The ultimate intrusion is asking for your credit card number, expiration date and CVV code. Wow! Divulging that information is like giving a stranger your ATM card and PIN code. It is usually reserved for trusted national merchants and favorite websites.
  • ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER: This level of personal information includes addresses, phone numbers, work contacts, etc. Few people will give out their number for fear of being hounded by phone or text.
  • EMAIL ADDRESS/ ZIP CODE: Compared to the two intrusions listed above, asking for someone’s email address or zip code is expected these days. If you have something of value to offer on your business Facebook page, something that people think they want, they’ll gladly give you some initial contact details.

Use Twitter To Hunt For Leads In Real Time For Instant Conversions

A huge mistake that start-up companies make is not being aggressive about prospecting. Some relish the fact that their social media presence is on the job 24 hours a day, and they can grow their customer base while they sleep.

However, if your Twitter account is asleep at the wheel, you may just veer off the road. Here’s a good example of how your competition can edge you out of the picture on social websites.

Let’s say you’re in the widget business. You sell the finest widgets at the lowest prices, and your seasoned staff can repair them in their sleep.

You’ve posted a professional website with all the necessary bells and whistles, you regularly post pictures of kittens playing with widgets on your fan page, and you even tweet your regulars exclusive deals and loyalty-based benefits and discounts.

Smart Tweets Can Make A Small Business Look Like A Big One

Suddenly, there’s a new guy in town, with a catchy name and a daughter who lives on Twitter. Here’s how Mr. Widget can hijack your customers.

Someone tweets, “Widget problem and everyone’s asleep. Do I have to wait till tomorrow?”

Within minutes, Mr. Widget’s daughter tweets them back, “Not really, you should try Mr. Widget, he’s new, he’s reasonable and he’s open 24/7.”

Just like that, Mr. Widget has stolen not just a lead, but a guaranteed customer, using social media prowess to his advantage. Is it ethical?  You bet! When it comes to business, business is business.

Yes, you may always remember to keep your posts alive with links and helpful/interesting blurbs, and you throw in a plug for your brand now and then. But don’t forget to look and listen for questions and issues around your business and answer them as quickly as possible when they pop up. When you leverage social media for lead gen it has the potential to take your brand to a whole new level – without costing you any money.

Leverage Social Media and Make It Your New BFF – Business Friend Forever

That adds up to tremendous bang for your buck in the publicity department, a good way for the little guy to compete with the biggest fish in the pond.

Even more of a winning edge can be honed through paid ads on social media, like Facebook’s Promoted Posts, which can target specific geographical areas of interest to you, and jump start your “likes” campaign.

Follow the steps outlined above as closely as you can, and pay attention to how your competitors leverage social media for their businesses; pretty soon you’ll be generating so much new business through social networks that you won’t be counting every “like” anymore.