What do you use social media for? Networking to generate inbound leads for your business?
Are you unsure how you can focus your efforts to meet your lead generation goals?
Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisements, according to HubSpot.
If you’re starting a campaign, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are all excellent platforms to build on, but knowing how to pull leads from the conversations that happen on these platforms takes some knowledge and practice.
In this blog, we’ll share 3 ways in which you can use social media to generate inbound marketing leads for your business.
#1: Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are a great place to begin. They’re fantastic examples of niche marketing, aiming directly at interested parties and customers via a simple hashtag. They’re frequently scheduled discussions that are hosted by a specific Twitter account, with users taking part by simply tweeting one another with the relevant hashtag (these can change depending on discussion).
Due to the fact that you’re directing your tweets at a focused audience, this is a great place to generate business leads.
The #SmallBizChat hashtag is a great example of a Twitter chat which successfully engages its community, week in, week out.
How do you start? Participation is simple, as explained above. Simply join in with existing Twitter chats related to your industry/topic or alternatively create and host your own version of a Twitter chat. It doesn’t really matter what route you decide, as long as you join in on relevant chats that potential customers are likely to be participating in. As long as you’re involved regularly your brand will gain visibility with the right audience.
To see all the Twitter chats that take place, click here.
#Likeablechat is a weekly Twitter chat that offers many social media tips and gives participants the opportunity to network with other marketers.
When participating in a Twitter chat, it’s important to be a good participant. This can help your Twitter handle to attract the leads you want for your business.
Always use the hashtag set by the host. Ask and answer questions with contributions that are insightful; illustrate to others your understanding of the industry and your business offerings. It’s important to also stay on topic – remember that this is not the forum for pitching your services, it’s building connections.
Twitter chats are a great place to establish thought leadership and credibility. Showing others that you know what you’re talking about will really boost your reliability and Twitter following.
Follow individuals who could become potential customers down the line. This will allow you to keep tabs on any of their conversations that relate to your services, also giving you the option to get involved.
Tweet with these connections outside of the chat and, when the time comes, feel free to direct message them, sharing additional links to content or marketing materials you have that will further establish your expertise and what your business could offer them.
#2: LinkedIn Groups
There are LinkedIn Groups for a variety of subject areas and each individual group collates an array of professionals with similar interests who can discuss topics that relate to their business. Again, you can find leads by either creating your own LinkedIn Group or by simply joining an existing group.
Whilst an individual account can join up to 50 groups, we suggest you focus your efforts on a few groups instead of placing your content everywhere, allowing you to keep track of conversations and streamline your feed.
Join LinkedIn Groups that potential customers or clients may be a part of and only target those that are active, engaging in relevant conversations on a regular basis.
The directory of groups on the LinkedIn website allows you to browse all groups, so find the right match and begin joining discussions. Connect with existing members of the group and maintain a level of consistency in posting content, either your own or others, that’s on topic. Participate in existing conversations by answering questions asked and providing useful and relevant resources.
People will ask questions in pretty much every LinkedIn Group, so answering them will bring value to your profile and it’ll help establish successful relationships.
How can I get the leads I’m looking for?
Identifying groups members who continually ask questions regarding your line of business for a good lead. These people are genuinely interested in the field and you have the answers to help them. Also take time for members who are generally looking for help. Publicly answering their questions within the group will display your level of intelligence, experience and helpfulness – this’ll make others take note of you. Follow up your response with a Private Message to that user. This way you have both a public and a private route of contact.
The Private Messaging feature is often overlooked by many trying to generate quality leads. The privacy function allows one-on-one conversations where you’re able to provide value and build trust. This feature is found below a group member’s question under the More tab or by simply hovering over one of their comments in the discussion.
When focusing on credibility with the information you share, take the relationships you make in LinkedIn Groups to the next step and by having one-on-one conversations, you’ll gather leads in no time.
#3: Google+ Hangouts
Google+ Hangouts on Air gives users the ability to communicate directly with your audience online, in real time.
Consider hosting a hangout that focuses on your offerings a business. This’ll show the audience your unique value and most importantly, it’ll show a human face behind your business. People have more trust in a human face compared to a computer screen.
The types of hangouts that are beneficial for lead generation are:
- Customer service sessions
- Interviews with experts and leaders
- Giveaways and contests
- Free product demos
There are a number of ways to host a Hangout on Air with your audience. You can allow anyone to join the conversation; alternatively you can limit it to a few individuals. Choose the approach that’s best suited to your goals.
(Food for thought: Google+ Hangouts on Air could tie in brilliantly with the Twitter hashtag conversations. Posting your hangout on Twitter, including the usernames of targeted clients, can help when hoping to gain business.)
From the beginning, define what you’re looking to achieve from your hangout and how you plan to connect with your audience before, during and after the event.
How can I get the leads I’m looking for?
Above all else, offer the participants value. Give them a reason to join in. Use strong calls to action throughout your Hangout. Encourage participants and viewers alike to learn more about your offerings, giving people the
Make sure you record your Google+ Hangout. This will allow you to upload it to YouTube so you can use the video in a blog post, share it throughout your social media sites and add it relevant YouTube playlists. Doing all three will maximise customer reach.
To further drive leads, add said links to the products and services discussed on the hangout in the description of the YouTube video for easy reference. This gives future viewers easy access to your website and services.