How to Generate Leads on Social Media Organically
If you're looking for ways to generate qualified leads and grow business revenue, don’t ignore social media; it’s definitely worth your consideration.
Social media is not only important for engaging and entertaining your audience, it’s equally powerful for generating organic leads. In fact, as this 2019 report shows, 36% of marketing professionals consider social media as one of the most important tactics used for improving the quality of leads.
What Is a Lead and Why Use Social Media for Lead Generation?
A lead is an individual, entity, or prospect who has clearly expressed an interest in your products and services, and who has shared information in exchange for valuable content or offers.
Lead generation is the process through which you acquire leads.
Leads are created for purposes such as list building, newsletter contact list acquisition, sign-ups, or sales.
To better illustrate social media lead generation, here is a typical scenario:
Let’s assume you have an ebook that you want to use for social media lead generation. LinkedIn is your preferred site for sharing the link to your free ebook and inviting people to download it. As the interested public sees your offer and clicks the link, a landing page appears. It asks visitors for information such as name, email address, and occupation, which they must enter in order to download the ebook. This is valuable data that you can use for list building and lead nurturing.
Here’s an example of a lead generation form used by HubSpot:
Lead generation is a goal worth pursuing on social media. Leads collected through social media can boost sales and build a sales pipeline.
In case you’re wondering why, it’s because your target market is actively searching for brands and products on social platforms. As this February 2021 article points out, 43% of internet users research products on social media, and 48% of users have purchased products on social media.
You must first identify those looking for brands or businesses like yours. Next, develop a strategy that effectively generates customer interest or inquiry into your products or services.
Here are three tips for social media lead generation that you can use for organic audience discovery and list building.
1. Use Hashtags
The first step to lead generation is being found by your audience—and hashtags do that job quite well.
Hashtags are a great way to increase the organic visibility of your social media content.
Adding the right hashtags will make your posts stand out and up the content visibility by 70 percent. The more people find you, the better your chances of lead generation.
On Instagram, you’ll find some hashtag suggestions based on the first few letters you type, and you can choose from them.
The challenge of relying on Instagram (or any other platform) is that it can be difficult to identify the best matches; you only see suggestions based on what you type. Also, you need to repeat this process for individual tags and write them down somewhere so you don’t forget.
The only way to know if the hashtags you manually selected are effective is by keeping a close watch on your performance. If you see the desired results, you’re on the right track. If not, experiment with a different set of hashtags.
An even better option is using a good hashtag finder. Hashtag search apps generate hashtag suggestions you can just copy and paste.
By far, one of the best hashtag search apps is Hashtag Expert. It uses artificial intelligence to give you hashtag suggestions so you can improve audience targeting and reach more people.
2. Use Lead Magnets
One of the best ways to generate social media leads is to have high-quality, informative, and engaging content. But sometimes that isn’t enough so you’ll need to offer more incentives.
Some of the highly effective lead magnets you can share on social media for lead generation are:
As this 2020 report shows, 67 percent of B2B marketers use infographics. These are widely recognized as being highly effective at driving engagement and leads.
When done right, infographics can capture three times the engagement (number of likes and shares) of any other type of content on social media.
Although you can share infographics on most all major social platforms, Pinterest is our favorite—because it’s forever. With LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, Infographics show up in feeds for a limited time and then disappear. With Pinterest, however, they continue to show up indefinitely.
Courses or Tutorials
Video courses and tutorials are a popular source of lead generation on social media. By creating a short, introductory video for Facebook and then sharing a link to your website or YouTube channel, you can increase viewership and traffic.
Each time you share a link to your video, make sure to add a description about what it includes and the benefits. Share testimonials and success stories when available.
Have some great content to share with your audience that could turn them into qualified leads? Write an ebook and share the link on your social media.
In addition to writing posts promoting the ebook, add a link to it in your bio or profile so that first-time visitors can see it and click into it … thereby furnishing information that you can add to your list.
Webinar Invitation and Event Tickets
By organizing invitation-only webinars and events, you can easily attract more people to your site—and that enables you to get their contact information. Choose where you want to share the news and event tickets, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform.
Create a post and ask people to share their interest to receive the invitation links. This works great if you already have an engaged community and followers.
Shown here is how Anton Shulke, Head of Influencer Marketing at Semrush, often does this on LinkedIn:
Instead of organizing an invitation-only event, maybe you’d prefer to keep it open to everyone interested. In that case, you can add a link to the event registration page right on the post and share with your community on social media. Here’s how Search Marketing Expo did it on Twitter:
Once your audience lands on the registration page, ask them to provide details like names, email addresses, and other information you can use for list building and creating buyer personas. On the same registration page, you can also seek consent for sending marketing emails.
Content that encourages conversation is more likely to attract your target audience and turn them into followers … and then leads.
3. Contests and Giveaways
If you want social content that generates more engagement, go for contests and giveaways. You can also launch sponsored contests where you reward those who share your content and comment with relevant queries. People often love participating in contests and interacting with brands, and that can result in more leads.
To get started, consider the following points:
Choose Your Goal
Ask yourself what you want to achieve through the contests. Do you want to share coupon codes that will increase sales on your e-commerce site? Or, do you want to build an email list and share frequent updates or offers? Your goal will help you stay focused and use the words that best convey your message.
Choose the Contest Type
There are various types of contests you can run on social media. Some examples include tag a friend, like and comment to win, retweet or share to enter a competition, skill-based contests, photo captions, and many others.
Building Relationships and Trust Is the Key
People buy from people. You’ll only be able to generate more leads through social media when you build a relationship with your audience and earn their trust. That’s because they need to feel comfortable and cared for; why else would they give out their information?
No matter how good your social media marketing is, without building relationships with your prospects, your results will be disappointing. Take some time to create fun and informative content that people will love to engage with, and follow our suggestions to get started.
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