The Social Media Cheat Sheet: How to Generate Leads from Social Media
Step 1: Make a Plan
Social media gives us the opportunity to communicate with pretty much anybody we like and, as such, it shouldn’t be seen as something overwhelming or scary, but another tool in our business toolkit which can help us achieve our goals.
What Works Well For You Already?
Social media allows us to amplify and ramp up systems that are already working to generate leads and sales, by getting our messages out to a wider audience. So the obvious place to start from, when you’re new to using it for business, is to think about what’s working well for you already and go from there.
So – how do you currently get new customers? Do you find that face-to-face meetings work best? Or maybe getting someone to an event works well for you? Or is networking your best lead generator? You can use social media to direct people to book a meeting with you via a link on your website, or use it to promote an event, or use it to network 1:1 with either potential customers or influencers.
You have the potential to communicate with a much bigger audience than you would offline. You can build a systemised approach that still allows for 1:1 connection for lead generation, but now you're online, consider also reaching out by:
- Sending them to an offline event
- Sending them to an online event such as a webinar or summit
- Sending them to a landing page to download a free guide
- Sending them to a blog with a link to a landing page to download a free guide
- Sending them to a landing page to download a voucher
- Sending them to a web page to book an appointment or make an enquiry
- Sending them to a web page to request a quote or a brochure
It goes without saying that many of these options will require you to have a landing page in place, linked to an email marketing system. Make sure your landing page is built and that the link works – and that you have a series of emails created (or at the very least planned out!) before you ‘go live’ with this strategy. If you are a Keap customer, this is all possible inside your CRM.
If you plan to use blog posts to generate leads and build credibility and trust, then make sure you have a content plan, that your blogs speak to the audience you plan to share them with, and that you have a call-to-action included in the blog posts for people to take the next step with you.
Step 2: Get to Know your Prospective Audience
Using social media is, of course, all about being social. That means interacting and engaging with people who could become your clients and customers.
However, to get this bit right you need to know who these people are and where to find them.
What Is Your Avatar?
I’m hoping that, by now, you have a good idea of who your ideal customer or client is – as the better defined you have this, the better the results you’ll get from your social media. If you need to scratch up on avatar knowledge, we have a list of blog posts which will help you educate yourself, but the best one to start with is 'Becoming an Entrepreneur'.
The main thing you have to consider for your avatar in regards to social is:
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- What is their daily routine?
All of these will help you tailor your outreach. For example, if running an ad, settings allow you to alter who sees it geographically. Or if you're tailoring to clients who work a 9 to five, they will be checking social media most likely early morning and later in the evening.
Step 3: Decide Which Social Networks to Use
Who Do Your Customers Follow?
Which ‘big names’ would your audience follow? Research them and find out which social networks they use and which they seem to get the most response on.
Take the keywords and phrases associated with what you do and run a search for them on different networks. Found who's talking about these subjects and levels of interest.
The decision about which network to use should also take into account the type and quantity of content you have available or can create. Image based advertising, go for Instagram. More of a chatty, word based poster, go with Facebook.
Quality Over Quantity
It’s far better to focus on using one social media network only and to grow a presence there, build a community and get good at attracting leads and sales, than it is to try and have a presence everywhere, but not have the resources to use each network effectively.
Stand Out From The Crowd
Use both image and text to describe how you help in terms of benefits to your customers, including the points that make you different – whether that is your niche or the way you deliver your product or service, or some other factor. If you’ve got space in your bio to include a short testimonial, then do it!
A top tip is to have a quick scan of testimonials you have received.
Step 4: Plan Great Content
On social media, content is what does the heavy lifting for you. Not only will it help you attract new followers and connections but it will allow you to build relationships. In the systemised method of using social media to attract leads and sales, content is what will form the basis of your system, so it’s worth spending time planning out what you will share and how.
Think Like Your Audience
Think about what matters to your audience, both in their day-to-day and in terms of the product or service you sell – and use that to guide what they would find interesting/ useful/ entertaining/ educational.
You Need A Mixture Of Content
Your content can and should support every step of your customer journey from someone meeting you for the first time to someone deciding to do business with you – and then being reminded to refer you!
So, your content could focus on answering:
- “Do you help people like me?”
- “Are you an expert?”
- “How do you do what you do?”
- “Do I feel like I know you?”
- “Do I like you?”
- “Can I trust you?”
- “What results do other people get?”
- “Do you do a good job?”
To things to also include are testimonials, tips, advice and information about the product or service you provide, or about aspects of the challenge you help your customers solve.
Your Content Schedule
Plan to share content at a time when your audience is active online. Also bear in mind the context in which they will be receiving it. Match the mood of your content to the mood of your audience as much as possible so that you are seen as a friend.
With this in mind, you will find that life becomes much easier if you plan what you are going to share on social media in advance. Here at EXELA, we plan themes for weeks/ months ahead, something you might like to try.
Your week of content could include:
- 2 x interesting/ funny stories to share at the weekend
- 2 x testimonials/ customer success stories/ PR stories
- 2 x behind-the-scenes/ staff/ supplier stories
- 2x links to your blog
- 2 x short tips
- 2 x article/ blog from others
- 2 x your promotions/ offers
- 4 x link to a landing page for a freebie, to a webinar, to free event, etc.
Types Of Content
Remember that images and video on social media has a massive impact because of the ease with which you can share a message. Live-streaming is growing by the second – even if you’re not doing it, your customers may be seeing it and are likely to be catching videos on YouTube.
Note that, unless you have a very active audience for your Facebook Page, you will need to pay for Facebook ads in order to get your content seen by more than approx. 5% of your ‘fans’.
Step 5: Pre-Scheduling Content
As a small business owner or marketer, time is precious, so anything that helps make the most of it is definitely an asset. So it’s well worth your time researching tools that will help you make the task of sharing content on social media that bit easier.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
As the importance of social media as a must-have marketing tool for businesses has grown, so has the choice of tools available to help make the job easier. Sometimes wading through the choice can seem as overwhelming as the job they are trying to help with, though!
Each tool will have a slightly different array of features and benefits.
Here is a list of tools we recommend you take a look at:
- Sprout Social
Step 6: Engage with Your Audience
In this context, engaging means talking with, chatting with, or responding to … the people that you want to attract. Taking time to do this will add rocket fuel to your social media results and will very often yield opportunities that you couldn’t have predicted – simply by talking!
Make Time To Check In
At the very least, you want to respond to any comments or responses people have made to your updates, posts or tweets, or to direct messages they have sent. Check into your social media accounts at least twice daily (and preferably more) and reply to questions and comments.
Engagement helps to build a relationship with that person directly (who might even enquire about your products or services) and it’s also likely that your conversation, and any content you share in it, will be seen by connections of the person you are talking to, so boosting your reach.
On Twitter, you can search by keyword for tweets or people, and then add them to a list, making it easy to follow their content.
You can also join in conversations about specific topics or locations by joining in a Twitter chat, denoted by use of a specific hashtag. (Localised Twitter hours can be a fantastic way for local businesses to attract leads and enquiries.)
Although Facebook business Pages can’t talk to personal profiles directly, and you can’t use a personal profile to promote a business, you can, in many cases, use Facebook groups as a way to grow your business.
There are 10s of 1000s of Facebook groups set up for people to share and support each other in every sector and niche you can think of – by joining one or two where your ideal customers hang out, you can attract interest and enquiries by sharing valuable information and advice. Don’t go into a group to sell, but to demonstrate your expertise and you will soon find that this strategy pays off.
LinkedIn is THE social network for B2B and one where it is acceptable to talk about business from the word go. In addition to connecting with people and striking up a conversation using the messaging facility, you can also engage with potential customer and clients by being active in relevant LinkedIn groups, in a similar way to the Facebook group strategy above.
On Instagram, you can search by keyword and hashtag to find relevant people and then like and comment on their posts to start a conversation. It’s a simple network to learn but can offer huge opportunities for business.
Don’t forget that you can also share other people’s updates, posts and tweets directly – this can be a great way to start a conversation as you’ll be paying that person a compliment by sharing in the first place.
Step 7: Grow Your Audience
Make It A Regular Part Of Your Social Media Routine
This means that part of your social media activity should be focussed on building an audience of the right people. The mechanics of doing this vary from network to network, but are based on finding the right people by searching and either connecting directly or following and hoping they will follow back and/ or sharing and engaging with their content.
Most social networks also allow you to upload your email list or contacts, which is a good starting point, and don’t forget that you can share your social media profile details with a call to action on your email signature, business stationery, website, marketing materials and signs at venues.
Step 8: Measuring Your Results
Using social media is no different from any other marketing activity in that you should be able to monitor the results you get in order to change what’s not working so well and ramp up what is working, in order to get even better results. Without getting buried in numbers and data, you can work out not only which content is working best for you but also which network and which route to leads.
Build Measurement In At The Beginning
When you plan your approach to lead generation from social media, also work out how you can measure the results that you get. Here are a couple examples on how to monitor customers coming from socials:
- If you are using your social media to generate phone enquiries, share a tracking phone number on your profile information and in your posts and landing pages in order to monitor the return your activity is giving you.
- Similarly, if you are using social media to promote and share voucher codes, then you can track the redemption of these codes and calculate the return on your activity.
- If you send people to a landing page to opt-in, then you can track how many new names have been added to your database from your social media activity.
Monitor Progress On Each Network
Social networks all have some degree of analytics built in, varying from basic numbers of followers, likes and comments (Instagram) through to detailed feedback about reach and engagement on every piece of content and information about your audience, on Facebook and Twitter.
Check your stats on a regular basis to make sure that your audience growth is going well and to review which content is working best to bring the results that you want. Once you know what content your audience responds well to, you’re well on your way to being able to really ramp up your results!
Want to hear how we can help you with your marketing efforts?
Our team at EXELA work with Keap and Infusionsoft by Keap customers for all their marketing needs. Want to hear more about how we can, or if Keap is the CRM for you, give us a call now.