Social media is THE place to be if you want to build an organic brand presence. By posting great content consistently, you can speak to your audience in a way that promotions cannot. But, pretty soon, you want to start to convert these followers into customers. So, how can you generate leads through social media?
This post is part of the series of “Social media marketing strategy for small businesses”.
Starting social media lead generation
People follow your business on social media for the content. You may be providing knowledge or entertainment, which resonates with your followers. If you have thought out your social media content and aligned it with your objectives, then your followers are likely the right people to become customers. If not, then rethink the objective of your social media to define what it really wants to achieve.
Once the content is aligned to your objective, think about what you can offer to your followers so that they provide you with their email address. This is called a ‘lead magnet’. A lead magnet is something valuable to your customer that you give away for free. I have talked about a step-by-step lead generation strategy in this blog post.
But why should you bother about converting your followers to leads?
Social media policies keep changing and governments are cracking down on social media giants. You may find yourself unable to operate your account or not have access to a platform. This would result in the loss of all the followers that you collected so far. So, moving followers to an asset that you own (like your website) is very important.
For a business to grow, it is crucial that these followers are representative of your customers. Hence, converting them into leads and nudging them towards purchase is beneficial.
Converting social media followers into leads
Now comes the interesting part of asking your followers to take that additional step to give their email address. Let’s look at a few ways of how this can be done.
On-going CTA to visit the website: This works best when posting about regularly updated content that resides on your website e.g. blog, podcast and videos. Every time you post about this content, make sure to ask your followers to check it out on the website. Once people click through to the content, there should be a way for them to sign up to receive regular updates about the content. A simple signup form on the content page can help to convert them. The conversion rate of this type of lead generation is low, but it can help to bring a small trickle of leads every month for the business.
Special offers or limited-time lead magnets: This strategy is an effective way to get new leads. The category of lead you get will be dependent on the lead magnet you have created.
For e.g. I run a marketing consultancy for entrepreneurs. The younger part of my audience preferred a 1:1 mentoring session, while the older part preferred a Google Analytics review of their business website. That is why, it is important to know what kind of audience you are hoping to attract with your lead magnet. And once you have the lead, remember to identify them with the lead magnet that they signed up for. This will help you to tailor the messaging to them later on when nurturing them.
Once the lead magnet is defined, use your social media to promote it in various ways for a few days. Create engaging posts or stories about what the lead magnet is, who is it for, what it can be used for etc.
·Engaging 1:1 with your followers: This one requires the most amount of effort, depending on the platform you use. The idea is to build a personal connection with your followers through direct messaging. The best platform for this strategy is Instagram as it allows you to send direct messages to specific followers without any hassle. You cannot do the same on Facebook or LinkedIn. Just like with the other tactics, you need to know why your follower should engage with you and how that aligns with your lead magnet.
Let us say your business is into creating hand-made soaps. You publish a story asking your follower’s opinion on whether they would pay more for a hand-made soap. This aligns with your objective of sales, as the people who say ‘yes’ are likely to buy from you. But to nudge them towards sales, you will need to send them a personalised message. You can offer up a free sample, which becomes your lead magnet. This way you can collect their contact info with a clear purpose and follow up with them after they have tested the sample. This is a great way to get people to move from consuming content to buying.
If you haven’t yet thought about converting your social media followers into leads, it is time to do so. It will help your business to grow and get you leads in an organic way.
This brings us to the end of this blogging season! I will be back soon with more great content for small businesses. Do sign up for the blog to receive the notification of the new season.