Most businesses use social media as a tool for keeping loyal customers in the loop. However, it can also be used to attract new customers. Here are just a few ways to generate leads via social media.
Promote posts and tweets
Most social media platforms allow you to promote content – this involves paying some money to run your posts/tweets as an ad that displays on strangers’ timeline/feed. Facebook’s promoted post feature even allows you to pinpoint the demographic that you’d like to target by allowing you to select the age, gender and interests of users that will see your ad. This is the easiest and most effective way to build leads, however it does mean spending money each time. As a result, you should think carefully about which posts you promote.
Make use of hashtags
Using hashtags will help strangers to find your content more easily. It can be used as a form of labelling – whilst it’s not so effective on Facebook, it can be very useful on Twitter and Instagram where people are more likely to search for terms. Feel free to jump on trending hashtags, but make sure that the content is still relevant. For instance, if everyone is hashtagging #KylieJenner, only use this hashtag if you can link it to your company (you may sell a product endorsed by Kylie Jenner for example). Be wary of excessive hashtagging – on Twitter it’s an unspoken rule that you don’t use any more then two hashtags, otherwise your posts can look spammy.
Competitions can also be a great way to attract new leads. Many consumers are drawn to online competitions and will search far and wide for them (it’s a hobby known as ‘comping’) – you could reach out to these people by hosting a competition. Your current followers may also share posts containing competitions if they think their friends are likely to be interested. Just make sure that the prize is worthwhile and that you can afford to give it away for the sake of marketing.
Ask questions and conduct surveys
Asking questions and conducting surveys can also be a way of attracting leads. Such content immediately engages people by inviting them to give a response. The likes of Facebook allow you to use polls. These can be used humorously, or they can be used to generate genuine feedback for market research purposes. You may even be able to keep questions topical to help attract people searching for keywords surrounding that topic.
Connect with social media influencers
You can encourage other influential social media users to spread awareness of you. These could be other successful businesses, celebrities and other social media users with a large following. It’s possible that you may be able to get in contact with these influencers directly and ask them to promote your brand on social media. Alternatively, you can try going through a marketing company that specialise in influencer marketing. In many cases, you will have to pay influencers to promote your content – the more notable the influencer, the more they are likely to charge.
Cross-promote on social media
Cross-promoting involves promoting a company in return for them promoting you. As a result, you both get the benefit of each other’s existing customers. This could involve agreeing with another company to share some of their posts in return that they share some of yours. For maximum impact, you should cross-promote with a company that belongs to a similar trade as your own – but not a direct competitor.
Interact with other social media users
You can also attract leads by interacting with other people on social media. Simply by following other users, you may notice that some of these users follow you back – try to follow people who you think could be potential customers. Sharing other users’ content can similarly help to build exposure. You can also reply to others’ content, as well any responses to your own content. The purpose of social media is to be social – this can help to build your reputation as a friendly brand.
Humour is a great tool for connecting with social media users – for many people, social media use is a leisure activity after all. Content that is funny is likely to be liked and shared, which may result in that content being displayed on strangers’ wall and feeds. This can gain you exposure – and potentially more leads. Consider puns and memes, but keep them tasteful so as to continue projecting a professional image.
Social media users are also drawn to controversy. This is something that businesses have traditionally steered clear off, however more businesses are now starting to share potentially polarising content such as aligning with political parties and movements. Many brands have also started snapping back at negative criticism (Wendy’s is the most popular example) and even bashing other brands. When successful, such tactics can be a great way of building brand awareness and gaining new leads. Unfortunately, successful controversy isn’t easy to pull off – it involves breaking the rules and potentially offending existing followers and customers, so you do need to be careful.
*This is a contributed post