If you’re an emerging brand or small- to medium-size business owner, it’s likely that you have at least one or two live social media channels. But, while you might be sharing relevant content with your audience, how many social media leads are you actually generating? If the answer is “not enough,” you’re in the right place. We’re going to show you how to get more customers with social media in this step-by-step guide for social media lead generation.
7 steps to get more customers with social media
Here we will explore some essential steps to attract more customers using social media, covering the following methods and approaches:
- Identify your model customers.
- Focus on what your customers need.
- Provide the right solutions and products.
- Connect and advertise strategically.
- Create shareable content.
- Respond, connect and engage.
- Know your competition.
But, before we delve any deeper, let’s consider the vital importance of social media marketing and how, if harnessed the right way, it can accelerate the success of your business.
Why social media matters to your business
Ninety percent of millennials alone use social media to conduct research and connect with their peers. And, given the fact that most digital natives trust the opinions of their peers over traditional advertising, social media is the perfect playground for businesses looking to attract more customers.
When it comes to connecting with your audience in a way that offers genuine value, there’s no better medium than social media marketing.
By harnessing the power of social media to your advantage, you can learn more about your customers than you ever thought possible while attracting them to your brand.
Here are the key benefits of using social media to boost brand awareness and attract more customers.
- Social media marketing is cost-effective, particularly if you reach out to customers when they’re most engaged.
- By connecting with consumers where they’re most comfortable and consistently sharing relevant, engaging content, you can vastly improve brand loyalty.
- Being active across social media channels can expand your commercial reach and boost your brand authority.
- Social media content influences around 74% of consumer buying decisions. Get your social media marketing right and you stand to boost your bottom line significantly.
Sounds good, right? Great, let’s look at ways you can use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for supreme social media lead generation.
How to get more customers with social media
When it comes to social media lead generation, there are a number of approaches you can consider — and each one should work in harmony to attract customers while increasing engagement.
Let’s explore these seven social media lead generation ideas in a little more detail.
1. Identify your model customers
When it comes to generating social media leads, one size certainly doesn’t fit all.
As an ambitious entrepreneur, the temptation to be all things to all people will no doubt be strong. You constantly see new possibilities for income, right?
While this may be the case, online, the competition is fierce and the marketplace is bustling. You’ll actually have more power and efficiency online if you narrow in on your ideal consumer — which means getting specific.
For instance, it’s not enough to present yourself as a photographer for weddings, portraits, products and newborns. Instead, you might want to be known as a newborn photographer who works specifically with twins or multiples. This is what we mean by getting specific, and it will allow you to stand out in your field.
Once you’ve given your business more direction, you will be able to identify your ideal customers for social media lead generation. But, how do you do that?
Well, essentially, you should get to know your target customers on a deeper level — and the best way to do that is by creating a customer profile.
To build a working profile of your ideal customer base, drill down into consumer demographics and behaviors while gaining a deeper understanding of why your current customers buy from you. By doing so, you will:
- Gain a clearer understanding of your customer base.
- Achieve focus on who you’re selling to, which will help you to finesse every aspect of your social media communications to meet your customers’ needs.
Tools to help understand your target audience
If you would like to track your customers’ activity through social media platforms and understand them on a deeper level, here are three definitive tools that can boost your success:
IFTTT. This automated software empowers you to capture data automatically. If This Then That is a form of social media lead generation tool that you can tailor to your specific needs or strategy. For instance, if a person mentions you on Twitter, you can use IFTTT to automatically add their Twitter handle to a Google drive spreadsheet for future engagement.
Hootsuite. A social media scheduling tool that allows you to schedule content for specific times, with Hootsuite you can also listen in on conversational streams when you enter specific keywords or hashtags into the platform. This is an effective means of getting to know your model customers and the content that resonates with them most.
Feedly. This RSS reader will help you keep track of new posts published by the competition. When you use this tool, make sure you read the threads on their social media pages and on the relevant blog posts to see if you can add value to the conversation.
2. Focus what your customers need
Once you gain a deeper understanding of your customers and who they are, focus on what they want. In essence, what you can do for them.
While it’s understandable to want to offer your customers the earth, it’s important that you don’t offer more than you can. Be realistic. So, when it comes to driving social media leads by meeting the needs of your audience,
focusing on your customers’ pain points
is the best approach.
When it comes to leaning on your customers’ pain points through social media, a particularly effective means of pinning down what people need is by revealing an unknown or unconscious problem.
Revisiting our newborn multiples photographer example for a moment: to cut through the social media noise, show families that your speciality is a necessity that other photographers can’t offer.
But, how might you do this on social media? Well, you can:
- Write a blog post offering a list of the “common mistakes” new moms make when shooting photos with their newborn twins on a smartphone. Share an image with to your blog post on your social media profiles.
- Tweet out a link to a great photoshoot you did and explain all the strategy that went on behind the scenes.
- Post a photo on Instagram or Facebook and ask people to weigh in on what is wrong or right about the composition of the photo.
- Create a Pinterest board that gives new moms ideas about how to arrange their multiples for a last-minute photo shoot when she’s only got 10 minutes before someone starts crying.
In all these examples, you are pointing out that you have a solution to a problem that maybe never entered their minds. And, when it comes to social media lead generation, doing so is priceless.
Once you’ve presented your audience with new (or previously unknown) pain points and you understand their existing roadblocks, you will be able to offer the right solutions — the kind of solutions that can enhance your social media lead generation efforts significantly.
Related: What is a value proposition?
3. Provide the right solutions and products
Now that you understand what your customers need from you, you can offer the right products and solutions. And, when it comes to showcasing your products or solutions, strategic marketing and advertising is key.
Social media advertising
If you have a budget (even a modest one), advertising through social media can prove quite lucrative.
Before you begin, nail down your ideal call-to-action (CTA). Is it to sign up for email newsletters? To for a subscription or product? To drive more traffic to a specific new product? Once you’ve decided on your main goal or CTA, you can:
- Create a landing page or splash page on your site that makes it super easy for your consumer to follow through.
- Have a designer (or you) create a compelling graphic that works with the ad size you might buy.
- Choose the social media platform where your consumers are most active and engaged, to place your ad.
Sometimes, advertising has an indirect value.
Instead of trying to get that CTA from the ad, maybe the promotion is meant to simply increase the number of people following you so that when you post an offer or coupon on your channels, there are people there willing to respond.
Another powerful means of offering products and solutions that will generate social media leads is by validating your social media followers in a way that resonates on a meaningful level.
And, as we mentioned earlier, because the average social media consumer trusts the opinions of their peers over traditional advertising, leveraging the power of user-generated content (UGC) (the very heart of social media) is essential.
[/callout] More than 86% of companies use user-generated content as part of their key marketing strategy. [/callout]
To use UGC to your advantage:
- Launch competitions that incentivize your audience to share photos, videos or content on a specific theme or trending event.
- Arrange social media takeovers where specific followers or fans can decide on the theme, ideas and tone of the content that you publish.
- Use relevant industry influencers to share content, reviews and ideas related to your brand.
4. Connect and advertise strategically
Expanding on our previous point: The best way to deliver ideal products and solutions to your model customers is to connect, campaign and advertise strategically.
If you want to get more customers with social media, it’s essential that you spark up conversations and advertise your brand organically.
Social media users don’t use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to seek out ads — pushy, one-size-fits-all marketing tactics will likely fall flat.
Use your customer knowledge to create content and communications that actually offer value to your audience.
In the digital world, there are many ways to do so.
Use data for social media lead generation
Earlier, we talked about the importance of understanding your customers on a deeper level.
Revisiting this concept for a moment — when you’re ready to start producing content and promoting your brand on social media, consult your consumer data. Doing so will help to ensure you give your customers exactly what they want, and need.
Here are a few ideas to help you better understand your audience, assuming you have a website analytics tool, like Google Analytics, installed:
- Review your site visitors’ top countries. Where are people coming from?
- Look at your site’s most popular landing pages. What topics do those pages cover?
- Analyze social media engagement. What type of content earns the most likes, comments and shares?
- Use heatmaps to identify which parts of your site’s pages are most engaging. What’s working? What’s not?
By leveraging this mix of social media tools and metrics, you will give your content and marketing strategies direction. In turn, you’ll empower yourself to get the most possible value from every ad or post.
Increase website traffic with pay-per-click
One of the fastest and easiest ways to generate leads through social media advertising is with the good ol’ pay-per-click model (PPC). To make the most of this model to get social media leads:
Carefully optimize your landing page to collect lead information. Landing page content must be related to the advertisement that points to it, and the page must offer a compelling reason for a lead to provide their details.
Include pictures of faces to add warmth and make your landing page more personal. Here are 11 places to find more diverse stock photos of people.
Tune your call-to-action wording. There are plenty of options to word both your call-to-action button and the action triggers. Test your variations to find the phrasing that converts the best.
Create a separate landing page for each social media channel. Twitter users tend to be browsers, LinkedIn users are business-oriented, and many Facebook users love a personal approach. Use different landing pages with different appeal techniques to convert each group.
Track events. Use Google Analytics to track lead conversions from your PPC campaigns.
Tailor campaigns for specific social media channels. For Facebook, experiment with combinations of ad offers and landing pages. For LinkedIn ad campaigns, use business-oriented offers and wording. For example, LinkedIn users are more inclined to download case studies and white papers, so try offering those in exchange for lead details. A good way to catch the eye of a Twitter user is to show them a familiar face. Use Twitter Cards to promote testimonials or quotes from well-known niche Twitter influencers.
5. Create shareable content
We’ve mentioned social media content throughout this guide — and that’s because compelling, shareable content is the heart of social media.
As a working guide, here are the five most powerful types of social content — the kind that will help you get more customers with social media:
Whether it’s a video demonstration, a series of photos or a copy-based post, how-to content offers a huge level of value to users.
A company that makes and sells blenders might offer content on how to make your own baby food at home. A cleaning product business could create a wealth of how-to content on how to get stubborn stains from clothes or clean your home more efficiently.
Inspirational content drives engagement and encourages action.
For instance, a local fitness club could post a picture of a person on the treadmill or lifting dumbells with the caption: No one ever got fit by sitting on the couch. Instant inspiration. Instant motivation.
Tug at the heartstrings with emotional content and you will strike a chord with your audience. In fact, emotive marketing often boasts the best return on investment (ROI).
For example, a greetings card brand might create a post featuring a child opening a birthday card from his or her grandparents — to remind consumers that physical cards still matter and create long lasting moments.
Reviews and testimonials
Testimonials or customer reviews make effective content. You can present testimonials in text, image or video format — dazzling your prospects with living social proof of your excellence (from one peer to another). Trust and brand awareness in one powerful package.
Related: 8 ways to get more product reviews
If you share relevant industry insights, particularly with a personal angle, you can forge meaningful connections with members of your target audience by showcasing your knowledge and authority.
For instance, a restaurant owner might share an insight on the way meal times change when people commit to reducing their mobile phone usage. Or, they could share a recent study they produced on how digital technology is changing the state of hospitality.
By developing and using your most valuable consumer content to your advantage, you can advertise to and connect with your customers in a way that is strategic and meaningful in equal measures.
And you know what that means? More social media leads.
6. Respond, connect and engage
Social media, by its very nature, is a two-way street, an open forum. A chance to converse and share ideas.
That said, if you want to get more customers with social media, sharing the right content at the right time alone isn’t enough. No, to drive real social media leads, it’s vital to respond, engage and connect, too.
As such, always acknowledge when someone reaches out to you by sharing your content, following you, or asking you a question. And, once the conversation starts, aim to keep it going.
Here are some conversational tips and tactics to try:
Be authentic. People use social media to connect with other people — not brands. Show your personality in your posts.
Ask questions. Want to hear what your customers consider to be your best product? What about their thoughts on your new logo or latest campaign? Your customers are full of opinions about your business, so invite them to share their thoughts. This will yield invaluable information and is the perfect conversational, trust-building medium.
Respond to feedback. When your customers take the time to post a comment, craft a considerate, genuine response. Doing so is incredibly important — positive or negative, silence is never an option on social media.
Remain positive. Keep the tone of your posts and responses upbeat and constructive to keep your customers coming back for more.
Leverage the power of photos and video. Capture your followers’ interest with compelling images — and use those images to start relationship-building conversations.
Hold contests. Create a post about naming your new product or service. Or have customers take pictures with your products, select a few winners, and post them on your sites.
Offer freebies. Offer the first three people who respond to your post, pin, or tweet a discount or freebie. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but your customers will love you for it.
Give discounts. Shave 10% off the cost of a product or service for all of your social media followers by offering them a unique code to enter when they purchase your goods.
Obviously, these tips are but the tip of the social media iceberg when it comes to engaging your customers. Tap into your creative juices for out-of-the-box ideas. Have fun with your customers, keeping in mind that social media is a conversational forum (not a one-way street) at all times.
Keep active, keep positive, keep conversational — and you’ll keep those social media leads rolling in.
7. Know your competition
Last but certainly not least, to attract more customers with social media, it pays to look at your competition, regularly.
It can yield invaluable information on how brands in your niche or industry are using social media to connect with their audience. Which, in essence, is your audience.
Start by Identifying bloggers and business people in your particular niche. Then follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and wherever else they maintain an online presence.
Take note of how they interact with their followers. What’s working? What’s not?
Jump in on threads and conversations they’ve already started. It’s possible to answer questions helpfully or with a personal angle that can help your business get noticed among an audience that’s already engaged.
Consider sharing competitor’s posts on your own social streams. Doing so can build trust and authority because it shows you’re willing to share something valuable, even if it’s not your own content.
Moreover, by analyzing the efforts of your competitors, you might discover a fresh angle that has yet to be explored — content ideas that will turn the heads of potential customers and set you apart from the pack.
When it comes to growing your business and developing your brand for long-term success, social media is a potent force — providing you use it wisely.
Understanding your audience, working with the right tools, producing content that offers value, engaging your customers wherever you can, and keeping track of the competition can set you up for the best results.
Need some help? Check out GoDaddy Social. GoDaddy’s social media experts will not only manage your presence on your social networks, but also can help turn an online interaction into a lifelong customer.