How you use social media for lead generation depends on many factors. Social Media Marketing (SMM) isn’t for the timid, especially if you want to use major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. With over 133 social media platforms in existence, choosing the best social media platforms for lead generation is where the real challenge begins. Because even the best Social Media Manager can’t generate leads with a weak brand on a platform where your audience doesn’t frequent.
The Basics of Social Media Marketing
Unless you’ve got loads of time on your hands, social media marketing is one of those digital marketing strategies you should outsource. Learning how to use social media marketing is not hard, but it is time-consuming the minute you cross one platform. Social media marketing aims to build a following and convert those followers into subscribers or buy-opt in leads, which takes time.
You must engage with your target audience (sometimes hourly or daily, depending on the platform and audience). And you do this through content or direct messages. This makes social media platforms user-based programs that rely on the audience to create content. But that doesn’t mean you should post about anything to any old social media platform.
All social media channels have guidelines and policies that dictate what you can post. Not to mention, each platform has a different mission or purpose they intend to serve online. And these rules are in place to protect your fellow users’ content, data, and privacy and to prevent unwanted content on the channels.
Social media marketing involves using Social Media Optimization (SMO), which is similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but uses hashtags and keywords to optimize your social media pages for organic search. Hashtag research is just as crucial to social media marketing as SEO is to your web pages. And just like SEO, SMO plays a vital role in social media organic lead generation to convert prospects into buyers.
What is Social Media Lead Generation Marketing
Using social media for lead generation is as natural as talking with a friend. Because many social media platforms are about building relationships and community. However, generating social media leads isn’t that easy. You may get likes and follows, but what a business needs are subscribers and buyers.
And on many platforms, likes don’t pay.
Therefore any social media lead generation strategy must focus on conversion, or you risk being stuck with thousands of followers and little to no helpful engagement. Social media lead generation is supposed to get customers interested in your offer and show that interest by moving down your sales funnel. But various business models require different lead generation strategies and even social media platforms.
Several critical social media lead generation metrics are used to measure your lead generation performance.
- Lead Conversion rate
- Website Traffic
- Ad performance
- Cost per acquisition
- Chat lead acquisition rate
- Engagement rate
- Number of qualified leads
More social media lead generation metrics may come into play depending on the back end of your social media platform and business model. For Business to Business (B2B) enterprises, customer lifetime value may be more important than engagement. And though Business to Customer (B2C) usually flourishes on social media channels, it doesn’t mean they earn more than B2B.
On average, 26.5% of the 4.7 billion social media users use social media to research products and businesses. So, even if you don’t directly sell your product or service on the platform, social media lead generation can make the difference between your customers visiting your store or seeking out your competitor. And that website traffic is no joke. Sites can receive over 50% of their organic traffic from social media.
Pros and Cons of Using Social Media for Lead Generation
The best social media platforms for lead generation are any platforms your buyer persona frequents. Perhaps, you should seek a social media strategist before choosing your social media platform. Because with different social media channels and sudden updates, your social media lead generation strategy will need to change. But despite channel update confusion, there are still many benefits to using social media for lead generation.
Benefits of Using Social Media for Lead Generation
- Low cost
- Builds trust
- Great for SEO
- Builds expertise
- Great for networking
- Builds community
- Great for consumer research
Social media linking strategies alone yield higher website traffic and conversion rates. You need a solid social media lead generation strategy to produce those benefits. And this brings us to the downsides of using social media for lead generation, which is usually the result of poor tactics or not understanding how to use social media lead generation tools.
Disadvantages of Using Social Media for Lead Generation
- Low ROI (lower than other marketing strategies)
- Can be too reliant on ads
- Ye old updates and policy changes
- High reputational risk
- Some platforms are hard to measure
- Some platforms are not business friendly
Until recently, Tik Tok was one of those platforms, and it wasn’t great for your business unless your link game was strong. And even if a platform is business-friendly, it doesn’t guarantee it will be good for your business. Coupled with constant updates and policy changes, social media lead generation is known to bring on early grey even in the most seasoned social media managers.
Social Media Lead Generation Strategies for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Let’s clarify from the start like for like is not a social media lead generation strategy. And neither is buying followers. However, many so-called social media marketers advocate for just that. So be careful with the social media company you choose and how they use social media for lead generation.
Generating Social Media Leads on Facebook
As the number 1 social media platform, Facebook has almost 3 billion monthly users as of April 2022. And Facebook’s messenger app makes the platform popular with mobile devices. Not to mention, under Meta Business, you can access Instagram and Whatsapp, which have 1.6 billion and 2 billion monthly users, respectively.
Due to the introduction of Meta, your business has more to gain from using Facebook. Basic channel analytics can now be found in one place, and you get free scheduling tools that make managing your content more accessible. The only downside is that not everything is available under Meta; without business accounts, none of this is possible.
However, creating a social media lead generation strategy on Facebook can cost you as this is one of the platforms that demands an ad campaign. So your lead generation strategy for Facebook may look like this:
- Set up a business page
- Review your existing Facebook account and clean it up to reduce reputational risks
- Make sure to connect to WhatsApp and Messenger for mobile customers
- Make use of Meta scheduling tools
- Boost posts that are popular, but watch your target selections and make use of Facebook’s look-a-like audience tool
- Connect with relevant groups and pages
- Backlink everything
Navigation-wise, Facebook is one of the more accessible platforms for new business owners to set up, optimize, and build a following. Fake or duplicate accounts are the only risk in using Facebook for social media lead generation. This can affect your customer or business data and impact your next lead generation strategy.
Using Instagram For Social Media Lead Generation
Image and images matter on Instagram, and for that reason, a lot of businesses in the beauty industry find gold on the platform. Instagram has great potential for social media lead generation, but it’s one of those platforms where likes and follows can be faked. The influencer lifestyle has bred Instagram’s “image matters” mantra, which has come with benefits and adverse side effects.
In choosing Instagram for social media lead generation, you must be very stringent in your competitive analysis, as what you see may not be the reality. And recent Instagram updates had started to drive users off the platform until Instagram agreed to dial back the updates a bit. So creating a social media lead generation on the platform can be a little challenging. But there are tactics you can still use;
- Don’t listen to Instagram. Reels don’t matter to your business. (It matters to theirs)
- Image and video optimization is your friend
- Be prepared to lose followers when you get a social media manager
- How you place your hashtags now counts, so be warned
- Always use your captions
- Engage with other users that are relevant to your business objectives
- For B2B lead generation, pay attention to followers of potential customers
Engagement is one surefire way to generate leads on Instagram. So eye-catching valuable, and relevant content should be the main focus of your social media lead generation strategy. And it also helps if your links are easily accessible and there is no blockage on your customer journey.
Using Social Media For B2B Lead Generation With LinkedIn
Once you are using social media for B2B lead generation, LinkedIn should be the first platform to come to mind. LinkedIn has had steady growth over the last few years with a balanced millennial audience that most comes from North America between the ages of 24 to 35. It is touted as a professional networking site, and that’s how it works with social media for B2B lead generation.
To leverage LinkedIn for social media lead generation as a B2C retailer is a little trickier than a B2B service. On LinkedIn, what you sell matters as your potential leads are already mature, educated, and have buying power. And a massive part of what you sell is you and your brand. Therefore, some simple steps to take in your lead generation strategy for LinkedIn would be:
- Start with a solid professional brand
- Optimize your personal and company page
- Take the skill tests and courses to prove expertise in your area
- Get familiar with LinkedIn’s backend functions
- Deeply connect, engage, and build your network (VIP! Connections matter!)
- Focus on quality, not quantity, in your post content and offers
- Have a risk management policy in place
Like Instagram, image plays a key role on LinkedIn, and that image must match the platform and your target audience’s expectations. And similar to Instagram, you must do your research before connecting with a company. On LinkedIn, their reputational risks can become yours, so a risk management policy and crisis communication plan is your shield next to the unfollow button.
How Can FrescoData Help You Use Social Media for Lead Generation?
Generating leads with social media seems easy in theory because anyone can do it if they post and engage enough. But even with a personal account for your pets, building a brand on any platform takes time and content. And as a business, you won’t get away with fluff content if you want to earn money.
Understanding social media platform analytics, audiences, and policies take time, and generating social media leads can be a hassle if you’re not social media savvy. Not to mention, each social media platform you choose will need content, keyword, and hashtag research. And this is why partnering with a company that knows how to handle data is a wise first step.
FrescoData can help you convert more customers through social media lead generation with our access to consumer and business data that helps create better buyer personas for easier targeting. We can help you create dynamic content and programmatic ads on all the necessary platforms. And take the guesswork out of social media analytics with our analytical services.
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