Sites like Facebook and Instagram are just for people to browse through family pictures and look at cat videos, right?
Because this is how many see these sites, traditional social media marketing efforts have largely focused on using social platforms as branding tools, not lead-gen tools.
While this is partly true, it’s not the complete truth.
Social media isn’t there just to brand your business anymore. If used effectively, you can generate high-quality leads and drive sales through social platforms.
In this post, I’ll show you four tactics you can use to generate leads from social media.
1. Make your landing pages social
A conventional landing page provides a focused experience which guides people towards your conversion goal.
With such conventional pages, if people feel like telling others (like-minded potential customers) about the offer, the only option they have is via email or private messaging. Not many people would repeat this multiple times; it’s just too much work, and it feels spammy.
However, if you embrace social on your landing pages, you can reach a greater audience with just the click of a button.
How can you make your landing page more social? Two methods:
- Add an option to share the page or post an update within a visitor’s social network page; or
- allow visitors to leave a comment to increase social proof.
For example, here is a landing page used by ASOS, a UK-based fashion retailer:
This landing page was used for their “As Seen on Me” campaign. With this campaign, users can upload pictures of themselves wearing ASOS clothing and get featured on the ASOS front page.
To take part in the campaign, users can select their pictures from their social accounts. Once they’ve uploaded the pictures, they can tell their friends about it — friends who are very likely to have similar tastes and hence, a good likelihood of turning into customers.
As you can see, customers can upload pictures right from Facebook and Instagram. Also note the optional “Add Tags” button. This helps ASOS crowdsource product tags.
Here are some reasons this social campaign works:
- Exposure for customers: ASOS is a well-known UK brand with a large audience. Being featured on the ASOS front page would be an honor for any fashion-conscious customer.
- Built-in sharing: Since the campaign lets customers select pictures from their social media accounts, it has sharing built in.
- UGC for ASOS: All the pictures uploaded by customers act as powerful social proof for ASOS (i.e., these clothes fit on real people and make them happy).
2. Send social media users to your blogs
Sometimes you just want to drive traffic to your blog, where you have an awesome conversion funnel waiting.
Except there’s just one issue: How do you get them to your blog?
Simple. Use social media to promote targeted blog posts. Here, you can pitch them valuable downloads and offers. Readers will be much more likely to give away their emails after they’ve read a useful 3,000-word post from you.
How you structure your social media posts and how shareworthy your content is will determine how much traffic and engagement you drive to your blog.
Here are some tips to improve your post structure for more shares and traffic:
Use visual content to attract attention
Visual content — like images, videos, GIFs — draw far more attention than text-only updates
Use visual content liberally in your social media updates. You want users to stop mid-scroll and look at your posts.
Here is Habitat for Humanity linking to their blog with a strong visual:
Use short, concise updates
People on social media have short attention spans as they move from post to post, so save lengthy content for the blog.
Twitter already has a built-in 140-character word limit, but you can do the same for Facebook and Instagram.
For example, Red Bull’s Facebook updates are hardly more than five or six words. Instead, the focus is on visual content.
The clever use of a hashtag attracts an audience beyond a brand’s followers, especially if it’s a trending topic others will be searching for.
Use a site like Hashtags.org to find relevant hashtags for your industry. Alternatively, see what’s trending on Twitter and craft your tweets around it.
For example, if there’s a recent event, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, you can send out a tweet with a relevant hashtag:
The tweet will then show up any time someone searches for the relevant hashtag on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.
3. Create separate social media accounts on one platform
While it’s common for brands to be present on multiple social platforms, some go beyond that and create multiple accounts on a single platform.
This is usually done to:
- segment audience;
- segment messaging; or
- provide additional services/content.
For example, one account may be for branding purpose specifically, while another focuses on driving conversion through content.
Xbox has embraced this with their Twitter feed.
The feed above only provides content on Xbox-related news.
However, they have another Twitter account, @XboxSupport:
This second feed focuses exclusively on providing support to customers.
Notice how the first feed mostly tweets about new games and deals (sales-oriented), while the latter answers customer queries and posts contests (traffic-oriented).
By running multiple accounts on a platform, Xbox can target different audiences without cluttering up their primary feeds. This helps segment their audiences; customers who need support can go to @XBoxSupport, and those who need news can go to @Xbox.
4. Run competitions
While the previous methods provide a slow trickle of leads, if you want to collect them quickly, run a contest.
Contests are an easy way to engage users; they connect with our innate competitive drive while offering the possibility of a free reward.
However, if you want your contests to deliver high-quality leads, don’t offer a prize that doesn’t relate to your business (such as a free iPhone or trip to Hawaii). While these prizes may flood you with leads, you’ll have no way of knowing genuine entries from people who just want iPhones.
Plus, nearly everyone is already offering such prizes. Your contests will likely drown in the noise, impacting your reach.
Instead, your prizes should offer something related to your product, such as an extended free trial or a collection of products related to your industry.
For instance, if you’re selling marketing software, you could run a contest where the winner gets a bunch of marketing books, an expensive marketing course and a one-year subscription to your software.
Doing this ensures that those who enter are actually interested in your business offering and thus are valuable leads.
Here is Wishpond’s contest offering a year’s subscription to its social-suite software:
By choosing to gift a free year of their service instead of an iPhone, Wishpond not only engaged their fans but also learned tactics their consumers were using. This is valuable data that can help them improve their product.
The online space for marketing is only becoming more competitive, and you need to have every tool at your disposal to attract and convert leads.
Social media is a powerful ally in this journey. By going beyond branding, you can turn social channels into powerful lead-gen machines.
Focus on using the four tactics outlined above to generate more traffic and turn more of your visitors into leads.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.