Social media lead generation is arguably the most critical skill for entrepreneurs and marketing managers to master over the coming year. In this post, I want to break down social media lead generation to its key success elements and help you to really figure out how to make this work in your business. Essentially, though, you need to honestly ask yourself two related questions - i) are you reaching enough of the right prospects on social media; and ii) are you doing the right things to convert those prospects into leads?
If you think about it for just a minute, search engine optimisation is a skill that businesses have been willing to invest incredible sums of money to get right over the last two decades. In no small part, that's because the business can directly trace back improvements in sales or lead generation to an increase in inbound and highly targeted web traffic. Indeed it's a commonly accepted wisdom that if you can get your business to list highly on Google for relevant search terms, the business benefits will flow in a way that is fully quantifiable .
A similar justification can be made for investing in email marketing, be that email outreach campaigns or lead nurturing through newsletter publication. Again, businesses have consistently been able to trace back increased investment in this channel with an improved flow of leads or online sales for their business. It isn’t hard to justify increased investment when the return on that investment can be demonstrated.
The simple fact when it comes to social media is that too many businesses can't trace back their investment and correlate it with any improvement in lead generation results. To my mind, this simply means that the business hasn't cracked social media lead generation - and so management are always going to struggle with making the business case for increasing investment in this area.
If you watch the short 5 minute accompanying video, you will see that I like to talk about social media lead generation as being a function of two simple variables. Do we have enough reach on social media in terms of being seen by our target audience? And have we figured out how to convert that reach into actual business leads? (and as a bonus tip, is the business constantly tweaking and refining these approaches so that it becomes better and better at reaching more of the right people... and better and better at then converting those people into leads?)
If you stop and think for just a moment about these two elements of Reach and Conversion, you should start to understand why it is that businesses have failed so spectacularly when trying to generate leads from social media. Most businesses fail at the first hurdle, which is to say that their accounts simply don't reach enough of the right people. This is particularly acute for any business that has focused on promoting themselves and their services on social media, rather than making themselves valuable and informative for the type of prospects they would wish to attract.
There are some exceptions, but for the most part accounts focused on overtly selling tend to be very ineffective at both attracting fans and followers of their own and also enticing influencers and ambassadors to regularly share updates from their company. If you haven’t cracked how to become a magnet in your industry and consistently attract highly targeted and relevant fans and followers and connections for your accounts, then the chances are you haven't mastered social media lead generation.
But achieving this on its own isn't enough. Having a large audience of your ideal prospects doesn't mean you are going to see significant business wins from social media. For that to happen, you have to have figured out how to convert that reach into actual business leads that your team can follow up with. It's ironic because this is well understood in other areas of digital marketing.
Businesses will happily create landing pages that they send their Google pay per click traffic to. Businesses will offer report downloads or webinar sign-ups to convert website visitors into more meaningful leads for the business. But for some reason, when it comes to social media lead generation, businesses and businesspeople fail to apply the same thought processes. So when you look at a company’s social media presence, you cannot see any logical path by which the business will grow its audience and then convert that audience consistently into new leads. This is what is lacking in terms of getting consistent results - and for a better understanding of turning things around do check the embedded video below:
If you need help putting this into practice in your business, you're welcome to book in for a call with us to discuss your social media lead generation strategy in greater depth. Let me leave you with one other thought, covered in greater depth in the related blog post “Lead Generation: Email vs Social Media”. Overall, social media is able to produce leads more quickly than email marketing and with less reputational risk (ie. being viewed as a spammer). So if you are not yet a convert to social media lead generation, make it a top priority to master this over the coming year and you will really give your business an edge over the competition.Back to Small Business blogs