High-quality leads are the backbone of every thriving B2B business. You can have all of the paid traffic that you want, but unless you are able to attract prospects who are willing and ready to buy what you’re selling, you are going to have a hard time generating the cash flow you need.
As the various social media platforms continue to dominate the internet marketing world, they are also dominating the lead-generation world and are by far one of the best ways to have a steady stream of high-quality potential clients clicking through to your website on a consistent basis.
So, how do you do this? Let me show you some steps:
1. Select the right social media channel(s).
Before you get started with the specific tactics and strategies that can lead to getting tons of new leads into your sales funnel, make sure that the social media channel you are pursuing is ideal for your business.
For example, if you look at B2B marketers, 44 percent of those responding to a survey said they had generated leads through LinkedIn, 39 percent through Facebook and 30 percent through Twitter.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of your own target demographic and where its members are likely spending their time on social media, I recommend this guide by Sprout Social.
2. Generate leads with LinkedIn.
Since LinkedIn is the platform that generates the most leads for B2B, it’s a natural place to start. Given the company’s recent acquisition by Microsoft, even more professionals will be networking and connecting on this platform.
And that makes sense: The site, unlike Twitter or Facebook, is built for professionals and business owners to connect. In contrast, Twitter and Facebook are built for anyone with a wi-fi connection.
Here’s information on how you can maximize lead generation with LinkedIn.
3. Directly connect with potential leads, and offer free samples.
One of the hardest parts of B2B marketing is that you often have to go through gatekeepers whose job is to keep people like you (translation: anyone trying to sell anything ever) away from the boss.
LinkedIn can help with this issue. It lets you walk right past the gatekeepers and into the lion’s den. Just make sure that you have a high-quality sample or presentation ready to show when you get there.
4. Use Slideshare.
Since Slideshare was recently purchased by LinkedIn, you now have the opportunity to use it to your advantage.
With Slideshare, you can create high-quality slide decks that offer industry insights and other relevant data to your consumers, to drive leads to your sales funnel. Just be sure to link your account with LinkedIn, and always include a call to action at the end of the slide.
5. Generate leads with Facebook.
Let me be up-front with you. If you want to generate leads with Facebook, odds are you will have to invest some money into an ad campaign at some point. Luckily for you, Facebook ads are less than half the price ($0.80) per click compared to Adwords ($2.50).
So, if you have the budget (or you want to try to beat the algorithm and do it organically), here are a couple of ways to increase lead generation on Facebook.
Treat your Facebook page like a sales page. One of the big mistakes I see many entrepreneurs make is that they don’t take their Facebook page seriously. The navigation is off, there is no clear CTA and there is no way it is generating leads, they’re thinking. But, in fact, they — and you — have to treat your Facebook page like a great sales page or website. Use a clear call to action, a regularly updated news feed and high-quality, professional photos.
Run contests and giveaways. People love competitions and free stuff, so these are absolutely some of the best ways to generate leads with Facebook. Depending on your industry, you could run a book or coaching give-away, an advertising or copywriting contest or any number of other things. Anything you can think of that will get people to willingly and happily put their name and email into the CTA box will only serve you well.
6. Generate leads with Twitter.
Twitter is still a relatively new player in the game, and depending on how its business fares in the next couple of years, this social media company may end up experiencing some massive changes.
However, it is still one of the most used social platforms available, and if you really want to crush it with lead generation, then learn how to use Twitter with strategies like the following:
Use Twitter cards. Twitter cards are lead-generation tools quite similar to the Facebook ads that have become quite infamous over the past three years. As you do with Facebook ads, be sure to take full advantage of Twitter cards by using images that stimulate the human brain and spark emotion; pair them with copy that is short and sweet.
Run live events. Hosting a regular AMA (ask me anything) on Twitter Chat is a great way to connect with your audience, and if you end your chat with a plug for your company or a CTA, this option will help you offer tremendous value without directly advertising your company.
While lead generation with social media can be hit or miss, when you use the above tactics, you can expect to generate more leads, and more importantly, higher-quality leads, across all of your social media platforms.
Is Facebook part of your holiday marketing plan? Are you looking for tips to improve your holiday campaign? In this article, you’ll discover 10 Facebook tips to widen your visibility and reach during the holiday season.
Plan Your Holiday Marketing
Before you utilize the power of Facebook, take the time to plan your promos and content.
#1: Create a Content Calendar With Key Dates
Looking to increase holiday sales? Make sure you know the key dates. Create a word document or spreadsheet, or use a project management tool to keep track of what holidays you want to cover on social media.
Remember, you can play off of all of the holidays, not just the traditional ones. Consider getting a copy of Chase’s Calendar of Events each year or at least look at the special month holiday celebrations.
To really stand out, be the first in your industry to start posting. For example, ecommerce site Nanigans is at the top of my mind, since they were one of the first I saw post this season.
Once you decide which holidays your company will celebrate and highlight with your content, work backward to ensure timely, relevant content is created, tested, and scheduled.
#2: Emphasize Strong Visual Elements in Your Content
When planning your holiday posts, keep in mind that Facebook is a visual platform. Use videos, animated GIFs, and images to grab attention.
For example, My Baking Addiction used this image of crumbly mini cherry cheesecakes to stand out in the news feed. It’s a bright visual with an interesting perspective that received more than 4,000 reactions and over 600 shares. In fact, nearly all of their posts are images and videos that make your mouth water.
#3: Share Your Brand’s Story
Use the end of the year as a time for your fans to get to know your business and the people behind it.
For instance, the Arlington Club, a restaurant in New York City, highlighted the backstory of Executive Chef Frank Cervantes. This image post featured a photo of the chef and a quote explaining what started him on this career path.
Invite people into your business’s world. Take the opportunity to share a milestone with your audience, do a series of posts showcasing your employees, or both.
Australian fashion retailer Country Road shared its brand story in a visually rich Facebook ad campaign to promote its Holiday 2015 campaign. The campaign proved to be almost five times more effective at driving in-store sales than online sales. Country Road wanted to position itself as the store for holiday gifting to maximize Christmastime sales across its women’s, men’s, children’s, and home ranges.
#4: Connect Emotionally Through Content
There’s a reason Facebook added reactions (love, laugh, wow, cry, and angry) to the Like button. People want to express their emotions when a story evokes different feelings. Your business content has to compete with posts from your audience’s friends and family.
Engage your audience by creating highly relatable, emotional, human-interest content that will tug at people’s heartstrings, draw them in, evoke sentiment, or make them laugh. You want your audience to see a post and think, “Hey, that’s me, too!”
Iberia Airlines created an emotional video ad series featuring Santa Claus handing out presents to families during a flight. The company wanted to develop an internationally engaged community, on the move, reuniting with friends and families scattered across the globe to celebrate with loved ones. The video campaign garnered 4 million views and a reach of 46 million.
People check Facebook to see what’s happening in their friends’ lives. So when you create posts or ads, make sure you’re contributing positively to their day and their Facebook experience.
#5: Craft Content for Maximum Shares
The goal of any post is to get a lot of engagement since engagement (especially shares) leads to even more comments, likes, and shares. Be intentional with the content you create.
Ideally, I recommend you craft content that’s worthy of amplifying with paid reach. In other words, whether you choose to put budget into a post or not, each piece of content you publish should pass your “boost-worthy” test. Before publishing, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this post potentially “thumb-stopping” for my audience?
- Does it capture their attention sufficiently to want to stop, read/watch, engage, and/or share the post?
- Is this post in context within the news feed? In other words, while Facebook users’ friends are sharing warm personal stories and fun videos, does this post fit in, yet still stand out?
- Does it offer educational and/or entertaining content?
- Does it meet the needs of your audience and their audience?
Taste of Home knows their audience. Their Top Christmas Candy Recipes post last year exceeded 9,500 shares. Reactions were close to 10,000. Mixing an entertaining element with an emotional connection is a delicious recipe for getting more shares. This will bring even more attention to your business.
Leverage Facebook Tools and Features to Deliver Your Message
Once you have your key dates and content in mind, use Facebook tools to amplify your message and reach more people.
#6: Host Virtual Events via Facebook Live
With the growing popularity of Facebook’s Live video broadcast feature, now you can easily host virtual events such as a virtual office party or customer appreciation party via Facebook Live. Create a Facebook event on your business page and invite your friends and fans. Facebook recently started rolling out a new feature that allows you to pre-announce your Live video event and garner an audience ahead of time.
During the event, you can do random giveaways, play games and offer prizes, or both. Other options include a live Q&A, flash sales available only while you’re live, and a treat (discount) for those watching after the fact.
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart hosted a fun live Holiday Workshop with decorating ideas from The Home Depot using Facebook Live video on her fan page.
Of course, you don’t have to get as fancy as Martha. A simple and sincere Holiday greeting, like Michele Ruiz did here via Facebook Live, can draw in your fans.
If you plan to host an in-person holiday party, why not invite fans into your world by broadcasting via Facebook Live video? It will give people a taste of off-the-clock fun at your business.
Facebook is investing heavily in garnering more awareness and users for its Live video feature, including launching an international ad campaign on television, buses, and billboards. Facebook is also paying celebrities and media outlets to use Live video. So now is the perfect time for you to jump into the world of Live video on Facebook.
#7: Create Facebook Offers
Facebook enables you to create an online or in-store offer to share on your business page.
Click Offer in your status bar. Next, choose Online or In Store, and then select an option from the Offer Type list, which can be Percent Off; Amount Off; Buy One, Get One; or Free Stuff.
For an online offer, include the URL. Then enter the details of your deal. Add a title (up to 50 characters), description (up to 500 characters), and up to five photos. You’ll see a preview for desktop or mobile view as you add information.
Facebook offers are an easy way to share special bundles, discounts, and incentives with your audience all year long. However, it’s even more relevant during the holidays.
#8: Cater to Mobile Audiences With Facebook Ads and Posts
Most people are on mobile so be sure your ads, posts, and any related landing pages are optimized for it.
This fun image post from Target with different Thanksgiving pie options looks great in both the mobile and desktop feeds. It’s a cute post that brings humor to most people’s favorite Turkey Day dessert.
This Thanksgiving post by Target shows well on both desktop and mobile feeds.
Mobile ads are important for targeting people shopping on the go. However, they’re also valuable for directing people to your brick-and-mortar business. Use the Local Awareness feature to target audiences when they’re near your business. You can even give them directions to your location right on their phones.
Facebook ad units that tend to perform well on mobile include video, slideshow, carousel, and canvas. Make sure the web page your audience lands on after clicking your ad is fast-loading and quick and easy to understand.
Remember, mobile-friendly does not apply only to Facebook ads. Make sure all of your content is designed for people browsing Facebook on their mobile devices.
#9: Use Engagement Custom Audiences
A relatively new type of audience that you can reach with Facebook ads is called engagement custom audiences. These are people who have already shown an interest in you by watching your videos, interacting with one of your other ads, or sharing your website links on Facebook. You can draw engagement custom audiences in further by placing additional paid content in their feeds.
Set a custom Facebook audience based on engagement.
Here are the targeting options currently available for creating engagement custom audiences that you can use for your Facebook holiday ads:
Video Views: Create variations of audiences comprised of people who have already viewed one of your videos, whether the video was organic or promoted. Views are at least: 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%. The longer your video, the less likely people will have watched to the end, so it’s better to select 25%, for example.
Dennis Yu gets even more advanced and granular by targeting people who have watched 3 seconds but not at least 10 seconds; or watched video A and B but not C. You can target any type of ad to these audiences.
Lead Ads: Someone may have looked at your lead ad but didn’t complete the form (enter their email address). Target people who’ve interacted with your lead ad since they’re already familiar with you and have cared enough to click once.
Narrow your custom Facebook audience by percentage of video watched.
Canvas Ads: Similar to lead ads, target people who have interacted with your canvas ad but haven’t taken any action yet.
Link Sharing: Link targeting is brand new and available to only a limited number of advertisers so far. You’ll be able to create an audience based on people who shared your content on Facebook. If someone has gone to the trouble of sharing your content, they’re likely interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
Anyone who has interacted with your Facebook content is likely already familiar with you. Target them further through custom audiences, especially the new engagement variables.
#10: Retarget Your Website Visitors
It can take many touches for a prospective customer to get familiar enough with you to take the next step. People don’t always make a purchase decision on the first visit, so remind them who you are through retargeting.
Your ad performance and conversion will be much more effective when you use the Facebook pixel and retarget potential customers who already visited your website. In fact, Facebook is now beginning to give priority to ads that are connected to a properly installed Facebook pixel, even including boosted posts.
Select View Pixel Code from the Actions menu to view your Facebook Pixel code.
First, ensure you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website. Go to the Pixels section in Ads Manager and select View Pixel Code from the Actions menu. Copy and paste the code to your website.
Also, use the Facebook Pixel Helper browser extension to double-check that the pixel is correctly installed and firing properly. The icon on your browser should light up.
Now you can go into your Ads Manager and create a variety of website custom audiences based on time on site. The choices are most active users: top 5%, top 10%, and top 25%.
Create a custom Facebook audience based on website visit data.
Someone who spends 2 minutes on your site is a hotter prospect than someone who visited for just 10 seconds. This is a wonderful new feature that Facebook added earlier this year.
The period leading up to the holidays is the largest consumer spending time of the year. People buy gifts for others and themselves. Since they don’t always know what they’re looking for, help them.
Use the holidays as an opportunity to shine a light on your business. When you understand and integrate what Facebook offers in terms of ad tools into your marketing campaign, it can make the difference in having a successful holiday season.
What do you think? How do you use Facebook for your holiday promotions? What are some of your success stories? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
To define the high-quality leads, you need to weed out the bad ones. Don’t waste time collecting on unqualified leads. You always want to concentrate your efforts on the leads that are most likely to say “yes” to your product or service.
With several social media platforms continuing to rule internet marketing and lead generation world, they are one of the most consistent ways to gain high-quality potential customers you should be devoting your attention to.
With this reassurance, how do we now proceed with lead generation through social media? Here are 5 strategies to help you get started.
1. Align your business with the right social media channel
Not all social media platforms will be compatible with your business. The ideal social media for you depends on your target demographics as each social media platform also has their specific audiences. First determine which platform is best for your business and select just one to start with. If you try to focus on too many networks at once you will find it very challenging to achieve consistent results. Once you find what work then you can scale it and move on to the next one.
2. For B2B leads, start with LinkedIn
It only makes sense to concentrate your B2B efforts on LinkedIn given that it is the platform most professionals network and connect on.
To generate high-quality leads, you will need to grow your own network by connecting with others as you would in other social media channels. The difference here is that, unlike Twitter or Facebook, you are not here to socialize as is anyone else. LinkedIn is where professionals go to further their careers or business, and not connect with people who share a similar hobby.
Optimize your profile with a professional-looking headshot. A white background would be ideal. Corporate attire is recommended but smart casual works as long as you look clean and put together. You don’t need a trained photographer as most camera phones these days already take impressive photos.
Polish off your profile with an impressive “professional headline” and well-structured summary that is easy to read and engaging. Just because this is a professional network doesn’t mean your summary needs to be lacking in personality.
Create your own group:
Do you sell products to retail companies? You could create a group for leaders in the retail industry.
Are you a supplier to local businesses? You could create a group that has your location in the group name.
Do you sell products to marketers? Create a group for marketers.
Once you’ve created a group, you will need to target the right people to invite to your group. Invite potential leads, and eventually, you can connect to their connections who are likely to be from the same industry.
Breathe life into your group by posting relevant content.
Creating your list of high-quality leads:
LinkedIn has a little under half a billion users. It’s not impossible to challenge yourself to compile a list of 500 – 1,000 potential customers. To find them:
- Click the “Advanced” link located on the side of the search bar at the top
- Narrow down your results by Title, Location, and Industry
What you’re looking for are CEOs, Founders, or even Marketing Managers – anyone who holds a high enough position to make judgments on switching suppliers or vendors.
B2B marketing comes with plenty of challenges and reaching the actual decision-makers of a company is one of them, but this is where your efforts on LinkedIn can pay off.
Remember that group you created earlier? If you were to reach out to your list of leads now with your title to say that you were the founder of the group that they are now also a member of they will perceive you as more of a peer vs. someone trying to sell them something.
3. Connecting with your potential leads directly. Offer freebies of your product.
For your LinkedIn prospects, open with a convincing message inviting them to connect with you. Mention that you feel that your connection will be beneficial to both parties. Alternatively, you can check out their profile first and find something you have in common. It could be that you went to the same university or live in the same state.
Once they’ve approved the connection, continue to engage with them. When you feel the time is right, offer them a free sample of your product or service.
4. Investing in lead-generation on Facebook
Generating any usable leads via Facebook is going to require you to spend. Fortunately, Facebook ads are half the price per click compared to Adwords. Sure, there are free services you can use on Facebook that can help you reach your target market but just like any other method, you’ll get optimum results with their paid tools.
Facebook’s paid advertising process, when done right, can generate valuable leads for you. This method identifies your target market based on everything from age bracket, gender, location, educational level, and profile interest.
You decide if you want to promote your products or services directly or simply create a lead generation sales and marketing funnel. Lastly, you can split test everything from your ad messages to interests and images.
5. The new player in lead-generation – Twitter
Twitter may not be the favored channel for B2B lead-generation but there’s no harm is covering every angle. Twitter now allows businesses like yours to show specific Tweets to your target audience even if they don’t follow you.
The catch? You have to pay. Consider it advertising.
And to make it interesting, Twitter urges businesses to create ads that Twitter followers will most likely favorite, comment on, and retweet by introducing a quality score.
Much like Facebook, Twitter offers target marketing. Your ad will be seen based on your specified criteria. You can reach a specific audience by choosing the “add tailored audiences” under “add interests.” Tailored audience will allow you to create a list of ideal users that you can target on Twitter. Adding that tailored audience to your campaign settings mean you can now target them with specific Tweets.
You can expect to generate substantial leads when your practice the strategies we’ve mentioned. Lead generation with social media isn’t about luck, hoping that the perfect leads will be at the right place at the precise time that you post your ads. It is about doing the research and formulating a plan based on a combination of proven tactics that will work for you and your business.
If you have anything to add or need to learn more about lead generation and social media, feel free to connect with us here.
Jason Gordon, Founder – Strong Social