Seven Reasons You’re not Using Social Media Correctly to Generate Leads

Social media is a great inbound marketing tool that allows businesses and marketing teams to interact with prospects, cater to customers, promote their content, and yes, generate leads. When a business uses social media right, prospective customers have the opportunity to access great content and information via a platform they already populate and actually want to gather said content and information.

Additionally, when prospects do “bite,” many of them are willing to provide their contact information, click to obtain more valuable content, and then come back for more, illustrating the concept of effective use of social media for lead generation beautifully. And a good chunk of B2B marketers are on top of this: According to BtoB Magazine, 48.9% of B2B marketers who use social media say use it for lead generation, making lead generation one of the top applications for the use of social media. Unfortunately for some brands, they don’t always realize there are true tactics in order to use social media effectively for lead gen, and they approach their social media presence blindly.

To make sure you’re business is appropriately using social media to boost its lead gen efforts, check out the following list to ensure you’re not making any of these rookie mistakes.

7 Ineffective Ways to Generate Leads From Social Media

1. Not being where your target customers are. It’s not important to maintain a presence on just any social media network in order to engage with potential and current consumers; you have to be where they actually are. If you are posting content and updates blindly to Twitter, but members of your target market aren’t present there, what’s the point? The first step in effective use of social media for lead generation is to research and determine which social media sites your target audience is active on a regular basis. That way when you do share content and information, you can know you’re working to build awareness for your blog, product, service, and other types of content you offer on a regular basis. Awareness is a key preliminary stepping stone for lead generation, since prospects likely go through a period of learning more about your business and deciding whether or not they should research your company further.

2. Not providing valuable content. If you’re just pushing out content about your product and why it’s so “awesome,” more than likely, people will not want to share or engage with it. If someone is following your brand on Facebook, it’s probably to see what valuable content and offers you can offer them. Rather than product-focused content, focus on content rich with tips and tricks which can help to relieve your target customers’ pain points. When you target the content you’re offering to the different marketing personas you have defined for your business, then your prospects will be much more likely to engage with your brand and therefore, more likely to complete a lead-capture form for a piece of your content. In short, providing targeted, useful content will help you generate more qualified leads who may genuinely be interested in what you have to offer.

 

This post was originally written for Hubspot. To continue reading on the 5 other areas that are ineffective for lead gen through social media, please read my full post here: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29111/7-Reasons-You-re-Not-Generating-Leads-From-Social-Media.aspx#ixzz1exWAVlTg

How To Use Social Media to Generate and Nurture Leads

Generating and nurturing leads is a key part of campaigns and the sales cycle for a business looking to kick butt and make a good profit. But did you think social media would be a great way to nurture those leads? Social media is the key to inbound lead nurturing because it allows people to come to your brand on their own accord. I am not saying you shouldn’t utilize email marketing and other forms, but social media can be a great additional source, and also to use in conjunction with your other avenues for lead generation.

3 key methods to lead generation and nurturing

1. Participate in the Convo

More than likely there is already chatter about your brand on the Internet. The key is to find it, listen often, and participate in it.

Find and Listen: You can utilize a tool as simple as Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to hear what your consumers, competition, and others are saying regarding your brand, product, or service. For example you can take RSS feeds from Topsy, Twitter, Facebook and have them all set up in your Reader. Additionally you can set up keyword alerts for your industry. Way simpler than checking every day on what’s out there or getting a billion email alerts.

Listen more: The key is to find out what the key themes are that your consumers and competitors are talking about on these social platforms and across the web. What are the pain points? Then you have an avenue to talk to them about and engage on a level that they want to be engaged on.

Engage: Don’t talk to, but talk with your consumers. Are the majority wishing they had a service that helped them do X better? Or had tips on how to do Y in a shorter amount of time? Perhaps you already have content on how they can do just that. Provide a link to a source of content to help them, rather than just selling your service right away. In short, this will help build awareness, start a conversation, and lead them through the funnel.

2. Share some Content

From part one you have begun to listen to your consumers regarding what they have to say, what they want, what they don’t want, and what information they could use more of. Now what?

Create Valuable Content: Focus on their pain points and offer content on what will help relieve those pain points. For example, if your brand is a software service and your potential consumers are having a hard time with efficiency, perhaps write some whitepapers, blog posts, or record some webinars which give them tips and tricks to increase efficiency (and of course you can throw in a little plug about how your product is the key to that efficiency).

Provide Valuable Content: So now you have this content, now what?

  1. Join the groups where your target consumers are in Facebook or LinkedIn.
  2. Use the hashtags they are using on Twitter.
  3. Share your content in these groups, on your Facebook Page, through your Twitter stream, and on your LinkedIn group.
  4. Make sure there is a link that leads these consumers directly to this content on your website.
  5. If they keep clicking, and look for more info regarding XYZ, now you know what more to provide these specific consumers. You can nurture these leads further all because you listened first, and engaged second – and on the social media platforms where they like to speak and engage (not where you think they should).

3.  Measure, Measure, and Measure some more

Did someone say the word “measure”? You may be tweeting, commenting, sharing, and chatting online with your consumers, but how much are they engaging with you? How often are they clicking on your links? Are they converting? Key areas to measure to see if you are utilizing social media to truly generate and nurture leads include:

Measure the visitors

  • Analyze how they got to your website or blog. Was it through a bit.ly link used on Twitter? Was it through a Facebook group post? Track your links and see where the majority of your consumers came from.

When did you see the most / least traffic

  • You can see which campaigns on social worked the best or least and repeat and further the better ones, and perhaps drop the lesser ones.

Conversion

  1. How many just perused (and what did they look at)?
  2. How many clicked, and converted? What did they look at and view before they converted. Was it the awesome webinars you record each week? Now you know what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

Although social media is not going to get your lead to convert by itself every time, it is a great bonus tool to use in your nurturing process. Combine it with your email efforts, and make sure your emails and newsletters all have your social buttons on them for potential and current customers to follow and fan when they wish.

And….don’t forget to also keep in touch after you have converted those leads into customers. There is the after sale process part that is very important. Customers want more information on training, tips and tricks, and more. And if they are avid social media geeks, they may be subscribing to your Facebook feed in order to keep up with the latest and greatest from your company.

 

 

5 Obvious Ways to Grow an Email List That You’re Ignoring

email subscribe

The simplest and easiest tools and tips are sometimes also the ones that are most ignored or easily forgotten. Encouraging your target market to opt in to your email subscribe form is key to lead generation for marketing teams. However, some marketers ignore or forget about the simple ways to increase those opt-ins. Let’s take a look at 5 obvious ways marketers can do just that…

1. Simplify Your Email Opt-In

Creating yoblog subscribeur email subscribe box can be as simple as including a title for what the person is subscribing to (e.g. “ABC Monthly Email”) and adding a simple entry box for the subscriber to enter an email address and press ‘submit.’

However, if you want a better and more efficient email opt-in box, set up a form that allows you to also retrieve their full name (perhaps location and company name as well) and demonstrate what they’re signing up for. What’s the value (see below for tips on providing value)? This not only allows you to collect more information for lead generation purposes but also ensures subscribers are truly interested in what you have to offer.

Interested in reading more, check out my full post on the Hubspot blog!

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24896/5-Obvious-Ways-to-Grow-an-Email-List-That-You-re-Ignoring.aspx#ixzz1YJbh1kQG

Lead Generation Made Simpler

Creating lead generation is essential to all B2B and B2C companies and can be very time consuming! However, there are some simple and easy-to-use tools for doing so that can hopefully cut down some of that time. Want to know the best part? You’re probably already using some of these tools! But now lets discuss how to use them effectively for lead generation.

Twitter: First and foremost, Twitter itself is a great asset for lead generation. Consumers and companies are both on Twitter for many purposes – whether it be to build their brand, create contacts and followers, increase engagement and promotion, and/or all of the above. First make sure your Twitter account is set up, you are utilizing it regularly, and your blog or web address is in the bio (whichever you use more for lead generation). What is needed to best utilize Twitter effectively: time and effort. It is a free social media platform, and it kicks butt at being in touch with the target market you are hoping to reach.

Need help on finding your target market on Twitter? Look at the next 5 tools below!

Twitter Search: the first place to start out is normally Twitter Search which is a part of your Twitter Account. I recommend going beyond the basic search options and utilizing the advanced search option in order to get more precise and relevant results to your specific company. Using advanced you can focus on people, places, dates, attitudes, etc. The places option may be key for companies looking for leads in a particular area, and people option may also be helpful when looking for people an “influencer” has mentioned.

Follower Wonk: A simple free tool that allows you search keywords in Twitter Bios in order to filter out individuals/companies you may or may not want to follow for lead generation purposes. You can search for individuals based on a specific keyword or you may use locations/names and/or filter out those who have a certain amount of followers (ability to find the influencers). In addition, this tool allows you to compare up to 3 Twitter folks and compare their stats, who follows them, their activity, and their unique versus shared followers. Interesting capability of this tool in order to see how a certain individual or company can be useful for lead generation or not.

Creating lead generation is essential to all B2B and B2C companies and can be very time consuming! However, there are some simple and easy-to-use tools for doing so that can hopefully cut down some of that time. Want to know the best part? You’re probably already using some of these tools! But now lets discuss how to use them effectively for lead generation.

Tweep Search: A tool that allows you to search through bios of all the “tweeps” on Twitter with specific key words. In addition, when you find someone or a company that you find to be relevant – you can then limit the search to their followers and search through there specifically. Narrowing a search is always helpful as there are so many people on Twitter.

Twithawk: If you couldn’t tell by the name — this app is like a “hawk” — looking out for you and your target marketing on Twitter. Unlike the aforementioned tools, this one is a paid service, which allows the Twithawk team to find the best target market matches for you from your specified search terms. Example: “TwitHawkperiodically (at the frequency determined by you) find tweets that mentioned “I need coffee” by users that are actually, currently, located within 5 miles of Queens such as‘@cracksh0t I need a coffee or anything with caffeine NOW’ or ‘@loxly This is so boring, I need a coffee… my one true love’ Then, TwitHawk will grab the tweets, and pop them in a list for you to check over, and you’ll be notified that you’ve got new matches to check over.” In addition, the TwitHawk team and app can help you keep track of tweets sent, noise, link tracking, and Google Analytics.

Tweetdeck: This client can be used on your desktop or on the-go and allows you to organize your followers and filter Tweets in order to assist in lead generation. Set up a column for saved search terms and question phrases (whether related to a product item, your company, a competitor, etc). Then, you can monitor and interact with people who are talking about your industry in a more organized and simpler fashion.

Three other tools you won’t want to miss:

LinkedIn: This is not just a platform for networking – it is an awesome lead generation asset! How to utilize this to your benefit? A few simple things: (1) customize your page; (2) Connect to Twitter (3) Create answer feeds (4) create an industry group (5) follow your target market (possibly those you already found via Twitter?) and (6) Share curated and created content! As corny as it sounds – Get Linked!

Your Blog: This is the content you create and then distribute through your channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It is a great asset to have in order to create lead generation, especially when people subscribe and give their email address to do so!

Facebook: Considering Facebook has more users than the population of some countries, it is definitely a tool you want to utilize to make connections, and hopefully convert those connections into leads. As with your Twitter page, LinkedInpage, and Blog – customize your Facebook to increase the amount of “likes” you may receive and engage those individuals to sign up for a newsletter or the blog you have (aka lead generation). In addition, when someone “likes” a page, others will see it, and may be prompted to do the same!

Recall that it takes time to build connections and more time to convert these connections and followers into leads. However, these tools can help decrease that time and make the time you spend on finding these connections (who will hopefully become leads) more effective.

You’ll never know how truly effective each tool is for your company until you experiment and play around with each of them. Enjoy!