By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
What is the fastest and easiest way to get business? Without a doubt it is referral based —through satisfied customers, colleagues, friends, relatives or people whom you recently met. In order to expand your reach, you need social media to keep the lead pipeline flowing. But how do you build a successful lead generation program without gratuitous self-promotion and ruining your online reputation? Here are a few ways to be more effective:
Being Active in Online Communities
The one element referrals have in common is that they are relationship based. It’s a one-on-one connection. Social media on the other hand is more like six degrees of separation. You may not know the person (i.e. the lead) but you are connected. And one of the best ways to make connections is through common interests. Social media success begins with joining communities. Professionally, you can connect with like-minded people through Linkedin. Or follow people with similar interests using Twitter. Next, you should become an active member by participating in discussions, presenting opinions, offering insights and making comments on member posts.
Writing Content to Generate Buzz
Once you get a feel for your online communities you can develop content targeted to what interests them. You could write about an online event, a new software tool, an e-book or a controversial topic to create more discussion. The main thing is to contribute and get members commenting. And because you want to generate leads, make your pitch so enticing that people will want to register for it. Once you have created the content people want, take action by using social media to promote it via blogging, Twitter and Linkedin.
Blogging for Leads
The main purpose of a blog is to provide useful information about your area of expertise. Write content that interests your potential clients. You will develop a loyal and expanding readership by regularly publishing articles. Increasing readership is also very important so always post a link to the registration page with each blog article and a call to action. Capturing new blog readers will impact your lead generation efforts.
Tweeting for Results
Twitter is growing exponentially, but the average user can’t possibly keep up with reading all the tweets. So being an active twitterer is important and you need to tweet often to get the word out. Use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets. Another strategy is to send out a promotional tweet every day, but with a different call to action. Use relevant keywords or hashtags to reach people who don’t follow you. Experienced users search for them. Another good strategy is to use retweets, where another user re-posts your message on Twitter. By beefing up your followers, providing value that interests them, and using the above strategies will drive more traffic or leads to your registration page; particularly if there is an offer found on Twitter first.
Leading with Linkedin
Because the nature of Linkedin is a business-centric social network, it is a very good source for qualified leads. First, make sure your Linkedin status is updated regularly. These status updates are shown on your profile and emailed to people in you network. If you want to reach new people, post your updates in otherLinkedin Groups. And don’t forget to ask questions on topical issues of interest to the members. Never lose sight that it’s all about social interaction.
If you are going to conduct an event like a webinar, register it as a Linkedin event. It is posted on your profile, listed in the event directory and you can invite people to attend — all through Linkedin. There is also a feature called Answers and Polls where you can ask or answer questions and include a resource box with a link to your event. Polls can be used to generate a discussion about your topic, hence gaining attention for your event. In summary, you can use Linkedin for lead generation by finding out what interests your fellow members, crafting an event that gets their attention, and promoting it.
Social media is a great way to build relationships and make them grow into leads. It takes time, but your efforts will be rewarded. By offering members or followers something helpful and recognizing their posts, inquiries and interests will build readership. Social media is by no means the only way to generate leads, but it is an proven and effective marketing tool that should be part of your online marketing tactics.
As always, I am interested in your experiences with lead generation through the use of social media strategies and tactics, or if you have any questions. Please make your comments below. To your social media success!
Grow Your Business Online: These tips are meant to be used as a guideline to improve traffic to your site, increase your conversion rates, help turn visitors into buyers, and keep you ahead of the competition. Turning to a web marketer can ultimately save you time and money and increase your success online. The Web Success Team has many proven marketing strategies and techniques. The Team would be happy to discuss your web marketing needs with a complimentary consultation and web marketing assessment of your current site. Simply mention this article when contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818-222-5643 for an appointment. Please visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for more information. To your web success!