Do you struggle trying to generate leads with social media?
I talked to seven experts on social media, social selling and lead generation that I deeply respect to find out the answer to one question: where are businesses owners struggling most when trying to generate leads with social media and how can they fix it?
Big thanks to Andrea Vahl, Andy Crestodina, Koka Sexton, Rebekah Radice, Donna Moritz, Paul Shapiro and Don Power for contributing their thoughts. I quite literally couldn’t have done it without them!
1. Use Conversion Pixels With Your Facebook Ads
Many business owners are missing a valuable Facebook advertising opportunity when they are not using Conversion Pixels in their ads. If you create an ad and use a conversion pixel then you will know exactly how much it cost to get a new subscriber on your e-mail list.
A conversion pixel is basically a piece of code that you install on a web page. When you create a Facebook Ad, you “tie” the pixel to the ad so that if someone comes from the Facebook ad and arrives on the web page that has the conversion pixel Facebook then tracks a “conversion” to that ad.
When you use conversion pixels, you can split test your ads so that you are optimizing them and improving your cost per conversion. You can target your ideal client with keywords and get them connected to your e-mail list to move them farther down your sales funnel. It’s an extremely powerful tool that is being under-utilized!
Author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies
2. Find Traffic That Converts
Here’s the brutal truth: fans and followers from some social networks will almost never convert into paying customers. The trick is to find out which social networks drive the right kind of traffic, traffic that will convert!
Pop open Google Analytics and look at Acquisition > Social > Conversions. This report shows you how many people from which social networks are taking action.
Here’s what ours looks like:
If you really want to dig into the data, measure the total traffic that came from each network and divide it by the number of conversions. Now you’ll know the conversion rate, which is the likelihood that they’ll become customers!
Now you can see which social networks are bringing you the visitors that are likely to act. Focus on those networks. Those are the visitors who are most likely to become paying customers.
Author, Content Chemistry
3. Leverage Employees & Education
The biggest opportunity business owners are missing out on is having a healthy mix of engaging education to offset their self-serving content. Too many companies are still using social media as a broadcast channel and we see time and time again that the winners are the ones that engage their fans and followers on social networks. You’ll be surprised at how much more receptive your audience will be to your promotional content after building your credibility with educational pieces.
The importance of empowering employees to be an active voice for the company is too often overlooked – and that’s another big issue. Businesses that activate their employees with social media bring business conversations down to a human level and that’s where your buyers are living.
Global Senior Social Marketing Manager, LinkedIn
4. Know Your Sales Process
Before you can convert social media fans and followers into paying customers, you need to know your sales process. How do you nurture your relationships and move them through the various stages of your marketing funnel?
Many businesses hop on social media without clearly identifying their process. If you want to convert the right leads, you must get clear on your process. Here are few questions to get you started:
- Where is client acquisition currently happening?
- What are your top social networks where most interaction is taking place?
- Which of your daily actions are producing the best results?
- Are the leads you’re receiving the right kind of leads?
- Are any of your leads converting? What’s the percentage?
- Have you determined how social media will support your sales process?
- Is there a Call-to-Action on all of your posts?
- Do you know what next steps you want potential customers to take and are you clearly articulating it?
- Are you testing your content, call to action and the type of posts to see what’s working and what’s not?
The key to conversion is in the nurturing and interaction. At no point should your fans or followers sit idly by, waiting for you to tell them how to take action. Guide them, share valuable information and become an important resource.
5. Start Moving Conversations Offline
Business owners are now more familiar with the need to engage and that has resulted in many positive brand interactions, conversations and even leads as a result of their social media activities. The issue is that many of those same business owners have found their activities don’t scale and they simply don’t have the time to keep up with the demand that is required over a long period of time to cultivate new leads on social media.
It’s time to start moving conversations offline to learn more about the problems your contacts are facing. Furthering the relationship beyond the digital realm is essential for building rapport that allows you to discover their problems and position your product or service as solution that would work for them.
Don’t be afraid to ask to move a conversation offline after you’ve had a few social interactions past your initial introduction.
Don Power Digital Marketing
6. Provide Value, Build Trust & Get Them Subscribed
Many business owners are trying to convert fans to customers without first adding value or building trust. That makes the leap from fan to paying customer large and a rare occurrence at best.
Here are 3 ways to fix the gap:
- Be consistent with content that helps your ideal customer. Preferably on your blog or via content that drives people back to your blog. For example, an image, checklist, how-to post, infographic or slideshow not only catches attention but also can easily encourage fans to click through for more when coupled with a great call to action.
- Have a clear path to subscribing. Include an opt-in form that offers something of high value with a magnetic offer on your website to capture email subscribers. Promoting this on social media organically and with paid ads is critical to converting fans/followers to customers.
- Treat your email subscribers like gold. Don’t treat people like just another person on your “list”. Consistently provide awesome value via helpful content in your newsletter or email series. By the time you do offer something for sale, their decision to buy from you is easy because you’ve already built trust and credibility.
Founder, Socially Sorted
7. Focus On Your Goals & Keep Track
Companies that have the goal of generating leads for their business are consistently not focusing their efforts on it. First of all, unless you can create direct action on social media, you should be sending users to an owned media asset like a blog or website (and tracking this appropriately with UTM parameters and web analytics).
You should also be sending these users to specific landing pages on these assets, so you can optimize your funnel and conversions. When possible, try to create direct action on the particular social network. Twitter has lead generation cards, Google+ has interactive posts which can utilize specific call-to-actions like “Buy”, and even Facebook is testing a Buy button that works through Stripe. Focus on your goals!
Founder, Search Wilderness
How Are You Generating Leads With Social Media?
Are you having success generating leads with social media or do you still struggle to get fans and followers that convert? Let us know about your successes or struggles in the comments below.