Using Social Media to Generate Leads

Businesses are beginning to reevaluate their stances on social media. The role of Facebook, Twitter and networks like them is shifting to one of customer service and relations. Generating new leads requires patience and a strategy to create content and develop relationships.

Own Social Profiles

One of the advantages to social media is that there are many networks you can use to maintain contact with your audience. One of the first things you want to do for the sake of branding is to own your place in social media by claiming your profiles. Include as much data about your organization as possible. Things like your company’s address, phone number or email address all work. Remember that the web works internationally, so a TollFreeForwarding.com service can provide businesses with a phone number that customers can use no matter where they are located geographically.

Hashtag Chats

If you are knowledgeable about your industry, chats provide a space for you to exhibit some of that knowledge and participate in question and answer sessions. Twitter’s standard search function is a good tool if you want to search for chats on the service, but with tags like #FOMOF (fear of missing out on football) the landscape is difficult to crack.

Tagdef is a site that catalogues various hashtags, listing them in order of importance. You can find the definition of the hashtag, and a list of related hashtags that may help you find more ways to chat.

Hashtags.org offers social media advice to businesses in addition to statistics on tags used throughout Twitter. On Hashtags, you’ll find data about users participating in a chat, including a list of prolific users that participate in each chat.

Use these services to zero in on the people most likely receive and propogate your message to their audience. Social media has the power to be viral, but if you’re not targeting the right people you aren’t doing it efficiently.

Facebook Ads

Aside from the cost you’re paying per click or per view and your click-thru rate, Facebook insights provides some additional statistics that might help you hone your messaging. Metrics like social reach show how many users saw your ad with some social data attached to it (like a friend who likes your page). Raise that stat by posting interesting content on your Facebook page, turning your business into a destination for knowledge.

The key to any Facebook ad is to have a desired action, an outcome you want to happen by the end of a visit. For example, having a user call your business for a quote or email you for some advice. Design your landing page so that users can take some sort of action.

Hangouts

It might surprise you to learn that the real marketing advice isn’t happening on public blogs. Good advice is all over the web, but great advice that really makes a difference happens in private. That’s why you should network on Google +. The community is stale by most mainstream users, but a thriving contingent of web marketers and SEOs survive on the network where information is exchanged via group hangouts.

Get into the right circles and you will be able to peek in on industry pros discussing their strategies for building brands and defending against criticism.

Other Tips

Multiple forms of traffic through the usage of multiple forms of media is never a bad thing. A short tutorial series on YouTube accompanied by some well-researched blog content can provide many streams of traffic to your site. Provide links to other pages on your website, like a sales or lead generation page, within the content of your blog.

Social media is not about direct response, it’s about information exchange. To succeed, you will want to position yourself as a thought leader.

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