Social media is often thought of as a way for brands to communicate their content, I’ve even heard the quote, “Social media is all about content.” If you make great content, you promote it well, you’ll get brand exposure, you’ll get traffic and most importantly you’ll get business.
The truth is, though, there is a lot of other ways you can use social media and one of those ways you can use social media is to actively seek out and generate high quality leads for your business and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. In this presentation by Steve Brownlie, founder of Palladous Marketing
Additionally, we’ve also put together a 3 chapter guide on how to utilize all of the topics covered in this video:
- Using Twitter to Generate Leads for Your Business
- Using Blogs & Answer Sites to Generate Leads for your Business
- How to Generate Leads Using Forums
So, we’re not going to be disputing that social media is very powerful for big brands with lots of followers, and that it’s a great way to share your content. Instead, we’re just going to be focusing in on a quick overview of one specific use of social media, how you can get started and some of the areas you need to be looking at. Obviously, we’ll be following up with some more detailed articles in the free members area (sign up on the right of the article) and just explaining a little more about tactically what you need to be doing.
Twitter Lead Generation
The first area that we’re going to cover is Twitter lead generation. The reason I’m picking Twitter is because obviously it is very popular and people are communicating in real time where they are and what they are doing, what has just happened to them and what they need. Most importantly is that they are telling their followers this information. People joke about Twitter, that they don’t want to know what they’re having for lunch, but if you’re a sandwich company, well that may be of some interest to you.
There are a lot better examples: such as people communicating really powerful information about their immediate buying needs and their immediate problems with you, or your competitors, right now on Twitter. You can tap into that to generate fresh leads for your business immediately. One of the really powerful reasons that you should engage in this early instead of just starting with your media first strategy (which is something we think is very important at Palladous and something that we embrace ourselves which is why we produce content such as this) is that it takes time for this type of content to spread and to get people to recognize your brand as a producer, whereas when you find somebody that is talking about you and your competitors and their problems, it allows you to solve those problems immediately – either because your product is either better or your team is able to solve the problem in a way your competitors are unable to do so. This allows you to engage with them straight away, and this is what makes Twitter lead generation so powerful.
What a Lead Looks Like on Twitter
Forbes magazine had a pretty cool article on the topic recently, talking about what a lead looks like on social media and how it is totally different than some people would expect. It was a pretty good article explaining how people are giving away lots of information immediately about what their problems are.
The example they gave was a company named Vocus that had made some sort of mistake and this person was just tweeting about the problem. Immediately one of their competitors was able to utilize social media and track them down for a potential sale. Obviously this always doesn’t end in a sale but it does put your brand on the radar of someone who didn’t even know who you are, which isn’t going to happen if you just tweet your content out to your already existing followers.
Utilizing Tweet Deck
The best way to get started with this kind of process is use a tool called Tweet Deck. Internally, we use a tool which searches Twitter using their API and places all of the data we find into a spreadsheet which allows us to monitor hundreds of keywords and lets us scan them quickly for the key discussions. For most brands and businesses on the smaller end you will be more than able to manage your requirements with Tweet Deck, which is owned by Twitter.
As you can see, we are taking social media from being a one way street where you are just randomly broadcasting information to an audience, to where we can keep track of your competitors and clients as well as keeping tracking of relevant discussions, allowing your social team to engage directly with the people you can have an impact with immediately and start driving those sales you are ultimately after.
Types of Queries to Monitor
Here are the kind of queries we suggest that people start to monitor. The whole of your industry is the easiest way to think of it:
- Names of your competitors
- Industry Keywords and Topics
- News events relevant to your industry.
- Hashtags relevant to your industry
- Names of notable people in your industry
Beyond the Networks
Its not just the traditional social media networks you need to be conscious of when developing a strategy and this often where most people tend to fall down. They just get a Facebook Page and a Twitter page and if they are in a professional setting they may even look around on Linked In. But, they don’t really look for leads beyond the internet. Unfortunately, most real people on the internet, which has been around for a long time and has a lot of ways for people to connect, has people that are comfortable in those specific areas and part of social, as a business owner, is not just trying to project on those social channels that you want to use, it is finding potential customers wherever they are comfortable discussing industry relevant topics and getting in touch with them there.
Let’s start with forums, which are one of the first types of social media on the internet. It is easy to find people looking for something in your industry and if you can’t find their direct contact information you can always shoot them a private message on the forum or even reply in a public post for even more potential clients to see. Moz, AHREFs and link prospector all have wonderful tools that will aide you in finding these potential new clients, making it a relatively simple process.
There are also a lot of question and answer sites on the internet that offer the same sorts of insights that forums do. Sometimes you can find out who the person is quite easily as they use their real name and you connect with them right then and there. One technique we generally use is suggesting search terms that people might type in that you know your business may be in the top results or preferably the top result for. These are just a few initial ways to look at it. Blogs are also a great way to find out the public opinion about your company outside of the traditional social media channels. Keeping track of these outside publications allows you to find these problems and correct them in a more directly engaging way.
Wrapping Things Up
Hopefully, this has given you a good overview on how to use social media in a more active way, how you can use social media if you haven’t got a big audience already and if you’re not a large content producer. There are always going to be viewers outside of your audience that aren’t going to recognize your brand that you can connect with and solve problems for.