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Social Media and Lead Generation

Just a decade ago, most business leads came from word-of-mouth. Companies relied on current customers and associates to promote their offerings. Delivering outstanding customer service was one of the only advantages businesses had. Once the job was well done, business owners hoped customers would refer their companies to friends and family. Other ways to generate leads included an ad in the local Yellow Pages or newspaper or a commercial on the TV or radio. Since air time was expensive, most businesses opted for ads in area newspapers and phone books. It was a passive pursuit with little engagement involved. Now the new face of lead generation means businesses must be active, interactive and proactive.

Get Active on Social Media

The days of speculating about the value of social media are over. Social media is now one of the leading ways people connect with other people and businesses. If you don’t have dedicated business social media accounts, you are missing out on potential leads. It is no longer acceptable to use your personal page to promote your business, unless your friends and family look forward to reading your latest blog posts. Your business must have its own social media accounts in sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Images are becoming increasingly popular, which means you should also have social media accounts on sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Remain active by posting regularly including images of new products and employees as well as your latest blog entries. While ongoing posting is important, it is only the first step toward generating strong leads.

Become Interactive With Connections

Nobody wants to listen to a boring monologue. People are active on social media for engagement purposes. This means you have to talk, listen, reply to comments and actually interact with your social media connections. Forbes recently referred compared hanging out on social media to being a fly on the wall at your competitor’s business. By following competitors, you can see what they are going and watch for potential leads. Consider a disgruntled customer who is looking for the type of goods or services your business sells. You could reach out to the person and let him or her know you are there to take care of what they need. When you post, interact and develop a social media personality, you start to hear from more people. Make them laugh, address their desires and show you care to generate leads that can become profitable for your business. There is still another social media step to achieve the success you crave.

Be Proactive About Your Business Image

Many others businesses sell the same widgets as you do. In many instances, their widgets are no better than yours. If that’s the case, why are they getting plenty of business while you continue to wish for viable leads? The final key to success is to brand your business. Basic steps such as having a logo and distinctive business name are just the beginning. You need to develop your own business persona. What can your business do that others aren’t, can’t or won’t do? When you answer this question, you can create a one-of-a-kind personality for your company. Whether you decide to be authoritative or whimsical, maintain the same voice on all your social media accounts. People should know what to expect and feel reassured you will deliver it. Consider establishing yourself as an expert in your field by sharing cutting edge info. Become a bastion of hope with innovative products and services few other companies provide. Make your social media connections laugh or contemplate the meaning of life. All of these strategies make your business more memorable, which ultimately helps to generate leads.

The one constant in life is change. If you’re not using social media for lead generation, you’re definitely not earning as much as you could. Harness the power of social media to brand your business and generate meaningful leads.

[box type=”shadow”]Main Takeaway: Modern lead generation involves much more than word-of-mouth or placing an add in your local newspaper. Savvy businesses are using social media to generate leads and brand themselves. Being active, interactive and proactive on social media can help your business generate more leads.[/box]