How to Generate Inbound Leads Through Social Media

You know you’re supposed to be using social media to grow your sales, only you’re not really clear on how you’re able to generate leads there. This post will serve as a guide to help you do so.

Follow Your Target Market

Before you do anything else, you’ve got to ensure that you’re following the right people: your ideal customers. For most industries, there are keywords you can search for on Twitter or Google + that can help you find who you’re looking for.

For instance, I target software companies with my marketing services, so I have a search set up in HootSuite that gathers every tweet that uses the words “small business” and “software.” I follow people from that stream, as I know they’re what I look for in clients. (I actually got a lead from this yesterday!)

Services like Hubspot also allow you to set up steams for topics you want to track and interact with. On the Twitter platform itself, you can also set up lists to organize all the people you follow. For example, you might want to follow accounts related to startups in Chicago or food bloggers.

You can also follow people using particular hashtags. If you target small businesses, the hashtag #SMB is ideal for finding new connections.

Put Out the Right Content

Now that you’re connected with people who can relate to what you’re talking about, start talking. Share content that’s relevant to them. Retweet and share their content as well (everyone likes it when someone notices them online, so you’re more likely to get engagement by promoting their content first).

Now comes the push into the funnel. With your content, you’ll want to share links. Sure, some will be links to other websites, but many will be to your own site or blog. If you want people to visit your blog, create a compelling status update that begs people to click the link to read more. Entice them and they’ll click.

Pay Attention to Where You’re Sending Them

It’s important to have a strategy about what you’re sharing online. If your goal is to increase blog traffic, share lots of links to your content. But if it’s sales you really want, develop a strategy around that.

Let’s say you sell accounting software and you want small business clients. You first followed lots of people talking about small business or using #SMB as a hashtag on multiple social sites. You’ve shared your blog posts, but now you want people to sign up for your free trial.

Schedule posts that tout the benefits of your software and make sure to let people know it’s free for a trial. You can also share a link to a free whitepaper that helps people choose the right accounting software. Either strategy is completely measurable.

You can look in your Google Analytics to see how many clicks you got from each social channel, to your free trial page. Or you can view your analytics from a social media tool like Hootsuite. Compare the clicks against how many free trial signups you got, and now you have measurable data from your social media efforts. Focus on the channels that give you the best results.

In the case of the free ebook, you can get social media followers further into your pipeline by asking them for their email address once they click the link for the whitepaper. Now you’ve got the ability to send them drip campaigns that match what they want.

Social media is an excellent resource for sales leads, but it takes planning and strategy. Try out a few ideas and see what your followers respond best to.

Social media lead generation tips from some top guns:

Social Media Lead Generation from Base CRM

Next Steps:

1. Discover proven – yet often overlooked – strategies to improve your sales process by downloading the free ebook, “How to Improve Your Sales Process”.

2. Start your free trial of Base CRM so you can start managing all those new leads you’re going to get!

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