Many businesses make the mistake of neglecting social media in their efforts to generate leads on social media. It’s a mistake because the data shows that social media can be your best way of generating leads, regardless of what business you’re in.

You can see from the graph and bullet points below provided by Hubspot that social media are one of the leading sources of leads for a lot of businesses:

Social Media Lead Statistics

Notable Findings:

  • B2B companies get twice as many leads from telemarketing than B2C companies do (8% versus 4%).
  • B2C companies get 3X more leads than B2B companies do through traditional advertising (9% versus 4%).
  • The best three lead sources for B2B companies are SEO (14%), email marketing (13%), and social media (12%).
  • The three best lead sources for B2C companies are social media (17%), SEO (16%), and email marketing (15%).
  • The worst three lead sources for B2B companies are traditional advertising (3%), PPC (6%), and direct mail (6%).
  • The worst three lead sources for B2C companies are telemarketing (3%), trade shows (6%), and PPC (6%).

So now that you can see the potential in social media, we’ll take you through the main steps to get you started with it.

Step 1: Find Your Target Audience

Before you reach out to people on social media, you need to know who you’re targeting.

How can you find out?

Basically, describe who your ideal customers are in terms of demographics, age group, interest groups, and so on – also known as creating marketing personas.

If you’re just starting out with this, you can do all right by just having a specific idea of this, and then refine it along the way as you see where you get the most response from.

Sometimes, you find untapped opportunities through experimentation and spontaneous exchanges of information (another thing social media is very good at facilitating).

Many companies waste money building a following who couldn’t be less interested in their products, but who nonetheless use you to build their own appearance of popularity. In terms of your own conversion rates, these people are useless to you.

Rather, once you know who you’re targeting, you can use analytics tools to get you the leads who are actually going to be interested in your business.

Step 2: Use The Right Social Networks

There is so much to gain by picking your social networks strategically. They all have different strengths and functions, so using the most effective ones for your leads will save you time and money. Once you know who your ideal audience is, you can decide where you’ll get the most out of your efforts. Simply choose the social network where you’ll get the most returns.

You don’t have to stick to one social network. The wider your reach online, the better – just make sure you’re prioritizing your efforts proportionally with where you’ll get the most out of it.

See also: How do you know which social media channels are the best for your business?

Step 3: Interact With Your Audience

You can’t avoid this step. This is where the fun begins, and where your communication efforts have a direct impact on your conversion rates.

After finding your audience and deciding how to invest your time between the chosen social networks, you need to interact consistently with your audience. In fact, responding to others within 24 hours is important if you want to create a lasting impression on them, particularly in B2B interactions where professionalism is expected more from you. Social media is fast, so people want responses like they do when they text friends or send important work emails.

In addition to that, the content you post should be relevant, engaging and written in an appealing way, in order to create interest around your brand and to show that you’re a human being wanting to connect with others. People won’t care so much about you if there’s nothing valuable or insightful on your profile. When there’s enough of a bond between yourself and your followers, you’ll start to generate leads.

To conclude: You definitely won’t generate any leads through social media if you don’t start working on it. It would be a grand mistake to ignore one of the best sources of leads you can find, all because you don’t consider it important enough. We know it works, so we’ve given you this 3-step plan to help you on your way. Let us know how you’re doing with it!

Top tip: To learn more about generating predictable leads and sales appointments in your business using social media watch this free training video.