Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Making That Sale and an award-winning marketing professional.
Updated on August 10, 2023
How to Generate More Leads on Social Media
What is Social Media Lead Generation?
10 Tips to Generate More Leads on Social Media
If you run a small business, you might have thought that social media would be an easy way to promote your brand and generate more customers.
But rather than a direct pipeline to crowds of promising leads, you might’ve found yourself with a subpar follower count and flagging engagement on your posts, with your social media outreaches hitting dead end after dead end.
If you’re just starting out with social media marketing and lead generation, it can seem difficult to get the results you want. With this in mind, to help you make the most of your efforts, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best tips to teach you how to generate more leads on social media.
Social media marketing and lead generation is when a business promotes its brand and sources potential customers using social media platforms.
More than half of the world’s population uses social media, so businesses would be wise to advertise on social media platforms.
10 tips to generate more leads on social media are to use the best platform, pay for social media advertising, optimize your profile, use the best keywords, create compelling lead magnets, get involved in consumer communities, collaborate with other businesses, share customer reviews, use sequential retargeting, and pay attention to the latest trends.
What is Social Media Lead Generation?
Lead generation, or lead gen, is the processes and tools a company uses to attract potential customers (leads). Broadly speaking, there are two types of lead generation strategies: inbound lead generation, in which customers contact the business, and outbound lead generation, in which the business reaches out to potential customers.
Social media lead generation is, as the name suggests, when a business uses social media platforms to promote its business and generate leads.
A business usually does this by creating a user account and naturally gaining a follower base through posts, paying for ad space on the platform itself, or, for B2B companies, by directly messaging qualified leads to personally nurture a sale.
Leads sourced from social media are aptly called social media leads.
It’s estimated that 4.9 billion people —more than half the world’s population— use social media, so promoting and advertising your business is the best way to reach a wide audience of potential customers.
On the flipside, this means that if you’re not seeing much return on investment on your social media campaigns, it’s not for lack of fish in the ocean. If you’re ready to turn things around, we’re here to help you out.
10 Tips to Generate More Leads on Social Media
Although social media lead generation may seem simple in theory —just advertise on social media!— putting that into practice is much harder than it seems due to how versatile a tool social media is, how new it is, and how different it is from traditional advertising strategies.
Though you may have already put a few posts up, engagement may be low because your activities and content aren’t optimized for social media. These 10 tips below will help close that gap, improving your brand’s presence and attracting more followers and potential customers.
1. Use the best social media platform for your target audience
One reason why you might not be getting much engagement could be that the social media channel you’re using doesn’t host many people from your target audience. Different age groups and hobby circles prefer different social media platforms, so you should conduct market research to find the platform with the largest congregation of your ideal customers.
Who knows? Maybe all of your leads are hiding on another platform, just waiting to be discovered!
The best platform for lead generation will depend on your industry: if you’re a B2C business marketing to the masses, popular consumer platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter will be your best choices. But if you’re looking for B2B leads, more professional and long-lasting sites like Facebook and LinkedIn may be better.
2. Invest in social media advertising
If your company is hovering in the red, you may not have the time to wait around for your marketing strategy to gain traction organically. In that case, paying for social media advertising might be better, putting you directly in front of consumers and acting as an IV until your other marketing strategies bear fruit.
You can partner with almost any social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to run paid advertising campaigns. Also, consider partnering with Google Ads to boost your search engine optimization ranking, which will boost your relevance when a potential customer searches for topics related to you.
3. Optimize your profile
Imagine you’re browsing on social media and see an amazing ad for a product you want. Instead of clicking on the ad or link immediately, you’d probably check out the poster’s profile first, right? When you’re advertising on social media, your social media profile will be the first place customers will check if they want to do more research about you.
No matter how enticing the ad or how useful the product, a potential customer won’t buy from you unless they can be sure you’re not a scam!
To assure them that you’re a trustworthy and reputable company, have your company website and contact information prominently displayed in your bio, along with a brief description of your business. Use your company logo as your profile picture.
You may also consider purchasing account verification on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. While this may boost your reputation on Meta-owned sites (Facebook and Instagram), be careful – certain younger customer bases see Twitter Blue checkmarks as scarlet letters of capitalism instead, which might actually make you less popular than if you hadn’t bought it at all. Before spending any money for verification, it’d be wise to check to see if it’s something your target audience values in a company.
4. Use the right keywords
When you create a social media post, what sort of keywords do you use? If you’re writing your content freehand, you might not be using the right terminology that will get you found by customers when they search for products and topics.
Not sure which keywords to use to appeal to the algorithm? Most advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads, have inbuilt tools to help you uncover keywords related to your topic, based on the data from the platform itself. For best results, research and use keywords generated from the platform you’re posting your content on. If you post the same message on multiple platforms, it may also help to make minor keyword tweaks per platform.
For example, if I’m creating a post advertising my clothing business’s new summer line, I wouldn’t just caption a post with “Cool summer clothes for sale!” Instead, I would go into more detail about “trendy fashion straight from New York,” “sunglasses, sandals, and sun hats for warm weather garden parties,” and “exclusive offers on cute summer outfits in vibrant colors” – all enticing things that will make your content pop up when a customer searches for any of these words or views content related to them.
In the same vein, tag your post with popular keywords that will expand your reach. The number of keywords you can use depends on your platform: Twitter’s 280-character limit on posts might only give you space for one or two, but Instagram allows up to 30 tags on a single post.
5. Develop compelling lead magnets
It may be Machiavellian, but it’s true: customers won’t pay attention to you or your brand unless you offer them something in return. Consumers are inundated with floods of content every day, so they only have the mental bandwidth to process the most compelling content.
To that end, develop high-quality gated content as lead magnets that appeal to potential customers, enticing them to visit your website or leave their contact information. Some good lead magnets could be a helpful article, limited-time promotion or item, or a helpful tool, depending on your business and your target audience.
Plus, by focusing on lead magnet links, you’ll also ensure that each social media post ties straight into your lead generation funnel (and sales funnel by proxy). This will ensure that more social media viewers will become leads and customers.
6. Get involved in communities
If your business operates in a smaller niche industry, consumers may naturally cluster into small, tight-knight communities such as Reddit communities, Twitter circles, and Facebook groups. Rather than posting into the void or using tags, aiming your promotions and social media posts directly at these groups would be more effective.
Of course, most community groups have rules against spammy business promotion. But at the very least, you as a business owner could get a first-person view of what your target consumers want. Plus, if you post often and interact with others in the community, you could build your personal reputation as a voice of authority on the topic, which will transfer to your business.
While you’re in the community, take the time to practice social listening (social media listening), and keep an eye (or ear) out for what consumers are saying about your brand. You should look for organic brand mentions, customer feedback, competitor comparisons, and more. Knowing consumers’ opinions will help you further fine-tune your social media content and strategy.
7. Collaborate with others
Beyond getting involved in consumer communities, a business can also build credibility online by joining a referral network with other businesses to create guest posts, host interviews, and influencer sponsorships.
The benefits of exchanging referrals are twofold. First, as other companies refer you, your brand name and content will spread to their audiences, potentially attracting new customers. Then, posting other companies’ posts on your own profile will boost your reputation with your own audience, as customers observe how other reputable companies in the industry treat you as an equal or even as a voice of authority on a topic. Both of these will improve your number of new potential customers.
If you’re a B2B marketer, collaborations should be a top priority – more than half of B2B buyers (62%) reported that they relied on peer recommendations when making a purchasing decision, according to B2B marketing research group Demand Gen Report. When you collaborate with one company in the industry, that company will likely recommend you to their friends, ushering leads right to your door.
8. Boost and share customer testimonials
Customers are likely to purchase an item after seeing another consumer purchase the same thing, a concept known as social proof. In fact, 82% of consumers say that a review has convinced them to purchase, reports interaction management software provider Podium.
In other words, one well-written review could do more to generate leads than a thousand paid promotions – that’s exactly what happened to the book “This is How You Lose the Time War,” which, four years after being published, became an Amazon best-seller overnight because of one viral review on Twitter.
To build that trust in your company, use your social media platform’s reblogging or sharing functions to boost testimonials and reviews from happy customers, providing proof that your company delivers on its promises and provides good value.
9. Use sequential retargeting
When a customer shows interest in one ad but doesn’t follow through to the next call to action, it might seem like the end of the line – if the customer sees the same ad twice, they won’t interact with it again, and will eventually lose interest in your company. In previous eras of marketing, that might’ve been a sure sequence of events.
But with the use of browser cookies, a company can now identify which ads a consumer has viewed and interacted with, and create follow-up marketing material that displays unique ads based on the consumer’s previous actions and what they’ve seen before.
This remarketing tactic is called sequential retargeting, and it helps you provide more tailored messages to warm leads, hopefully nurturing their interest and reinforcing your call to action, turning them into a hot lead your company can follow up with. Most marketing platforms such as Facebook can help you set this up.
10. Stay on top of the latest trends
Conversations on social media are fast-paced and focused around the most recent events, which means that your brand should also talk about these topics to stay in the loop and join in on the conversation. When consumers think about these topics, they’ll automatically think of your brand, too!
If you sell tortilla chips, for example, you’d want to ramp up your advertising during Super Bowl season, producing football-themed ads to associate your brand and product with the hype of the game. Similarly, if a scandal broke out around a topic, you’d know to avoid mentioning it.
Because social media platforms host millions of users and allow one-to-many communication, many businesses in the digital era view social media as the most promising and growing frontier for advertising and lead generation.
Once you get your first few hundred followers, the social media mill will hopefully take off on its own, spreading your name to new audiences far and wide. Though not all social media leads will become paying customers, developing your presence, customer base, and reputation online using these tips will only help you in the future.
Lead Generation on Social Media FAQs
What do I do once I get a lead?
A lead doesn’t automatically turn into a customer; on the contrary, a lead is a potential customer who’s only just begun their customer journey! Once you’ve locked down on a lead, you’ll still need to take them through your business’s sales funnel to nurture their interest, overcome objections, and close the sale.
How do I identify a quality lead?
A high-quality lead will be one who matches your business’s ideal customer profile (ICP) or buyer persona: they’ll be part of your target audience and have the relevant need and budget for your product. The more thorough your ICP is, the easier it will be to create specific, targeted, and effective social media content and promote your posts to the right communities for maximum exposure.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, check out our guide on What is an ICP?
Additionally, another sign of a qualified lead is someone who interacts and shows interest in your brand and products. This could mean that they’re already considering purchasing, and just need a final push to become a paying customer!