<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=2LgIl1aQibl0vg" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">
by Gillian
on March 28, 2013

Social media marketers know that a robust social media presence can have a very real impact on a business. But it doesn’t stop with having thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Proper social media engagement can generate leads for all types of businesses by driving high value traffic to your site and encouraging those visitors to stay, return, and share what they found.

There are a lot of reasons to utilize social media for your lead generation goals, but tops among them is the fact that social media is simply enormous. Facebook alone has more than a billion users. It’s safe to assume that there are at least a few of those who want whatever you’re selling.

Additionally, social media lead generation is effective, affordable, and measurable: all key reasons to reconsider your social media lead generation strategy today.

The best way to start utilizing social media as a lead generation platform is to make sure all your social media profiles are up to date and active. This is social media 101 stuff so hopefully you’re already at least part way there.

Then you need to utilize your lead generation skills in a way that is conducive to social media interaction. Listen to the conversations that people are having about your brand, your competitors, and your industry. Gauge what people want to know and what they want to talk about. This will be the most valuable information you can have as you set out to get new leads.

The listening portion of this strategy should never stop. Initially, you can use it to generate ideas and strategize. Then, as you launch a more concerted effort, you must continue to listen not only so that you can keep getting ideas for content, but so you can know how effective your strategy has been thus far. Always keep an ear open across social media channels.

The best way to use social media for lead generation is with content. A lot of this can be original content that you create yourself. It is important to keep in mind that the content that will have the biggest impact is content that your demographic wants. Posting a sales pitch is all well and good (and there’s a place for it) but it’s not what lead generation is about. Find out what people need: infographics, statistics, information, research and give it to them. Remember that you don’t have to create all of this content yourself. To fully participate in social media and be credible as a source, you have to link to relevant content from other sites as well.

So you have great content that you are publishing across your social media channels and it’s driving people to your site. How can you turn these curious visitors into leads and keep them on the site? With targeted landing pages. Make sure that whenever someone clicks a link you post, they know exactly what to expect, can easily find what they’re looking for, and can easily share it. One lead in the world of social media can beget many more through webs of friends, followers, and other connections.

Finally, use your analysis tools to keep track of your campaigns. How many new leads are coming in via social media? How can you increase that number? The instant nature of social media means that you can test, try, create, and finesse new ideas and get nearly instantaneous feedback.

Don’t underestimate the power of social media in generating new leads for your business. It’s one of the most effective and affordable tools you have and you should be using it!