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How to generate leads from 4 top social networks

Matt Kapko | Aug. 11, 2014
Most users turn to social media sites for entertainment and information, but for digital marketers social engagements represent a dynamic way to generate leads. Fostering leads, or potential customers, in social media is not as clear-cut or obvious as email, TV or print marketing, but there is enough history and background now to follow and replicate what is already working.

Twitter — Public Conversations in Real Time

  • Lead Generation Card: Twitter has built lead generation into Twitter Cards, which can be expanded to show rich media or useful tools without leaving the platform. Users can express implicit interest in your brand by sharing their email address without filling out a cumbersome form. Upon expanding your tweet in the form of a Twitter Card, users will see a detailed description of your offer and a call to action. Usernames and email address are already prepopulated within the card, so users can share this information directly with your business in a single click or tap.
  • Hitch a Ride on Events Hashtags: Whether it's an industry event tailored to a specific audience or an event with massive appeal like the World Cup, there's always an official hashtag to organize conversations around what's happening in real time. Marketers can use these hashtags in paid or organic fashion to share perspectives and join the conversation. Here's what Arby's said when Pharrell wore a hat that looked like their logo at the Grammys:

Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs

  • Ask Questions: The best conversations are a two-way street, so don't forget to ask for input and feedback whenever possible. Ask your followers to share their biggest challenges or ideas and share those tweets to see how your followers might respond. If there's a specific topic of interest among your followers, plan and host a Twitter chat to encourage more commentary and ideas from experts in the field.
  • Promoted Tweets: Your business can gain wider distribution on Twitter by paying to promote tweets that will be seen by nonfollowers. Promoted tweets can be targeted by gender, geography, language, interests, keywords, tailored audiences and television. These tweets become native ads that can appear in timelines, relevant search results, Twitter's official desktop and mobile clients and some third-party clients like HootSuite.
  • Promoted Accounts: Your brand can also attract more followers by purchasing a promoted account ad, which carry a follow button and appear on the side of the page, the discover tab or in stream. Almost three in four Twitter users say they're more likely to make a future purchase from brands they follow or engage with on Twitter. Promoted accounts can help your business reach more relevant followers and build a community of advocates.

Instagram — The Visual Appeal

To attract and influence prospective leads on Instagram, marketers have to focus on creating and sharing images that are visually appealing. Videos have a place on Instagram too, but don't overdo it. Snapshots of one-of-a-kind moments are what drove the platform to prominence in the first place. Embrace the legacy of the photograph and let viewers imaginations run wild with the story you're trying to tell.

  • Showcase Your Products or Services: This one's easier and more natural for fashion or travel brands, for example, but don't let that keep you from getting creative. Showcase the creation of your product and the packaging process. Think of Instagram as a platform and highly trafficked area to show off your actual products or services. Inform your potential customers by creating and sharing interesting pictures about your company.
  • Share Efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility: Your company's social outreach and commitment to causes of interest and need reflect the human side of your business. Take and share photos of your employees engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives. Showcase the accomplishments your company is engaging in for the good of the community. Let potential customers see what motivates your employees to give back.
  • Share Team Photos: Take advantage of your group or team activities by capturing photos that can be shared on Instagram. Photos that demonstrate team unity and teamwork can go a long way toward elevating your brand image. Show off your talent by introducing your staff to potential customers and influencers. Putting a human face on your brand can also make it more accessible to your followers.
  • Engage, Follow and Like Other Brands: It may not feel natural for a brand to communicate with other brands on Instagram, but doing so indicates the level to which you're trying to create a community of interested followers. Likes, comments and follows on other brands will increase your exposure among new potential leads. Boosting your company's interaction with other brands on Instagram can increase the overall voice and value of your brand.
  • Create Personal Hashtags: Instagram users love to use hashtags, sometimes to the point of absolute hilarity. Don't let your brand get carried away by using arbitrary phrases that might be humorous or entertaining though. Creating a personalized hashtag or series of hashtags can make your brand more visible through search and even generate new leads if it inspires others to use these hashtags to interact more with your company.


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