Ask the Expert: Social Media and Lead Generation Rountable


What social channel works best for lead generation?

Although many think that Facebook is a terrific platform to build a strong community of fans, it’s even more powerful when you turn your raving fans into quality leads that you can communicate with and build a relationship with outside of Facebook.
– Amy Porterfield, Social Media Strategist

At Social Media Examiner, we’ve found that LinkedIn has the highest conversion rate, but Facebook delivers a higher quantity of leads for us. We have a much larger fan base on Facebook (192,000+) compared to LinkedIn (11,000+), and have multiple dedicated staff manning our Facebook account.
– Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder, Social Media Examiner

There are three channels that are great for lead generation. Facebook’s ad interface and their targeting capabilities are impressive—you can get very granular and ensure you’re reaching the right audience. LinkedIn has generally given us the best leads, because you can target by job titles, companies, company size, or industry. Lastly, we’ve had success with lead generation forms on SlideShare, where we host all of our slide decks, from webinar decks to shortened versions of our ebooks.
– Carra Manahan, Marketing Program Specialist, Marketo

What is the future of social for lead generation?

Social media platforms are becoming more sophisticated in terms of giving marketers opportunities to strategically attract leads. It’s no longer all about attracting fans and followers—the appeal of social media marketing is gravitating more toward turning those fans and followers into warm leads. These leads are genuinely interested in hearing from you.
– Amy Porterfield, Social Media Strategist

Now that Twitter has introduced Lead Generation Cards, which allow advertisers to collect leads directly from paid ads, I think we will see more of this type of lead generation across the various social networks—especially as those networks become more reliant on advertisers who are seeking to generate leads.
– Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder, Social Media Examiner

More and more companies are investing in their brand’s social presence, and at the same time, social platforms are investing in features that help drive lead generation. If you’re not using social media for your lead generation efforts, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. We’ve seen great ROI from adding a social component to almost everything we do—whether it’s a simple social share button or a fun contest.”
– Carra Manahan, Marketing Program Specialist, Marketo

What are the key social components of an effective lead generation strategy?

You need to know where your audience is spending time and have a keen understanding of their interests, likes, dislikes and overall challenges. If you can create giveaways that they perceive as highly valuable, they’ll be more than happy to give you their names and email addresses in exchange. That’s how list building on social media sites works best—with an irresistible giveaway, promoted on your social media channels. This not only builds goodwill and establishes your authority, it also builds your email list with people that are genuinely interested in what you are all about.
– Amy Porterfield, Social Media Strategist

Generating leads with social comes down to offering a valuable free offer. It’s important to remember why people are on social networks: to connect with people. Thus it’s critical to offer up major value if
you’re going to interrupt their main reason for being on the network. Said another way, people using social networks have a low tolerance for overly promotional content.
– Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder, Social Media Examiner

At Marketo, we’re aware that a social media manager doesn’t just post a few tweets or Facebook statuses every day—they also have a strategy for reaching lead generation goals. To have an effective lead generation strategy, you’ll need to make sure that you have awesome content, the right people, and creativity. Content is what fuels social media—without it you would have nothing to offer your audience. Dedicated staff ensure that you’re following a strategy, not just using social at random. And creativity is key for breaking through the noise.”
– Carra Manahan, Marketing Program Specialist, Marketo

What do you say to people who think social media is not effective for lead generation?

I would say they are missing out on a huge opportunity, and will struggle to build up their email lists if they don’t begin to experiment with social media opportunities to attract quality leads. I would also say that their competition is very lucky!
– Amy Porterfield, Social Media Strategist

Social networks are the fastest and lowest cost way to generate leads, bar none.
– Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder, Social Media Examiner

People who think social media is not effective for lead generation need to give it a try! I can’t stress how important it is to test before drawing conclusions. You’ll need to try different methods, keeping in mind that not everything you do will be a success. Not every post on every social channel will get a ton of engagement—you need to figure out which messaging and content resonates best with your target audience.
– Carra Manahan, Marketing Program Specialist, Marketo

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