How to Generate Business Leads with Social Media

Keep reading to know the basics of lead generation and discover valuable tips for improving it on social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Reddit.

What Is a Lead?
In marketing, any potential customer that is interested in your business and products is considered a lead. Leads for sales are not only obtained through direct marketing; even indirect forms of advertising and business promotions can be used to increase your contact list of existing and potential clients.

What Is Lead Generation?
As mentioned above, leads are not solely created by paid advertising, as social media today has become a great source of lead generation. With the use of interesting content, businesses are able to get a higher fan following and are able to find more interested customers for their products or services. Thus, lead generation includes the numerous methods used by companies to increase their customers’ interest in their products, which eventually helps the business in obtaining the clients’ contact information so that they can be kept informed about all future products, sales, and promotions.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Reddit are seven of the most used social media sites on the web. These websites can help you in improving lead generation if you follow the right methods. A few tips have been provided below related to each site to help you get started on the right track to increasing your list of potential clients.

How to Generate Leads with Facebook?
Nearly half of all Facebook users log in everyday and spend almost half an hour on the site. Thus, if you do it right, you can generate a large amount of leads for your website with the help of Facebook. Here’s how:

• Post content on your site with Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons so that your site visitors can let you know about the content they enjoy reading and can share your site’s content with their friends.

• Create a ‘Form’ tab on your business’s Facebook page rather than asking your interested fans to go to your website. In this way, you will be able to get their contact information directly through Facebook rather than waiting for them to visit your website.

• Create a paid ad on Facebook. The ad campaign is cost effective with a pay per click policy and if you add a link to it that can take users to your contact information form, you will be able to get their details in a quicker and more effective manner. Facebook ads also allow you to specify your target market so that you can display your ad to the right people.

How to Generate Leads with Twitter?
Twitter is a social platform where countless users chat and tweet in real time, making the site a powerful tool for generating leads for your business. Here’s how:

• Create a landing page on your website that is specifically dedicated to your Twitter fans. They should be able to provide you with their name and email in return for a training video, a webinar, or other informational content.

• Always remember to offer a promotion that will hold worth in the eyes of your existing and potential clients, because they will only provide you with their contact details for an item that they truly need or want.

• Take an interest in your customers and engage them in conversations via the Twitter chat feature. Hold entertaining and engaging discussions that will compel users to participate in them. Clients appreciate businesses that take a genuine and keen interest in their buyers.

How to Generate Leads with Pinterest?
The rapidly growing virtual pin-boarding site, Pinterest, can be a great way to generate leads for your business. Here’s how:

• Use relevant and informative content with eye-catching images. If your company has produced an eBook or a whitepaper, use its front cover to pin it to your board. Make sure to link it to a Call-To-Action (CTA) and a landing page.

• Add hashtags to your pins so that they can easily appear in search results. Use the same hashtags that you are using for Google+ and Twitter to be able to synchronize all of your marketing strategies together.

• Evaluate the results of your created pin-board with the use of analytical tools. Discover which images generate better leads and pin similar content to improve lead generation.

How to Generate Leads with LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social network that caters to professionals and businesses alike. Most companies have a presence on LinkedIn but are unaware of its lead generating methods. Want to generate leads via LinkedIn? Here’s how:

• Build a company profile page where you can inform your customers and other businesses about your company and its products and services. Link your webpage and services in your profile statuses and other information.

• Use LinkedIn groups to your advantage. Join groups related to your industry and create new ones to connect with new people and generate leads to your business.

• Set up a LinkedIn schedule and visit the social site on a daily basis. Respond to discussions in groups or start a new one, update company status on the profile page and check to see who has viewed your profile. Make this a daily habit and you will see that being active on LinkedIn has paid off by providing you with additional leads.

How to Generate Leads with YouTube?
YouTube allows you to share videos related to your business. Users of the site will then be able to view your posted file and with the right CTAs and links, you can even generate links for your business. Here’s how:

• Create videos that are of high quality, especially if you cater to other businesses. Professional looking videos give credibility to your company and attract more people towards your products.

• Remain active on the site and upload videos on a regular basis. It will help in generating better leads for your company.

• Use catchy titles for your videos and do not forget to add a link to your business website in the description. This is how lead generation will take place, so make sure that you are directing the viewers of the video towards a contact information form on your site. You can also add effective CTAs to compel the users to click your link.

How to Generate Leads with Google+?
Google+ is rapidly climbing the ladder as a leading social media platform, so there are various ways to increase lead generation with the help of Google+. Here’s how:

• Target the correct audience according to the products and services offered by your company. You can use hashtags for this purpose to attract the right customers and make it easier for them to search for your business and its products.

• Use visually appealing content, this means that you need to post videos and images along with your text. Remember to add links in the description to generate leads to your site.

• The content you share should be unique and should be posted at regular intervals. Set up a schedule for posting on Google+ and find interesting material to add to your profile along with links that connect to your website.

How to Generate Leads with Reddit?
Reddit is a social site that can be used to share information and interesting content. As a means of simply sharing interesting articles, Reddit’s policy does not allow businesses to market their products in a direct manner. However, there are still a few ways to generate leads from this site. Here’s how:

• Join subreddits that are relevant to your business and its products. Interact with other users on these forums and create awareness for your company.

• Find and engage in discussions and conversations that are related to your particular industry to make people aware of your business and gain credibility by providing expert advice on matters concerning your business field.

• Create a Reddit sponsored ad campaign where you post facts related to your industry and get it sponsored by the site to have it displayed at the top of the home page.

To Sum It Up…
The above given tactics can be used to generate leads on various social websites to provide your business with a larger list of potential and existing clients. So get started on your lead generation strategies today and increase your customer base!

Reach Is The Best Facebook Metric To Focus On

Has your Facebook Page experienced a drop in its reach? Do you want to reach out to more of your fans and get optimum exposure for your brand or Page?

In order to improve your Facebook reach, you first need to understand its concept and the process through which reach is determined.

What Is Facebook Reach?
For every Facebook Page and post, the number of unique people who see your content or interact with it become a part of your Facebook reach. Whether your fans share your post, like it or comment on it, it is all combined into Facebook reach. The reach of Facebook posts can be organic, viral, and paid, depending on how your fans interact with it.

Types of Facebook Reach

As mentioned above, every Facebook Page and post has three types of reach; organic, viral, and paid. The difference in reach is due to the ways that your fans use to interact with your Page and posts.

1. Organic Reach
Organic reach is free reach. When you post content on your Page, it automatically reaches your fans in their news feed and they are able to see your updates. Organic reach simply encompasses the posting of statuses onto the news feed Page.

2. Viral Reach
Viral reach is the most common way of reaching out to your fans. It is initiated by a single fan sharing your post with others by sharing, linking, or commenting on it. In turn, all of your fan’s friends can see his activity and like, share and comment on it as well, making your post reach out to even more Facebook users. According to recent update, Facebook has now combined viral reach within organic reach and they are both considered as one combined collection of data.

3. Paid Reach
When a Facebook Page pays to promote its posts, it is known as pair reach. As the content is paid to reach the maximum number of fans, paid reach is usually high for those Pages that opt for it.

Organic Reach at a Decline as Businesses Opt for Paid Reach

Recent data shows that Facebook’s organic reach is declining rapidly. The number of fans that can see posts in their news feed from their liked Pages is becoming less and less. The reason for this decline is not the inactivity of the fans; it is simply the increase in the number of paid posts.

As more and more businesses pay to have their posts displayed in the news feed, unpaid and organic reach is declining. The news feed Page of every Facebook user can display only a fixed number of posts and if the paid posts are in abundance, there is very little space left to display unpaid content.

Facebook itself, also predicts that its organic reach will be brought down to zero in upcoming years as there will no longer be space left to display anything except for paid content. Thus, brands and Pages with unpaid content; are facing a decline in organic reach and will continue to do so, unless steps are taken to improve their organic reach.

How to Increase Facebook Reach?

As organic reach declines, the following strategies can be used to improve the reach for your Facebook Page:

1. Post when Your Fans Are Online
Want maximum activity on your shared posts? Observe your Page activity and discover when your fans are online. Post your content when a large number of your fans will be able to view it and respond to it.

2. Post Multiple Times in a Day
Fans from different parts of the world will be available online at different times. Post content on your Page at various times of the day to achieve maximum visibility and activity on it.

3. Re-post Past Content with High Activity
Do you remember that one post where your fans were the most actively involved? Find it in your Page history and re-post it for similar, if not better, results. The posts that earned your Page a lot of publicity and promotion in the past will most likely bring additional reach to your Page once more after re-posting.

4. Generate Interesting and Conversational Posts
Your fans will respond to posts that interests them. Start a debate; ask for opinions, or simple post a quote, fact or a joke. Any content that interests your fans should be posted to your Page in order to improve its organic reach.

5. Conduct Small Contests and Quizzes to Stimulate Post and Page Activity
Everyone enjoys winning gifts. Start a small competition on your Page, asking your fans to like, share, or comment on your post and publicize the prize for the competition. The more people interact with the post, the more reach you will be able to achieve for your Page. In the end, conduct a lucky draw; announce the winners, give away the prizes and everyone’s happy.

6. Tag other Facebook Pages
When a Page tags a separate Page in a post, that content may show followers of both Pages and is a great way to recognize other brands. To tag another Page in a post make sure that you are logged into your User Profile and type the @ symbol in front of the Page name you want to tag. You also need to “like” that Page in order to be able to tag it.

Use these strategies and more, to cleverly share your page content and reach out to the maximum number of your fans. Stay active on your page and keep posting to get the best results!

Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to the early 2000’s era. Social media networks were relatively unheard of, companies still preferred to market their goods through physical media (such as billboards and direct mail) and MySpace was still the coolest trend among youngsters. Fast-forward to a decade later, social media has taken the world by storm, online marketing replaced physical marketing mediums, and MySpace is now replaced by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social networks. So the point is, you never know what the future holds; nobody could have predicted we would be so reliant on social media websites as a means of communication. But there’s one thing that has remained rigid since 2007; the rise of social media marketing.

The Rise of Social Media Marketing
What? You thought Facebook became a $100 billion industry just out of the blue? The social media website gets a significant portion of its revenue through online advertisements. Companies pay top dollar for their products to be advertised through social media networks. Hard to believe is it? It might be much harder to believe the fact that 93% of marketers use social media just for business purposes. The rise of social media marketing may be attributable to several factors, one of which is the large consumer base, numbering to 1.2 billion users on Facebook alone! The other factors include the customer information that the social media accounts hold, which can help in targeting customers.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Media Marketing Segmentation
You see those sidebar or news feed ads and those aren’t just randomly placed there. In fact, the ad is targeted especially for users based on what their ‘likes’ or interests are, along with other factors such as location, age or gender. This is why social media marketing is so effective for businesses; it targets specific users that are most likely to subscribe to the services. For example, a local car repair company can simply advertise their ads on pages related to their particular location. This can save the small business a pretty penny while getting their word across to users.

Unfortunately, this is the first thing that most small businesses forget – segmentation. By not properly targeting their audience, they are not only wasting advertisement budget, they are also reducing the chances of prospective clients subscribing to their services. That’s not just something I just made up; think about it. If there’s a sidebar or news feed ad for a particular business every time you visit a random page, even though that business is about a 1000 miles from your residence, what would be the first thing that comes to mind?

Yes, by relentlessly placing social media ads without proper segmentation, you might possibly be bringing your business into the borderline of being considered as spam, adding a negative aspect to your business while driving away your potential consumer base.

Cost Effectiveness
Another reason why social media marketing can prove advantageous to small businesses is cost effectiveness. Not that this form of marketing is the cheapest (that distinction goes to email marketing), but social media marketing also helps small businesses cut back on other costs. For example, consider a small business running a Facebook page or a Twitter account to answer queries. Not only does the business get the opportunity to interact with the consumer base, they can also reply to their queries directly, essentially rendering customer service directly on the page, thereby not having to allocate a dedicated budget to that department.

There are certain tips and techniques to utilize social media as a marketing tool to its full potential. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

Going with the Times
60% of shoppers browse through the Internet on their smart phone while going to shop for products. Not convinced yet? Get this; Pinterest users are three times more likely to share content on their mobile phones than they are on a desktop. Mobiles are taking the place of the traditional desktop PC, but that is no reason to be distraught. In fact, you can stay a step ahead of the competition by simply keeping your social media marketing campaign mobile friendly. This means having a mobile version for your webpage, which the users can access while on their phones.

Using Hashtags
Hashtags are a relatively new tool utilized by Facebook, and was first limited to just Twitter. To make effective use of hashtags, make sure you use your brand name, a catchy tagline or a popular hashtag.

Adding the Reply Option
Another excellent social media marketing tool which small businesses should use is the ‘Reply’ option, which Facebook has introduced for page owners to directly interact with their customers in the comments section. This produces a more customer friendly brand image, which users appreciate. This in turn will not only encourage them to buy from your brand, but to also give positive feedback on your page.

Another great advantage of social media is that whatever is posted by a user on a page, it shows up on most of his/her friends’ news feed. This indirectly generates positive publicity, improving your brand image for prospective clients. Social media marketing is an excellent tool for small businesses to expand their horizons and diversify their market.

9 Social Media Personality Types: Which One Are You?

Social media has become part of our daily lives and there seems to be a hole somewhere inside us on days when we forget to check or update our Facebook and Twitter accounts. As social media seems to become a bigger and bigger monster day by day, it’s interesting to note the manner in which people interact with it.

Just as we are all different in real life and have different roles to play, a similar effect takes place in social media. Social media has been around for quite a while now and a lot of us have evolved over the years in terms of interactivity. Consciously or subconsciously, all of us have fallen into certain roles. Knowing the social media personality of a person is very important as it allows us to better know how to interact with each type.

The Sponge
These are the most exciting people out there. They find the most interesting content out there and take it in like a sponge. This means that they always have something worthwhile to share with the world. Highly active in the social world, they are responsible and dependable folk. They usually have a complete profile and will have joined the maximum number of groups possible. They’ve definitely left no stone unturned as the progress on their social journey.

Social Luddites
They are the ones who live on the opposite side of the spectrum from the sponges. They are highly reluctant to engage in social media and are uninterested in the ups and downs of the tech world. Their profiles are often incomplete; in fact they may not even have a profile picture. While these personalities may be true to their internal value systems and may be good at finding solutions to problems, their social media pages take a secondary position in their lives and is often seen gathering dust.

Although they may have similar characteristics, these people are a little different from the sponge. While the sponge may not be very outgoing in the real world, the all-rounder seems to have struck that perfect balance which allows them to be popular and outgoing in the real and the social world. They are always part of the most fascinating social conversations and tend to contribute to them in a meaningful way. These people are great to interact with online or offline.

These can be extremely hard to detect. Sometimes they may seem to be the most exciting people on social media yet at other times; they are projecting their inner negative Nancy. Their social media presence seems to be all over the place and it becomes hard for you to understand where they’re coming from. This is because these opinions don’t really belong to them. Since they borrow from other personalities, they seem to have snowballed into something undecipherable. Additionally, when forced into conversation, they don’t really seem to have any opinions of their own. They’re rather more comfortable with latching themselves onto someone with a stronger opinion and agreeing with everything they say. The chameleon will also never start any conversations on their own. When faced with a chameleon its best to stay out of their way. While it may be fun to have someone who agrees with you in the initial stages, the relationship will soon start feeling like a drag.

The Preacher
The preacher seems to be everywhere. No matter how many times you try to avoid them, they seem to be right there, trying to give you unwarranted advice. This social media personality type actually has the highest level of activity and just can’t seem to stop tweeting, messaging, or blogging. This is because they think their opinions to be off value and need the world to know what they think about everything. These must be avoided at all costs. Preachers don’t contribute anything worthwhile to a conversation and claim to be experts at things they may not have working knowledge of.

The Negative Nancy
Everything sucks in their world and they want you to know it along with the 400 other people in their list. They can take anything good and regurgitate it with their negative opinions attached. They are hypercritical individuals who can’t really be avoided.

The Over-Sharer
You may not have met them in three years but you know all there is to know about their life. The over sharer has a chronic sharing problem where they just need to let the world know just how exciting their life is. You know what they had for breakfast, dinner, and lunch and fear that they may begin posting about their bowel movements soon.

The Lazy
At this point, you don’t even remember that you ever added them to your list. The lazies however are definitely there, silently lurking in the back alleys. They just can’t seem to find the time for social media. You’ll see them sometimes, in flurried activities which are accentuated by long absences. You don’t have to worry about these personalities. They will come and go as they choose.

The Superstar
These are the ones who seem to be winning this social media game. Up to date with the goings on in the world, they’re always there to bring you important news. Everything exciting seems to be happening to them. All you can do is wistfully look at the new pictures of their baby or the exotic vacation they took. They’re not spammers either. They engage in meaningful conversations, share thought out opinions and speak their own mind. Similar to the lazies, they march to their own beat.

Understanding social media personalities is not only interesting but also insightful. Once you understand the people you are interacting with, you will have the tools to communicate with them in their own preferred way. Alternatively, you may find that you fall into one of these categories. It is however a little difficult to label anyone. You may find that you have a lot of shared characteristics with multiple personalities. One thing that you need to understand however is this – your social media presence should always be meaningful!

How to Take Advantage of the Video Marketing Boom

Without a doubt, online video marketing is one of the forms of advertising with the highest growth rate. This form of advertising is also one of the most preferable methods of reaching out to consumers, for many marketers. Irrespective of the niche you are in, video marketing has proven to be one of the most effective methods of engaging customers.

Video advertisements account for up to 25% of all the videos that web users consume every month, according to a recent study by ComScore. What does this mean? It means that when you place video advertisements online and target new or early local adopters, your local audience is likely to see the video ad. Other studies by iMedia Connection indicate that by 2014 online videos will generate up to 90% of the total online traffic.

It is also interesting to note that online videos have a 50% chance of being ranked in the top listings in the organic search engine pages. This is in contrast to textual web pages. There are many reasons why video marketing is increasingly becoming inevitable and attractive to many marketers. Compared to traditional forms of marketing, online videos have a longer shelf life; they stay online for longer. They are also less expensive once you create and distribute them. Additionally, you can reach a wider audience with the online video while at the same time leveraging the imminent opportunities to go viral with your content.

Millions of videos are uploaded online in any given month. Users are also sifting through tons of video ads to connect with brands and to find services/products that can offer them solutions. Your main aim is to rise above the crowd, for your customers and prospects to see you. Here are some pointers that can get you started:

Video marketing is long-term: One-off videos will not get your brand the visibility you are looking for. Instead, the video will simply get lost in the clutter and your audience will never know about your brand and product offering. It is best to embark and to strategize on a long-term campaign; this will allow you regularly distribute relevant videos for your target market. Additionally, creating a video campaign will streamline your content and build brand visibility every time you distribute a new video.

Call Your Target Market To Action: Video Marketing is most successful when you are able to compel your audience to undertake a specific action. It is not enough that they just view the video; it is imperative that they follow up the viewing with another action that can contribute to conversions. Direct viewers to a relevant website or blog; ask them to comment on the video, or to subscribe to your e-newsletter. Viewers will be more than willing to take an action if the content offers value.

Offer Valuable Content: Video ads are short and straight to the point, with most of them lasting up to 3.8 minutes. Maximizing this limited timeframe means providing high quality and valuable content. Even though you are distributing marketing videos, refrain from hard selling; this will turn your customers off. Instead, consider distributing videos that will help the viewer solve a specific problem or content that will tell them more about your brand. For example, ‘How- to’ content for videos offers value to your audience. Ensure that the videos you distribute position you as an expert in your niche.

Video is dynamic and allows you to engage your audience in diverse ways. Video marketing can also be valuable in helping you to build your brand, to position yourself as a valuable source of information and to grow your customer base. Here are several ways video can work for you:

Expand your customer and prospect base: By creating and distributing videos, you can significantly expand your list. In the video, you can ask viewers to leave comments as well as their name and email address. You can then incentivize them with free goodies such as ebooks, or downloadable how-to-videos, podcasts or video conferences. Simply create a valuable video and determine the type of incentive that is likely to compel your target market to offer their personal information.

Use video to spread the word about reports and findings: This is a great way to promote the value of your product and services without hard selling. Create a video about how your product or service helped someone achieve certain results. This helps to bring a human face to your brand and to boost trust between you and the viewers. It is also a good idea to incorporate testimonials from satisfied customers to back up your claims about your product/service.

Leverage video to narrate a story: The best and indeed most effective marketing videos are those that provide a compelling narrative. Telling a story to your audience is a way of connecting with them and building brand identity. Telling a story also allows you to share with your clients about yourself and about other clients who have come to trust your product or services.

Today, businesses are integrating their video marketing with social media campaigns. Social video marketing entails the use of tools that facilitate the social conversations taking place around a specific video. Social video marketing is undertaken through the creation of video content and distributing the content through social tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.

Video and social media have indeed placed the consumer in a more important position. As such, brands are required to treat the consumer as an equal who helps to distribute the brand’s content and to offer recommendations to other potential consumers.

However, social video marketing is more than distributing content through social platforms such as YouTube. Social networks are increasingly playing an important role in driving traffic to videos. This means that online marketers must optimize their videos for both the social and main search engines. This will allow your target market to find your video content in the organic search as well as through social media platforms. In the end, video marketing is all about creating great and compelling content, starting a conversation and creating a community of loyal followers and customers.