Social media has become an integral part of promoting campaigns about new products or services for businesses. This is because it is low-cost marketing, and it allows each campaign to be marketed to a selected audience. 

In 2010, Facebook introduced paid marketing, which allowed marketers to target users based on their interests. This gave marketers even more avenues for social media marketing opportunities.

This rise of social media marketing has lead to businesses using social media to generate leads.

So, what is a lead?

A sales lead is a potential sales contact, individual or organisation that expresses an interest in your goods or services, according to Search IT Channel.

But how can you generate leads by using social media? Here are five ways to do just that:

1. Share links to gated content 

Gated content is online material such as white papers, articles and videos that require users to fill out a form before gaining access to it. This form can ask for details including the user’s name, email address, job description and place of work. 

By putting high-quality content behind a gate and then sharing it on social media will get you relevant social media leads. Remember that the better your content is, the more people will want to access it — so make sure your gated content is top notch.

2. Run competitions on social media

An effective way to promote your business and generate leads on social media is by holding competitions. 

To enter contests on social media, businesses usually require entrants to provide their contact details (and sometimes even to prove that these are real contact details). These then become leads from people who have already shown an interest in the business.

Social media contests also give the company a chance to increase their reach as participants are often required to share it with more people or tag friends in the post.

3. Social media advertising  

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now offer ‘lead generation’ ads which allows marketers to direct leads with targeted marketing to social media users right on the platform. 

Lead generation Ads work similarly to any other paid ads. First, you set up the ad. For example, on Facebook you set the ad up using Facebook’s Ads Manager. You can customise targeting features, creative assets, and budget to make sure the ad reaches the right audience.

The social media platform uses the information you entered to show your ads to people that could become your potential customers.

The ad is displayed in a user’s news feed — it looks similar to an organic post, but it is designated as a ‘sponsored post’. 

Users no longer have to click on the ad, go to the landing page and fill out a form. With these new ‘lead generation’ ads customers can click on the ad and the form will immediately pop up. After filling out the form, they will receive a piece of content such as an ebook. 

4. Webinars and live videos

Social media is a good platform to promote and advertise webinars. Webinars are a great way to gather sales leads, as participants usually have to register in advance in order to join the webinar. 

Because registration is done in advance, many people may not even actually attend the webinar, but the hosting company will already have their contact details such as their name and email address as a lead. Businesses will use social media to encourage people to register for these webinars which will then result in the company having more leads. 

These leads are usually relevant because the attendees (or potential attendees) signed up due to their interest in a topic surrounding the company.

Live videos on social media are not gated content. However, businesses use live videos when they have an announcement, are at an event or need to quickly answer a few user questions. 

Businesses can use in-video promotion or add links to gated content on their social media platforms which will encourage customers to fill out the form and therefore give the company their details as a lead. 

5. Click through to a landing page

A landing page is developed to turn leads into customers. If a company doesn’t have gated content, it is essential to develop a landing page to generate leads. Sharing the link to your landing page on your social media will encourage more people to click through to your landing page and fill out the form, therefore gaining leads. 

In this instance, social media is the vehicle to get more people to take action and consequently fill out the form adding to the company’s leads.

What other ways do you generate leads on social media for your company? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you’re a pro at generating leads on social media, why not check out these Four reasons why brands need to focus on organic social media marketing.