Send us an email
Send us an email
Search the Blog
Written by Jasmine Williams
Published on September 25, 2023
Reading time 8 minutes
Acquiring fresh and relevant leads can sometimes be the most challenging part of marketing your business.
The good news is that social media is an incredibly valuable lead generation channel, if you use it correctly. With 4.89 billion people using social media worldwide in 2023, it’s the perfect channel for businesses to reach and attract leads. It’s only a matter of using the right tactics at the right time.
In this post, you’ll learn all about social media lead generation, why you need it and our favorite tactics for generating sales leads through social media. We’ve also included some real-life examples to inspire your next campaign.
Let’s dive in.
Social media lead generation is the process of collecting new leads using social media. A lead is any information identifying someone interested in your products or services. This information can be anything from their name and email address to their occupation and employer details.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or who you’re trying to reach. B2C and B2B social media marketers benefit from social media lead generation strategies. Here are five reasons why it’s essential for both types of businesses.
Now that you know the benefits of using social media to generate leads, how do you go about it? Authentic, engaging content that establishes your brand ethos and personality will capture potential customers’ attention and grow your platform. Then, following up with more sales-focused content will convert them into customers.
However, relying on organic tactics alone may not be enough to reach a wider audience. Incorporate paid tactics, like social media ads, to target specific groups of people and get more visibility.
The following ten tactics will help you reach the right people at the right time with the right content and messaging to capture their interest and generate high-quality social media leads for your organization.
The right incentive compels people to share their information with you. Still, you’ll need to create enticing lead magnet offers that people want. These could be anything from a research report to a free tool. You could also offer discount codes, case studies, webinars, whitepapers and more.
AWS Training and Certification advertising a free ebook on LinkedIn is a perfect example.
A paid social media advertising strategy is highly effective for generating leads due to the precise targeting options and potential reach. These features allow you to personalize offers and expand your audience beyond that of your current social media followers.
According to our latest Index, 46% of consumers follow brands on social to get exclusive deals or promotions. Promote special discounts and limited-time offers for your products and services through these ads to drive engagement and conversions.
For instance, Motion used Instagram ads to generate demand with a free trial offer. When someone clicks on their social media ad, it leads to a landing page to sign up for a seven-day free trial. It’s an enticing deal that makes the ad’s audience more likely to try out the platform.
Ruggable also employs the same tactic. They use social media ads to highlight specific products and promote a 15% discount.
Take your social media advertising one step further with lead-gen ads. These ads allow you to gather leads on a social platform rather than pushing customers to a landing page. They come with pre-populated forms, making it easy for leads to sign up without spending too much time entering their personal information.
This speeds up the lead generation process, significantly boosting your conversion rate. For example, LinkedIn Lead Generation Forms have a 13% average conversion rate, while landing pages average about 2.35% conversions.
The form fields are pre-filled using details that the prospect has already included on their LinkedIn profile, making it frictionless for your lead to access your content and for you to collect their information. Facebook and Instagram also offer lead generation ads.
Retargeting ads are the most used among marketers, with 77% of B2B and B2C marketers saying they use retargeting as part of their Facebook and Instagram advertising strategies.
Retargeting amplifies your social advertising and lead generation strategy by re-engaging lost prospects. Say someone clicked on your first ad and scrolled through the landing page but never submitted a form. This is your cue to retarget them with ads, encouraging them to finish the signup process.
Consider also retargeting people who’ve landed on your website through search or other referral sites. Or people who regularly read your blog posts but haven’t subscribed to your newsletter.
Try setting up your retargeting ads sequentially to get even better results. For instance, use an awareness-stage ad to address common pain points and objections or a consideration-stage ad with testimonials to give social proof and win people’s trust. Keep the customer journey moving forward by serving up the most relevant messaging depending on your target audience’s past behavior.
Casper uses retargeting ads to re-engage their previous viewers to buy their products. These dynamic product ads are customized based on the user’s activity on their website and their preferences and include social proof (e.g., “2,000,000+ happy sleepers”) to boost trust.
Customer stories, reviews and testimonials give you the social proof you need to acquire new leads. Showcase how clients benefit from your products and services to demonstrate your brand value. According to Bizrate Insights, 91% of survey respondents read at least one review before purchasing a product or service.
Kajabi often shares engaging testimonials of how people have used the platform to launch thriving businesses. In the video post below, business coach Jessica Hawks shares how she created a seven-figure digital product company with Kajabi.
Beauty brand Live Tinted also regularly shares customer video reviews on its Instagram channel to highlight the effectiveness of its products.
A post shared by LIVE TINTED (@livetinted)
Consider working with reputable content creators who are popular with your target audience to promote your brand, product or service. Partnering with influencers attracts leads from the social media content your target audience is already consuming. This type of content helps you expand your reach and drive engagement by partnering with someone your audience trusts.
For example, Home Depot partnered with DIY influencer Nickell Morgan of @simplyhandmade for an Instagram video where she created lawn games with the brand’s products.
A post shared by The Home Depot (@homedepot)
Content creators and influencers also provide a form of social proof. They connect your sponsored message seamlessly into their content, helping it reach audiences who might otherwise actively click away from an ad.
Virtual conferences and events are a great way to attract a highly relevant audience while establishing your expertise and authority in the field. They’re also great for generating leads on social media since people must provide their info to sign up or join the conference.
Host a virtual conference on topics that intrigue your target audience and relate to your brand’s expertise. Use the event to discuss trending industry topics, provide actionable tips and invite influential speakers. Plus, generate plenty of content by posting on social media while the event is live or repurposing content into lead magnets later.
For instance, Superside regularly hosts Gather & Grow, a live educational webinar series featuring leading digital marketing and advertising experts.
Referral campaigns are highly effective in doubling your sales leads. These campaigns incentivize your leads to refer their friends or colleagues. The referred people will learn about your products or services and potentially become additional leads.
To make this work, provide an attractive incentive such as a gift card or a discount in exchange for the referral.
For example, vacation rental brand Getaway has a referral program where customers give and get $25 off their next booking when they refer a friend. The company has an Instagram Highlight for its referral program, so users always have access to the content.
Look for lead generation opportunities with effective social listening. Monitor social media conversations and see what people say about a topic or competitor brand. This will help you identify any opportunities to generate high-quality leads for your business.
For instance, someone complaining about a competitor’s product might appreciate an alternative. And someone asking for recommendations would love to hear your suggestion. On top of this, people asking about your brand and products will appreciate your proactive approach when you step in to address their concerns.
See how the Sprout Social team stepped in when someone on X asked if the company has an affiliate program.
Each of your employees has a social network. Now, imagine the impact tapping into those audiences could have on your growth efforts. This is the power of employee advocacy. According to The Sprout Social Index, more than 1,000 marketers reported that employee advocacy helped them drive more qualified leads.
Employee Advocacy by Sprout Social simplifies the process by enabling employees to quickly share company posts, customize their feeds to show topics relevant to their roles and suggest content for others to share.
Vizient, the US’s largest healthcare performance improvement organization, created an advocacy resource hub with Sprout. It contains product demos, instructional videos and on-demand webinars, making it easy for Vizient employees to become social media brand advocates.
Social media is more than just a way to collect leads. It’s also a valuable tool for effectively nurturing and converting those leads into customers. That’s why a social customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Sprout Social is essential.
Sprout helps you manage leads and build meaningful relationships with prospects. It tracks all your interactions so your team can respond quickly and with personalized content. Our integration with Salesforce also ensures your sales and marketing teams are always in sync at every step of the journey for more effective audience engagement and faster growth.
Social media is a lead generation powerhouse because it allows you to reach and engage with broad and niche audiences. Just remember that social media is supposed to be social.
Leverage the tactics we’ve outlined above to build a strong relationship with your audience. Focus on providing valuable and informative content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests. You’ll attract leads genuinely interested in what you offer, fueling your overall business growth in the long run.
Lastly, don’t forget to measure the impact of your lead gen efforts and look for opportunities to improve. Read our social media reporting guide to learn more about how to keep track of your performance.
Jasmine Williams is an award-winning writer and the founder of Jasmine Williams Media, a boutique content marketing consultancy supporting industry-leading companies and visionaries. She’s also the creator behind Freelance Curious, a weekly newsletter for freelance creatives, and Click-worthy Creative Academy, an online freelance mentorship program.
Read all articles by Jasmine Williams
Subscribe to our newsletter for social resources
Join 70,000+ professionals and become a better social media marketer. Get social media resources and tips in your inbox weekly.
[Toolkit] Communications Toolkit to Safeguard Your Brand
Find Your Next Social Media Management Tool With This Scorecard
How to ladder up your brand’s social media maturity
3 Social media executives share what it takes to build a long-term career in social
5 ways social media listening increases customer advocacy
Social media personalization: The opportunity and risks to consider
6 ways social media impacts consumer behavior
User-generated content (UGC): what it is and why it matters for your brand
Build and grow stronger relationships on social
Sprout Social helps you understand and reach your audience, engage your community and measure performance with the only all-in-one social media management platform built for connection.
© Copyright 2024 Sprout Social, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms of Service | Website Terms | Disclosure Policy | Cookies | Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information