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Social media has quickly become one of the most effective tools for generating leads. However, many business still aren’t using it to its full potential. In fact, when used correctly, you could find that social media becomes your best source of new leads.

If you’re struggling to get off the ground when it comes to social media, or if you haven’t started using it yet, here are six strategies you can use to turn social media into a powerful lead generation tool.

Develop a Brand Voice

The first thing you’ll want to focus on is developing a brand voice. When you use social media, your brand takes on a life of its own. You’re not longer talking just for you, but rather for your entire brand. As such, you’ll likely use a different tone of voice than you normally would in everyday conversation.

Think about your target audience and the type of voice that would appeal to them. For instance, if you’re a company that provides business software, you likely want a voice that is more professional and authoritative. On the other hand, if you’re a business that sells children’s toys, you probably want a voice that is more playful and fun. Once you have the type of brand voice you want to use established, keep it in mind whenever you’re interacting on social media.

Engage with Experts and Influencers

The next thing you’ll want to do is identify the prominent people within your niche. These are the people who are experts in their field, or who have a lot of social media followers (or both). The purpose of identifying these people is twofold:

First, you can learn from them. What sort of content are they putting out? How did they attract so many followers? How do they interact on their social media accounts? Learn what these people are doing to be successful, then copy their strategies when you can.

Second, you want to try to interact with them. By forming a connection with people who are prominent in your niche, you are not only building up your own reputation, but you are exposing your brand to a wider audience. When a prominent person posts something on social media, write back! Make sure your comment provides some value, and don’t overdo it. You’re looking to form a connection, not annoy the other person with spam.

Talk with Your Customer Base

Besides talking to prominent people within your niche, you’ll also want to talk to your customers – past, present and future. Social media is one of the best tools for interacting with your customers on a personal level, something that is vital for generating leads.

Let’s say a past customer leaves a comment on your Facebook page complaining about your product. Rather than leaving this comment there for everyone to see, you decide to write back. You help the person out with their problem, and turn an unsatisfied customer into a happy one. Now, you’re more likely to earn customer loyalty and turn them into a repeat customer. But on top of that, other people can see your interacting on social media, and they’ll see that you take care of your customers. This in turn gives them more confidence in you, and they decide to become a customer themselves.

Through social media you can do things like this, but you can also answer questions, provide advice, and just generally make your brand more accessible and friendly. These are vital things when it comes to generating leads, so don’t miss your opportunity.

Promote High Quality Content

Social media isn’t all about talking with other people. Another thing you can do is share useful information with your followers/subscribers. By providing useful information on a regular basis, you give people a reason to follow your accounts, so that you can later turn them into leads.

A great thing to do is produce your own content, then share it on social media. You could write a blog post that covers in-depth something your target audience would have an interest in. If this piece of content is valuable, it will help to convince the readers to become a customer. Not only that, but they are more likely to share it with other people who might be interested, generating you even more leads. Producing your own content is great for all aspects of your marketing strategy, but it’s particularly helpful with the social media parts.

However, all of the content you share doesn’t have to be your own – in fact, you should make it a habit of sharing other people’s content. This helps to build up trust (since it shows that you’re more interested in helping your customers than generating sales), but it also gives you a perfect excuse to connect with prominent people in your niche. If one of those experts you’re following writes something helpful, share it to your own followers, and publicly thank the expert. The expert may just return the favor in the future when you write something of your own.

Format Posts Correctly

A simple thing you can do is format your posts correctly. Each social media site has different ways for you to format posts so that they look their best. By taking advantage of the options available to you, you make your posts more engaging and professional. For instance, rather than linking to a YouTube video on Facebook, you could embed the video so that followers can watch it right away. Or, on Twitter, you can make it so a brief description of the article you wrote shows up in the tweet. Take some time to learn the ins and outs of the social media networks you’re using and take advantage of what they have to offer.

Make Use of Ads

Finally, while social media accounts are typically free to run, you can spend some money if you wish. Buying ads on social media is a great way to generate leads, as they come with some amazing targeting tools. Rather than just showing your ad to anyone, you can really drill down to your specific audience. This ensures that you’re only spending money to advertise to people who are likely to have a high interest in your product or service.

If you’re interested in advertising on social media, it’s a good idea to start small. Pick one social media account that you’re the most active on to begin. Keep your budget small and try out different types of ads. As you learn what works and what doesn’t, you can increase your budget and try out different social media sites.

Social Media Takes Time

If you want to generate leads with social media, it’s likely not going to happen over night. It takes time to build up a following and to earn their trust. That’s why it’s important that you start as soon as you can, make use of social media tools available to you, and use good strategies.

The above tips, when used correctly and over a period of time, can help you to generate leads for your business. The key is to make social media a priority and to present a good image. If you can do this, you should find that social media becomes one of your best lead generating tools before long.

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