Is your business still struggling to use social media to generate leads?

Businesses need to choose either a direct sales approach, leading straight to a sale with no need for further endorsement, or self-promotion, showcasing their knowledge and skills to generate leads and do the selling bit later, the traditional way – face-to-face.

In most cases social media is best used to generate leads, or send traffic to your website where you get a chance to do this again. Producing great content that your audience wants to read will help you do this.

For example, you can use social media to build trust by giving away valuable content and offering free advice. By doing this you will give your audience a reason to engage, and continue conversation, until you ask them for that all-important face-to-face meeting.

If you are unable to meet them face-to face then Skype is your friend.

Top 6 Tips for Generating Leads via Social Media

LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn has an Answers section. Dive right in and answer questions that LinkedIn users have about your specialty, and if your answer is voted the best answer you will gain a point of expertise.

Who has recently seen your profile ~ LinkedIn

One of the best features on LinkedIn is the ‘who viewed your profile’ section. Check if these users are a good target for your products and services, if they are then reach out to them, if not then find out how they came about your profile and try to build a relationship with them anyway, you never know when you might need their help in the future!

Who's viewed your profile on LinkedIn

Who’s viewed your profile on LinkedIn

Twitter Questions

Add this handy bit of code to your Twitter search bar and change the keyword to something more specific to your products or services -http ? “accounting software”. Adding this code will generate all the questions being asked throughout Twitter on that subject. The idea is, if someone has a question then they might have a problem, and if they have a problem that you can answer, it will help you generate more leads.

Twitter Questions

Twitter Questions

InboxQ is similar, but this service searches for more than one keyword and will save you having to do multiple searches on Twitter. There is a Chrome extension or you can install the plugin to your HootSuite dashboard.

Create compelling content that people will share

Whilst this is easier said than done, once you get the hang of it you will reap the rewards. Even if your content isn’t great to start with you will be creating more unique content than most businesses and your content will get better with practice.

Share tips, help guides and cheat sheets

Create a landing page offering a cheat sheet or help guide in return for an email, name and telephone number at a push. If someone responds to a great tip then ask if they need more help.

Post regularly, including weekends

I recommend you post at least once a day on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and at least 4 times a day on Twitter, if not more.  Spread the messages throughout the day, as your posts won’t stay long in people’s news feeds.  If you’re not posting you’re less likely to receive any leads. Use a tool like HootSuite, Sprout Social or Buffer to schedule your messages at different times throughout the day and week.

Use your leads to sell the traditional way.

The saying “people buy from people” is a great saying but you need to show results and this is where a face-to-face meeting is crucial.

face-to-face-penguin-meeting

Face to face meeting. Image courtesy of Muddy Bones on Flickr

When selling over the phone, or through online communication, have you ever felt you get lost, or believe the job is in the bag when it turns out you were flogging a dead horse? During a face-to-face meeting, body language, posture and facial expressions come into play and will tell you how serious the lead is about you and your product. Better still, if you have managed to get them to the meeting through your social media efforts then chances are a trust has already built between you and your current prospect.

Instead of spending lots of money on low quality leads consider using social media to generate leads and meetings. Face-to-face meetings generally have a higher conversion rate because you get a chance to show your knowledge and passion for your business or company.

Once you master this you will be able to fill your week with meetings and generate more sales.

What other ways can we use social media to generate more face-to-face meetings? And do you believe in the power of face-to-face?