• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Trying to generate leads through social media? Here’s what you need to know

Lead generation in general usually consists of many marketing methods like traditional media ads, tele-sales, pay-per-click, affiliate marketing and email marketing. Each one of these mediums broadcasts a message using their own method, but most of these activities are increasingly ignored by people who favour one on one communication. This shift has greatly affected the success of lead generation.

Social media isn’t new, but it’s still the best digital medium whereby people can engage in content sharing and conversations. It’s also a great way to nurture and attract leads.

The physical value of social media used for lead generation in comparison to traditional outbound methods is a lot more cost-effective. Small businesses now have the opportunity to compete with larger ones because social media levels the playing field. These businesses can use social media to engage with their target audience and future prospects. The risk for larger organizations is that if they do not change with the current shift towards social media, they will lose quite a big slice of the pie.

Get heard through the social media noise

If you are interested in generating leads through social media, the first step to take is to get heard through all the noise. To accomplish this, your brand needs to build recognition on the web using channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and industry-related blogs. These social media channels are great for engaging with like-minded individuals.

Content that you produce and curate can travel through sharing, seeding and optimization on the social web. This allows your message to be found and increases your chances of reaching targeted customers who will engage with you and spread it even further through their own social communities.

Traditional methods still work

There are many traditional lead-generating methods that still work. With social media, researching what really works can be done faster. Real time information that is spread on the social web can now instantly be seen and syndicated. This helps you stay up to date with any potential opportunities and news.

Social media is all about listening before you start marketing and providing value before you start selling. It is important to have a monitoring process in place where you can listen to the conversation related to your business on all the various social media channels so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Effective monitoring can provide you with the intelligence to start engaging on these channels.


Social media is great for networking. You can target prospects on LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. Once you have added them to your list, create targeted content for them in order to generate conversation and help spread your message on the social web.

Once your conversations and content are discovered on the social web, the goal is to funnel traffic towards targeted destinations and landing pages where users can submit their details through a lead capture form to become a prospect. Social media usually costs a lot of resources and time. To generate a budget for future social media campaigns, focus on generating as many leads as possible that will result in sales.

Make a point to measure your social media campaign in order to determine the success of your initiative. Use multivariate testing methods with your social media communication plan to determine the best route to take with your strategy. Testing your campaign all the way will provide you with information on how to optimize your strategy to get better results.

Author | Anton Koekemoer

Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More
  • Tee Cedar

    Great article! Thanks for sharing

  • There is interesting work from HBR http://hbr.org/2012/10/98-of-hbr-readers-love-this-article/ar/1 showing that reciprocity (gift-giving), personalisation, consensus (people like you do this) and authority (brand value) directly influence conversion numbers in this kind of personal marketing. Worth a read.

More in Ads & Marketing, Social

Meet DepartedLife, the Indian social network for dead people

Read More »