Did you know that the number of worldwide users on social media will hit 3.02 billion active users per month this year – that’s one-third of the world’s entire population!

By now, most companies know that social media is an important tool for reaching their target audience. However, not all of them know how to properly leverage it. Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, there are specific strategies for each platform as well as general best practices you need to follow to maximize your outreach.

Here are six things your business should be doing on social media to generate more leads.

1. Optimize your company’s social profiles

Before you can take your social media marketing efforts to the next level and see results, you need to make sure your business is covering the basics.

First and foremost, your social profile should be up to par. Each platform provides a space to input contact information – use it! If you want to build meaningful relationship with your customers, they need to be able to reach you with their requests. Make sure you input the correct details to avoid user frustration and questions about your legitimacy.

You should also have a call-to-action (CTA) button. Each platform offers unique profile features to guide users to a next step, so you’ll need to figure out your goal (i.e., more newsletter subscribers, more website visits, sharing content).

If the platform doesn’t offer any specific tool for engagement, at the very least, include a link to your bio. Don’t forget to tell people why they should click and what they’ll find there.

2. Take advantage of video

With so much content competing for their attention, it can be difficult to engage social media users. That’s why it is imperative that you incorporate video into your social media marketing strategy. This type of content conveys your message to the audience at a glance. In fact, algorithms have evolved to prefer videos over text and images.

But don’t post for the sake of posting. Make sure your videos are high quality and authentic (such as behind the scenes footage) for maximum engagement. This can be the difference between someone choosing your product or service over a competitor!

3. Learn the value of social listening

Unsure of how to connect with your audience on social media? Try listening.

Monitor social conversations on relevant topics to understand what your target market cares about and trends they’re following. You can do this manually by searching your channels for mentions of your brand or automate the process by enlisting a tool like Hootsuite or Talkwalker. This will uncover hidden pain points that you can solve, the tone and language used by your audience for improved communications and help drive engagement.

If you’re still struggling, try tracking your competition. It’s always good to have a pulse on the latest marketing tactics and practices – if your competitors are using them and succeeding, you should incorporate them into your business strategy and improve your approach.

4. Provide valuable, free content to build trust

People love to buy things but don’t necessarily like being sold to. Instead of bombarding your audience with ads on their social feeds, which they already get enough of, provide them with free content that solves their problems and shows that you care and understand them. It builds loyalty, as they will turn to you for information on relevant topics and be more inclined to buy from you in the future.

This content can also be used as a lead-generation magnet, funneling traffic to your website and online store. If you want to improve your efforts, try incorporating analytics for further insight.

5. Build your brand story

Everyone loves a good story, as it taps into our emotional centre and connects us with others. According to scientific analysis, when you hear a story unfold, your brain waves actually start to synchronize with those of the storyteller.

To get people on the same wavelength with your brand, you need to tell your story in an engaging and compelling manner. Let your audience form their own perceptions. What you need to focus on is delivering quality content that fits the platform you are using – something that works on Instagram might not necessarily be suitable for Twitter. Consider your demographics, content type and the timing (when to post).

By starting a conversation around your brand, you’ll always be top of mind for customers. When the time comes and they need a product or service, they’ll remember you and turn to you over the competition.

Try striking a good balance between posts centered around your business and shareable content, so that your audience knows what your business actually does.

6. Create an incentive

If you want to get people’s information and build your database with leads, you need to give people a compelling reason to share their personal details with you. Offering an incentive through social media is one of the best ways to do so.

The type of incentive you should offer depends on the type of lead you want to garner. Here are three of the most common:

  • Contests/sweepstakes: These require users to enter their information to participate. You can broaden the scope of these initiatives by collaborating with an influencer or brand partners.
  • Discount code: This is an excellent way to encourage customers to make a return visit to your site and eventually make a purchase. If the codes are not turning into sales, you’ll want to find a way to convert your leads.
  • Gated content: This includes whitepapers, invite-only webinars and so on. It’s a perfect opportunity to not only ask for email addresses from your audience but more detailed information like job titles.

If you have further questions or just need a boost to your social media marketing, contact the experts at the Mike Agency. We’ve helped numerous clients over the years with their online presence.