co Can Social Media Generate Leads? |

Social media has come a long way since the days of Friendster and MySpace. Facebook was a game changer in a big way. But other social media websites have upped the ante in some very real ways. YouTube, for instance, is the second largest search engine on the planet. There is some evidence that Google+ increases search exposure for brands that use it. Pinterest has a very loyal demographic in strong female base. Twitter is notorious for delivering high click-through rates (CTR) and conversions if done well.

Here’s the question, Is Twitter the only social media website capable of generating leads, or is there a set of principles that can be followed to increase CTR all around?

What Constitutes a Lead?

Let’s begin with the basic question, What is a lead? Every business considers a lead to be something different. For some businesses, a lead could be a customer to whom you hope to sell a particular product. To another business, a lead could be someone you put on your mailing list. Maybe a lead is someone you send out marketing materials to. Or it could be someone who walks into the door of your retail store.

However you define a lead for your business, the basic truth is you need leads to generate sales. No leads, no sales.

How Do You Generate Leads Online?

The best way to think of lead generation online is to ask yourself, What is the ultimate goal? Begin with the end in mind.

In other words, make a flow chart of the sales process. At the point where you generate leads for your sales team, make a mark so that you know this is where you need to focus your efforts for generating leads online. The last step in the lead generation process is capturing contact information. For that, you need a landing page.

A landing page is simply a web page you design for the sole purpose of capturing leads. You need a form where users can input their essential contact information. Don’t ask for any more than what you need. If your sales team makes first contact by e-mail, get an e-mail address. If first contact is by phone, get a phone number. You’ll be more effective in getting the information you need if you offer what is something called a “lead magnet”. Create a downloadable document that offers some value to your customer and offer it in exchange for the contact information.

After you’ve done all that, you can begin to drive traffic to that landing page using the social media tools at your disposal.