Dec 18, 2013
By Amanda Nelson
Social Media Marketing, Strategy

If part of your marketing plan involves generating leads, then social media should be part of that strategy. Social media can drive the type of web traffic from those that are actively seeking your information. They may even be ready to buy. Using social media monitoring, content creation, advertising, and networking, you will be a hero at your organization by bringing in leads like never before.

Build a network of strong ties
In order to create leads, you need to have interaction, affection, and time -- all of which aided by social media. Here are some ways to create strong ties:

1.  Follow prospects on Twitter.

2.  Friend new connections on Facebook.

3.  Conduct a Google Hangout with industry leaders.

4. Host a webinar with registration.

5.  Answer questions on social channels.

6.  Use Help a Reporter Out to offer information.

7.  Share peer referrals.

8.  Reach out to prospects where they're engaging.

9.  Expand pool of prospects.

10. Share a Vine video.

Influence connections for content sharing
Publishing and sharing content online is the single biggest lever to increase lead generation. Here are some content ideas:

11. Write ebooks and gate them with forms.

12. Crowdsource content and credit your community.

13. Find a tweet that promotes your content and share it.

14. Reshare existing content to breath new life into it and encourage clicks.

15. Make your content visual for Pinterest pins.

16. Blog about helpful information (not product).

17. Optimize site and blog for mobile viewers.

18. Share relevant content with prospects.

19. Make a compelling presentation on Slideshare.

20. Ensure all your content links together to create as much inbound linking as possible.

Utilize social media monitoring
Listening at the point of need can help you discover opportunities to help by offering information or expertise — without sales pressure — at the perfect time. This results in lead generation. Here's how to monitor for lead opportunities:

21. Monitor for buying indication terms within your product category.

22. Monitor for recommendation requests within your product category.

23. Monitor for discussions of your product category.

24. Monitor target prospect personas to confirm accuracy.

25. Monitor questions and conversations about your product category.

26. Discover topics for remarkable content.

27. Discover competitive insights.

28. Monitor for key phrases customers are using when seeking help.

29. Spot and answer direct questions from prospects.

30. Monitor industry trends.

Use social ads to generate leads
Paid advertising on social media, such as sponsored tweets on Twitter or promoted content on Facebook can help you generate leads. Here are 10 examples of how to do it:

31. Use a Facebook ad to drive traffic to your website.

32. Use a promoted Tweet to drive traffic to your website.

33. Link back to dedicated landing pages for conversion.

34. Sponsor a form on another Facebook page.

35. Create an ad on LinkedIn linking to a lead generation form.

36. Promote a strong call to action.

37. Promote offers.

38. Make ads visually appealing for Pinterest pins.

39. Advertise on relevant forums.

40. Organize ad distribution by target personas.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search can be a huge driver to your website and utilizing key phrases in your content, social channels and throughout your website can boost your SEO. That will enable prospects to easily find your site, hence aiding in lead capture. Here are 10 ways to do it:

41. Include key phrases in your tweets.

42. Link to your blog from Facebook.

43. Ask followers to link to your website.

44. Use keywords on your LinkedIn company page.

45. Include keywords in your blog post headlines and body.

46. Tag and name your images.

47. Categorize and tag your blog with key phrases.

48. Share ebooks using key phrases.

49. Upload videos to YouTube (2nd largest search engine).

50. Encourage sharing with the G+ button on your web pages.

What is your #51? What have you tried from the list above and what's worked for you? Share your ideas below.

Get marketing insights from the Marketing Cloudcast, a Salesforce podcast.