Thanks to the digital pivot, it seems like EVERYONE is on some social media platform these days, selling!
It is no surprise that Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook still remain the go-to channels for social media lead generation. Since the digital pivot, there is so much more competition than ever before which is why lead generation and nurturing is crucial to one’s business. This is not to be confused with social media engagement. They are actually different things that work together. Engagement is the process of “engaging” with followers and non-followers by doing common things such as liking, commenting, watching stories, and replying to stories.
Social Media Lead Generation is the process of starting thoughtful conversations with followers and non-followers by using a targeted strategy to find your ideal prospects and nurture them towards conversion.
Social media lead generation is also used to find the people that are hiding within your followers to then nurture and convert in one way or another. Whether that be a freebie opt-in or a paid offer. I call lead nurturing the process of, “loving on” but technically it involves conversing and getting to know the target audience you’re bringing in so that there is NO cold pitching. Cold messaging isn’t cute and it isn’t going to land you clients or customers.
Right when the pandemic started, the field of Instagram engagement blew up! It was always there but all of a sudden, everyone needed it. It became a saturated market where it was everyone for themselves and only the best would survive. Have you felt like this while being on social media? Like every profile you see is optimizing for “engagement”?
As a result, some people’s followings drastically increased. Yet, the most common thing I saw happening, was flat growth. So many people are waiting for a magic reach out from new followers. They think if they create a killer piece of content, that people are just going to purchase or ask how they can work with them. The thing is, it won’t just happen. The algorithm won’t show us content from everyone we follow and we can’t see people’s posts on our main feed if we aren’t following them. This is where lead generation and nurturing come into play.
Every successful business I’ve come across on Instagram, Linkedln and Facebook have all three of these things working for them. For a well-oiled machine to work, you need all of the parts to work in sync. So, how do you ensure you’re utilizing every platform in the best ways while also making sure that you’re not only growing your following but also your business? You use strategy!
Here is how I go about mine. First, I ask myself these three questions:
1. WHO are you wanting to serve?
2. WHERE are they hiding?
3. WHO are they serving?
After you have answered these questions, you can engage with the people you follow. I love to start the social lead generation and nurturing process at home (AKA: with the people who are already following me). After all, these people are the ones who have stuck around and in the end, they are there for what you have to offer. They are likely just waiting to reach out until trust has been built. Once you have worked on the home front, you can then extend your outreach to non-followers.
This means going out and engaging with your target audience, then nurturing them. My favorite place to do both kinds of nurturing is in the DMs. By getting into people’s direct messages, you are able to attract their attention more so than simply leaving a comment. When watching a story they’ve published, reply with something thoughtful and try to ask an open-ended question at the end.
Throughout the entire conversation, you want to ask questions that are thoughtful and provoking. The reason we ask open-ended questions and really try to keep conversations going with thoughtful conversation, is because you want to build their trust. You want that human element. I am a firm believer that if someone wants to work with you, they will. Often, it just takes building their trust. Remember, Instagram and the other platforms are SOCIAL. They are full of people who are craving connection. You want to make sure that they are so much more than just a name on a screen. Get to know them on a deeper level, so that you can actually help solve their problem.
Now that you have some good information under your feet, I want to dig into the different social platforms. Let’s start with my personal favorite, Instagram.
Instagram Lead Generation
The goal is to get people into the DMs. The most effective way to do this is through Instagram Stories, for now. As mentioned previously, watch their Stories and reply back with thoughtful, open-ended questions.
Facebook Lead Generation
Now, let’s dig into Facebook. My favorite and most effective tip for utilizing this platform for lead gen is Facebook Groups. I always join Groups that are filled with potential clients and leads and will help me grow. Then, I engage with the people on their group posts. I’ve learned that posting isn’t as effective in the groups unless you have a killer freebie to share.
LinkedIn Lead Generation
Lastly, LinkedIn. This platform is all about connections. Literally. I love that. So, this is where you combine some Instagram and Facebook techniques. You want them to know that you’re serious about making connections and getting to know them. So, I like to make sure I’m in front of their faces and in the back of their minds by commenting on my target audiences’ posts, liking their posts, and then liking and responding to the other comments on the post. If you see an amazing comment from an ideal client, then you can send them a message and reference the post. Start a conversation that way. LinkedIn now supports the Stories format so watching those and referencing something your target audience publishes is going to be helpful for you as well.
One more great way to connect with leads on LinkedIn, is to see who’s checking out your profile and repeating the liking and commenting and then connecting with them in the messages as well.
WOW, that was a lot! I hope you are feeling good and not too overwhelmed. The thing with social media lead generation and nurturing is, it isn’t speed dating. It takes time and effort, but in the end the results are amazing. Connections are built and natural selling occurs. Which is everyone’s goal when selling on social platforms. We want to make sure that we are taking the time to get to know people like we would if we were in real life.
I always try and think of it like this; if you were walking down the street and you saw someone who could use what you’re selling, would you just immediately go into the sales pitch? Or would you start a conversation, be relatable and try to build the person’s trust first? See what I’m doing here? I want to emphasize just how important human connection is and why ‘slow and steady’ always wins the race.
The very last tip I want to leave you with is this: Make sure that you’re not treating your new followers as just a little blue button. Make sure that you’re checking them out, one by one and personally welcoming them. This can be through a Story reply or a welcome message. Whatever it is, let them know they are seen. This makes such a huge difference. If you’re one of those people who gets hundreds of followers a day, then this may not be possible. Just do what you can! Send them a welcome DM prompting new people to answer a question. Something that lets you know a little bit about them! Keep an eye on your social media analytics and make sure your new followers are from countries and/or cities that are relevant to your business.
In the end, we all want to make money during this crazy time but we also want to be a kind human. So, let’s bring the personal element back to social media.
Hayleye Edwards is a wife, Mama and high-touch Lead Generation and Nurture Strategist at Hayleye Edwards CO. She empowers entrepreneurs to release the hassle of social media lead generation and the DMs with her targeted and personal natural selling strategy, so they can focus on the parts of business that they love. Hayleye runs the Instagram Isn’t Speed Dating Course which teaches you everything you need to know about Instagram lead generation and lead nurture.