Lead GenerationMost marketers think the intent of social media is to generate brand building and awareness. Companies will write blogs, share interesting facts about their industry, engage with their users on social media sites, and assume they have done their job. It’s not to say that they haven’t, however they are selling themselves, and for that matter, their company, short.

With social media marketing on the rise, companies have been able to reduce their marketing costs by 45%. While this is music to markers’ ears, what they are missing is significant leads generation through social media. Of the companies that are consistently active on social media, only 24% of these brands utilize these sites for generating leads.

Now the question comes to mind, how does a company build leads on social media?

For starters, lead generation is about bringing people into your sales cycle. This is not the same as selling, but rather lead generation is centered around getting to know your target audience, and in turn, using this information to increase sales. In the past, this had to be done by sending out surveys in the mail or having people fill out forms in the back of a magazine. Nowadays, the Internet has made data mining a whole lot easier, and convenient, for both marketers and consumers. Subscriptions and sales are now available instantaneously with a click of a button. However, in order to generate sales, companies need to get to know their potential leads within their circle.

It is important for companies to figure out what social media channel their target audience is most actively engaged in. Given that Facebook has one billion active users, marketers tend to assume that this platform is the go-to place for their product. However, Facebook is actually more difficult to captivate leads given the array of users and interests across the site. It’s easy for companies to get lost in Facebook, which is why LinkedIn is giving the most widely used social media platform a run for its money. LinkedIn allows companies to easily engage with brands and consumers that have similar interests and values as their brand. That’s not to say that LinkedIn is the right outlet for every brand, but rather that it’s a commonly overlooked platform that brands should consider utilizing.

Not sure what site your target demographic is most active on? See the infographic below that breaks down user bases on all of the top social media sites. Infographic credited to Sprout Social.

Image courtesy of Sprout Social.

Image courtesy of Sprout Social.