5 Powerful Ways to Use Social Media for Lead GenerationClued-in business owners and marketing managers aren't just using social media to boost brand awareness -- they're also leveraging these platforms in order to generate leads.

By stirring up interest and encouraging users with a call-to-action, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can all be used as powerful marketing funnels to capture potential customers' email addresses.

Here are five simple yet highly effective ways you can gain leads through the use of social media.

1. Listen to Social Needs

So much emphasis is put on promotions and sharing content, you can forget about the most important aspect of social media: listening to your audience. What are the hopes, needs, fears, and dreams of your target market? Listening to your ideal customers and clients enable you to serve them better, craft more compelling content, and ultimately improve your opt-in rates.

Pro tip: Where should you listen to your customer targets and eventually interact, joining in the conversation? Check out LinkedIn Groups. We wrote an article on using LinkedIn Groups to engage with those in your target industries you might want to read next.

2. Create a "Pink Spoon"

The "pink spoon" refers to a freebie, such as an e-book, audio file, webinar or digital course, which can be viewed or downloaded when someone enters their email address in an opt-in form. We also call these "lead generation offers." Ensure your "pink spoon" offers great value and helps to solve an issue for your target market. Promote your "pink spoon" on your social media networks, and link back to your website to capture new leads.

Pro tip: It's not enough to promote your freebie once or twice. Schedule several different social media "teasers" multiple times over the course of several months to get the most from your offer.

3. Host a Webinar

Online seminars not only provide a way to build on your brand's expertise, they also hook in customers and capture hot leads. Use a combination of paid LinkedIn advertising, LinkedIn updates, paid Facebook ads, Facebook posts and promoted tweets to market your webinar and build your list.

Pro tip: It can take 40 hours or more to plan, write, rehearse and conduct your first webinar. If you decide to go this route, then you can also use the content from your webinar as blog posts, helping further fuel your social media efforts.

4. Integrate All Platforms

Every single one of your social media accounts should link back to your website. If a visitor wants to connect with your business but they can't find where to go, you will have lost yourself a lead. For continuity and professionalism, use the same usernames across all of your social media platforms.

Pro tip: You may want to consider linking to your LinkedIn profile from your personal social media accounts. Because you can see who views your LinkedIn profile when you visit LinkedIn, you can see who might be interested in doing business with you. Then use this tip to reach out and start a conversation.

5. Monitor Your Success

Use Google Analytics to measure the stream of visitors coming from social media sites, the number of opt-ins, and the effectiveness of your paid social media campaigns. Split testing allows you to control and tweak landing pages for the best conversion rates, continuously improving your tactics in order to get the best results.

Pro tip: We use HubSpot to publish and monitor social media because of the analytics we receive from the software. Scheduling social media in HubSpot saves us several hours each week, and we can get interaction statistics to find our most popular messages, too.

Other Resources

Do you have any questions about using social media for your lead generation efforts? Leave them in the comments below.