How to Move Social Media Leads down the Funnel Faster

The big question with respect to generating, developing and converting leads, is: How do you get them to take action?

How do you get the user to provide you with the email for you to follow up with or the phone number for you to call? Without simply identifying potential leads for your business; a variety of tactics can be implemented for your business to find success. The key is ensuring that you’re not coming across too much like a used car salesman.

Here are a three ideas for you to implement and inject into your lead development system:

Provide Value First and Foremost
No matter what industry you are in, there are customers, competitors, and potential leads looking for information about it. For example if you are in the telecommunications industry, there may not be too many telecommunications blogs, but there are millions of people with an interest in your technology.Whether it’s a forum about iPhone, Android or Blackberry – There is no shortage in the number of people interested in the products you offer.

This insight is where you are presented with an opportunity to be seen as a leader and provide valuable content. Organizations that are able to recognize and embrace the idea of sharing valuable content have an easier road in driving a consumer from potential lead to happy customer. For example, consider the opportunity presented to a sales team in this industry when they are provided with a report on mobile security within governments. By simply creating this report, each sales professional now has an advantage over competition when presenting and following up with potential leads within the government.

When you have something worth talking about, people will listen. Embrace great content and arm your sales team with the opportunities they need to share value with those around them.

Embrace Social Conversion
One thing that is often missed out on is the understanding of social conversion.

Jeffrey Cohen and Kipp Bodnar, authors of The B2B Social Media Book, talk about the idea of social proof and how people want to feel safe when they have anxiety or feel uncomfortable. They explain that online, people are always anxious; they want answers, they want solutions and they want real time results. When a lead is looking for something new and shiny; it’s clear that this is a  time when they’re feeling anxious. Thus, it’s recommended that marketers embrace the idea generating strong ties with their leads before trying to push them further down the funnel.

Marketers and business owners must realize that generating leads through social media is about more than simply asking a lead for their contact info. It’s about various steps to build a strong tie, establish expertise, and track/optimize for results along the way. Converting a lead on social media isn’t going to happen over night (unless you follow the instructions below). It requires effort. The most important piece of the puzzle for social conversion is establishing trust with your lead. If a lead doesn’t know who you are or what your business stands for; you will find it difficult to make the sale. Thus, you need to have laser focus on the customer problem and provide valuable content, along with a business offering that consistently demonstrates leadership and expertise.
How to Develop Expertise:

Consumers need to trust you before they buy from you. They need to believe your story and truly understand the value proposition in which your company is offering them. Before you can draw new leads through social media, you need to build a community of people who will be willing to tell your story for you. Consider it your army of brand advocates who not only adore your product but are willing to provide you with testimonials and further show your authority in your industry. To accomplish this, it’s important to create high quality content and provide a high quality service or product.

A great example of an organization that has built their expertise through content marketing is Kissmetrics. They’ve continuously published great content ranging from 4 Hot Analytics Trends That Are Effective And Profitable to The Psychology of Why Sexy Websites Suck at Sales and have been able to position themselves as one of the best in their industry.

Drive Users Back To Your Content
There has recently been a huge increase in the number of brands who simply share funny photos or memes on their Facebook pages. While we understand the importance of creating content that can go viral and spark an increase in a brands Edgerank; we also recognize the importance of converting these users into sales.

There’s most certainly a thin line between promotional content and organic content but once you find the perfect mix; you’re golden. For example, we suggest that you ensure that your twitter stream has a solid balance of both retweets from partners, clients and stakeholders. You also want your Twitter stream to be filled with content that your target audience will find relevant and interesting. When sharing this content you wan’t the majority of these posts to drive users to your own website. Your website is still one of the most important pieces in closing the sales funnel. The key is to ensure that the content on your site helps facilitate a users transition from one part of the funnel to the next.

Do you have tip, example of another approach to move leads down the funnel? Let us know in the comments below.