In the digital realm, you can drive leads in a number of ways: advertising, cold emailing, inbound marketing. But one that often gets skipped over is social media, otherwise known as network marketing.
If you want to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to grow your lead generaation efforts, here are some ways to generate network marketing leads with the three top channels: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn networking is different than Twitter or Facebook because most of the interactions that expand networks are done by individuals rather than through the company profile.
Join Groups and participate in conversations
Many people post to LinkedIn industry interest groups, which offer an opportunity for sales people to make connections within certain niche markets. Offering helpful solutions to people's questions and problems on LinkedIn groups is a tried and true lead generation method for many networking-savvy sales people.
LinkedIn Premium Advanced Search
Premium members can do more advanced search for other LinkedIn members by criteria such as industry, relationships to your existing connections, company size, job function, and interests. It's an excellent way to find relevant leads.
However, you must take care in how you approach the leads to avoid coming across as a random spammer. Try building a personal relationship based on similar interests or goals and grow it from there.
Be generous and good-willed on LinkedIn by writing recommendations for potential leads. Of course, make sure you actually have something to review: a conference talk, a webinar, a published book or article.
Recommendations will ingratiate some of the individuals to you, and could make them more receptive and approachable contacts.
You can request introductions to contacts of your LinkedIn connections, then it's up to your contact to facilitate it. It's an excellent way to expand your pool of contacts and to generate leads.
If you're in the B2C space, Facebook is especially useful when it comes to network marketing. But it can still have its uses in developing B2B network marketing leads.
Contests are an effective way to expand your list of email contacts. Running contests that gather contact data is especially easy when you use a social media contest application, of which there are many. We've used Woobox with success in this area. (Whenever you collect information for marketing purposes, make sure you comply with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. Here's our free guide on the subject.)
By carefully targeting the promotions for the contest towards a relevant audience, you can generate some quality contacts and leads.
Selective and Helpful Commenting
While posting content on Facebook, particularly if it's engaging and gets shared outside your network, is an obviously and well known way to generate leads, engaging with others in post comments on other Facebook pages and content is another way to generate leads.
Much like the way one can drive leads by being helpful and informative in LinkedIn group discussions, participating in carefully selected Facebook conversations on other pages is one way to make connections and to generate network marketing leads.
Faceboook allows business pages with 50+ likes to create and display 'Special Offers'. Like with other forms of paid Facebook advertising, you can customize the target audience that the offer is promoted to as well as the budget you're willing to spend.
Twitter is probably the most flexible of social networks when it comes to lead generation. B2C or B2B, brand awareness or sales support, Twitter can help with almost anything.
Lead Generation Cards
Twitter offers Lead Generation Cards to encourage businesses to use the network for this purpose. Here's an excellent case study of how Webtrends used Lead Generation Cards in addition to other advanced Twitter marketing techniques to generate leads.
Twitter can be a powerful way to find leads by searching for who is talking about your relevant niche using Twitter Search. Somewhere in the world, there are people discussing a problem that your product or service is meant to solve. You can use Twitter to find those people.
You can also use the tweets and discussions about the problems potential leads are needing a solution for to direct what types of content you tweet out and to determine which, if any, hashtags are commonly being used by your potential market. By identifying these problems, you can put some of your Tweets to work generating leads for you by promoting that you have the solution to the identified problems.
People on Twitter love being added to lists. They get a notification when they're added to a list (unless it's set to private) just as they do for retweets, favourites and follows.
If you name the list something eye-catching or amusing, they will take particular note. This often prompts people to visit your Twitter page and your website. Meanwhile, if that list is carefully stocked with contacts who are potential leads, you can watch it for people who seem ready for a sales approach.
Here's an excellent infographic provided by Steamfeed on using social media networks to generate leads:
Social media can be used in a number of ways to help you reach your marketing and sales goals. Generating leads through network marketing is one of them.