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As social marketing continues to gain popularity with web users, businesses of all sizes are turning to websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to reach consumers today. From customer service to ad campaigns, social marketing can be used in any number of ways to promote and market a business.

But beyond promoting a business in the social sphere, many companies are discovering that social marketing is an effective tool for generating leads and attracting new customers, too. testonyl24 So how can your business use social marketing for lead generation? Here are five suggestions that can help you create new interest in your business and bring in new leads from the social sites:

Lead Users to Your Content

Often, a social media update is just not enough information to do much more that pique a user’s interest. With each social post, always add links back to the high-value content on your website that showcases your expertise and explains the benefits you provide. Directing interested visitors to your website provides an opportunity to convert them into new leads and/or happy customers.

Cross-Promote Your Social Platforms

Just like your website, you cannot set up your social profiles and then just let them sit there. If you don’t actively promote your business in the social sphere, don’t expect users to miraculously find it on their own. Add recognizable social icons to your website’s home page and your blog, and vice versa. Add links and RSS feeds among all of your social profiles, so no matter which social platform a visitor is using, he or she can easily see your other social profiles as well. Also, add links leading to your social sites in your email signature, and include them in any branded marketing pieces you create (like datasheets, brochures, and whitepapers).

Use a Content Pipeline

A content pipeline is similar to a sales pipeline, but instead of filling the pipeline with sales leads, you fill it with a constant stream of quality content that can be posted to your social platforms. You don’t necessarily have to come up with original content; you can easily re-purpose your existing marketing pieces, or pass along interesting content from an industry publication or professional organization. The point here is to always have something ready to go out on your social sites so there is steady, consistent activity and new information to attract followers and encourage them to click on your links.

Answer Questions and Respond Quickly

When you come across useful posts from visitors, be sure to post a comment back thanking them, and try to engage them further by asking about their business or the nature of their inquiry. Answer all questions thoroughly, and provide links back to the content on your website so users can find more detailed information (and can be converted into new leads or customers).

Monitor Your Reputation Regularly

By monitoring what’s being said about you in the social sphere, you can respond quickly to negative feedback, giving you an opportunity to turn a customer’s bad experience into a positive encounter. Respond with an offer to help solve the problem, and show the social sphere that you are responsive and that you take care of your customers. For positive feedback, you can thank users with coupons or other perks, which further builds your reputation as a company that values customers.

Maximize Your Social Marketing Strategy

Finding new leads and new customers can be a challenge, but businesses today can effectively generate new leads by using social networking sites and engaging visitors in the social sphere. By adding new links and content, responding to comments or questions, and always leading visitors back to your website, you can maximize the impact of your social networking profiles, and make your social marketing strategy one of the top-performing marketing initiatives for your business.

Lauren Hobson, President of Five Sparrows, LLC, has more than 16 years of experience in small business technology writing, marketing, and web site design and development. Five Sparrows provides professional website, marketing, and social networking services to small businesses and non-profits at affordable prices, giving clients access to customized services that meet both their needs and their budgets.

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