How Small Businesses Can Win at Lead Generation

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Let’s face it—running a successful small business all comes down to generating revenue. Without a steady stream of revenue coming into a business, bills and even the business owner, don’t get paid. That’s why lead generation, a business’s ability to pursue and generate new revenue, is so crucial to its success.
But did you know one of the least expensive and most effective ways to generate leads is via social media? Yes, social media can, in fact, lead to greater revenue for your business. The statics are truly staggering: 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media; 44% of companies that owned Twitter accounts experienced a hike in their number of customers.

Just because you’re a small businesses doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all those potential customers—just spending as little as six hours a week on social media can generate leads for a business, according to HubSpot, an inbound marketing platform. Using social media to generate leads and revenue is a proven practice. So here are a few tips that should get you up and running toward small business lead generation.
1. Get on LinkedIn—Right NOW
Don’t think Instagram, or SnapChat are platforms that really connect with your customer base? Don’t sweat it. LinkedIn is likely the platform for you. LinkedIn has become the gold standard of professional social media platforms. Approximately 82% of companies utilize LinkedIn solely for business reasons, according to a leading B2B lead generation firm. With over 300 million users, LinkedIn accounts for 64% of all corporate website traffic that comes via social media.
Stats don’t lie. We recommend making sure your business has a LinkedIn account that post content at least once per day. Show those potential customers what you’re made of and that you know your stuff. How about posting content relevant so the industry your business is a part of? We’ll talk more on social media content in a bit.
2. Track those leads, get a CRM
So you hopped on LinkedIn, revved up your posts to publish every day—now what? Being able to track how you generate leads is a crucial component to closing. Did those leads find you via LinkedIn or Twitter? Facebook or Google+? That’s where a CRM, a Customer Relations Manager, comes in. A CRM involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. A CRM can be as simple as installing a plugin on your website that tells you where a lead enters your business’s website and what they interact with while on the site—though more complex, and costly, CRMs exist (see video above).
Knowing a potential customer found you via blog content you posted on Facebook before entering your website and requesting more information is a vital amount of information that can help a business better reach customers.
Need a CRM on a budget? Check out these free CRMs.

3. Publish Great Content, Build a Brand, Yield Influence
Now that your LinkedIn page is ready to go; you’re starting to get the hang of this Twitter thing, and your Facebook page has its first five “Likes,” it’s time to start focusing on building a brand. It’s important for every small business and business owner to be seen as an authority within an industry. Achieving this by posting relevant content about your business and industry, while showing your expertise in a field is a proven way to attract new leads.
Potential customers are hungry for news and information about products or services that are relevant to them—23% of Internet users spend most of their time on social networks and blogs, according to a leading content marketing firm. So find that news and information that potential leads are feening for; be sure to create original content like blogs to get the conversation—and conversions—going.
4. Get Social, Find Social Media Groups
Social media groups like those on LinkedIn are extremely useful in generating leads for small business. LinkedIn groups are formed by users with similar interest, professions, businesses, and goals. LinkedIn has more than 2.1 million groups and they allow users to discuss relevant information to a specific group. They are also one LinkedIn’s most viable and inexpensive methods to generate leads for a business. Think of it as one big networking party that never stops. Work the room like you would do in any networking group, exchange contact information, talk about what you do and how you do—easy, right?
Be sure to use your personal account when joining a LinkedIn group instead of one just for your business to show you’re not just there to sale your services. The most active users build influence and authority via talking about their expertise, posting content, or answering questions from other users.
Check out these easy steps to generating leads on LinkedIn.


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