To date, we’ve helped businesses bring in more than 2,000,000 leads through quizzes, and those quizzes get 75% of their traffic from social media sites. This experience has been eye-opening to say the least. Social lead generation is so completely different from more traditional, search based, lead capture. We’ve been lucky to see deep into what works and what doesn’t in this new world of customer acquisition through social.
In its purest form, social media lead generation comes down to positioning. What I mean is that no one on social media is searching for your product or service. Let me repeat that…no one on social media is searching for your product or service. Rather, they’re most interested in cat pictures and funny videos. So how do you use social for capturing new sales prospects if no one is looking for what you have? That’s the challenge, and here are seven lessons we’ve learned on the subject.
1. Honesty is the best policy
To kick things off, you simply have to remember what lead generation actually is. It’s the beginning of a relationship between your company and a potential customer. You must treat that with respect and start off on a positive note. The best way I’ve seen for this to work is by simply stating your position clearly. Tell the prospect exactly how often and through what medium you’ll be contacting them (and why you’ll be reaching out in the first place).
The example above exemplifies the impact that honesty can have. In the first instance (on the left side), there is a somewhat vague signup form – but it’s simple and seems like it might convert well. The second form on the right has legal language basically saying that the hosting company WILL contact you if you opt-in. Surprisingly, the somewhat off-putting second option has a 50% higher conversion rate. Click to Tweet: Honesty leads to a 50% higher conversion rate
Now the context of this example is important – it comes from a college who promises to follow-up and talk with you about your recommended major, which is a good reason to opt-in, and it makes sense that when you tell people how and why you’ll contact them you get higher opt-ins.
2. Use Fair Trade Lead Generation Tactics
Lead generation is a trade. You are giving something of value in return for someone’s contact information. Contact information is permission to be communicated with, which is not to be taken lightly. Everyone is overwhelmed all the time, and you emailing them is not going to help. If you want access to their inbox you’ve got to provide something of value in return.
In the example above, we saw a 23% increase in conversion simply by adding the words “and a free gift” to the CTA text. This ties back into the social media mindset – I didn’t come here to learn about your company, but a free gift is cool. Now you can set yourself up for failure if you get people to opt-in for a free gift and then spam them afterwards, but we’ll get to the follow-ups later.
3. Remember the social media mind-set
If you’ve been in marketing for a while you know that a lot of what we work on as marketers is matching up our messages to user intent. The issue with social media is that we have no idea what anyone’s intent is – unless finding the best cat picture counts as intent. That’s why creating calls to action that stick is a tall order.
We ran a quick test with the language on one quizzes’ call to action where the initial version simply said “Enter your name and email to se your results!” and in the second version we switched “your results!” to “what wrestler you are!” Jumping into the psychology on that a bit, we see that the second version includes a reference to the specific task at hand, which in this case is figuring out which wrestler you are most like.
Because the quiz ties back into the users “intent” which is to find out which wrestler they are, the conversion rate increased by 13%, which in this case ended up being 494 new subscribers. A quiz or other awesome social content can capture someone’s attention, and craft their intent.
4. Personalization is everything
Why does social media have such a visceral affect on us? It can be argued the reason is because it’s so personal. We can go online and see exactly what our friends and family are up to. People we care about, who have a personal impact on our lives, are on social media. The key is personalization.
A full 74% of people cite frustration at communications that really have nothing to do with them, and that totally makes sense. We all get enough email as-is, and if I’m getting offers for E-cigs but I don’t smoke I’m going to be pissed.
5. Immediate re-assurance changes the game
Sending an email immediately after someone opts-in is one way to dramatically decrease unsubscribes. The reason for this is pretty logical. On social media we move from one thing to the next, and if your lead magnet is effective and gets an opt-in, the person who opted in is likely to quickly move on and forget about giving their information. If you wait a week to email that person, odds that they forgot about you are like 99%.
97% of people say they use multi-tasking to get more done, but unbiased research says there is no such thing as multi-tasking – which means that we’ve convinced ourselves we can get more done by doing multiple things at once, but we can’t. The real outcome is that we just don’t pay attention to anything we do. All that to say, if you don’t send people an immediate email reminding them of who you are and how you got their contact information, they WILL forget.
6. Follow-up has to be gradual
The theme throughout all of these lead generation learnings for social media is that you can’t be overly aggressive, and instead have to earn the trust of your prospects. This truth carries through to how you follow-up with your new contacts using marketing automation. You must respect the reason they opted-in, which was not necessarily to learn more about your product (it probably wasn’t).
Therefore, when you send out emails, keep them personalized to the person’s quiz result, and keep them mostly about entertaining and informing the prospect, keep the selling to a minimum. When the contact is ready to hear about your product (which you can determine using your lead score), then you can call them or send more direct sales messages.
7. What can you do for ME?
If I could surmise all these learnings in one statement it would be:
“People only care about themselves, give them something they want and they’ll opt-in to your communications.” – Click to Tweet This
Social media lead generation is evolving, and it presents a completely different set of challenges from traditional or search based prospecting. We’ve learned a thing or two along the way as we’ve processed 2 million opt-ins from social, but we’re just getting started, subscribe now and we’ll send one article like this each week to your inbox.