Guide to Social Media Lead Generation

March 12, 2016

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking about their efforts as purely a brand awareness strategy and not lead generation. The truth be told, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, when used correctly, can actually drive cost-effective leads towards your business. This blog guides you through the process of turning your social media marketing efforts into a lead generating machine.

Let's start by clarifying exactly what we mean by lead generation. To generate a lead means to bring a potential customer into a sales funnel with the hope of pushing them through this funnel to a conversion. During this process you are likely going to understand your customer's needs more so you can refine the funnel experience to drive more conversions. With this in mind, online lead generation using social media is very iterative, a process you will perfect and adjust many time, even during one campaign.

So how do you plan lead generation through social media?

Luckily for social media marketers, social media platforms make it extremely easy to understand and target your audience. Social media users share so much information about themselves on their profiles that it makes it easy to find interested consumers and also search for look-a-like audiences that behave in a similar way to your target. This being said, there are some key decisions you need to make to reach the right audience for each campaign.

Choose your Platform Wisely

There is nothing more cringeworthy than watching a hashtag photo contest trying to work on Facebook. Facebook is not always the go-to platform, especially when Instagram rules the roost on image/hashtag campaigns. Make sure you know your platforms and how your target audience uses each one. Don't target 45 year olds on Snapchat for example.

Here are some ideas on how to use each social media platform for lead gen:


There is no way around it, if you want to make a dent on Facebook, you have to go the paid route. The good news is, Facebook ads can be reasonable in price and the targeting can be very specific. For example, if you wanted to target Facebook users who have expressed an interest in Michael Kors handbags in the city of Dubai in the last three months, you could target this closely. Make sure your ads have a strong CTA is vital to drive leads to your website. It is a good idea to A/B test your ad CTA to see what works best.


Twitter cards have been out for a few years now, however they are proving to be helpful in driving leads from Twitter. Twitter cards have a captivating image, a strong CTA and some kind of selling point - free shipping, money off and so on. Twitter cards only give you the standard 140 characters to work with, so you have to make sure it is catchy and appealing.


Instagram is all about the #hashtag. If you want your marketing effort to be noticed on Instagram, then you need to develop a unique hashtag. Hashtags help users to find campaigns and, more importantly, make a trend out of a #hashtag they enjoy. REI, a popular outdoor lifestyle store in the USA used the hashtag #optoutside to promote outdoor living and activity. This hashtag cleverly doesn't mention their brand but can be traced back to them. The hashtag drove 457,473 tagged photographs on Instagram. That is nearly half a million active users - just think of all the leads from that one campaign alone.

What ways do you drive leads from social media? Tell us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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