Connectivity around the world was not as smooth as it is now. Until two decades ago, socialization was a slow pursuit. The human desire to engage combined with emerging digital technology gave birth to social media.
Six Degrees created in 1997 was the first networking site. However, digital communities gained significant prominence only in the early 2000s. MySpace being the first site to record a million monthly users. By 2006, Facebook became available to users. With over 2.4 billion users in the world, it has been the market dominator for the past decade. Besides that, sites like Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, WeChat and others contribute to the user statistics, which show that one in every three people indulges in social media leading to over 3.5 billion active users. Moreover, social media is the new-age lead generating machine.
In less than a lead generation, social media has transformed from direct electronic information exchange to a virtual meeting place, shopping platform, and the new age lead generating machine.
What impact has this had on the lives of billions of people and what strategies have businesses undertaken to adapt to the digital consumer lifestyle? What is the role of the digital community in marketing? It’s all part and parcel evolution of the digital community.
As the millennium changed, so did the digital community scene. What was once considered an unusual hobby now provides full-time employment to many. Following Six Degrees came Friendster in 2001 which, utilised email addresses to provide basic online networking. Blogs were another early form of digital community that became popular in 1999 which accompanied the launch of Blogger. Then came LinkedIn to diversify the networking scene catering to connect career-minded professionals. Post LinkedIn came MySpace in 2003 and by 2006, it created a record for the number of users. Facebook broke this record in 2008 and before long, other websites sprang into being.
There are thousands of social network platforms, according to estimates. Some platforms are more popular than others, yet every platform has a dedicated following, no matter how little.
Today, 3.78 billion people across the world use various digital mediums to stay connected. Some of the most prominent leaders are:
Created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, it became public in 2006. Since then it has been the most used social media with over 3.6 billion users as of 2020. Now, news, stories, videos are shared using Facebook, along with sending messages via Messenger and conducting business through the Marketplace.
Founded in 2010 bought by Facebook in 2012, Instagram with its 1 billion user base is one of the most popular photo and video sharing sites.
A micro blogging site founded in 2006, Twitter uses “hashtags” to group similar content. It became a popular site for internet gossip with this new feature.
A popular networking site among professionals, LinkedIn has become an essential component of many businesses’ recruitment and advertising efforts. 92% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn in their digital marketing mix. It accounts for more than half of all social traffic to B2B websites/blogs. Allegedly, LinkedIn is 277% more effective than both Facebook and Twitter in generating leads.
It is quite popular among tech-savvy professionals and aimed to bring like-minded people while building a trusting atmosphere through interaction. Statistically, posts on Reddit are likely to go viral as compared to postings from Facebook or Twitter.
As the 2000s came to an end, social networking started being extensively utilized and widely employed in business. Most companies are now visible in the digital community as social media is the new age lead generating machine. It is uncommon to come across a company that does not have a significant digital community presence.
Social media for b2b lead generation is the new trend. Companies increasingly see it as a major instrument for consumer engagement, allowing for lead creation, quick client contact, and customer involvement. With a significant number of the population being online on these communities companies are figuring out how to generate leads with social media. According to a 2018 report by GlobalWebIndex, social network users throughout the world spend an average of two hours and twenty-two minutes each day on the digital communities.
Because customers’ eyes are all over the digital communities, it has had a significant impact on businesses and their marketing strategies. Billboards, newspaper advertising, and other traditional means of marketing appear antiquated. Other kinds of internet marketing, such as sponsored search and website advertisements, have taken a second place to social networking.
How businesses have been using social media for lead generation?
Social media lead generation is all about putting in place, smart social media marketing techniques that are specifically meant to capture quality leads and funnel them into the company’s sales cycle. Using these networks to generate leads allows firms to discover consumers who are interested in their products or services. More significantly, these leads serve as a conduit to potential consumers, allowing them to make unique offers and turn them into loyal customers.
- Chanel was crowned the most influential luxury brand in different digital communities in 2017. Since then, it has continued to expand and diversify its content, which has contributed to increased audience engagement on social media, notably Instagram.
- Coca-Cola launched the #RefreshTheFeed campaign in 2018, in which its digital community platforms went dark for a short period before being replaced with a whole new image. The advertisement also coincided with World Kindness Day, an event that sets the tone for Coca Cola’s core values of optimism and inclusivity. #RefreshTheFeed got a massive amount of positive feedback on the digital communities, with over 69 million impressions and 1.4 million engagements in a single day. Visits to the Coca-Cola website increased by 600% over normal.
- Within four days of its 2017 launch, Fenty Beauty had 1.4 million Instagram followers (now 10.9 million). This excitement has subsequently turned into genuine brand loyalty, with Fenty amassing a 9.9 million-strong fanbase on the site. This is mostly due to the brand’s originator, Rihanna, as well as several influencers that share the brand’s principles of diversity, inclusivity, and body acceptance.
This wave of revolution, accelerated by the events of 2020, represents a radical transformation in how organizations and consumers see, use, and value digital communities. Businesses that use social media lead generation tactics and recommendations are more likely to get better outcomes across the funnel, from increasing brand recognition to increasing sales conversions.
55% of customers discover new brands through digital communities.
Millennials and Gen Z are especially inclined to utilize different digital communities for brand discovery. As the spending power of these technophiles grows, so will the scale of social networks.
68% of customers feel that digital communities allow them to communicate with brands and businesses.
The digital community has enormous potential for customer involvement, which is the main aim for many marketers, as well as a positive effect on customers’ decisions to purchase from a business. Responsive companies that are constantly reacting and engaging in a two-way conversation with their customers are better positioned to service their customers’ requirements, ratchet up personalization, and personalize their content in a way that forges stronger ties with customers.
In the previous year, 43 % of customers expanded their usage of digital communities to find new items.
CEOs are willing to engage in is social commerce, which puts a brands’ products and services at the forefront of different digital communities while making it easy for customers to transition from discovery mode to buy mode in one spot.
78% of people are inclined to buy from a brand after having a favorable social media encounter with them.
A pleasant experience not only encourages a customer to buy from a brand but also makes them more likely to prefer that brand over rivals. This creates a sense of brand loyalty.
80% of corporate leaders believe it is extremely important or necessary to invest more resources in social media marketing.
Survey shows that not only do corporate leaders, but 62% of consumers believe that social media marketing leads to better brand awareness.
There’s no doubting that different digital community platforms have become a significant source of news and information. But it isn’t all. Social media is the new age lead generating machine because the way networks connect with clients is unique. Here are a few of the primary reasons why social media is one of the most ideal spots to get leads:
- Raised brand awareness: With more and more individuals using social media to investigate and comment on products, capturing the attention of your target audience is becoming easier to increase brand awareness.
- Connecting with new customers: The easiest method to grow an engaged social media audience is to focus on the individuals who currently know you the best. You may broaden your audience and build your connections by offering relevant information, responding quickly to their comments, and appreciating their input.
- Boosted website traffic: There are over 3.78 billion active users in the entire digital community sector. Social networking is an excellent way to drive visitors to your website. They provide several options to attract company visitors and turn them into quality leads.
Don’t believe it? Here are some social media statistics you ought to know:
Digital communities are the best tool to reach the masses since 48% of the world’s population uses them. According to the latest statistics, a typical person spends 2.5 hours every day on social media. This allows firms to reach out to their target customers through social media marketing.
73% of marketers say their social media marketing efforts have been “somewhat effective” or “extremely effective” for their firm (Buffer, 2019).
Moreover, 54% of social browsers use different digital communities to conduct product research. Also, nowadays more buyers are joining social media looking for reviews and recommendations.
When it comes to getting business through digital communities, here are the key steps to consider
1. Lead generation
It refers to the actions that companies engage in on different social channels to gain new leads. Leads are converted into actual sales after being sent into the sales funnel, qualified through several channels (chatbots, email, social, phone, meeting, or sales call), and then converted into actual sales.
2. Lead nurturing
Nurturing leads implies developing relationships with future clients even if they aren’t in the market for a product or service. They may have signed up for your newsletter or followed you on your digital communities, but they aren’t necessarily ready to buy.
3. Lead conversion
The ultimate stage of social media leads is conversion. It refers to the process of converting your prospective customers so that they make final purchasing decisions.
Social media, when used appropriately, can do more than simply allow you to reach out to and communicate with an audience. It may also assist you in generating leads and accelerating business growth. According to recent statistics, firms that use social media for lead creation may improve their income by up to 24%.
Whether you’re a small business or a major corporation seeking new customers, these are the greatest lead generating strategies-
1. Chose the Right Channel
After selecting the appropriate channel, you may redirect all of the money and effort spent on ineffective marketing operations. Thereby investing all of your efforts in the most successful SMM channel will provide you with the necessary exposure and lead you to clients from whom you can easily upsell. You may improve your marketing methods to increase sales. This will keep your company humming and generate more sales-ready leads for your sales staff.
2. Choose the right strategies for different channels
Based on your ideal customer profile, you should already be aware that each potential lead is unique and must be handled accordingly. You should also consider the channel in which they are discovered. It is critical to have distinct messaging on different channels. Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing, for example, are ideal for a more artistic approach.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is ideal for sharing industry ideas and content. Realize that getting a client into the funnel is difficult. But if done correctly by utilizing a multi-channel approach for your firm, the user will remember your brand name when they are interested in furthering to the buying and converting stage of the funnel.
The greatest method to keep in touch with your consumers is through a digital community. You boost your exposure and reach by engaging with your social followers. Inform your social followers about the most popular material or spark lively discussions on your page and give back to the most involved members.
You may demonstrate your dedication to your community members by responding immediately to their postings and queries. Your personal touch strengthens ties and helps people feel more connected to the community. Your social community members will undoubtedly feel honoured to be a part of the larger picture. You should provide them with adequate space to express their ideas and thoughts. Having a community of devoted customers may have a big influence on your company’s capacity to stay in the market for a long time.
4. Distribute engaging content with your connection
It is not enough to just post often and on a regular basis. You must also interact with your fans and followers. Be timely in responding to any questions they may have posted on your profile. It is also critical to engage with your audience and to regularly monitor activities in order to have a more accurate understanding of its members’ interests, requirements, and desires. Although digital communities have become one of the most effective marketing platforms for business growth, it will not work for you if you don’t know how to utilize them.
It is believed that up to 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated. Gated content is online material that is only available when a user fills out a form. The content is “locked,” as opposed to regular content or landing pages. To access the material, audiences must first fill out a lead capture form. This lead generation technique works well since it provides something of value to the audience for free while getting high-quality leads interested in themes connected to your brand or offers.
6. Take Advantage of Your Analytics
You all put in your best efforts to achieve your SMM goal. However, when you put your efforts into achieving anything, it is critical to track its performance. Any online marketing agency can establish the strong and weak parts of any campaign through thorough tracking and research. Such reports can be generated by any social media optimization agency. From these reports, you can track how many new leads you have gained as a result of your ongoing SMM efforts.
7. Personalization is the Key to Your Customer’s Heart
If you want to convert prospects into loyal clients, you must recognize them as individuals rather than as part of a group. The problem is that customers are inundated with dozens of advertising messages every day, and they’ve mastered the art of shutting them out. Sending generic stuff their way is unlikely to elicit a meaningful response. That is why it is critical to tailor your message to the specific demands of potential consumers and to demonstrate to your audience that you care about and understand them.
From a psychological standpoint, social proof serves as a guiding factor for people when they are faced with ambiguity. For example, they may be unclear about how to act in a given circumstance. Alternatively, they may require assistance in making a purchase decision. People are more prone to mimic the behaviour of their peers in each of these situations. So, how does this apply to generating more leads for your company?
According to statistics, the majority of purchasers check for testimonials before making a purchasing decision. 79% of them trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
9. Click through to a landing page
Landing pages are an important component of any lead creation strategy. These sites are designed to advertise a single product or service provided by your company, but they may also be used to promote events, special discounts, downloadable products, and webinars. The landing page should have enough content to guarantee that the visitor understands what your business is giving them.
Attractive visuals should also be used to ensure that the landing page captures the visitor’s attention from the time they open the page. Moreover, as per statistics, 68% B2B companies use landing pages to generate leads.
10. Create targeted ads/ Run paid campaigns
Gartner, says “CMOs spent more than 21% of their marketing budget on advertising with 66% of that going to paid digital channels”. Businesses that undertake sponsored advertising campaigns reap benefits such as reaching out to a specific audience, greater interaction, fan growth, and many more. Running paid social media advertisements entails gathering the necessary information, analysing it, and putting it to use to make your paid social media more powerful and successful than before. If done correctly, it may be a terrific social media lead generation tool that saves businesses time and money. Define your sponsored digital community objectives and link all of your owned ad accounts in one location.
11. Monitor and Measure
Monitoring your performance is an important step in generating leads via the digital community because it helps in analysing your decisions. Although, don’t measure everything under the sun. It is critical to select the data that are most relevant to your company goals that can have an influence on your traffic, conversion rate, and revenue.
Most businesses use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram as their primary social networks for lead generation and brand promotion.
38% of firms spend more than 20% of their entire advertising expenditures on digital community channels. Each channel has its own potential based on area, people, your company specialization, and so on.
- For lead generation, Facebook is the most popular social channel with 60 million active business pages and the lowest CPC prices.
- Whereas, according to a CMI study, 95% of UK marketers use Twitter as a content marketing tool for lead creation.
- LinkedIn, with over 575 million users, is one of the most effective platforms for B2B social media marketing lead creation.
- Aside from them, over 80% of Instagram accounts follow a business, which is a strong indicator that marketers can use Instagram to create leads.
- Start a successful lead generation with a solid plan. Impulsive decisions will not get you anywhere.
- Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep it clean and simple.
- Use multiple routes and platforms and never lose patience as good results take time.
- Ensure what you are posting is of good quality. It takes effort and a tremendous amount of information to generate leads successfully.
- Create blogs and articles that assist your target audience to learn and improve instead of constantly doing promotions.
Get quality leads using our top-notch Social Media Marketing (SMM) services
Banyanbrain is one of the finest social media marketing companies to solve your issues. We increase brand recognition through a custom-designed approach that incorporates several social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. We execute a well-defined approach to match your social media marketing strategy and use our digital marketing services to help our clients’ businesses gain reputation and consistency. Banyanbrain’s fully equipped Social Media Team assesses your existing social networking initiatives and provides recommendations on how to boost your online visibility.