You’ve built a solid social media presence, and that’s great – but it’s just the first step. Now you’ll want to put that tool to work for you.

The most important thing to remember is that leads from social media should be engaged with just like any other leads. Socially engaged leads showed email open rates of 44% and click-through rates of 6%. That’s more than double the leads from any other channel – the kind of rates marketers strive for. If your sales and marketing teams aren’t following up with these contacts, you’re missing opportunities.

Here are 7 strategies to help you keep the conversation going.

1. Add Your Contacts to a Twitter List

Audiense suggests matching your contacts’ email with Twitter handles. Following your contacts on Twitter can give you additional insight into their activity and interests, and you can segment your contacts and target relevant messages directly to them.

Contactually suggests breaking contacts into groups based on criteria such as region, job title, the type of company they work for, or even the value of their connection. Segmenting into categories based on interest or demographics also ensures your content is more customized and valuable to your contacts – a key to engagement.

2. Hang out Where Your Contacts Are

Twitter might be the primary venue your target audience prefers to use. But maybe they’re hanging out somewhere else, like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit or Pinterest. You can work on driving traffic to your favored social media venue, but Zendesk says meeting customers where they prefer to socialize can be a way to enter into conversations that are already taking place.

3. Share Your Followers’ Content

People love to see their posts retweeted and shared. Sharing content helps followers feel recognized and valued, and that can help build loyalty.

Once you’re connected on social media, you can watch for opportunities to respond to your contact’s posts. For example, if your contact mentions an influencer, send them some content such as an article about or written by that person – they’ve already expressed interest, after all. Keep an eye on your contacts’ interaction with competitors and send them information that points to why your product or service is better.

5. Ask Questions

Engage your followers and crowd-source your answers. As Social Media Examiner points out, people love to give their opinions. Asking open-ended questions not only engages your contacts, but helps open up a window to their thought processes. It also offers a boost to your marketing campaign, giving you more opportunities to directly respond. You can also turn what you learned from the Q-and-A into a blog post, including your contacts’ responses and social media handles.

6. Offer Exclusive Content

Providing exclusive newsletters, reports or webinars can be a powerful way to build your email contact list. Wishpond suggests compiling articles into an ebook, for example, and making sure the offer is urgent: Limited time only.

7. Follow up with a Personal Email

There’s a reason why email marketing works: 91% of consumers use it every day, making it the most effective way to acquire new customers, says McKinsey & Company. Emails lead to purchases at a rate about three times that of social media – another reason why following up via email after connecting on Twitter or Facebook is so important. Those followers are interested in you, so make sure you’re making the connection deeper.

A good email follow-up includes several qualities:

  1. Context: Be upfront about why you’re connecting. Is it because of a Twitter follow? Or has your contact signed up for emails through your blog? Let them know, because it lends authenticity to your message.
  2. Value: Send content that’s valuable, relevant and personal – something your contacts want.
  3. Persistence: Make sure your team has a plan to keep on top of those emails.

Keeping engaged with your social media leads will help ensure the time you spend cultivating followers pays off in new customers and a stronger ROI