Social media isn’t just about brand awareness, reputation, networking and other hard-to-measure activities. Many organizations are successfully using social media to generate leads – but the tactics are a bit different from traditional lead generation methods.

We’re written a lot in the past about social lead generation, so we’ve rounded up the best of the best to give you our 15 top tips to help you generate leads on social media:

  1. Establish sales goals and objectives

“Before you dive into developing a sales strategy for social media you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Immediately you’re going to think that you’re trying to simply achieve an increase in sales. Incorrect. You need to understand the difference between leads, opportunities, visitors and actual customers.”

  1. Audit your existing channels

“You need to understand where you are today to develop a plan to get where you want to be tomorrow. Once you’ve identified all the channels that you have already existing online, you need to identify whether or not these channels are necessary and whether your team has the ability to use these channels.”

  1. Build trust with your audience

“The most important piece of the puzzle for social conversion is establishing trust with your lead. If a lead doesn’t know who you are or what your business stands for; you will find it difficult to make the sale.”

  1. Follow up

“The follow-up is an important part of social media leads yet one that is often overlooked. Finding a relevant, quality lead on a network like Twitter is great but closing them is even better.”

  1. Use the channels your audience uses

“If you’re targeting executives who spend more time in email and LinkedIn than any other networks; spending a lot of time on Twitter & Facebook might not make the most sense.”

  1. Don’t take things too slow

“When you’ve found a lead on Twitter, Facebook, or through your blog you can’t just sit on them like a Sumo Wrestler. Take this lead, nurture it and as soon as you’ve entered the purchase stage you need to identify how you can close that deal before it’s too late.”

  1. Cross-promote your content for more lead opportunities

“We like to view all of our social accounts as pieces of a bigger community, as opposed to separate entities. Treat your accounts as such and you will maximize your lead generation potential.”

  1. Communicate wins with your sales team

“While it’s common thinking among those who live and breathe social media that it can result in revenue; the folks leading sales aren’t always convinced. Thus, it’s important that the folks managing social media on behalf of your brand communicate with sales to see the results.”

  1. Put a face on your brand’s social profiles

“People do business with people they like and trust, and it’s really that simple. The challenge that businesses face is the fact that businesses aren’t people. That’s a fact. For that reason, businesses need to develop their own sense of personality and align that with the audience in which they’re trying to connect with.”

  1. Listen to your audience’s needs and pain points

“…start by listening; is there a problem or concern that you can solve? Is there confusion you can clarify? Is there a need that you can satisfy? From there, create content that satisfies this need.”

  1. Rate your social leads

“Lead scoring has forever been a key part of the lead management process for businesses at it helps sales professionals in understanding each lead’s level of interest.”

  1. Don’t automate your responses

“Put people on the other end and there will be a noticeable difference. Automated messages are easy to spot. Even if it’s on social it’s still spam and will get ignored. Putting a person on the other end reinforces a personal connection.”

  1. Use social to engage in one-to-one selling

“The bottom line is that one to one sales is making a comeback and those who recognize the rebirth of this model and embrace it using social media are more successful than their counterparts who have left it behind.”

  1. Learn how to identify warm, cold, and hot leads on social media

“One of the biggest challenges with social selling is the differentiation between warm, cold and hot leads. It’s not easy for businesses to evaluate and understand the core difference between someone who’s simply tweeting for the sake of tweeting and someone who’s genuinely interested in a brands product or service.”

  1. Use Twitter to identify people with a purchase intent

“With the right tools and right understanding of how the channel works it’s also easy to identify who’s looking to purchase a certain product.”

Generating leads on social media doesn’t have to be difficult – it just requires a new way of identifying, connecting to and nurturing your audience. Using these tips, you can develop your own plan for capturing sales through social media.