Lead Generation is a vital aspect for establishing and expanding any business, more so for Small to Mid-sizse Businesses (SMBs) as they have budget constraints on advertising, marketing and new business development. It’s a chicken-egg situation for small businesses – if they don’t generate quality leads, it hampers the business. If those leads materialize, they not only help boost your business revenues but open up several new unexplored leads as well.
It’s fair to say that the explosion of social media has completely transformed the small business approach for lead generation.
Ad-ology Research Data on SMB Lead Generation
As per the recent data from advertising research firm Ad-ology, more than 55% of small-business owners view Facebook as a valuable modern age lead generation tool. The Ad-ology research covered 752 US small-business owners and concluded that several other social media networks including LinkedIn, Twitter and recent social commerce phenomenon such as GroupOn are also gaining popularity as lead generation mechanisms in the SMB segment.
Millions of business users are leveraging Facebook for their advertising and marketing campaigns. The research firm says that nearly 57.2% of small-business owners believe Lead generation is the top business benefit of social media. Another 54% SMB owners use social media to monitor their business’ online reputation. The research data confirms that using Facebook and LinkedIn as customer service tools is also gaining acceptance in the small business community.
Facebook Lead Generation Campaigns
Facebook is growing at a scorching pace and offers a fantastic platform to launch viral lead generation campaigns for businesses of all sizes. I’ve seen several businesses successfully run lead generation campaigns by setting up dedicated Facebook pages and then spreading the word through their fans/ friends.
LinkedIn Lead Generation
In my opinion, LinkedIn is the perfect amalgamation of professional and social networking. It’s drastically different from Facebook and provides a more business-oriented platform as compared to Facebook for hiring, lead generation and business ventures. It’s a popular platform amongst SMBs for hiring as well as business partnerships.
The LinkedIn Groups feature provides the perfect platform for like-minded individuals and businesses to generate and share leads for mutual benefits.
Generating quality leads is only half the battle won for a business. Turning those leads into concrete business opportunities is the other and equally important part. I strongly recommend businesses using a top notch social analytics tool to measure the effectiveness of their lead generation campaigns. I’ve been using Google Analytics for a long time and I find it to be mighty efficient in capturing the relevant lead data from across the web that allows me to see a bigger picture and reassess my lead generation strategy as needed.