Drive Sales Through Social Media: How to Generate Sales Leads on Social Networks

Here is some practical advice-- five simple ways-- on how to use social media to generate sales leads and grow your business.

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Social media is great — you can share photos and ideas with friends, meet new people or pass time. But did you know that you can also utilize social media to grow traffic and increase sales for your business?

Social media represents a great opportunity that many small business owners are probably not leveraging — at least not its full potential.

I know what you’re thinking.

You believe social media is a great way to get your message out to the world, produce content, gain followers, establish your reputation as an expert in your field, interact with influencers and best of all — it is free.

While all of this is true and beneficial — if you leverage social media correctly it should yield tremendous long-term results. In fact, there are ways to use social media to generate leads which then affords you the opportunity to convert those leads into paying customers.

I am not going to discuss social media as an abstract strategy, nor will I over-indulge in buzz words like social CRM,  customer engagement or customer experience.  Instead, here is some practical advice– five simple ways– on how to use social media to generate sales leads and grow your business.

1. Twitter: Search and you will find.

Many Twitter users ask their peers for recommendations on goods, products and services. In fact, many people and businesses use Twitter to collect micro-feedback.

Are you there to introduce your business to them and tell them how you can solve their problem? Start by using Twitter search and look for keywords representative for the products or services you offer and industry-related mentions. Then start conversations with people who are looking for recommendations.

Instead of approaching your new Tweeps with a hard-sell, try offering information that will educate and empower them — become a trusted resource.

2. Quora: Answer industry-related questions.

If you are not on Quora, you don’t know what you are missing.

Quora aims to be the easiest place to write new content and share content from the web. The website organizes people and their interests so users can find, collect and share the information that is valuable to them. It is a great online forum where people ask questions, others answer them and the conversation is not cluttered.

There is a high probability that there are a lot of questions about services and products similar to yours. Are you there to answer those inquries and follow-up to convert leads into customers? If not, give it a try, see how many relevant questions you can find.

Using Quora is also a good way to direct traffic to your website after you have answered the questions, given the content is indexed by Google. Other similar knowledge-exchange forums include: LinkedIn Answers, Yahoo Answers, etc.

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