Trying to generate leads digitally can be a complicated process. You need outlets like social networks or digital ads to promote your content, but that content generally only sends your audience to your landing page – where your users can sign up and become leads.

Those additional steps often mean that some of your potential leads drop off somewhere in the process, losing you potential leads. So here’s an online marketing idea for your small business: bypass your landing page, and generate leads straight from your social efforts.

Social Media Lead Generation

It may sound like a pipe dream, particularly if you’re used to the multi-step process we explained above. But in reality, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have realized the increasing number of marketers using a lead-generating inbound philosophy, and adjust their marketing opportunities accordingly.

As a result, you can generate leads directly using Facebook and Twitter ads, feeding them directly into your CRM for your nurturing efforts. Let’s examine in more detail how the individual networks can help you generate your leads

1) Twitter Lead Generation Cards

If you already advertise on Twitter, you likely know the ‘cards’ that the network offers to marketers. Essentially add-ons to your regular advertisements, they allow you to add additional, rich content to your sponsored tweet that exceeds the usual 140 character limit.

Typically, these cards are used for advertisements on which marketers seek to generate clicks to their website (and landing pages), because they allow marketers to add a visual image along with a descriptive link and even a call to action button, increasing the possibility for click-throughs.

As it turns out, Twitter offers similar cards specifically for lead generation. These cards also allow marketers to add an image and headline, but the call to action button is slightly different. You can entice your audience to ‘sign up’ or a similar lead-generating prompt.

Once a user clicks on the button, Twitter automatically draws their name and email information form their public profile, and shares it with the marketer. As a result, you can generate leads without your users ever having to leave the network.

Early studies of these lead generation cards have been overwhelmingly positive. One company saw their leads increase by more than 900%, along with a significantly lower cost per lead. Eliminating the extra step of sending users to a landing page where they can sign up means maximizing the amount of leads who land in your CRM.

Facebook’s Lead Ads

For two years, Twitter’s lead generation cards gave the network a significant advantage over its major competitor Facebook, which did not offer marketers a similar opportunity. That changed this summer, when Facebook began to offer its own version of lead ads.

The general concept is strikingly similar to its Twitter counterpart. By eliminating the extra step of sending users to a landing page, the network hopes to improve lead conversion rates and appeal to inbound marketers.

But the ads themselves are slightly different. Like Twitter, the network draws form a user’s public profile information once they click the call to action button. But unlike Twitter, the options on Facebook extend beyond mere name and email; indeed, as is the case on a ‘regular’ landing page, you can ask for any information you’d like. Facebook automatically fills up the information it can find, and the user can individually fill in the rest right on the network.

Facebook major advantage over Twitter, of course, comes in its targeting opportunities. While the latter ‘only’ allows marketers to target based on geographic location and stated interest, Facebook options go further – from educational level and age all the way to list-based targeting and remarketing options.

In the end, both Facebook and Twitter offer intriguing advertising options that should simplify your lead generation efforts. And of course, the more information and leads you can bring into your CRM for nurturing, the more successful your business will be. To learn more about online marketing and lead generation, contact us.

Click here to get started with a FREE 30 day trial of BigContacts CRM. No credit card required.