Right now, your next customer is scrolling Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. And whether they know it yet or not, they’re looking for what you sell.
Social media lead generation is how you connect with these prospective customers in a way that lets you stay in touch. Then you have the opportunity to nurture the relationship and offer purchase incentives until they make a purchase and beyond.
Generating leads on social media is an important strategy for almost any business, so in this article, we’ll share some of the most effective ways to do it. Soon you’ll be turning more social media scrollers into lifelong customers.
Let’s get to it.
What is social media lead generation?
Social media lead generation refers to the tactics you use to gather new leads through social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
A lead is a prospective customer who’s given you contact details and permission to contact them in the future.
Lead contact information may include an email address, permission to send them a direct message on Facebook or LinkedIn, or their phone number for future SMS marketing texts or calls. Heck, you could even go old-school and get their mailing address to send birthday cards and sales offers through the post office.
The type of contact details you gather and methods you contact leads by can vary. The key point is that you’ve now created a relationship that gives you more chances to convert a sale.
Social media is just one option to get leads and awareness. Use this guide to find 30 ways to promote your business (with or without money!).
Why social media is great for lead generation
You’re probably familiar with how effective social media is for growing a community and engaging an audience. But social networks also have some characteristics that make them the ideal channel for connecting with new customers.
You can get your business in front of a lot of people on a billboard or TV ad. But there’s a limit to how much you can learn about those interactions. Did people like what they saw? What action did they take after seeing your ad?
On social media, however, you get tons of data about your performance.
With social media lead generation, you know exactly which strategies generate the most leads so you can improve the poor performers and double down on the best ones.
People look for brands and products on social media
Social media scrollers aren’t just there to share cute pet pics. They’re there to find their next fitness instructor or cocktail dress.
Consider these stats as proof:
- 54% of people use social media to research products.
- Facebook users click on 12 Facebook ads every month.
- 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day.
- 80% of people on X (formerly Twitter) have mentioned a business or brand in a tweet.
- 25% of TikTok users say they have purchased or researched a product after seeing a TikTok about it.
With so much product research and purchase intent, it’s no wonder social media is a lead generation powerhouse.
Social media platforms are designed for lead generation
Social media platforms make their money from advertising. So it benefits them when your social media lead generation campaigns are successful. That’s why just about every significant social media platform has baked-in tools and technology to help you gather leads.
For example, there are social media ads designed for the sole purpose of collecting people’s contact information. There are high-profile places to add links to your web pages. And there are tools to track your progress—all built into the social media apps.
Next up, we’ll show you how to take advantage of the lead-generation tools offered on social media networks.
15 social media lead generation strategies
Okay, there are leads to be found on social media. How do we capture them?
These social media lead generation strategies will help you catch attention, build confidence, and reduce friction so your funnel of new customers flows on full tilt.
1. Post engaging content
If you want leads from social media, you have to post content that stops people scrolling and gets them to click.
Chef Pasquale Sciarappa has mastered this strategy. His videos are fun, informative, and visually appealing.
Notice the subscribe button in the lower right? What a great way to capture a lead right while someone’s enjoying his video.
Want to generate more sales from Facebook? Here are 16 more tips for the best Facebook marketing strategy.
2. Optimize your profile
Your amazing content is doing its job and people want to know more about your business. Where do they look first? It’s usually your social media profile.
To get more followers and, of course, drive leads, you’ll want to maximize every aspect of your profile. There are many ways to optimize your social media profiles, but here are the top tips to consider:
- Fill your profile out completely
- Add a link to a lead gen landing page or your website
- Add keywords so your account gets found more often
- Write a business description that creates trust
3. Post at the right time
The one social media post that won’t generate any leads is the one that no one sees. Get more eyeballs on your best content by posting it at the most opportune time for each platform.
For example, there are a few hours each week that seem to get the most engagement on Instagram posts.
Your perfect posting schedule is unique to your audience and business, though. These guides will help you find the ideal time to post on:
4. Share user-generated content (UGC)
Someone needs to have a certain level of trust in your company before they’re willing to give away their contact details. User-generated content and customer testimonial videos prove that your products are the real deal and everyday people enjoy using them.
Have a look at this UGC post from the accessories company Bellroy.
The brand got free content from a faithful follower who showed off their products to hundreds of potential leads. Not only that, but the original poster’s followers got to see Bellroy’s packs in action, too. That’s building trust at scale!
5. Partner with a social media influencer
Like UGC, social media influencers can lend credibility to your brand. The big difference is that influencers have larger audiences on social platforms and you will often pay them for their efforts (either directly or with free products).
Whether it’s a local athletic coach talking about your physical training programs or a celebrity wearing your newest design, influencer marketing can get new potential customers into your lead nurture funnel.
Here, outdoor enthusiast Kait Vanhoff shows off for High West brand bourbon.
Not every influencer is for every brand. Make sure the one you choose shares your values and has a real, engaged fan base (no fake followers).
6. Create deal-closing landing pages
If you get someone to click on a link in your social media ad or post, you’ve taken a huge step toward landing a brand-new lead. But if you make them navigate the menu on your website, they could get frustrated and leave.
Instead, send potential leads to a dedicated social media landing page that’s designed for your lead generation campaigns.
This local plumber executes their lead generation landing page perfectly.
Notice how the only actions you can take on the page is to call them or leave details to request a callback. There are no other links to confuse visitors and take them away from this valuable step in the lead generation process.
🚨 Is your website optimized for lead generation? Found out with our free website grader.
7. Invest in lead ads
Landing pages reduce the friction of the lead generation process. Social media lead ads take it one step further.
Social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all offer an ad campaign type that targets lead generation called lead ads.
When someone clicks on this type of ad, they’re shown a form they can fill out without leaving the platform.
Lead ads make it super easy for your prospects to share their information. Less friction means more people flow through the process and you get more leads.
8. Run a contest or giveaway
Or, if you’re on the marketing team at Hotel Lucy, you do all three.
See how this giveaway offers three ways to gain new leads. First, people can like the hotel’s account which means they’ll see the brand’s future posts. Second, it leverages the network effect of social media by incentivizing people to share the promotion. And finally, there’s another incentive for people to sign up. That’s a triple-threat campaign.
9. Offer a lead magnet
A lead magnet is something valuable you offer in exchange for a prospect’s contact details. Very often, lead magnets are important information that people in your audience would love to have.
This is a common tactic for companies that sell to other businesses, like this example from Sleeknote. Everyone who registers for the webinar becomes a lead.
But local businesses can swipe this strategy for their own social media lead generation campaign.
Say a lawn care company wanted to fill its lead funnel. It could offer a discount or a guide to growing golf course-quality grass to everyone who signs up for their newsletter.
10. Do some social listening
Social listening is monitoring what people say about your business, industry, or products on social media. When you catch relevant conversations online, you can jump on opportunities to join in and generate new leads.
Imagine following in Biotherm’s footsteps and surprising someone with a free sample right when they need your product the most.
Not only will they likely become a lead you can nurture, but anyone following the exchange could become curious about your products, too.
11. Take advantage of remarketing
You don’t always get the lead on the first try. But you can get more chances to convert leads through remarketing.
Remarketing is when you show ads to people who have interacted with your brand in some way. In the case of lead generation, it might be people who clicked to your lead capture landing page but didn’t complete the form.
Platforms like Facebook let you create a custom audience for retargeting ads. Use those ads to remind your almost-leads that they have some unfinished business.
12. Launch a referral campaign
What if you could turn your happiest customers into salespeople who found new leads for you? You can do exactly that with a referral campaign.
Referral campaigns put word-of-mouth marketing on overdrive by incentivizing people to recommend your business.
This company’s loyal customers got a link to give their friends free shipping.
Consider other high-value offers like gift cards, discounts, or access to exclusive products and services. You could even just ask current email subscribers to recommend your newsletters to their friends.
Send the type of emails people can’t wait to share with this guide to small business emails. It’s packed with templates, subject line tips, and more.
13. Use shoppable ads
Shoppable ads are paid posts on social media with embedded links that allow people to purchase products or become leads without leaving the social media app.
This bookstore uses a shoppable ad on Instagram to lead people to its online shop.
With your shoppable ad, you can take people to your catalog or ask them to register their email addresses in exchange for a discount or other perks.
14. Go live
People love live videos on social media (one study found that 82% of people would rather watch a live video than see a social media post!).
You can go live on several social media platforms. This bake shop uses Instagram Live to answer common questions from his baking community.
Many platforms let you add links to your videos. You could tell viewers to tap a link and sign up for more in-depth tutorials…which would then turn those fans into leads for your business.
15. Improve your social media lead generation with analytics
As we mentioned earlier, social media gives you lots of data about the effectiveness of your campaigns. This certainly holds true for your lead generation activities.
Likes, shares, comments, and leads generated: With the right analytics, you can refine your tactics to get the most leads with the least investment.
Best social media networks for lead generation
The best social media network to generate leads depends on your audience, the type of content you’ll use to attract them, and the type of business you have.
Here are some of the top social media lead generation platforms to start with.
If you want to know about lead generation on Instagram, remember that it’s the go-to network for many Millennials looking for food, travel, and adventure inspiration. Do your products or services tap into that vibe? Try paid ads or Reels on the platform. And remember to engage with your audience so they feel connected to your business.
Facebook still has the largest user base of all the social media platforms. So if sheer reach is your main priority, that’s a great platform to find new leads. It’s also a favorite network for older buyers. If you’re a chiropractor looking for leads from Boomers with bad backs, Facebook Lead Ads would be a smart play.
TikTok is the place for playful videos that drive leads from Gen Alpha and Gen Z. Influencer marketing is big on TikTok, so consider looking for a partner with an engaged following there. Remember that while humor does well on TikTok, so does education. To get more leads and more followers, post TikToks that teach your customers something valuable.
LinkedIn is where professionals go to share advice and advance their careers. It tends to attract people in the middle of their career, so you’ll find Millennials and Gen Xers on LinkedIn. If your products help those age groups with their work, then a lead generation campaign on LinkedIn makes sense.
Want to go a little deeper? Check out this chart for a more in-depth review of the best social media platforms for lead generation.
Start your social media lead generation campaign today
People are increasingly using social media as a search engine to find products and services. That opens up an incredible opportunity for your business to find new leads.
To drive the most leads for your business, try these social media lead generation tactics:
- Post engaging content
- Optimize your social media profile
- Post at the right time
- Share UGC
- Partner with a social media influencer
- Create deal-closing landing pages
- Invest in lead ads
- Run a contest or giveaway
- Offer a lead magnet
- Do some social listening
- Take advantage of remarketing
- Launch a referral campaign
- Use shoppable posts
- Go live
- Improve with analytics
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