For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

3 ways to drive more leads using social media

Although email is one of the oldest online marketing channels, it's also one of the fastest growing. Now more than ever, marketers are turning to email to drive new business, nurture their leads, and reduce customer churn. In fact, a marketing survey by StrongView found that email was the channel most businesses planned to increase their spending for in 2015.

This data illustrates the need for marketers to scale their email marketing program. If you’re not keeping up with the industry, you could risk falling behind your competition. One of the best ways to grow your email presence is to ramp up your lead generation efforts. This article discusses three ways to leverage your brand’s social media pages and profiles to source new, qualified leads to add to your email audience.

1. Giveaways and Contests

When it comes to professional sporting events, nothing seems to rouse the crowd quite like the t-shirt cannon. It’s exciting to see your favorite team score, but there’s just something about catching a double XL shirt that can really get the crowd up on their feet.

This isn’t just a strategy for the stadiums. Getting your crowd excited over swag is actually a great way to get them to submit lead information. Giveaways are an amazing way to show your customers you care while simultaneously sourcing lead information. And when it comes time to reach out to them using their given information, they'll already have a very positive view of your brand.

Invision is one example of a company that uses swag to generate leads. When you access the company's homepage, you see this prompt to enter your email address for a chance to win your own free t-shirt.

Another amazing example of this strategy comes from Sujan Patel. To this day, Sujan Patel attributes up to $980K of revenue being generated from t-shirt marketing. Here are his tips for designing your swag:

1. Use high quality materials.
2. Keep your design simple.
3. Wear it everywhere.

2. Paid Social Media Campaigns

If you have some additional money to spend gathering leads, paid social is solid way to get them at a great price. This strategy requires you to create an amazing resource, such as a webinar or whitepaper, to entice readers to yield their information. Assuming you have that, here are some social sites that can be amazing for lead gen.

Facebook has a new lead gen-focused campaign type that allows users to enter their lead information – like job title, company or phone number – without ever leaving Facebook, which removes barriers and improves the user experience. This campaign type also enables you to choose which information to collect from customers.

Twitter has a very similar feature to Facebook called Lead Gen Cards. You simply need to create a great piece of content to advertise, write your ad copy, choose what information you'd like to gather, and pay to promote!

SlideShare is a website where users upload videos, presentations, or guides they've created to be discovered by those looking for information on those topics. It's also possible to add a form on each piece of content you upload to gather information on readers.

Historically, lead collection on SlideShare has been free. However, as the site has rolled out more robust targeting capabilities, you now have to pay to drive leads. Their form fields are similar to Facebook and Twitter and enable readers to automatically submit their info by signing into LinkedIn.

3. Promoting Quality Gated Content

If you have an good sense of who your social followers are, you'll know what kind of content will resonate with them. Take the time to make an amazing guide you know your audience will love and focus on organic social distribution.

Schedule and Repurpose
First, focus on sharing your post across all of your social pages multiple times. If you've spent the time to create a great guide, then posting on social shouldn't be as simple as "one and done." Try using a social media scheduling tool like Sprout Social to post it multiple times in one session.

Tag Those You Mention
If you create a guide that specifically mentions another company or thought leader, make sure to reference and tag them in your social posts. If you're lucky, you may get a handle with a large following to share your content with their own audience. You can even keep this in mind when creating your content.

Find the Best Communities
Most social networks have sub-communities or groups based on specific interests. If you can find a community that would likely be interested in your guide, share it with them as a valuable resource. It's a good idea to actually join the community and partake in the conversations before you start submitting your own content.

Upcoming Email and Social Media Webinar
Once you've taken advantage of these strategies, make sure to refine your email flows to nurture and convert your leads. If you need help figuring out that portion of your marketing efforts, look to Emma's amazing Content Hub to learn about industry best practices. And to learn how you can create truly amazing experiences for the leads you’ve generated with social media, check out this upcoming webinar with Emma and Sprout!

Michael runs the partner program at Sprout Social, and spends most of his time creating webinars, eBooks and blog posts. When he isn't creating content he can be found exploring Chicago's neighborhoods and breweries. Find him on Twitter @MPatterson22