Three ways to use social media to build business leads

Margaret Paton

Harnessing social media to build your business leads might be just a few clicks away. Zoë Hida, business development manager of Appiwork, a regional NSW-based app development company, says that there are three key parts to using social media efficiently.

Find a channel that works for your business

Hida suggests finding out which social media channels your customers use. If you’re not sure, start with Facebook and Google+.

“Create a business account, set it up properly with corporate branding and ensure you post information of interest to your customers – they will check you out on social media,” she says.

Facebook has consistently generated the best business leads for a two-year-strong small business in Blayney, Central West NSW, Ashleigh’s Hair & Barber. Owner Ashleigh Fogarty set up her Facebook page before her business even opened, and it now has more than 500 likes.

“Facebook is the only way I’ve advertised my business and I’ve never done a sponsored post,” she says. 

Post regular and relevant updates

Focusing on one or a couple of relevant social media channels and doing them well is the way to go, advises Hida. She uses Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to build Appiwork’s online presence, share successes and connect with potential clients.

Meanwhile, Fogarty posts photos on Facebook as often as five times a week of new product lines, her clients’ completed up styles, colours, hair stencils or style cuts and even before and after shots, generating about 230 views on average.

We find that Facebook generates the best ‘app entrepreneur’ leads, whereas LinkedIn helps us connect with corporate clients.

Know your audience

Fogarty adds: “Sometimes I suggest to a client they’ll get five per cent off if they say they’re visiting my salon and tag themselves in a pic they post on Facebook. If it’s a stunning cut, it could go viral.”

Appiwork’s Hida says: “We find that Facebook generates the best ‘app entrepreneur’ leads, whereas LinkedIn helps us connect with corporate clients. Posting with Google+ keeps the SEO boffins at Google happy.”

Social media apps that connect new groups of people in new and interesting ways are proving popular. Appiworks has developed one such app, the seniors-targeted YourLink, to connect older Australians with their families and local communities, and it is used around the country.

Margaret Paton

Former Sunday Age staff journalist, Margaret Paton (formerly Jakovac) has written widely for corporations/government departments and more than 100 online/hard copy mastheads in regional NSW, Sydney, Melbourne and Europe.