If you are a business that doesn’t have an endless amount of time and money (and what business does?), deciding which leads to pass on and which ones to pursue can have a huge effect on your bottom line. After all, if you are fairly certain a lead is going nowhere, there is no sense wasting your time on that lead. Conversely, failing to follow up with a lead that seems to be very interested can mean the loss of a big sale.

It would be nice if all leads fit neatly into two categories – dead ends and certain to convert – but that’s not how it is. In many cases, a lead seems like it could go either way. As a result, you don’t feel comfortable tossing any lead aside but by the same token you are worried about wasting too much time when you don’t know if a lead will convert.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can approach leads to better gauge their potential before you decide whether or not to pursue them.

  1. Carefully track all leads. It is important to meticulously track all leads that come to your website. This can be done by using marketing automation software or simply providing a place for visitors to enter their information.
  2. Incentivize leads. Many people are leery of giving out their information unless their interest is really piqued. Offer white pages on different topics and you will know what your leads are looking for.
  3. Reach out periodically. If you have information on a lead, follow up periodically so that you can find out if they will take the bait. For example, call or email just enough that if they are interested they will welcome your interest but not so much that you become annoying.
  4. Continue your content marketing efforts. Content is still king. The more interesting and useful the content you publish, the more likely it is that a lead that was on the fence will decide to finally make a decision to engage with you.
  5. Use ads. When ads are used with marketing campaigns or other outbound lead generation efforts, leads may opt in after a while.

It is important that you engage with leads so that you can always have the chance to convert them. But the truth is, sometimes a softer approach is the best way to reel in leads that are on the fence.

Chances are if you own a small business you are using social media to market your brand, as well as the products and services you provide. After all, social media is one of the best methods to connect with customers and prospects without breaking the bank.

Unfortunately, many small businesses reach a point where they feel as if they have done all that they can when it comes to social media. They enjoy a good following and are able to interact with customers and prospects on a fairly regular basis. The truth is, however, that social media’s reach is truly endless and no matter how much success you are currently enjoying, you can always achieve more.

So how can you kick it up a notch when it comes to your social media? What follows are some tips to expand your reach, increase your number of followers and, as a result, improve your lead generation efforts and overall sales.

  1. Up your posting game. Posting consistently on your social media sites is imperative to your success. Sporadic posting just won’t cut it. Review what you are posting, as well. It can be easy to fall into the trap of just slapping up a post to say you posted. As difficult as it may be, aim for making every post better than the last.
  2. Always be analyzing. Learn from your successes and failures on social media. Always track your posts to determine what worked best and what didn’t work. Use this knowledge to tailor future posts. It also is a good idea to analyze what your competitors are posting and how many likes, shares, etc. they are seeing. Are there topics they are focusing on that you aren’t? Give those same topics a try.
  3. Make sure your visuals really enhance your posts. It is well-known that pictures and videos increase engagement – but only if they are compelling. Make sure any picture or video you post is pertinent to the content it accompanies.
  4. Join the club. Join communities but be careful about promoting your product. If someone asks a question, you can share a solution but straight out selling is a no-no. Many small businesses wonder what the benefit of joining communities is if they can’t sell to these communities. Two words: relationship building.

Social media is one of the most inexpensive ways to market your business. Make sure you are taking full advantage of it by always looking for ways to do things better!