Businesses of any size share this common objective: they must generate leads and then they must convert those leads.

In other words, they have to find prospective customers and then cause those customers to buy.

This is among the most basic elements of business, and it is essential for any company that they be effective with it.

The Difference

We examined a case study recently that profiled the difference between two small businesses. One was very adept at bringing in new leads and converting them quickly. The other was not.

The difference in these businesses' performance over the course of a year was staggering.

The first created an incredible amount of value in a considerably short time frame. The other plodded along, leaving the owner with the constant worry of whether enough new business would come in.

One business did so well they had to turn away work. The other was in jeopardy of not being able to pay staff month to month.

That's the difference.

Not only does being able to reliably attract high quality leads totally transform the value of your business, it makes ownership much more enjoyable.

Turn Up The Flow

Where do you find these leads? You may find that you're getting fewer responses from email marketing. Cold calling isn't as effective as it once was. And pay-per-click certainly works, but it's expensive and a constant struggle to rank highly on search engines.

If you want to increase the flow of leads to your business, social media is the avenue you're looking for.

Social media can bring a flood of new prospective customers to your business, consistently and reliably. Most importantly, it works just as well for small businesses as global brands.

How To Make It Work

The first challenge of a social media campaign is to figure out a strategy that makes your ideal prospects want to follow your business on social media.

At that point, they will open themselves up to messages from you. You will have won the right to be on their radar.

A large part of your strategy will be to make your social media profile valuable, insightful, or entertaining to your target customer.

The Big Step

Once you've got good prospects following your social accounts, there is one big step before earning explosive growth in leads.

You have to get people to start sharing your content with their friends.

How you accomplish this will be different for every business. You may need to build relationships with key influencers in your market. Maybe you'll run a competition that becomes viral.

However it happens, the key is to entice people to share your social posts.

Engaging With The Audience

Now that you've earned a wide social following, you have to engage with these valuable potential clients.

Often, businesses make the mistake of only promoting, rather than engaging. This is not to say promoting can't be successful. It can work well for selling low cost things. Dollar store owners can certainly expect good results from promotional campaigns.

But for businesses selling higher priced goods or services, where a customer will speak to someone before buying, engagement is essential.

Ultimately, people are much more likely to do what you want when you're authentically interacting with them rather than promoting something to them.

One Last Step

The final key to success is figuring out how to convert your fans and followers into actual leads for your business.

For this, you have to consider what value you can offer that will make people sign up. You'll then find the most serious prospects among your followers.

For example, if you do event management of some kind, you could simply offer free consultations. Those who sign up have clearly shown a concern about their own planning, and are therefore high value leads.

What can you offer that is intriguing enough that the potential leads among your followers won't want to miss out?

There will be trial and error. You should always be testing what you offer to find out what most effectively converts.

In the end, you can't rely on your target audience to find out about you. You must entice them to reveal that they are prospects by signing up for something that you've offered that would only be of interest to a prospect.

Then, at last, new leads will be storming in and business will be booming.

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