Lead Generation Before and After Social Media Era

If I want to pick a year to start this topic, I think the year 2005 is just a nice number. Most of the social media platform that survives until the today year 2022 was established around the year 2005.

However, the internet was born 20 years before social media. In my country, I remember in the year 2005 I was still using 56k dial-up modem to access the internet and the most used social chat application was ICQ or MSN Messenger.

Let's start with the time before social media and people go online because of browsing the internet. If you remember that was the era where dot.com bubble burst too. Everything is so virtual and so unreal. The way to harness or generate leads is through email collection. That was the era of email marketing. Once the person collected the email addresses, then the person can start to start sending emails & newsletters to the potential customers.

In my opinion, the 1st version of social media marketing was actually blogging. There are a group of people who start to write blogs and eventually become popular about that. I remember those days one of my favourite people was smashpop. But those days you need to know HTML coding in order to design a beautiful website.

Fast forward today, we are leveraging on social media platform (account) to attract followers. We start to connect with friends, make new friends, share lifestyle updates and others to attract new people to become our friends or followers. But we overlook an important element between a friend vs a follower, which is contact details. 

As a friend, we do exchange contact information. However, as a follower, they can follow us, but not the other way round. Therefore, it creates another opportunity for marketers to implement a marketing funnel. Basically, it means from a starting point as a follower, then move the person from one stage to another stage, for example, read your email, click the website, add the item into shopping cart, check out and make re-purchase. Some people call it monetised your name list.

This is not a history class but this is a piece of important information and understanding on digital marketing now. Especially for people who focus on social media marketing.

Let's continue our discussion on modern social media marketing. Due to personal data protection, the way you "connected" to your followers are different from you make a new friend. Basically, it means you can not private message your follower if they did not initiate the connection. This relationship becomes slightly more complex when you gain more than a few thousand followers. It is like you have 10,000 friends and it takes years to re-connect and get in touch with them one by one.

Therefore, the solution is to create a product or service promotion posting (Call-To-Action). We are proud of what we do for a living. We are providing services including products to people around us that include our friends. The Call-To-Action intention must be clear and there is nothing shy about it. These followers already subscribe to your channel or account for a reason, thus, it is perfectly alright to let them know your business model so that you can put food on the table.

How to convert your followers to be customers? Here are a few suggestions:
a. Create an e-shop so that your follower can click the link and make a purchase.
b. Create a webinar event so that followers can proceed with webinar registration and at the same time leave their contact details. You can use Zoom for this purpose or just create a form using Google Form.
c. Create an online appointment scheduling tool like Calendly so that it syncs your let your potential customer book an appointment with you online and sync back to your calendar. This way, you will get their contact details too.

In conclusion, at the end of the day, you need to be clear on your business model. Are you able to sell online (a product) or you are getting leads. The rest of the activities you are doing is merely marketing activities to lead you to the 2 ultimate goals that I mentioned above.

I hope this will help you to have a better understanding of social media marketing. I look forward to see you again.


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