Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest contribution from Kipp Bodnar, a friend and inbound marketing strategist at HubSpot.

What do you think when someone says social media? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? These are all valuable communities and platforms. The big mistake many marketers make when looking to drive business results from these communities is focusing only on the interactions that occur inside the walls of each network, instead of also leveraging social media’s potential on their own website, too.

For example, more than 7 million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook. Is your website? Social media engagement happens across the web and isn’t limited to your Facebook business page or your favorite LinkedIn Group. With social media becoming a larger part of the internet in general, marketers must more completely integrate social media into their entire sales and marketing process.

Here are 6 steps for better integrating social media into marketing efforts that reside outside the friendly walls of your favorite social networks.

Step 1: Begin Collecting Social Media Usernames

Yes email addresses are still important, but they aren’t the only way to start a dialogue with someone. In your inbound marketing process, you likely have methods of data collections for your prospects and leads. Start asking for social media information such as a LinkedIn profile URL. This makes for a much richer leads database and can aid the sales team in their conversations with leads.

Step 2: Use One-Click Follow Buttons

Making it dead simple for website visitors to connect with you on social media is one of the most important off-network steps a marketer can take for building social media reach. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all provide free one-click follow buttons that allow a visitor to follow your business on social media without ever making the person leave your website. This is HUGE! It helps reduce friction in the path of website visitor to social media follower.

Step 3: Leverage Existing Customers

Just because you are working to building your community on LinkedIn or Facebook doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch. You likely have many existing connections: customers, partners, vendors, etc. Leverage them to be early social media advocates who can help share content and aid in your generation of leads and customers. A simple way to execute on this idea is to draft a very brief email to your customers explaining why it would be valuable for them to connect with your company on a social network like LinkedIn and providing a link that easily allows them to follow your LinkedIn company page.

Step 4: Place Social Sharing Buttons on All Important Website Pages

Social media sharing buttons aren’t only for your blog posts. As a business in the evolving inbound marketing landscape, it is important to have rich content pages on your website as well. These pages could include product pages, landing pages for ebooks, or other resources for additional information. This content needs to be super easy to share in social media, too. Use the free social media sharing buttons provided by most social networks to let website visitors share valuable content with their connections. Note: Do not litter your web pages with every social media sharing button under the sun. To many options can be overwhelming and result in a person taking no action instead of sharing. Limit the sharing buttons on your site to just a few networks that have a track record of driving traffic and leads for your business.

Step 5: Teach Your Sales Team How to Prospect Using Social Media

Social media isn’t only for marketing. In fact, social media can be a valuable tool for a salesperson looking to gain valuable insight into a lead’s motivation and experience. Salespeople need social media information to quickly gain trusted advisor status with a lead. Sure, having social media profile links in your CRM system is helpful to the sales team, but it is important to go beyond that. Conduct training sessions with your sales team to teach them how to find key pieces of valuable information in specific social networking profiles. Help them understand how they could use this information to build rapport with a lead on the phone or in person.

Step 6: Nurture Leads With Social Media

As a marketer using social media, your job isn’t over when you generate a lead. It isn’t done until that lead becomes a happy customer for your business. When marketers think about marketing automation, the first thing that comes to mind is automated email sends. Nurturing leads into customers is not only about email. Instead, think about how social media can be incorporated into the lead nurturing process. For example, using behavior-based marketing automation software, you could follow up with leads using a custom Twitter message after they had completed watching your product demonstration video to determine if they have any questions that you could help answer.

Social Media isn’t limited to the confines of the networks themselves. Instead, much of social media’s leverage resides in your websites, emails and other marketing efforts.

How do you use social media on your own website to generate leads and customers?

Kipp BodnarKipp Bodnar is Inbound Marketing Strategist at HubSpot, the leader in marketing software that includes search engine optimization, social media, email and marketing automation tools. Kipp is also the co-author of The B2B Social Media Book: Become A Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email and More.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Pingback: Mastering Social Media Marketing Outside of Social Networks | imSocial

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    Kip, what one-click-to-follow plugins do you prefer? You are so right on the leads perspective. And I would add that often times the sale still comes from a (gasp) offline conversation. Social just generates the lead. Or social generates a trip to your website, which generates the lead. That’s why the call it integrated marketing :).

    • http://termpapermonster.com term paper

      I agree with you!

  • http://www.twitter.com/albarce albarce

    Great piece. I like the suggestion of asking for people’s social media contact information vs. just their emails. I definitely want to add that into our marketing strategy.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com Nick Robinson

    Kipp, the behavior based automation is a killer feature of HubSpot and any other tool which does that. Moving closer to 1 on 1 marketing.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com Donna Merrill

    Great advice!  I am on most of the social media sites.  I especially use Linked in  as one of my “ninja secrets” to create more of a buzz to my blog.  What is very important that I have learned here is that I must get to it and add my friends to my Linked in and other social sites.  I enjoyed this blog, especially #4.  Content is EVERYTHING!  It must be original and rich with answers to a problem people may be facing.  No matter what niche you are in it is important to have your original content put out at least once a week.  I find that there is so much value to that.  I have to thank you so much for this post.  It is not only helpful, but it personally got me thinking of some things I have been ignoring on my own blog such as apps!  Donna

  • Tonylevin

    very
    good article,maybe it should help me:):)

    essay help

  • Pingback: Gain New Business Using Social Media Platforms | Renee Aquino

  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    Hi Kipp! Nice tips have been suggested. These are mainly helpful in improving the communication with different people and getting their suggestions.

  • http://www.blurbpoint.com/ Internet Marketing Company

    Thanks for such nice article. I have never think of the point with the social media that to collect emails and then use it. And thanks for make us known about such nice side of the social media apart from using only for the conversation and to connect with the people.

  • Anonymous

    Great article! Simple steps most businesses miss. I think it’s due to lack of education, especially in small and medium sized businesses. It’s good to see that more people are becoming aware of the barriers that stop people from sharing and interacting.

    -Mark
    http://www.kayakcreative.ca/blog

  • http://www.tailwindcreative.com/ Milwaukee SEO

    Great tips! I think most people don’t think about social media as a prospecting tool as well as marketing. It can really be used to build a sales funnel if done correctly. Thanks for sharing the wisdom!

  • http://www.lowbudget-pharmacy.com/ Alazne

    Thank you for your post! It is really very important to get a satisfied customer so that he could share his experience with our people through social community and become your advocate