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How to Generate Leads for Your Small Business on Social Media

Practically every small business owner knows that lead generation is an essential part of small business growth. When you attract quality leads for your small business, it’s easier to turn interested prospects into customers, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.

But here’s the deal: 58% of small business owners claim that lead generation is one of the biggest challenges they face as small businesses compete with big brands and other small businesses in the industry.

To stay ahead of your competitors, it’s significant to know your target audience well and meet your potential leads where they are. In short, consider generating leads on social media.

In this article, you’ll find proven reasons for small businesses to generate leads on social media as well as read about seven effective strategies on how to do it. Let’s dive into it!

Why should small businesses generate leads on social media?

There are currently 4.8 billion social media users worldwide—that’s close to 60% of the world’s population. Your social media target audience is bigger and broader compared to any other channel, making it an excellent tool for generating leads.  Small business trends also point to the value of social media, with 60% of small businesses readily investing in social media marketing.

So, wouldn’t it be great if your small business could generate leads on social media? Pay close attention to the following seven tips and start generating leads with social media!

Social video, protecting your IP — discover more from Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

1. Optimize social media profiles for lead generation

While posting high-quality content that resonates with your audience is always the best way to generate leads on social media, there are also some lead gen tactics and techniques you can do to optimize your profile, including:

  • Using lead form action buttons on Instagram – All business accounts are allowed to add action buttons on their profiles, including a lead form action button. Simply tap on “Edit profile” then tap on “Action buttons” under the Public business information section. You can either choose Instagram’s standard action form or create your own. 
  • Adding keywords to your bio or username – Using keywords on your username or bio can help you rank on search in case someone is looking for specific products or services. 
  • Making sure your profile has contact information – Your profile should prominently display all relevant contact details, such as your email and mobile number. Nevertheless, prior to adding contact information, ensure that you can cater to customer inquiries through various channels, including landline phone service.
  • Utilizing your link in bio – Your bio is one of the few places on Instagram that allows links. Not to mention, it’s one of the first things that people see when they visit your profile. So use that space to capture leads, and don’t forget to add a call-to-action (CTA).

2. Use in-app clickable links

Make it easy for your audience to take action. Add links where possible, buttons, and any means to get them to engage with your content and fall deeper into your sales funnel.

On Instagram, these would be your Instagram Story link buttons, links in bio, and the “View on website” buttons for those with Instagram stories. On Facebook, you can easily add links to your captions, while TikTok has a single link in bio rule and the option to add links to your posts.

3. Leverage the power of ephemeral content

Ephemeral content might sound like a nightmare for SEO, but it works for social media. Ephemeral content is disappearing content like your Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok Stories. Because your audience knows that stories disappear after 24 hours, they’ll have a sense of urgency to take action and it also helps to influence decisions as people are afraid of missing out on something important.

Take advantage of the limited-time nature of stories content by offering limited-time-only deals to leads who sign up during the window.

For example, you can offer exclusive discounts or prizes to those who sign up for your newsletter within a specific timeframe. This will encourage story viewers to “click fast and think later” upon seeing your content, especially if you accompany it with a tempting offer.

Of course, besides including a link to a lead generation form on your story, it’s vital to use scroll-stopping visuals and build an engaging narrative that will compel people to leave their contact details and information.

Take a look at this Instagram Story by Cheap Old Houses (@cheapoldhouses):

Cheap Old Houses @cheapoldhouses Instagram post

Before including a link to signup for its newsletter, Cheap Old Houses teased its audience with an in-depth tour of a house, which is the type of content they can expect if they sign up. Editing the link to say “I WANT MORE HOUSES” is also a fun way to get its audience excited about signing up.

4. Team up with niche social media influencers

Like it or not, social media influencers are here to stay because they can help you reach and connect with your target audience better than any regular marketing ad.

Your partner influencer should already have an existing following you consider part of your ideal audience. This is why choosing someone considered an “expert” in your niche is essential.

For example, if your small business is part of the food and beverage industry, your ideal influencer is a chef or a home cook. If your business has to do with skincare, you want to partner with a makeup artist, a dermatologist, or someone known for their makeup looks. Here are some extra tips on how to find social media influencers.

Getting a feature from a niche influencer won’t just boost your brand awareness but can also help you generate more leads.

Pro-tip: If the goal of your campaign is to gather more leads, you can start an affiliate program so you can track each of your partner’s performance and incentivize them to share more about your small business.

5. Provide social media customer service

Customer service is one of the most crucial aspects of a business. Bad customer service could ruin a business with otherwise excellent products. Social media, in particular, is a channel where you have to emphasize the importance of customer service because people expect you to be more responsive than anywhere else.

Providing good social media customer service means:

  • Being responsive in comments and direct messages – Respond as soon as possible and not more than a few hours after. Research by HubSpot has shown that speed is everything when it comes to customer service, 90% of customers rate “immediate response” as very important when it comes to customer service questions.
  • Monitoring what people say about your brand – This includes untagged mentions and conversations about your brand outside of your page. This is how you can rescue your small business from negative feedback and swoop in on opportunities. An excellent response to negative comments can win you valuable leads.
  • Determining what deserves a response – Not all comments warrant a response. As your business grows, you will get more and more spam and even trolls. It’s important to determine what deserves your time and attention.

It’s also a good idea to have a FAQ section on your profile so leads can find answers to common questions without waiting for a response. Chat tools are available on most social platforms, so you can improve your response rate and prioritize pressing concerns. If you have a presence on Twitter, you can even create a series of posts and automate Tweets to create a seamless experience for those who seek out customer support.

Excellent customer service can improve brand perception, encourage brand loyalty, and boost lead generation rates.

6. Make good use of social media giveaways

Social media is a crowded marketplace. While your audience might be massive, competition is incredibly tough.

To capture leads on social media, you need content that stands out and tempts them into going deeper into your sales funnel. Consistency is the key to successful social media posting and taking help of  social media scheduling tools is the solution. Sometimes the best way to stand out is to give your audience an offer they can’t refuse—freebies.

Who doesn’t enjoy free things?

Social media giveaways can quickly boost brand awareness and capture a whole lot of leads in a short period of time.

The first rule about starting a giveaway on social media is that joining it should be simple. Most businesses go for the “Tag x number of people in the comments” route to get the volume of entries they need.

Regardless of the type of mechanics you want to include, one important qualifier should be to sign up. Make sure to collect data (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) through a landing page for easy tracking.

7. Run social media lead ad campaigns

Organic posts on social media can only collect a limited number of leads. Running ads is crucial to the success of your business. You can run lead generation campaigns on any social media platform. Just select “lead generation” as your campaign goal.

Run social media lead ad campaigns


Facebook, for example, makes it easier for your business to gather qualified leads with ready-made forms that are already pre-filled with information. Then, all your audience needs to do is submit. You can also customize these forms to add branding and imagery and refine your leads with lead-filtering questions.

Running a lead ad campaign versus a regular marketing campaign has helped businesses improve conversion rates by at least 20%.

The SuN Takeaway

For small businesses that are ready to go beyond the awareness stage and drop the “small” label, lead generation on social media is a crucial next step. Using social media as a lead generation tool can help you reach your dream audience and connect with people who are already interested in your business.

With these tips, you can launch your first lead generation campaign on social media and earn more quality leads.

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