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Lead Generation-How to Generate Leads from Your Social Network

We’re all buzzing about social media and social networks. Is it just a waste of time or can it produce a reasonable ROI? Stop talking and do the math. Does your social network generate leads that convert into business? It should. It might even become a personal asset.


Is Your Social Network Important?

It is becoming obvious that social networks are important. Chris Brogan talks about the vital importance of your network and even ventures to state that companies (employers) will value your person networks. And, because there is real dollar value in a network Jeremiah Owyang cautions us that social media has risk and reward.

Still need to be convinced it is important?

Why Build a Social Network?

Chances are you have already have some foundation of a social network. However, building a social network that adds value to your community and produces business opportunity for you should must incorporate some strategic thinking.

A value-based social network should accomplish three primary objectives:

  • Increase the efficiency and frequency of your communication
  • Facilitate you consistently adding value to your network
  • Generate and/or spot business opportunity


Unfortunately, social networks often degenerate into ego arms races. Creating or growing your network in this fashion creates an overwhelming and useless mess. This approach simply creates a high noise to signal ratio, which destroys any hope of value.

What Services Do I Use?

New social networks and supporting applications pop up daily. Getting distracted by every venue for your network can be paralyzing. Organizing these solutions into categories, based on your objectives, quickly sorts them.

  • Contact database: Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Mac Address Book
  • Reputation and identity: LinkedIN, Plaxo, Personal Blog
  • News and opportunity: FriendFeed, Twitter
  • Communication and nurturing: Twitter, FriendFeed, Personal Blog
  • Metrics: TweetBurner, Bit.ly


Each of these services allows for the simple importing and connecting to contacts in any of the major address book applications. I highly recommend you begin organizing your network there, import, and then continue to sync back to that as a master contact database.

How to Nurture a Social Network

Getting your network to generate leads and business opportunities is perfectly correlated to your lead nurturing strategy. Or, as Tim Sanderssays refresh your network for better performance.

Nurturing a social network is significantly different than nurturing a sales prospect database. You are not creating a drip email campaign. This type of activity will quickly erode your network. Lead nurturing and network building in social media should be focused on listening, discussing, and adding value–in that order.

Listening teaches you what people are interested in learning about, what they find valuable, and messages that call them to action.

Discussion allows you to build relationships and grow your audience. Again, you should be learning here too.

Adding value, this is what produces business opportunity leads. Directing people to and providing valuable, problem solving information drives them to you. This approach drives them to you in solving these problems and attracts others with similar problems.

How do you maximize the value you get back from your time spent on social media and social networking? What are the tools you use?


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