Social lead generation is no longer a choice – it’s a business necessity. When buyers start the self-education process about your industry or company, they begin with a search engine. If nothing pops up but your website, that’s a red flag.

No one wants to do business with a company that is difficult to pin down and research. It makes you seem like you’re hiding something and trust is lost immediately. The best sales lead generation techniques stem from digital content, examples of this include:

Do you see a pattern developing?

By this point you should already be publishing blog posts and then promoting them across your social channels, but have you taken the time to develop original content for each social site?

Yes, it takes time, but each social site has their own set of tools designed to expand your audience and promote lead generation. If you’re new to the social world, Twitter lead generation cards are a great way to start.

First, write your perfectly crafted, 140 character tweet complete with appropriate hashtags and mentions. Then, pay to have your tweet promoted, so it will appear more people’s Twitter feeds than just your followers. A lead generation card increases conversion rates and captures in-app form-fills from Twitter users.

At least twice a week, share content from other online sources like industry newsletters or forums such as Mashable or Business Insider. Share on social with your own introduction, tying the article’s theme back into your company or customers.

Encourage employees to research articles that they link leads would enjoy reading. It makes everyone at your company feel like an integral part of your social lead generation machine. They can then craft their own social shares to promote on their own profiles – research shows buyers pay more attention to personal social profiles than company ones.