Odds are, starting to use social media to generate leads for your business may feel scary. You want to know the truth? If you don’t have any experience using social media for this purpose it may take a little learning to master the art of it. But there is a reason people do it, it works!
With the current generation there has been a shift from “Outbound Marketing” to ”Inbound Marketing.” Generally stated, outbound marketing entails interruption based messages where you find customers and shove information in their faces. This includes methods such as cold calling, TV ads, and magazine ads. “Inbound Marketing” on the other hand is about empowering customers and creating content that they want to see. With this method, customers come to you. This is the idea of Social Media Marketing and why it is an effective way to generate leads for your business.
Here are 5 Ways to Generate Leads With Social Media:
1. Audience Interactions
The current trend is simple. Old marketing techniques don’t work like they used to. People have to many options and too many ways to tune out advertising that they don’t want. Ad blockers and unsubscribing are just a couples of ways people choose what they will look at. This is why you need to know your target audience and what they want. Here are a couple things you need to know about interacting with your audience.
- Find out what your competition is doing. Odds are, there is someone who is doing similar work that your business does. Use this to your advantage and find out what they are publishing on social media. What are they getting the most engagement on? How are they interacting with their following? What website pages do they direct people to most often? These are important things to know when you start publishing your own content.
- Interact with existing users. One of the greatest benefits of social media is being able to interact with your followers. You have the opportunity to interact with your customers, learn exactly what they are thinking, and how they view your services. Post a picture of your new product and you can instantly know what they think. Make sure to follow up on these leads by responding to comments. Acknowledging them this way, builds connection with them and creates a more loyal following. It also allows you to follow up on negative feedback and find solutions quickly.
2. Create Unique Content
- Get Visual. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This reigns true with social media. Twitter posts as an example, receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets on posts with images. Not only posting images to your feed, but using images to break up larger pieces of content. Publishing a blog? Add images between paragraphs. It makes the article seem less meaty and more engaging. It is also a powerful way to convey your meaning if you have images that directly relate to what you are posting about. A Simply Measured article states that brands using Facebook see a 65% uptick in content engagement for things like photos and videos. So creating visual content is a great place to start if your social media marketing is currently inefficient.
- Know your platform. Post content according to what platform you are using whether that is Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or anything else. This is where knowing your audience is very important. With Facebook, images and hashtags work extremely well with the casual culture and often increase engagement. Whereas LinkedIn is more professional, often a B2B (Business-to-Business) platform, and doesn’t use hashtags. LinkedIn probably isn’t the place people are looking for that cute puppy video. You might be surprised how websites like Yelp can also play to your needs. Post accordingly and enjoy the results.
3. Convert Visitors
What good is posting content if it doesn’t eventually lead to a sale?
Okay, so you are using the right platform for your audience. You are posting quality content. What's next? Start to generate leads with social media visitors. This is where “Calls-to-action” and “Landing Pages” come in. A landing page is a section of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink on another web page directing them to certain places on your website that will draw them in. Landing pages should be simple and clear as to where to go next. This is why you must direct them to the most relevant pages on your website. If they are reading a blog, direct them to the next blog on a similar topic.
A “Call-to-Action” is a way to engage visitors and gather information from them. It can be anything from subscribing to a blog, to a trial of your service. Whatever it is you want the visitor to do, make it simple and clear. This often is the place you will gather their contact information so you may send them more content.
4. Commit for the Long Haul
Determine your frequency of posts and maintain it. Decide on a doable amount of posts for your businesses social and maintain it. Followers will often get accustomed to seeing your posts regularly and wonder where you went if you stop. There are lots of tools to help schedule posts out such as Hootsuite. Hootsuite lets you create your posts for several different platforms and set the times for them to be posted. This makes it easy as you can create all of your content at one time, schedule the posts, and forget about it.
Think marathon and not sprint. As nice as it would be, Social Media is not always a get rich quick scheme for your business. Odds are, seeing result will take a little bit of time and that’s okay. Some businesses start off great with social media and a month later their posts dwindle off. Don’t let this happen to you. The reality is yes it takes work, yes you need to be a little patient with it, but in the end it will pay off. Slow and steady wins the race as the tortoise would say.
As with being a beginner at anything, social media sometimes takes a little trial and error. This is where analytics can be very helpful. Without this, you really have no idea if your social media is giving you a positive ROI. Thankfully there are many good tools in this department such as Google Analytics. This specifically allows you to analyze where visitors are coming from, and which platforms are actually driving your traffic. You may be pleasantly surprised from the results you receive and there is nothing better than watching your engagement grow month after month.
If you’re new to Inbound Marketing, this is a great place to start. Social Media can actually be a lot of fun to use with your business. Interacting with followers can give a whole new gust of life to it and a front row seat to what the consumer thinks. Just remember, know your audience, post quality content, have “Calls-to-Action”, Inbound is a Marathon and not a spring, and use analytics. Enjoy the process, this truly is an exciting tool for your business!