We are all in agreement that Social Media is the next big marketing effort. But is it working for you? Or are you left wondering whether you are just spending a lot of money on a dead end toy? The truth is, social media success is often hit and miss. Some companies generate leads and business from social activity while other companies waste resources on blogs that don’t get read and tweets that aren’t answered.
It is important to make sure your marketing strategy is clear as it’s easy to lose your way with Social media. You need to make sure that you have the essential components for a valid marketing campaign:
- Attraction: Attract qualified leads to your website or business
- Interaction: Stay in contact with people after they’ve left your website or store
- Conversion: Get people to “buy now” or move further down the sales funnel
- Measurement: Determine whether your campaign is working
#1: Attraction: Draw people in
Using social media to attract qualified leads means making sure you have a content strategy. This means talking to people about what they are interested in. You may need to be more active on Facebook or a different social media platform, depending on where your customer base talks. If they are not able to access social media platforms during the work day, you will need to create blog posts or videos that give them solutions.
Ensure that your profiles are always branded. Look at different channels like YouTube. You need to establish credibility and create a brand experience that will help build trust with your audience. You don’t necessarily have to be on every social network but if you are on a few of them, make sure you are regularly active on them and consistent with your content. One update every few months is not a social media presence.
Make sure your posts link back to your site without pushing a hard sell. You want to interact with your customers, not make them feel like they are being actively marketed to.
#2: Interaction: Keep people coming back
The important thing to note here is that your competitor will always be vying for your business so you need to make sure that you are market-related and that you offering that little bit extra. You need to stay in the top off your customers mind and keep communication lines open. People have left Facebook pages due to admins not answering questions quickly enough so it is important to have someone monitoring your page at all times.
Traditionally, email marketing was the favoured tool of internet marketing as it drove customers to your website. Today, we have links to Facebook, Twitter and any other number of social networking sites on our home pages which goes against everything marketing normally teaches us. You aren’t supposed to send your customers elsewhere once you have their attention…But sending them to those sites means that we get to continue engaging with them on a different level. It affords us the opportunity to interact with them and understand them better by listening to their needs and offering solutions to their problems.
Also, one needs to keep in mind that the quickest way to be unfollowed, unsubscrived or unliked is to annoy, irritate, hard sell or fail to provide value. At some point, your customer is going to clean out his Facebook page, Twitter account etc. and if you aren’t saying something valuable, you will be thrown out with the trash.
#3: Conversion: Turning likes into buys
Hubspot recently released a report “State of Inbound Marketing” which showed that companies that blog more have more consistent sales. Social media has clearly made the biggest gain in lead generation.
Buys are a natural by-product of social media activity and those that have interacted with your business on this social level are more likely to contact you than an average site visitor.
#4: Measurement: Looking at the results
Many companies are concerned that social media lacks value and accountability due to the inability to track results. However, Google Analytics gives insight as to where your traffic is coming from and so you can determine whether your social media activity is a waste of time or whether it is paying off.
It can also let you know the type of posts which bring in the most traffic and the type of content you should be creating moving forward.
Through the help of Google Analytics, one can determine where the best traffic is coming from thereby allowing you to focus your effort in the right direction. One can also use Facebook Insights and EdgeRank Checker which is a freemium tool to provide suggestions to maximize social media activity. Even YouTube offers analytics and breaks down audiences according to gender, age and location.
There are so many tools and techniques one can use and a lot of what you read about now will be outdated in a couple of months but if you ensure that your social media campaign has the essential components to make a difference to your marketing, you will be able to drive traffic to your site and have successful lead generation.