We recently created a slide that put the importance of social media in perspective. The numbers are incredible: over 329 Million users on Twitter.
329 MILLION! The town that I grew up in has a population of about 329 people, at a stretch.And Twitter’s reach pales in comparison to Facebook's 1.59 BILLION users!
You already know how the importance of having a social media is for your business because you can’t go online these days without reading about it. Let’s get straight to the point of this blog post - we know that social media is great for building a community and getting to know people.
But, in order to make it generate an ROI for business you have to have components of your social media strategy that move people from prospects to leads through a series of steps–a funnel–and get them to take the actions you want (e.g., becoming a fan, sharing their email address or buying your products or services).
So let’s look at a few ways that you can leverage your social media strategy to turn prospects into leads.
Identify Where Social Media Fits in with Your Marketing Funnel
Do some research to determine what are likely to be your best social media platforms to engage with your audience.You may want to consider the social media platform demographics, but also your propensity as a business to utilize those platforms. It’s hard to wrong with Facebook and Twitter right now.
Next, you must understand what your sales path looks like. In his article in Social Media Examiner, Brian Carter considers using Awareness, Repeat Visibility and Engagement and Sales.
Your social media strategy is about continuous communication and conversations.
If you continue to produce valuable information, you will continue to increase awareness for your product/ service, promote loyalty, and motivate advocacy. This essentially produces a feedback loop where promoters spawn awareness, to a new target market population.
This continues to be a cyclical program thus increasing the population in every funnel group.
Notice that a key component in our social media strategy is getting your social media prospect onto your email list.
Make It Easy for Prospects to Convert
You can have multiple ways for your social media followers to join your email lists. For example, you can have a sign-up page on Facebook as well as on your website (which you absolutely must have!). We also cover this in an article about 7 proven strategies for lead generation.
Give Away Something Valuable
If you read our 7 proven strategies for lead generation article then you’ll know we are big on lead magnets. On your website (and ideally within each blog article) you should offer a lead magnet that is valuable to your audience and solves at least one problem they have quickly.
Build Relationships with Your Followers
Take the time to interact with your social media followers so that they want to know more about you. Answer their questions, help them, and be a resource to them. The more you can show that side of your personality and engage with the followers, the more likely they are to want to sign up for your offerings.
Create a Special Email Campaign for Social Media Prospects
Remember that you don’t want to send the same email marketing campaign to everyone. You should customize based on where they sign up, which lead magnet they download and more. Each leads to the same thing, but is done differently based on where the audience member is in your marketing and product funnel.
At BR Marketing, we use marketing automation to identify and communicate differently with different audience segments.
Test, Measure and Adjust
Always set goals that are specific so that you have a way to measure your results. If you’re not meeting your goals, figure out where you can adjust something to make it work just a little bit better. That’s what’s awesome about online marketing; it’s adjustable on the fly.
Host a Contest
Ensure that you follow the rules of the social network in order to host a contest, using the right third party or native service to do the contest correctly. A contest can help get email sign-ups fast.
My first foray into generating leads through social media was in 2011. My wife and I were backpacking in South America when we setup an ecommerce handcraft store. By running a contest we signed up over 500 new facebook followers and email leads for about $50!
Run an Ad Campaign
This is especially great for Facebook because you can target your ad so closely, even down to marketing only to your own groups if you want to. By running ads you get to throw fuel on the fire and generate leads fast.
WARNING: If mishandled, you can also set your social media house on fire and burn money!
Remember that most social media followers are just learning about you and want to see how you do things.They’re going to observe for a while, get to know you and then it’s up to you to develop the likeability and trustability before they eventually jump on board.
It’s All About Results
At BR Marketing, we recently ran a social media marketing campaign using Facebook and Twitter. In the first 30 days, we saw the following results:
- Increased client web traffic by 70%
- Brought them 5x more customers than the previous 30 days before launching
- Generated a 10:1 ROI on the one month campaign
What are doing to generate leads from your social media marketing strategy? Leave us a comment below.