It’s baffling that over 90% of marketers use social media, but only 8% believe they get a positive return on investment says, Brian C Jensen. It has become clear that there is no simple solution to generating leads via social media: you’ll need to invest time and ride the wave of experimentation and testing before you can see significant results.
There are, however, some key steps you should undertake when trying to generate leads through this powerful medium.
1. Know what you’re aiming for
Before starting out on your journey it’s important to understand what business objectives you’d like to achieve through social media marketing. Are you looking for increased traffic? More subscribers? Improved brand awareness? Do these things align with your other marketing activities or platforms? Answering these questions will help you gain valuable insights into your audience’s behaviors and the channels that will be most effective for driving them towards your conversion goals.
2. Pick your platforms
Once you’ve identified what you’re trying to achieve it’s time to identify which social media platform(s) best suit your business objective ex. This is no easy task given the sheer number of options available but there are some key factors to consider when deciding which networks offer you the best opportunities:
- Audience Size – All social media sites rely on user-generated content (e.g. photos, videos, articles, etc.) To build traffic they need users; therefore, if this isn’t aligned with your business objectives (e.g. more conversions/revenue) it’s not worth your time.
- User Engagement – The user engagement rates on social media platforms can give you an idea of how well the content will perform. For example, Twitter has a high level of interaction which suggests that people would be more likely to mention and share posts from their own accounts if they enjoyed them.
- Cost – Costs vary depending upon the size/age of your company and how much money you want to invest in building a following or sales pipeline.
3. Start creating assets
Whether you’re looking to grow your email list with landing pages, increase traffic through blog articles or improve brand awareness through images it’s important to understand that none of these things happen overnight: it will take time to create engaging content that resonates with your audience and you’ll need to invest in promoting it too says, Brian C Jensen.
- Content Marketing – Choose a subject/topic you enjoy writing about and produce valuable, original content for your site. This is a great way of establishing yourself as an authority within your niche while also creating fodder for social sharing (e.g. article titles).
4. Plan Outreach Activities
Social media marketing isn’t just about posting once then crossing your fingers; you need to put some effort into reaching out to others who are active on the platforms you’re using, which should be tied in with broader marketing activities like email outreach (see What’s The Best Way To Get LinkedIn Endorsements?). You can use free tools like Followerwonk to help you identify the profiles most worth engaging with and tools like Buzz sumo to generate lists of content that have performed well in your industry.
- Networking – Once you’re ready, seek out other users on social channels who share common interests or values; adding value will get their attention and if they enjoy what they see they may follow you back or sign up for updates.
5. Measure Results
As with any marketing activity, it is vital to measure results in order to understand whether your activities are delivering the desired business outcomes. This should be done in two main ways:
1) On a channel-by-channel basis using analytical tools e.g. HubSpot, Mixpanel and Google Analytics.
2) On a post-by-post basis using social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Social Media Management – This type of tool lets you schedule future posts (or tweet at a pre-determined time), track the performance of your efforts and monitor conversations happening around your brand/industry explains Brian C Jensen. There are some great free options out there such as Buffer but it is worth investing in paid plans if you need more functionality/users (e.g. link shorteners).
6. Ensure Your Approach Is Consistent
Although we’re focusing on six different stages here, we’d advise against thinking about them as separate entities. They should run into and be influenced by each other says, Brian C Jensen. For example, if you’re outsourcing some of your assets (e.g. blog posts, emails). Make sure they fit within the tone of voice defined in your social profiles; at the same time, updates should be easy to share/promote through existing content. While promoting activities should feed into other marketing efforts (e.g. sales).
- Tone Of Voice – Defined by how your audience perceives your brand and influences everything from choice of imagery to writing style; it can take a while to get right but is worth taking time over. As you’ll need to maintain consistency across all channels/platforms.
Marketing is a complex art and social media advertising is no exception. However, if you take the time to understand how Facebook ads work. Before you go live then you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your objectives. If you’re looking for more help on this front then our eBook may be worth checking out. In addition, there are some wonderful tools out there. That can make managing your campaigns easier which we’ve outlined in the post.