When you think about social media and what it can do for your organization, you probably think a lot about marketing and branding. Social media is a great way to strengthen a brand image and grow a brand’s virtual presence, but social media can do even more than just that. Social media can generate sales. Let’s look into some of the best ways social media and lead generation can coincide to increase sales.
Social Media and Lead Generation: What You Need to Know
Know Your Audience
As you begin working on strategies for gathering qualified leads, you are going to have to determine right away who makes a qualified lead. What is it about the people you are trying to attract that makes them qualified leads? These are the kinds of people you are going to be targeting. You may want to reach out to locals — people who are in a 10 mile radius of your company. Perhaps your company sells something that would be considered more of a masculine product or a feminine product. With that in mind, you would want to be creating content that could work for those prospective targets.
The main thing here, is that you need to be studying demographics. Look into who your customer base is already and base your strategies off of those numbers. If you are trying to target your biggest demographics find strategies that work well for those people. If you are trying to build your smaller demographics’ numbers, create content that would be applicable to those people. Either way, you need to understand who your target audience is. Then, figure out what kinds of social media channels those people want to use.
Create Creative Content
Today, people are bombarded with all kinds of content, and it can be easy for your content to go unnoticed. You need your content to have a punch to it. It needs to be special. You need creative content that is going to catch people’s eyes.
The other perk of having eye-catching content is that it is sharable. Shared content is huuuge for growing organic reach. With each share, you are reaching friends of friends — people who may end up being new leads. Hooray!
Related post: Creative Social Media Content Ideas
Utilize Each Social Platform as if it were Another Website
Now, you don’t have to load your social media down with all kinds of detailed information about your company, but you do want your social media messages to be filled with useful information. You want your platforms to be filled with content that is going to be helpful for you audience. Now, keep in mind that only 20% of your content should be self-promotional. But, when you do post promotional material, remember to use links to your site or to the your web pages that have information about your products or services. Do the navigation leg-work for your leads so that they don’t have to spend their time searching through your site.
Engage Your Audience
This is going to seem like an obvious statement, but remember that social media is meant to be a social thing. Be sure that when you are posting content on your platforms that you are trying to actively engage your audience. This means that you should ask your audience questions — even if it be about something that is silly or doesn’t directly pertain to your site. For example, you can ask about what people’s weekend plans are. That is a great way to show a more human side to your brand, and it gets you an “in” to converse with your fans and followers.
As a side note, remember that engagement does not equal sales. Just because people are “liking” your content, doesn’t mean that they are going to be buying your products. Social is a way to open the door to that, but it isn’t a given.
Create an Editorial Calendar
This is a basic rule of social media, so it should be no surprise that we are adding it in here. An editorial calendar is a great way stay organized and to plan out social media posts. It gives you a big picture look at what a month is going to have in store for content, and it can give you time to think of interesting content ideas. Win-win!
Related post: How to Create a Social Media Calendar
Share Links to Gated Content
This is one of the best things you can do when you are developing a plan for social media and lead generation. So, gated content is content that is blocked until a visitor does something that allows the content to be opened up for viewing. Most commonly, a visitor will give an email address so that s/he can read the content to a blog, etc. This creates a win-win situation because the visitor gets to read some rad content, and the company that created that content gets an email to throw into their lead generation mix. Then, the lead generation process begins!
Related post: Lead Generation 101
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