While your end goal for might be sales, the secret to success for lead generation with social media is to know where it fits into the buy cycle for your business. My view is that it's at the beginning, and should be utilized to build reach, awareness, rapport, trust and authority. So here are my 9 social media tips for small business owners and marketers:
Choose a couple of sites - if you have limited time don't spread yourself thin trying to manage too many sites. Choose just a couple that will benefit you the most, and focus on doing them well before introducing other social sites.
Optimize your social media profiles - look for opportunities when setting up your profiles and pages to include hyperlinks back to your website or conversion landing pages. For example: Facebook Timeline allows you to do this in the About section. LinkedIn gives you three links in your profile that you can customize. Use keywords and words your audience uses in descriptions and bios.
Use images for profiles wisely – choose company logos and/or names that people will recognize, or that you want people to recognize.
Mix up your content - publish a variety of content from your company and other industry influencers, that is both helpful and entertaining. Here are some ideas: link to your own blog, link to industry news and bloggers, publish self help tips, product pictures, product videos, team videos, ask questions – think outside the box about what interests your target audience and get creative with your posts. What works best for me is to plan out my social media by creating a theme for each day of the week day eg: Monday=blog, Tuesday=tip, Wednesday=video/picture etc.
Make sure your social media links are everywhere - to help you build reach. On your website make sure they are on your; home page, contact us page and blog. Place them in your email signature so they are on every email you send out. Printed material; business cards, brochures, flyers, advertisements.
Invite people to join your network - send an email to your friends, colleagues and employees inviting them to join your network and to also invite their friends. Cross promote, invite your LinkedIn connections to join you on Facebook, or Twitter followers to join you on LinkedIn – you get the idea.
Create sharable content – publish content that people will want to share with their network. An entertaining video. A funny picture. A valuable self help ebook or how to guide. Make sure you have the social share buttons your on content; web pages, blog, ebooks etc to make it easy for your network to share.
Monitor your analytics - weekly to see what article or post received the most shares, comments or view. Learn from your analytics what your audience likes. Don’t be afraid to test and measure new ideas.
Publish lead generation offers - after you've earned the trust of your network the next step is lead generation. The recommendation is 80/20. 80% giving, 20% receiving. Giving means sharing content that is of value to your audience, sharing others’ content, providing value. Receiving means promoting a special, ebook, webinar – these are of value to your audience too but they fall into the category of self promotion so try not to be too self promotional.
Did this help? What are your questions, concerns, frustrations with social media marketing? Please share them in the comments section below so I can write about the solutions you need to market your business better - thank you.
Here are some useful resources to help you with social media marketing