Social media is extremely useful for marketers to build a brand and engage with customers, but many don’t know how to generate leads online using social media and turn them into sales.
How are social networks used?
If you don’t use social media as part of your marketing mix, you risk being left behind.
The 2018 Yellow Social Media Report – Business showed us that of the companies surveyed, 51% of small, 58% of medium and 85% of large companies were on social media. Of these, 34% of small, 49% of medium and 52% of large businesses paid to advertise there.
The good news is that of those who advertise on Facebook, 64% of small, 80% of medium, and 95% of large businesses found it effective.
That being said, social media pages displaying organic content are still free for businesses without the use of paid promotion, so how can you take advantage of this to generate leads?
The first step is to understand how your business uses social media. Read on for some savvy tips that might change the way you think about your channel’s potential.
Find up-to-date statistics for consumers and businesses in the latest yellow social media report.
Establish yourself as an expert with blogging
Having a blog immediately does two things for you:
- It gives readers and businesses a reason to visit your website, even if your business doesn’t offer something they need on a daily basis.
- This gives you the chance to establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field.
Make them come to you
Good content is so important – businesses and readers can go just about anywhere on the web to find the answers to their questions and the solutions to their problems.
Your job is to get them to come to you by posting articles that offer to solve a problem or teach a new skill with a how-to article.
For example, a plastering company might post “What You Need to Know Before You Remodel” or “How to Avoid Plastering Disasters.” These types of articles entice the reader with good information.
keep it simple
People are more likely to voice their opinion or ask a question if they feel comfortable with simple material, so keep the quality of your content high, but your topics basic. 101 level content is best discussed to generate conversations in the comments.
Consider a content marketing plan to make sure you’re thinking about what content will work for your audience.
If it’s good content, don’t give it all away
So how does this translate to lead generation? Simple, you make your content controlled by the form.
When you attend an event, how do you rate your success? Probably by the number of forms filled out by interested consumers. You can set up your blog so that online readers have to fill out the same kinds of forms if they want to access your great content.
Share posts with links to your content through your social media channels. When viewers see your posts, they will be enticed to read the advice you have to offer. One way to set up your blog is for viewers to see the first part of the article, but to see the rest they have to fill out a form. It’s important to weigh the value of what you’re offering against the time it takes to sign up. If they’re offering a simple article, site visitors might see signing up as too much of a commitment. If you offer a white paper or e-book that provides valuable insight into your industry, you may be more likely to entice readers to take the time to fill out a form.
This method can give you solid leads and help you gauge the effectiveness of your social media platforms. In Google Analytics, you will be able to see where people clicked on a link to the article, either via Facebook, Twitter or a Google search.
Know your audience, know their platform
If you really want to excel at online lead generation, now is the time to research your customers and competitors.
Start by checking out some of the businesses or consumers you’d like to turn into customers. If you know how they use social media, you will better understand how they will want to interact with you and where to get their attention.
- what other brands they follow
- what their web pages and social media pages look like
- do they post a lot of text or do they mostly post photos or videos
- where your audience enjoys spending time online
Take the plastering company mentioned above as an example:
The plastering company wants to win contracts with apartment complexes in the area. These resorts post photos of their properties on Instagram to attract customers. The plastering company is also opening an Instagram account, posting before and after photos of the jobs they’ve done and using some of the same hashtags as the apartment complexes. It can be a great way to grab the attention of apartment complexes.
When researching your competitors, find out:
- what they post
- how much engagement their posts are attracting
- how they interact with their audience
Note what they do that you don’t and experiment with similar tactics. It might even inspire you to think of a new way to engage your audience.
Be ready to talk and build trust
Many companies use social media as a form of customer service. While this may not sound like a good way to generate leads online, it helps you feel less like a faceless business and more like a reliable friend selling goods and services.
So many people are tired of hearing sales pitches and they’ve learned to disconnect – walk away from that and build trust.
Start by listening to your current customers and asking them, “How can I help you?” » Answer questions you receive and look for online forums where people ask questions. So you can establish yourself as an expert.
You also want to appear available through multiple avenues. If a customer contacts you, chances are they’ve done their research and are ready to speak with a representative.
Monitor emails to your website, posts that mention your page, and public or private/direct messages to your social media accounts. List phone numbers on your social media channels if you take calls, ensuring a sales rep is always ready to close a deal.
Take advantage of free services
Social media marketing comes with many free benefits. You get exclusive access to your market and the ability to interact with them.
You should never rely entirely on social media to sell land. Use social media to help more businesses and customers take the contact step.
So get your name out there, show your consumers you know your stuff, pitch them, and land a sale!