Social media can be a helpful way to stay connected to friends, family, brands, and organizations we support, but it can also feel overwhelming and confusing—especially for the small business owner or nonprofit leader wanting to use social media for marketing. It’s not surprising that some small business owners wonder if social media marketing is even worth the effort.
Whether you’re trying to market your business on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the other emerging platforms, each one has its own algorithms, images sizes, and other best practices to master. Even if you get a handle on all the technical aspects of social media marketing, you still have to come up with content to stop the scroll and capture your audience’s attention.
This post is part six in our series on the elements of a successful digital marketing strategy. If you missed the previous posts, be sure to check them out. But if you’re ready to move beyond brand awareness and start attracting more leads for your business, keep reading because we have some specific things you can do right away to make social media more effective for your business.
Start With Strategy
Despite the challenges of social media marketing, 97% of marketers and 78% of salespeople believe it can help them grow their business. However, simply having a presence on social channels doesn’t automatically equal marketing effectiveness. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Social media success begins with strategy. You must understand your customer, what they need or want, and give them information they can use to make their lives better.
If the entire point of social media marketing is to get more leads for your business, you have to make sure that you’re leading prospects to content that clearly communicates what you do, how it makes people’s lives better, and how interested individuals can take the next step in doing business with you. Oftentimes marketers are good at turning a clever phrase, but clarity always trumps cleverness because if you confuse your leads, you will lose them.
Do Your Homework
When you understand what your customer wants and needs, start thinking through which social platforms your ideal customers are using. For example, if you are targeting B2B sales you’ll want to focus on LinkedIn which B2C companies may have more success on than Facebook and Instagram. Also, think about what your ideal customer is searching for on social media. Compile a list of search terms relevant to your product or service and create content that answers those questions. Here’s a list of ten free keyword research tools to help you get started.
Optimize Your Social Media Pages
Make sure that you are fully leveraging all the features available on the social channels you’re using. All contact information should be current, hours posted, descriptions thoroughly explained, and call-to-action buttons utilized (e.g. Book Now). If you’re using Instagram, have a fully populated link-in-bio page in place and incorporate hashtags to help leads find you. And above all, have a plan in place for quickly responding to any inquiries you receive via social media. Sites like Facebook will rate and post your average response time, which carries significant weight with social media users. (In other words, if you snooze you’ll lose— customers)!
Add Value and Spark Curiosity
The heart of social media is relationships. Don’t think of it as simply a marketing device. Enter into conversations prepared to engage, add value, and provide useful content to social media communities—without always making the ask or requiring users to jump through hoops to access the content you’re offering. This builds trust and credibility between your brand and social media audiences, a process that will lead to more conversations and nurture prospects into paying customers.
Create More Videos
Video content is preferred by social media consumers and brands that use video in their digital marketing strategies receive 66% more qualified leads than those who don’t. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating social media videos. Social media audiences love explainer videos, behind the scenes “sneak peeks” into new products or services, customer/client testimonials, and of course anything entertaining you can come up with. Bottom line: if you’re not using video on social media—start today!
Use Landing Pages With Ads
We talked about landing pages In our last post, but to reiterate, a landing page is a stand-alone page on your website designed specifically with a targeted audience in mind. For example, when you create a Facebook Ad to generate leads, don’t link the ad to your homepage. Instead, have the ad link redirect to a unique landing page designed with content specifically for that ad campaign. Leads are usually willing to exchange their email address for an offer they find useful and relevant. You may consider asking a few more questions such as company name/size, or job title/position held in order to better inform how you will nurture this new lead.
When we talk about consistency, think of it in two parts: part one is brand consistency and part two is message consistency. With brand consistency, you need to ensure that every visual representation of your company is of the highest quality and consistent across all channels. Customers should have a consistent brand experience as they move from your social media channels to your website or email sale funnel. This underscores your credibility and further bolsters their trust in your company.
With brand consistency intact, you must have a plan in place to regularly communicate and engage with social media audiences. There are several ways to automate these processes to make it a bit more streamlined on your end, but it’s up to you to stay on top of customer engagement. Post relevant and useful content on a regular basis and leads will stay with you. Spotty posting and irregular response times will cause social engagement to plummet.
We Can Help With All of This
These are simple ways to improve your social media marketing efforts but we understand that you may not have time to get it all over the finish line. That’s where we come in. We can manage all of these details for you, or create a plan that you or someone on your team can run with on your own. If you have any questions about using social media to get more leads for your business please send us a message. We would love to help you integrate more social media tactics into your digital marketing strategy!
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