How to get more leads part 6 – Social Media
Social media has become a fundamental tool in the arsenal of many marketers and understandably so. Social Media at its most powerful is a direct communication with your target market on their terms leading to enhanced consumer confidence. At its worst, it is “free” advertising…
OK so why is Social media important? Why as marketers, sales teams and business owners should we care? In real terms, the potential of social media is staggering. The graph below shows the number of users per site as of March 2015, just to give this a little context, it is in millions! So Facebook is by far the leader at 1,415,000,000, the magic Billion user mark.
So with over a billion users within your grasp how can you get the most from social media and build some real leads?
Pick your channels
As we can see from the user chart above, there is a wealth of social channels and networks available to us but realistically actively managing a presence on them all is going to be constrained by time. So, look at the channels individually and determine which ones will fit your brand the best. Remember volume of users alone may not be the best reason to be on a network, it is a good reason but not the only one. The main reason you should be on a social network is if your prospects and target demographic are there and it aligns with your business.
Define your social personality
In the same way that a writer defines their tone of voice, you need to consider your brand personality for social media. This will help to bring continuity to your messaging and users will naturally begin to identify with you.
Share your content
If you have a content strategy and are producing regular blogs, whitepapers and the like, then don’t be afraid to share it on your social channels. In the early days of social media, a social media expert told me that you should never share your content or make your social all about you, now whilst I agree a completely selfish profile won’t get much engagement. People are following you because they want to hear from you so use that to your advantage.
Don’t be selfish
Do not make your social media all about you, share industry related content, tweets and posts. You will find that other businesses and users will be more likely to engage with you. Of course I am not saying you should share your competitor’s blog but look at what interests you and what might interest your audience.
Follow back and engage
This is more of a personal one but I always tend to engage with brands and users that follow me back and engage with me. At MarketMakers we try to follow everyone back and engage where possible. Social media like telemarketing is a two way channel that allows you to answer questions and start a conversation with those that are listening.
Despite the massive amount of users available to you within Social Media unless you actively promote yourself you will be just one of many unknown pages. Combine this with the fact that networks are businesses, and as such, need to make money, paid advertising becomes inevitable. Most of the major sites offer a way to promote your message and content to build your fan base.
Whilst it may seem annoying or unfair to have to pay to play on social media, the fact is, that on the whole it works. The results and the way it works are different than that of the search engines so adjust your strategy, expectations and outcomes accordingly.
Try not to show the same tweet twice
Data science is a growing field and helping to form the marketing strategy for many of the big players. Luckily for us Vincent Granville, a leading data scientist shares many of his findings in his blog “Data Science Central”. He and his team looked at how their social media following has grown and in particular their twitter account.
They found that by following these guidelines they gained an immediate 10% traffic boost. To achieve this they tweeted 25 articles a day from their top 2,000 pieces of content. You can learn more about the process here, be warned though it is based on some advanced maths and coding.
Most social networks have their own form of analytics, and although often limited they are still worth utilising and getting to know. For example, Facebook pages have insights, Twitter has Twitter Analytics, even Pinterest has its own form of analytics if you create a company account and verify your domain. Also you can use the Google URL builder to help
- Be original
- Content and social go hand in hand
- Share your content and other peoples
- Use data to help shape your strategy
- Be active and interact