Despite all the big numbers that point to social media success, some firms just don’t see an increase in lead generation through Facebook, Twitter and the content on their web sites.
Many give up, having initially been attracted by a “free a marketing channel” that turns out to feel like just a complete waste of time. Often, a lot of time.
How can this be? Every industry publication, whatever sector you are in, quote digital marketing professionals and senior marketing people stating that “social media must be a key pillar of your marketing efforts”.
So why aren’t you generating leads?
You’re Broadcasting Not Engaging
When you figure out how easy it is to post, you can slip into pattern of not monitoring your social-media profiles to see who is actually sharing, liking, commenting on or favouriting on your posts.
You may not even be reading what other people are posting.
Imagine being at a party. Just try saying random things to people without any context or listening to what they say back and you will soon find yourself standing alone. You wouldn’t expect to get leads from a networking event without at least asking the people you meet what they do, why they are there or what they think about the things that are important to them.
People, not firms, are successful at developing conversations that turn into leads when they are genuinely interested in the people they know. (We call people we know our social networks).
Your contacts show how genuinely interested they are in many ways, but some of these include listening, sharing something they think will be useful, asking for opinions, saying they like something they have seen, giving opinions when asked, inviting them to events, suggesting they meet other people they know and I’ll stop here. I could go on. All of these human interactions can take place in social media.
The single most important truism of social media for me is “social media is only an online representation of what happens in the real world.”
You’re Not That Interesting
Most firms think, I sell x service, therefore that’s what I need to talk about. You’ll search high and low for content around your service and product and that’s all you will talk about.
Only posting about your narrow offering is waste of time. Let’s say you sell golf clubs and when I bought my last set from you, I liked you. Especially if you told me my new clubs would help me play better. I then saw you use Twitter, so I decided to follow you.
Now buying golf clubs is a big decision for most people. They don’t buy new clubs very often. So if all you post is what you have in stock now, unless I’m in the market to buy more clubs imminently, your tweets are going to be a little boring to me. Even if I don’t stop following you, I know I can ignore your tweets and Facebook posts.
Whereas, if you share local golf news such, as which courses are hot right now, which courses are easy to get onto, useful golfing tips, links to free coaching videos, golf weekend offers you have seen, talk about things like the weather and looking after my clubs, your tweets become useful to me. I retweet you, favourite some of the things you share and will certainly still be following you when I come to buy again.
You can go further still. You can publish blogs, articles, videos, photos and ebooks on your website to demonstrate your expertise in golf and equipment. Sharing that content through your social media helps me see the real value in our relationship everyday.
You’re In The Wrong Crowd
Social Media Crowd – Your first concern when you start out in social media is how many followers you have. Most new social media starters go on a land grab to find new followers. I know I did.
You start with your family and friends. Then you look up all of your colleagues and anyone that is talking about what you do for a living. Overtime, your list of followers swells to include people who technically are your competition, suppliers and peers.
Using social media successfully to generate leads comes from building a social network of your customers and people that can refer you. Begin today to build followers that are clients, prospects and sources of leads.
- Look for your clients and follow them, and when they follow you back, say “Hi, thanks following me.”
- When they share something you posted say “Hi, thanks for sharing.”
- Set up alerts that track posts from your most important and influential contacts.
- Ask your clients who they follow and if you find some common feeds, look for your clients in the followers of the those feeds.
- Tell your current clients about your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Page and Groups and ask them to join you there.
- Tell them why they should and what you will give them when they get there. If you are a hairdresser, tell them they will see photos of the latest styles, if you are a tax adviser, tell them it is where you post financial news.
You’re Not Looking For The Conversations
Using Google, Bing or Yahoo to search information on the Internet is second nature to pretty much everyone today. Your search engine will throw up articles, videos, and websites. Searching Twitter provides real time conversations.
Effective Twitter searches are great for finding people talking about topics you are an expert in. There are nearly 3 billion search queries performed on Twitter every day!
The basics are easy. Insert any name, phrase or hashtag in the search box at the top of the profile page and find some useful results. Get engaged in the conversations, use the hashtags and the followers will come.
You’re Not Prioritising Social Media
While social media is free, it isn’t without cost. Your time and your staff’s time makes it one of the most expensive activities of modern marketing. But get it right and it will be one of the most cost effective.
Like any selling activity, you must make time to see any kind of return. You need to put in the time it takes to build your social network, develop your online voice, create original content, find and post content relevant to your target audience, and engage with your network.
Successful firms get into social media for a few minutes throughout the day, from before you open and after you close. Your clients are always active, and you should be too.