People who have studied or made careers out of digital marketing can tell you that social media is a vital funnel for generating sales. Experts probably could have seen this coming as soon as Facebook took off. If you are a small business owner, start-up or entrepreneur, even a few years ago you could have avoided needing to advertise this way. But you can’t afford to avoid this anymore.
If you are not using social media to generate leads and sales for your business, then you are missing out.
Social media is the way in which the majority of your customers communicate, and as I’ve said before, this is how word of mouth passes these days. You can set up a social media account on a platform, such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn for free. You may already have a personal account on some of these, but if you have a business, then you should be seriously considering setting up business pages too.
There are a number of ways you can advertise using social media which will get your posts and your pages in the news feed of the potential customers, whose profile you choose. You can pay to boost a specific post or design an advertising campaign for your whole page, both of which will pop up in front of people interested in this sort of thing, and provide them the ability to link through to you.
You can also attach Call To Action buttons on these sponsored posts so that your customer can click to Buy Now, or Learn More, and go straight to your online store or booking service. Again, if you don’t yet have an online store or booking service, definitely put some hard thought into creating one. This is not complicated, and you can do so through external sites such as Facebook, eBay or Etsy, or you can add a plugin to your existing business website.
There are a few things you need to know about generating leads through social media
You do need to keep up with the most recent and currently popular platform for your industry
Social media is a fast-moving beast, and to harness it you do need to keep up a little bit. While you’ve already heard of Facebook, it is losing its stranglehold on the social media market, as businesses need to spend more and more to connect with new customers these days. Newer or more quietly emerging platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are becoming more popular for businesses wanting to gain new followers, and at this time, you can reach far more people for less investment.
This means you need to get to know newer platforms and how to use them to target customers. You also need to keep open-minded and alert to what might be the next big thing. A really good way to keep up with this is to engage a digital marketer because you probably have one or two or ninety-three other things you should be doing in your business right now.
You need to post regular engaging content
You need to post often, but more importantly, you need to post good quality material. If you are pummelling customers with information that is boring, repetitive, or irrelevant to them, then they will stop following you. Through social media you first get potential customers to follow you, meaning you can target them with anything you want them to know, but ideally, you want them to stick with you long-term, and if they are happy, bring in friends.
So give followers material that is relevant to their needs and wants. Consider what their problems are, and tell them how you can help. Tell them how continuing to follow you will be of benefit to them. Be funny, colourful, intriguing, inspiring, and make them feel good. If all of this sounds a bit difficult, this is another very good reason to engage a digital marketer who specialises in this, to see what they can do for you.
Make your material good looking as well. Choose themes that you can utilise consistently in your posts, such as a colour palette, fonts, use of your logo and message, and kinds of images. Think of your posts as a part of a whole, not single posts on their own. You are painting with a larger brush on a larger canvas, all of which needs to sell your business.
You can buy leads or followers, but this is not necessarily a good idea
You can pay money for email lists or followers, or can generate clicks through other methods like using clickbots or like for likes. This will increase your number of followers and can make you look impressive to a new person checking out your page, but generally doesn’t convert into sales.
Any purchased connection or person who only follows you if you agree to follow them is unlikely to buy anything, and more than likely to unfollow you again very quickly. While it may be a slower process, generating real leads with genuine customers is a better way to make money with social media.
You need to consider where you are sending people and make it polished
If you are reading this, then you are interested in increasing your reach or getting more people to connect with your business. You want them to click through to something, but what? You could get them to Buy Now as I said before, and in one click you have a paying customer. But most businesses are realising that it is easier to get an existing customer or follower to buy again from you than it is to inspire action in a whole new person.
In knowing this you should consider getting customers to link to a landing page, instead of going straight to check out. You now have the opportunity to gather more information about this customer, and you can capitalise on this information to connect with them again.
Create a landing page that looks good and promotes your business; use your logo and business colours cleanly and consistently throughout. Then use this page to guide your customers where you want them to go, or what you want them to do from there.
Some things you can do include:
- Invite people to give you their email address, and then you can connect with them continually through email marketing. You can update them about new products or special deals.
- Offer customers something for free to get them to connect to start with, then use this connection to give them information about more products they might like which cost a bit more. This is basic upselling, which has been a marketing tactic for centuries. You could offer a free download such as an eBook, tips for making money or saving time, or a planner of some kind.
- Invite people to enter competitions or giveaways and you will appear in more news feeds. Giving you more contacts you can target with in the future.
- Offer a free prize to people who are willing to complete a short survey. You can use the survey to get valuable information about what your customers’ needs are, and you can get contact details at the same time so you can target with these people on an ongoing basis.
Make your ongoing targeting high quality, however; remember, this is not an excuse to just barrage them with spam. Treat anyone who has given you their contact details with respect and like human beings. Keep the marketing information relevant, interesting and helpful.
You are still promoting your business at the end of the day, and you have to do that with the integrity that you would put behind anything else attached to your business name.