In most cases, the difference between getting enough visitors to your website to turn 2% of them into leads for your sales team and not is the social media marketing you’re NOT doing right now.
Using social media as part of your inbound marketing strategy includes much more than reposting blog articles. There are actually some very specific tactics that take social media from a static exercise to a process that engages your prospects, gets them excited about your business and, best of all, drives them to reach out to you so they become a sales opportunity for your sales team.
Here are a couple of ways to get the conversation going, keep it going and use it to drive leads and sales opportunities.
Don’t Just Post
It’s easy to post your blog articles and call it a day. That’s what everyone does, and it’s not going to differentiate your company or get people talking about your content. You have to do more than just post. You have to find other articles that tell your story from other people’s perspectives. You have to get a conversation going. Think about it like a cocktail party: If you just talk about yourself the whole time, there isn't going to be a crowd around you. But, if you start telling cool stories, before you know it, everyone wants to hear what you have to say. Take the same approach with all of your social media sites.
Share Other Stuff
Make it a priority to share other people’s stuff on your sites. As long as it moves your mission forward, reinforces your messages and helps you tell your story, then regardless of who wrote it, use it on your sites. Make sure the stuff you share is in a variety of formats. Look for videos, graphics, slide presentations and even podcasts to post to your sites. Deliver it in context so your fans know why you’re sharing it and what they should be looking for when they review it.
Take A Stand
Perhaps one of the most important tips is to have an opinion. Take a stand, share your perspective and make it contrarian. Remember, the whole point of social media is to get attention for your company. The more controversial, the better. Think: Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Howard Stern, George Carlin or Richard Sherman.
Ask People To Share
While some people will automatically share your stuff, others need a gentle reminder. Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and they have a 23x higher chance if you actually spell out the word “retweet.” This data is courtesy of http://blog.bufferapp.com/. If you have something cool and interesting on your sites and you ask your friends to share it, why wouldn’t they? It's really that simple, and the data supports it.
Make sure you keep an eye on social media sites, especially as you ramp up your interactions. You’re going to get more people talking, more people commenting and more people participating. People notice if you don’t respond quickly. They expect engagement to be in real time. You might not have to comment in seconds, but you do have to be able to participate in the conversation in hours, not days or weeks.
Make Sure You've Got The Basics
Nothing is worse than social sites that are incomplete, outdated or just plain wrong. Take a long, hard look at all of your social media properties on all platforms. You need to have complete profiles, and your sites need to match the look and feel of your current website. That’s the minimum. You're able to take it a step further by putting some educational content offers on your social sites. When set up properly, we’ve found this to be a great way to actually generate leads from social media.
While the tactics above might not be hard, they do take time. Don’t kid yourself: This requires delegation to someone who is comfortable with social media sites and social tools. If you think you’re going to do this in a way that actually generates results, there are going to be higher pay-off activities that you'll have to pass on. Don’t do that. Find someone within your organization who can execute your social media strategy.
If you're wondering how this all ties back into sales, you're asking the right question. For that part, it's pretty straightforward. Social media marketing is a great way to drive new visitors to your website, and the more new visitors you get, the higher your number of leads. You can't just rely on organic search or even pay per click. If you're not driving new visitors with social, you're doing yourself a disservice. More traffic means more leads.
Start Today Tip – Get a plan together so that you know what you want to say, who's going to say it and on what sites. Then, check to make sure your social sites are up to date and complete. Now you’re ready to get going. Post, post and post again. If you have something interesting to say, you're going to start getting the attention you're seeking. One way to track your progress is to look at total reach. Add up all of your friends, followers, connections, etc., and come up with one number. Make sure that number goes up month over month.
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