Social media isn’t just a way for people to keep in touch; it can also be a lead-generating machine for your business. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 stated that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. But how, you ask?
The buyer cycle
If you look at the buyer cycle, buyers don’t jump straight to purchasing a product, there’s a whole process in between. Buyers build their awareness, and then start evaluating solutions, and this is where social media plays a role.
Before you can capture your potential customers in this stage of the buyer cycle, you need to make sure you’re on the right social media channels. Do some research and find out where your audience hangs out. Also find out where your competitors are too; if they’re doing well you should be there with them.
Social media intelligence
Social media is an ideal place to listen to your audience by keeping abreast of conversations. It’s in these conversations that you’ll learn about the type of content your audience will find relevant and meaningful.
It’s not about the pitch
Refrain from sales pitches though; it’s all about being ‘social’ on social media. Many marketers get drawn into the habit of broadcasting messages on social media which instantly turn the experience into a one-sided conversation. As Paul Gillian from Gillian.com suggests, begin the relationship by asking: “How can I help?” instead of “what can I sell?”
Targeted content that provides value and helps your audience overcome their challenges is high quality content. It is the content that is likely to win you more inbound traffic to your website or blog, right where you want it. For SMEs, preparing good content in-house can be a challenge and it may be necessary to outsource the task to a good content writing service or engage a professional blog writer.
Show your sensitive side
Social media is where you need to move from representing a company into being the individuals behind the company. It is where you become a little more transparent and show that there is in fact a human on the other side. It’s where you should embrace your brand’s voice, and help solve your customer’s problems, make them feel comfortable, and build their trust in you and your brand. This is what helps get positive results in the awareness building and evaluation stages of the buyer cycle.
Social media is an amplifier of content, an essential part of the sales funnel, and a great way to attract leads on a more personal level. If social media is not yet part of your overall marketing strategy, you may want to consider it.