• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

Author: Hollie Clere

It doesn’t matter how unique and creative your social media messaging is if the people reading it don’t believe you. And if they don’t believe you, they certainly won’t engage with you.

Face it, today’s audience is pretty sophisticated. People can spot a fake a mile away. Mark it down in big red letters, your social media audience needs to trust you, or they will leave your space, and they probably won’t come back. That sounds pretty harsh, but it’s true. To be successful on social media you need to be authentic, and to be authentic, you need to be honest and true. But how can you create authenticity? Actually, there are a number of ways. Recognize, however, that these strategies work together. One does you no good without the others.

When your community talks, you need to listen. Whether the feedback you get is positive or negative, you need to respond in a way that is open and honest. Where improvements should be made, you must be accountable. When you get kudos, you should pass them along to the people on your team who deserve them. Your social media platforms should be a place where your customers will be safe from judgment.

Share a consistent message. When you talk to your community, your message should be consistent across platforms. That doesn’t mean that you should be a parrot, just that when someone sees your brand they know what to expect regardless of where they see it.

Be yourself, a human being. When people reach out to you for wisdom, advice, help, or whatever they come to your social media for, they want a response that is personal and human. They do now want a robot who cites chapter and verse. Think about the last interaction you had with a support person who lacked experience. Chances are he or she merely read from a manual rather than listening to what you were saying and jumping ahead to help you get to a solution. How did that make you feel? That is not the image you want for your social media.

Creating authenticity in your messaging is a process that consists of a variety of moving parts. The first step is really listening to what your audience is saying and giving them a personal, human response. You need to be real, open, and honest. When you do that you’ll create a community that trusts you and keeps coming back.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

As a social media manager, one of the common questions (or complaints) I get from prospective clients is about their return on investment (ROI) when it comes to social media marketing. There is a common misconception that lead generation isn’t possible on social. This stems from the fact that SO many business owners approach social media marketing as a sales tool and ignore the reason the platform or channel exists in the first place. Social media IS meant to be a social experience. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for lead generation. It just means you need to get clear about your social media strategy and how you want it to work for your business.

According to Quicksprout, using social media reduced marketing costs for 45% of the businesses surveyed. It has also increased revenue for 24% of those companies when they chose to implement a lead generation strategy.

What Is Lead Generation Anyway

Before we jump into the deep end, let’s go over lead generation as a sales tool. Lead generation is how you attract potential clients and customers into your business sales funnel. It’s how you narrow down your focus to the right people, grab their attention, and lead them to your offer. Don’t have an offer yet? Clearly, you’ll need to start with what you want to sell and pick a place to post your offer.

Whether it’s your website site or a landing page, building out the copy and graphics for your sales site will be the deciding factor in whether or not someone hits the buy button. Lead generation is about getting the right people to that page so that you can sell them.

The prep work needed to promote lead generation on social media:

  • Build your online presence and brand awareness
  • Know your target audience and how to find them
  • Uncover the pain points of your leads
  • Build your offer based on the information gathered and post it online
  • Then create a social media strategy to guide that audience to that offer

Why Social Media?

Since I work in social media management, I’m going to let some recent statistics do the convincing for me here.

39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than in person.

People spend 50 minutes of their day, every day, on Facebook.

71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals.

For B2B companies, 44% have generated leads through LinkedIn, 39% through Facebook and 30% through Twitter.

I hear stories all the time about how companies are bailing on their website to focus entirely on social media marketing because it’s working so well for them. (I don’t recommend that by the way – rented land!) This is relevant because social media DOES work for lead generation, if you have built it in the right way.

Where to Start

Once you have your online offer in place, have narrowed down your audience and know where to find them, then it’s time to pick a social media platform. Picking the right channel can make or break your lead generation efforts. If you pick Facebook, but most of your audience is on Instagram, then they aren’t going to see your content.

If you already have a built-in audience or community, then this answer is simple. If you don’t, it’s time to start building one.

Lead Generation Strategies

When it comes to social media marketing, there are multiple lead generation strategies you could explore.

Page Optimization

Brands that understand the value of their Internet real estate, also understand the importance of optimizing each of their social media profiles. Your Facebook business page should strongly resemble your website with buttons that direct visitors to where you want them to land. Keyword research is imperative here as each of your profiles should incorporate as many searchable keywords as possible. Make it easy for the right people to not only find you but follow through on the appropriate call to action.

Opt-Ins & Freebies

The whole point of a sales funnel is to get an individual’s permission to market to them and then move them through the whole process. If you don’t have a sales process, that’s where to start. The most common way to get someone into your funnel is to offer them something they want for free in exchange for their contact information. Make it clear that you’ll be contacting them in the future, not just to send them the freebie. Then use email marketing to target them directly. How do you increase awareness of your free offer and your opt-in? You use social media. If you have taken the time to build an online offer and sales funnel and you aren’t directing those who are consuming your social content to those – then you aren’t set up for lead generation on social.

Paid Advertising

The most common lead generation strategy on social media is to invest in paid ads. Each of the social media platforms has its own version of this – whether it’s boosting content on Facebook, promoting Pins on Pinterest or straight up buying ads on Twitter – there’s an option for each of the most popular social channels. You can either invest the time in figuring out how to optimize your own advertising or you can seek out the help of someone who specializes in paid ads.

Lead generation is possible on social media and it works! Brands are gaining traction and success every day by incorporating a social media strategy that is built around a lead generation and sales process.

Why aren’t more small businesses setting up their online marketing this way? Because it takes work, effort and often a budget. Can you just share another brand’s content on social media and convert followers into consumers? Not likely. The ROI you seek is hidden behind the strategy you’ve yet to implement.

Social Power Program

If you want more support in building out your social media strategy, I encourage you to check out the Strategy Series on the Social Power Program.

The Social Power Program is designed to be a “work at your own pace” program incorporating video training and worksheets. The Program uses videos, tools of the trade, bonus “diving deeper” sessions and accountability to assist you with your online marketing strategy.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Relationship marketing is all about creating and maintaining engagement with your customers. If social media is an essential element of your marketing strategy, then that probably sounds familiar since that’s precisely the same thing that success on social media means—engagement.

Both relationship marketing and social media are about the long game, creating strong connections to you, your company, and your brand so that customers think of you first when the type of product or service you offer is needed. Not only are you top of mind, but you are also trusted so that your customers become your advocates. That means referrals, positive reviews, and new leads.

If that sounds good to you, then you need to start thinking about your social media strategy with relationships in mind. But how? Here are five sure-fire ways to use social media as part of your relationship marketing strategy.

Speak the Same Language As Your Customers

When you interact with your social media community, you want to be a human, not a corporation. That means you need to relate like a person, not a bot.

Encourage (or ASK) Your Customers To Provide Feedback Via Your Social Media Pages 

There is nothing wrong with asking for a review or a comment. Once you ask, be prepared to respond regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative.

Think Fast And Respond Quickly  

You should not only be accessible, but you should be timely. That means reacting right away, not a week from now. Remember, you are working to establish a relationship and relationships require give and take.

Show Your Gratitude

Social media is a great place to say “Thank you!” and to tell your customers how much you appreciate them. Whether that’s by simply saying it or by offering a gift or discount to your best customers, depends on your goals. Regardless of how you choose to do it, let your customers know what they do to contribute to your success.

Be A Village

It’s not enough to have good one-on-one relationships with your customers. You need to build a community. Whether it’s a select group just for customers, sponsoring local get-togethers, or establishing a special online place for conversation, your goal is to connect with your customers and help them connect with each other.

There are many great reasons to establish strong relationships with your customers. It’s easy to think of the business reasons — more sales, better referrals, more repeat business. But there are also reasons for you personally, particularly for small business where you are likely to interact with your customers personally. Happy customers can mean higher job satisfaction, healthy interaction, and less stress. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your relationship marketing strategy now.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Learn how to use social media to grow your business online with our video series!

  • Learn the fundamentals of social media
  • Learn how to build better brand engagement
  • Learn how to enhance your visitors' experience
  • Learn how to grow your business using social media strategies.

If you want someone to break down aspects of social media to get more clients and build your business using social media, this is the program for you.

©2018 Clere Communications / The Social Media Advisor