How do you get PAYING customers from social media and social marketing?
Perhaps you have had a presence on social media sites, but you are now trying to figure out how to make it WORK. How do you actually get paying customers from your social marketing efforts? Like any sales tool, social marketing takes time and consistency. You are there to build and nurture relationships with people. You can't game the system of buy that anywhere. These are the people who will grow to trust that you are an expert or that you have information, products, or a service that they want to either buy or tell others about. So the first step is to get off of that “FIX-IT FAST” train of thinking and reset your expectations. Like every effective sales technique or tool you have ever used, you know that you’d better roll up those sleeves and prepare to do a bit of work.
Here are 4 steps to get business from your social marketing and social media efforts:
1. Don’t spend all of your “PAY TIME” socializing with your buddies.
So many times I see people join the social media sites that all of their friends are on, and then they spend hours having wonderful conversations with their buddies each day. These buddies may not be your target market. Sure they can influence others to buy from you, but make sure you are not fooling yourself and thinking this is business “PAY ACTIVITY.” (Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is also important and fun to do, but don’t confuse the two.) Find out which social media platforms your paying customers are really on. You can do searches on most social sites to look for your customers. You can also find your competitors and see where they are engaging with people. Even if you are not “social” on Pinterest, or LinkedIn, that might be where you need to shift your focus for business. You can also ask your current customers. Send a SUPER SHORT survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey and simply ask, “Which social media sites are you active on?”
2. Don’t just post your content and leave.
Another marketing misconception is that as long as you are posting pithy quotes or content about how fabulous you are each day on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, business is sure to come in. If it were only that easy. Spend time on social media sites getting to know the other people out there. If you are marketing on Pinterest, go and find the top pinners in your target niche. Comment and like their pins and boards. On Facebook it’s a little harder for a business page, but you can find other pages that your target audience is active on. Maybe it is an active community page or a chamber of commerce page in your city. You might discover that there are lots of your target customers on a brand page like Home Depot or a local sports team page. Have real conversations—don’t go there to spam people by reminding them of how brilliant you are again. Like their comments or reply to a question if appropriate and it will leave a notification for them that your business liked something they said. Radio and news stations are also great places to connect with your target market. On LinkedIn, you can do this by getting involved in a couple groups that your target customers are engaged in. Regardless of the social site, spend time being neighborly.
Do you know people on social media accounts that you have been connected with for quite a while, and who share a lot of information but you still don’t know what they do? There is a woman that comments and retweets many things that I post and so I wanted to learn more about her. I went to her Twitter profile and read her bio, but couldn’t tell what she did. I read a couple pages worth of posts and still could not figure out what she did for a living, besides share my tweets. Keep your content focused enough so that people know what it is you do and how they could work with you if they wanted to. It’s tricky on Facebook with a personal profile, because we do share more random information, but remember to weave your business hints in with your personal posts so your friends know where to find more about what you do, should they want that information. I have gotten lots of business from people I was connected with on my personal Facebook profile because I occasionally point folks to a great social media tip that is on our business page or a resource there, and then I provide a link over to that page. Sure my mom and aunt are usually the first two to go and like that, but others do as well. You should definitely set up a business page to post only business tips and resources. Don’t turn people off by only posting business content on your personal profile. I don’t know too many people who log into Facebook to see the fabulous things your business is up to….sorry to be the one to break it to you, but your mom asked me to tell you.
4. Measure your results!
Whether or not you are running specific campaigns or tailoring your content around holidays or seasons, you need to have a plan and know if it’s working. If you do not have Google analytics connected to your website, get that done right away. If you don’t know how to do that or don’t have someone you can trust to do it, contact me, I have a few people that I know do a great job on simple things like this. It is important to track where your website traffic is coming from. Do you get more visits to your site from Twitter or are the bulk of your visitors coming from your Pinterest boards? Are people taking action once they get to your website such as downloading tip sheets or ebooks? Are they contacting you through web forms for more information? We use Hubspot for all of our marketing backend as well as their analytic tools and it helps to know what is working and what needs tweaking. If your community is not growing, it is not working. And if that community is not taking action, something needs to be tweaked. Don’t expect the sales to come rolling in the first month of using social media, but it will happen if you are consistently posting helpful and interesting content about your industry and growing your community with the right people. Test and measure.
What else have you found that drives real results for your business? Are there activities you have engaged in that brought you business?
I'd love to connect with you!