When we start working with many of our clients, we get a lot of the same questions – especially where social media is concerned. Most of our clients have heard about social media being this great tool for developing new business, but it’s just not working that way for them. And often times, completely turns them off from growing as a digital brand.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that tell you it’s EASY to bring in new business from social media – you just have to post! When that’s really not the case. It’s led many business owners and marketing execs to feel like they’re complete failures at social media, because they’re not gaining thousands of followers every day, or converting new leads to paying clients.
Like any other tactic that’s going to convert prospects into purchasers, it’s going to take time and effort to make this marketing medium work for your brand. You need a strategic plan in place to attract, nurture, and convert for your social channels. You need to choose social channels that fit your target demographic. And you need to be realistic about how much time you and your team can actually dedicate to growing your presence and engaging with your community online.
Get on the Right Channels
The first step to getting social media to convert is to recognize that you can’t be all things to everyone. And you can’t make every social media channel work for you at once, either. So instead of focusing on pushing content to every social network under the sun JUST to have a presence, let’s start by whittling down the list of channels you’re focused on to the ones where your target audience is most active.
We recommend focusing on one, possible two, channels to start. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t post on your other channels – just that you should be targeting your time and energy for conversions towards those channels where your target audience is most active. Obviously, the channels you select for this point of focus should be the ones that have – or have the potential for – the most engagement from the people you want to buy from you.
Not sure how to figure out which channels your audience is active on? Start with our free guide to choosing the right social channels for your brand.
We all get started on social media with the BEST of intentions. We’re going to post all the time, and we’re going to be unique, and we’re going to get SO MANY new followers that will buy. After a couple of weeks, it’s easy to fall off the social media bandwagon, and lose that momentum, causing you to post less frequently, and share less engaging content.
The thing to remember about social media is that long term, you get out of it what you put into it. Just last week we got a call from a BIG prospect we developed on social media almost a year ago, who’s been watching our work for all this time and is now ready to buy. Being consistent with the VALUE we provide and the frequency with which we share it (which we can always do better at!) is the piece of this nurturing process that converts prospects into buyers.
The more consistent you are, the more people trust you. The more likely they are to see your stuff pop up in their newsfeed. And the more likely they are to CLICK on your content. When we talk about consistency with social media, we’re referring to THREE BIG THINGS: how often you post, what you post, and how often you engage.
The frequency at which you post works for you in two ways: one, posting regularly gets people excited about – and expecting – your content. They become more likely to seek you out, and more reliant on what you have to share. Two, the MORE frequently you post content, the more likely people are to SEE your content. That keeps the brand nurturing going, but also keeps you front-of-mind for when they’re ready to buy. Win-win, right?
What you post needs to be consistent as well. People look to you for a certain TYPE of value. For example, we share lots of content on how to grow your brand, digital marketing, etc. We do NOT share content on protecting your wealth, growing greener grass or buying groceries. Sure, it’s okay to intersperse some off-brand content from time to time. But the majority of what you share should be consistent with your brand and what you’re selling.
How often you engage goes deeper than responding to comments and messages on your account. It’s the active outreach you do with people who are engaging with you. For example, when someone comments on one of your social posts, it’s common sense that you should reply to them. But do you know what goes even a step farther? Sending them a personal message thanking them for their feedback, and letting them know that you’re glad they’re finding value in what you share. It’s reaching out to set up coffee or a quick call when one of your target prospects gets active on your page. It’s tagging individuals (and following them, if applicable) in your content when they’ve expressed interest in your brand before.
The combination of this consistency is what oils the machine behind your social channels – your audience.
It sounds so totally cliche to hear the words “value-add” these days, doesn’t it? While you might be prone to tuning out that word combo today, we encourage you to stop and really think about what that means. Adding value in 2017 looks DIFFERENT than adding value five years ago, or even 18 months ago.
In today’s world of social media abundance, people get slammed with messages from the time they get up until the time they go to bed. Establishing your brand as a channel that has information your target audience can actually use will make you stand out. This means going beyond sharing the same thing your competitors are sharing – even if they’re building traction with their channel – and being a little unique. That “uniqueness” can come from the type of content you share, the method in which you share it, the medium you use….there are SO MANY ways to stand out.
But it all starts with identifying WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT FROM YOU. Or, starting with their FAQs, concerns, pain points…and how you can help them fix those problems, or answer those questions, or even just acknowledging the concerns they have.
When you focus your social content on how you actually help people solve their problems (even if you’re sharing that “help” in a passive format), people want to work with you. It’s really that simple. Although, you do need to CONSISTENTLY share that message several times before it really sticks with your end buyer (typically, 8-20 interactions with your brand are required before someone’s ready to buy from you).
The Bottom Line
Stick with this foundational strategy for your social channels, and you’ll start to build some traction with your target prospects. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be ready to step up your game and work on CONVERTING those prospects into actual buyers – if they don’t convert themselves!