A Quick Overview Of Social Media
Social media is no longer considered a trend. It has become an essential tool for most marketers that are building a presence online. But when you approach “social media” as a one-dimensional channel, things can get confusing quite quickly.
Social media has developed into a variety of mediums that offer unique methods of engagement. Each channel is predicated on the specific behaviors of their users. This will determine the optimal posting frequency, messaging, cost of advertising, and how to convert your followers into email prospects.
Below are four questions that you should answer about your audience. This will help you cut through the ambiguity of social media and determine what channels to use in your business.
1) Who Is My Audience?
Before you choose what social media sites to use, you need to analyze the behaviors or your audience. When you understand their core desires, goals, and frustrations, you can communicate with them much more effectively.
Your focus should be providing valuable content that is aligned with their end state goals. Instead of promoting your products, you should be cultivating a trustworthy relationship with your audience. This will entice them to take the next step in your sequence and provide you with their email address.
Your Customer Avatar
Designing a “customer avatar” will help you understand your audience’s needs. You do this by creating a fake persona that encapsulates all the challenges that your followers have in common. When you understand their needs, you can create content that speaks directly to them.
Create a name for your avatar. Determine their age and gender based off the demographics of your audience. Then, write down 10-20 goals and frustrations that your followers have in common. These attributes will be the foundational character of your customer avatar. Each piece of content you post on social media should speak directly to these needs. Remember, your audience has specific things in common, but not everything. If you don’t speak directly to your avatar, your message will most likely resonate with only a small portion of your followers.
Your landing pages should offer a series of guidebooks, mini-courses, and audio programs that appeal to your avatar as well. This will entice them to subscribe to your email list, where you can use thank you pages and campaigns to drive online conversions. The end state goal of social media is to covert your followers into prospects and potential buyers.
2) Where Is My Audience?
Now that you know “who” your audience is, you need to figure out where they are hanging out. But more importantly, you need to determine their level of engagement. Having a large volume of fans doesn’t necessarily mean they are active. Below are the social media sites that have the most active monthly users:
- Facebook – 1.49 billion (as of June 2015)
- YouTube – 1 billion (as of March 2013)
- Google + – 540 million (as of October 2013)
- Twitter – 316 million (as of June 2015)
- Instagram – 300 million (as of December 2014)
On the aggregate, these numbers are smaller than you may think. For example, only 48% of Twitter’s 645,000,000 users are actually active each month. If your audience is idle on social media, then they are of no use to your business. Many marketers miss out on the opportunity to generate qualified leads because they emphasize the quantity of their audience, not the quality.
3) What Social Media Sites Are Right For My Niche?
This data makes it abundantly clear that you should establish a presence on these five platforms. As you continue to post content that speaks directly to your customer avatar, you will be able to determine what specific social media websites work best for your niche.
Although the level of engagement is an important factor on social media, it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Getting a ton of “likes” and “shares” is meaningless if you aren’t converting your traffic. Social media is like a “cocktail party” atmosphere. The majority of your followers will be somewhat interested in your message, but they aren’t ready to purchase one of your products. Your content should provide educational value that drives them to one of your own web properties.
4) How To Generate Leads On Social Media
Each of these 5 platforms offers unique ways to generate organic leads into your business. Below are some techniques that you can use to start building your email list today.
Facebook is the most dynamic social media website on the web. It has become a standard means of communication for people worldwide. Nearly half of Facebook’s 1.49 billion users are active each day. Their visitors are browsing through photos and videos, but also searching for pages, events, and groups.
Regardless of what niche you are in, you need to establish a presence on Facebook. Your ability to generate leads will depend heavily on your images. You only have a split second to captivate your reader when they are scrolling through their newsfeed. Instead of directing your Facebook fans to a standard landing page, send them to your blog. This will allow you to further educate them with useful content and present them with an opportunity to subscribe to your email list.
People love to be entertained through video, which explains why YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the world. You can cross pollenate your videos through other social media channels, in addition to your own web properties.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest in expensive camera equipment to build a YouTube following. In fact, the quality of your content is virtually the only thing that matters. Whether you decide to use a phone or a cheap camera, you should be promoting your brand on YouTube.
YouTube has proven to be one of the best platforms to generate organic leads. They offer a variety of techniques such as annotations, video descriptions, and short video ads that you can use to build your email list. Make sure that you use explicit calls to action in your videos, and direct your traffic to a squeeze page or a blog.
Developing a social media channel that is predicated on the largest search engine in the world explains the success of Google Plus. Over the past few years, it has transcended the social media game. Although some businesses have not incorporated Google Plus into their marketing, the numbers speak for themselves. This is a network that has been built from the most sophisticated algorithms on the web, and it’s not going anywhere.
Google Plus offers simple strategies for lead generation.
Entering certain keyword phrases will allow you to identify people and pages that could become potential leads. Although this requires more engagement and less automation, you can build personal relationships with your prospects on Google Plus.
Twitter is a platform that can be used to develop personal relationships with your potential prospects and customers. In general, you should use Twitter to boost the level of engagement with your followers
. Posting useful content on Twitter can garner retweets, followers, and brand loyalty. However, you can still use links in your tweets, responses, and biography that can drive your followers to your blog.
Instagram is a massive resource that can be used to build a business and personal brand. Its visual appeal enhances the level of engagement on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Some have argued that Instagram isn’t ideal for lead generation. It restricts the use of outbound links, and limits your profile to only one URL. However, that one link can be used to direct your followers to your blog. If your blog is optimized to generate opt-ins, then Instagram can be a powerful tool for your business.
Now that you understand the “Big 5” social media platforms, it’s time for you to start building your email list. As you continue to engage with your followers, you’ll discover the social media channels that produce the most ROI. Every brand is different, and some platforms work better in certain niches. Do your due diligence and figure out who your audience is and where they are hanging out. Then, create content that speaks directly to their needs and desires.
Image credit: Eyerys