In this week’s video tutorial, we talk about how to generate leads with social media; specifically, how to turn what you’re doing every week and month on social media into tangible business results, garnering more prospects for your funnel and putting more sales in the pipeline.
The best place to start is with the fundamentals i.e. the regular processes that all professional businesses or other entities should have in place (and if you don’t, you’ll want to start right after you view this post).
1 – Determine a regimen for posting
How many times per day will you post on various social media (SM) channels? This depends on the particular SM channel. I suggest start-up businesses start with no more than two SM channels at a time, and try to pick ones that complement each other (such as YouTube and Facebook, for example). A once-a-week post is really as low as you can go while keeping a professional regimen, and you’ll notice wide differences depending on the business.
On Facebook, for example, you may find businesses posting two to 12 times a day. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong number (unless you’re not posting at all); the key is to find a few successful models similar to your entity and to glean a routine that works for you; your routine doesn’t have to be identical, but modeling is something I recommend often to start-ups and it’s a great way to get some ideas for a baseline regimen.
For more details on how to set up a regimen with specific types of content, read this post on social media lead generation
2 – Overt and indirect lead generation (gen) efforts
This is a strategy that can also be modeled based on best competitors.
What’s the difference between overt and indirect?
- Overt lead generation is social media content that explicitly drives people to a direct landing page where they can enter their information; this page could offer a webinar, a white paper, a free video tutorial, newsletter subscription, etc.
- Indirect lead generation is social media content that takes people to a blog or a specific article or video, and on that same page is a banner or another opt-in opportunity embedded within the content or in an obvious banner; regardless, there should always be additional calls to action on page.
What will be your balance between these two types of lead generation? The approach varies by industry, and it requires some research on your end. What I can tell you is that the best overt for lead generation purposes on social media are generally those that can validate the entering of the lead’s information.
A live webinar is a great example, where you may be teaching on a topic – say, CRM technology selection for executives (though this could be any topic/any industry) – and people need to subscribe in order to be notified of the right time. In this case, the webinar justifies itself in terms of direct request for a subscriber’s information.
Of course, too much overt builds resentment. Remember that people on SM are looking to snack on content quickly, and most of your calls to action will likely be indirect.
3 – Feed the social engine
If you’re posting regularly with a daily or weekly regimen, and your SM following is not growing, you’ll undoubtedly be frustrated. What are the best ways to feed your social engine so you don’t end up with a stagnant following? There are some options available to you.
4 – Learn from your outliers
- Paid advertising – This requires setting up a budget and creating ads that send people to your best lead gen content. In this case, the burn rate (money spent) goes towards building an organic following (you can also track ROI to see if the bang is worth the buck, but that’s it’s own art form; HubSpot provides a comprehensive guide on how to track content ROI, though it’s also worth a Google search).
- Exchanges or arrangements – Find people or companies who offer similar services or products as you, and set up an exchange of free publicity, where they mention you and you mention them on an ongoing basis (this could be through emails, social media posts, or even a periodic blog article written for the other’s site that is then promoted through social media). The key to making this relationship fruitful is to have an ONGOING arrangement that works for both parties.
- SM as part of an email regimen – With one of my eCommerce businesses, we have something called “Social Sunday”, where we send email subscribers to our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and blog site on a regular basis. We don’t send them to all three at once, that would be overkill; instead, each week we rotate between the three, which ensures we consistently get people on our email list to go and like our fan page, share our content, etc. Feeding SM into our existing marketing processes is part of our regular circulation of traffic and of our aggregate marketing and growth strategy.
If you have a YouTube channel, and one in every 10 or 15 videos gets five or 10 times more views than the rest of your videos, we call this a positive outlier.
Put this video under the microscope and ask yourself some questions – What did you do to promote the video? What is it about the content that appeals to your audience? Was it the way you shot the content, the way you radiated out the video on other SM channels?
Similarly, if you’re using Facebook, and you have a post that performs better each week (with more comments and more likes), perform the same interrogative process – What’s the theme of the post? What types of images did you use? Are there infographics? What time of day did you post? Look for positive outliers in the pieces of SM content that perform twice as good (or better) than your other content.
Maybe you should be doing more morning posts, sharing on other social media channels that do well with this type of content, writing more on a certain topic – find out what works in the real world with your content, in addition to modeling the best competitors or similar players in the industry.
Wrap it up
When establishing a routine to grow your SM following, ask yourself and jot down notes on the following: How do you bring people in to your channel(s)? What you do to engage your audience while they’re on your channel?
Then, dive deeper to determine what you’re doing well (the positive outliers), where your gaps exist, and take the steps necessary to fill those gaps using the strategies outlined above.
Having the fundamentals dialed in and operating on a regular basis is super important to garnering consistent ROI from your social media regimen. Start with the basics, keep up your momentum, learn from your successes – and watch your SM following grow.