If your business concentrates partially or primarily on online sales, you already know that online marketing is a crucial part of your sales funnel. If you’ve been hesitant about taking your business into the world of social media, it’s time to get over your fears and get involved. A strong social media presence can dramatically improve your online notoriety and bring you tons of new leads. Here are some helpful principles.
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Start With Studying
Before you start doing any marketing of your own, take a careful look at how other people in your industry are using social media. You want to inspect both sides of the business-customer equation. How do businesses reach out to their customers? How and where do the customers interact with businesses? Get a clear understanding of what your potential customers want and need out of social media relationships. If you see a promising niche that’s unoccupied, your marketing job may be straightforward. However, if there’s a large, active social media community already addressing your target audience, you may have more work to do.
Cultivate the Right Reputation
The way to turn your social media activities into a real lead-building powerhouse is to become the go-to source for insight and assistance in your field. This means investing plenty of time in the process and getting directly involved in your marketing. While marketing professionals can help with the technical details of broadcasting your message, the foundation of that message has to be your own expertise. In order to get leads, you have to make that expertise available to potential customers. If you take the time to craft and share great content and answer inquiries in a helpful manner, you’ll find yourself with just the sort of positive reputation you want.
“Inbound” Principles: Use a Magnet, Not a Lasso
“Inbound marketing” is in vogue in the online world today. If you haven’t encountered the term before, all you really need to know is that it involves marketing your business with compelling content and genuine engagement rather than high-pressure sales tactics and SEO tricks. Invest your time into the aforementioned reputation-building efforts. In many ways, inbound marketing feels counterintuitive; you’re cultivating more leads and sales by avoiding the appearance of selling. Use social media to share honest answers and helpful information, not sales pitches and promotional offers. The short-term results may be underwhelming, but you’ll be amazed at the long-term loyalty you can build.
Cast a Wide Net
The obvious go-to names for social media marketing are Facebook and Twitter, but don’t concentrate all of your efforts into these two channels. Depending on your audience, you may get your best results on sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Tumblr. You have to go where the leads are. Don’t worry about drowning yourself in social media marketing work. It’s easy to share the same content across multiple sites; there are even programs available to do it automatically for you. As you gain experience with social media, you’ll develop a good idea of which sites are the most important for your audience. Once you understand this, you can focus on the most productive sites and use re-posts and shares to maintain your presence in the less useful parts of the social media sphere.
Hunting leads with social media marketing is not a hands-off process. It requires your direct involvement in order to be effective. If you’re willing to put in the necessary work, you’ll find this to be one of the most effective forms of online advertising available to you.