Social media marketing is a useful strategy for increasing your web traffic, and can be a great tool for lead generation as well. Not only will an increased social media presence help your site rank higher in web search results, but a properly targeted social media plan can also help you to attract the right type of leads, many of which could easily turn into returning customers or clients. But social media marketing isn’t just as simple as setting up a Facebook page. There are many strategies that you can use to ensure that you are getting the most out of the social networks you’re on. Below are some tips to help you generate quality leads.
Listen, Interact, Engage
The first element of a successful social media plan is not talking, but listening. It’s important to understand the culture of social media and the way that your target demographic uses these tools before you start establishing your own social media presence. First, determine what networks you should (and shouldn’t) be on by thinking about what networks your existing customers use, and what age groups are most likely to turn into quality leads for your business. Then, examine how people interact on these networks, and what sort of content they share. Social media acts like a microcosmic version of the offline world, and as such, there is as much cultural variation on these networks as there is in the real world. Once you understand how your target demographic uses social media, you are ready to interact with them by creating interesting conversations, and engage with them by providing quality content that catches people’s attention.
Keep Up On the Latest Trends
The world of social media moves fast, and if you’re not paying attention to the latest trends, you could easily get left behind. Facebook has been the social media site with the largest reach for some time, (and it will probably remain so for some time to come), but depending on your target demographic, Facebook might not be the right place for you. If your marketing is youth-oriented, you should be aware that many teens are moving away from Facebook and over to micro-blogging sites like Vine, Tumblr, and Pheed instead. Or, if you’re more interested in reaching out to working professionals, perhaps you should be spending more time on Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s imperative that you don’t make the mistake of seeming like an outsider trying desperately to fit in; the key, again, is to listen first and interact later.
Are Paid Ads the Way to Go?
Once you have built up an engaged group of social media followers, you will have to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to start paying for social media ads. Buying ads or promoting posts on social networks can be a great way to market your business to a controlled demographic, but social media ads have their drawbacks. Promoting too many ads can lose you followers, and many web users are now using ad-blocking technology to stop ads from appearing on their screens. A good way to ensure that you retain followers is to make sure that you provide them with something worthwhile. If a simple paid advertisement isn’t driving up your website traffic, then maybe a promotion, contest or giveaway is a better tool for you.
The social media world is complicated, and it moves quickly. Having a Facebook or Twitter account won’t automatically act as a lead generation tool. But if you listen right, you could become part of a culture that is driving the world of sales and marketing today.