We have been working on a large lead-generation campaign for a new consumer-biz client, and we were delighted that they allowed us to incorporate social media into the plan. I know, it seems counter-intuitive to use social media for a mainly commercial objective, but if it is
handled delicately and with respect for both the brand and the Social Media audience, it can be done very well. Below are a few pointers that should be taken into consideration:
- Social Media is all about creating and joining community and adding value. Keep this ahead of everything else.
- First join the community - join many groups and participate, linking back to your offer every now and again.
- Build your network with keyword or category searches to find good prospects and interested followers.
- Be strategic - your messages should vary by target audience, the landing page should echo the content of the original message or post, and the ultimate call-to-action wording should support both.
- Content - Decide what issues and topics are interesting for your target audience. Invest some time to become a member of the community. First listen in, then ask questions, and only then define whatever your target group is excited about and what topics you should be addressing. Your content is about establishing a relationship with your community, not about re-purposing your sales presentation.
- Be sure your posts are a combination of conversation and links to your offer. We aim for at least 50% posts providing info on relevant topics, asking questions, responding to followers, and 50% talking about our offer and providing a link to our landing page.
- Standard lead-gen practices hold for Social Media - convert with the landing page. As is true with any lead-gen strategy, the landing page does the heavy lifting. It should be clear and simple, with a crystal-clear call to action. Don't offer options or links taking the reader off the page. The registration form should appear above the fold. Assume your reader will not be scrolling down, so keep all the salient points up top.
- Social Media offers wonderful opportunities for viral content to happen. You can't control it, but here are some clues on what gets shared and what doesn't. Rarely shared: product info, free trials, hard offers, selling posts. Often shared: New Data, trends, funny videos, reference to top-notch blog posts.
The key is to be a participant in a community, and provide value to create enough interest so that your followers and readers will want to find out more about your offer. It CAN be done.
Elyse Tager is a social media strategist and founder of Elymedia. Elyse develops effective marketing strategies to help the small business grow significantly.
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