I’ll admit that what I’m about to recommend is a bit contrarian. It has nothing to do with amassing Facebook followers, or people who “like” you, or who endorses your skills on LinkedIn, Rather, it’s the approach I suggest that you use if you want to turn social media into a tool that actually gets you more new clients rather than just a mass of connections that never yields any tangible results.
Allow me to explain.
In a digital marketing strategy, there are fundamentally 3 key components:
- What you offer to get people to raise their hands and express initial interest in who you are and the types of problems you solve.
- The messages you send after someone has opted-in to get your free offer.
- The methods you use to drive traffic to the place where you make your free offer.
Within each of these three large buckets, there are a number of details that one has to pay attention to, but from the 20,000 foot perspective, these are the basic building blocks of a digital marketing strategy.
So where does social media fit?
Into the third bucket. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your business.
However, where does social media fit into most businesses digital strategy? It usually in some sort of separate galaxy that floats around unconnected to the sales & marketing funnel.
The biggest reason people get frustrated with their social media strategy is that they’re using the wrong metrics to measure success.
- We have 20 gazillion (real number) likes!!!
- We have 30 gazillion re-tweets!!!
- 40 gazillion people are connected to us!!!
Which raises the question…so what?
All that connecting and liking has absolutely no value, unless it results in more new clients and business.
And unless you connect social media to your digital marketing funnel, that will never occur. (But you can take solace in the fact that 100 gazillion people think you’re cool or whatever.)
So how do you connect the dots?
The easiest way is through your blog.
One thing that separates using social media from other channels is that when you migrate people from SM to your website, they need to find really great content when they get there. You may be able to get people to click on a link that takes them to to a sales page once, but after that they’ll wise up quickly. Plus, if you start selling people immediately, you set a tone for the relationship that’s inconsistent with how high-value services are bought.
Remember, our goal is that marketing should provide value in-and-of-itself.
So back to your blog.
The posts don’t need to be extremely long but they do have to provide something that’s helpful. Remember the best way to prove that you can be helpful to prospective clients is to actually be helpful during the getting-to-know-you stage.
Take the link to your blog page and compress it using bitly.com. This will save you space when you post the link on the social media pages, and it will enable you to track how many people actually clicked on the link.
Next-create a hooky headline that will motivate people to want to click on the link to read your blog post. If you’re struggling to create one, the old-standby How to… works remarkably well. The more specific the headline, the better. Tax saving secrets for dentists, is going to break through the clutter of noise better than Tax saving secrets. Plus, you can micro-target who your ad appears in front of so with this type of headline you’re sending the all important message that I specialize in working with people like YOU.
Back as little as 5 years ago, people were reluctant to leave the medium they were on. By that I mean, if they clicked a link on Facebook and it took them to a website, there was a strong likelihood that they would immediately go back to Facebook without reading what was on the site.
Now, that’s not the case.
It’s all digital. We move from LinkedIn to websites to Facebook to Youtube indiscriminately-as long as we are being greeted with information about the topic that we’re interested in.
That’s key, and that’s where the blog becomes extremely important by serving as the conduit between someone coming to your site and then opting in to become a permanent part of your community.
There are two ways to handle this final part.
On the frame around the blog post, have thumbnails for other white papers, free reports and information that the visitor is likely to find interesting. If they like your blog post, the natural instinct will be to ask, What else are these people producing? As we know from sales buying behavioral studies, the easiest time to sell someone is immediately after they have purchased the first item. The same rule applies to getting visitors to opt-in to your list. If they like what they’ve just read, there’s a high level of probability that they’ll want to read the other stuff you’ve created-as long as you make the offer prominent.
The second way to convert visitors to members of your community to is place an offer at the bottom of the page. This is even more powerful since the eye has been traveling down the slippery slope of the blog post, the reader is enjoying the experience, and now there’s an offer to read something more. This might be a free chapter from your book, a video or a short report. By placing the offer at the bottom of the blog, you maximize the likelihood that people will take that step and become part of your community.
Ultimately, it is the members of your community that will become clients. People don’t go from connecting with you on social media to becoming a client of your high-value services directly. They need nurturing, which is the goal of your ongoing drip-marketing program. However, we can never get them into that part of the marketing funnel, unless we get them to opt-in in the first place.
Social media is a powerful tool for helping us accomplish that goal. It’s pretty much useless otherwise.
Food for thought
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube