A social media presence can provide endless benefits, from public relations to customer service, but there is one benefit that allows all the others to exist. At the end of the day, business owners need to know if marketing efforts are helping the bottom line. Social media managers need not shy away from these questions. When social media fits into an inbound marketing strategy as a lead generation channel, it delivers real ROI that can be tracked directly to sales.
Inbound marketing is the overarching strategy that seeks to attract more qualified traffic, convert that traffic into leads, and nurture those leads to the point of sale. This is done by creating the website as the central hub for information and utilizing marketing automation to connect sales and marketing teams. Social media plays a key role in delivering qualified traffic to the top of the online sales funnel.
Social Media Drives Qualified Traffic
Traffic coming from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or any other social network is already pre-qualified. If you have done a successful job of optimizing your article headlines and updates, their interest is going to be sparked and they are going to continue reading.
At the point when a reader clicks on a social link, a transaction is taking place. They are trading the next 15 to 120 seconds of their life in exchange for the value your content can add to it. Make those seconds count! The quality of your content dictates how long they stay and how deep they decide to dig.
Add Value with Additional Resources
When they are done reading the article, you should have over-delivered so much that they want to keep reading. Your goal when creating content that converts visitors to leads is to provide awesome value and a relevant opportunity for the reader to learn more. They need to be called to action.
The call to action should direct the reader toward additional education, such as an eBook, webinar, or industry report. This can be done with an image at the end of your post, through links in the post, or by an image in the sidebar. Positioning is important, but doesn’t matter as much as its relevance to the material covered in the blog post.
Build the Relationship
You have traveled to a deeper level of the sales funnel when a social follower has converted to a lead and joined the family inside your marketing database. There are tons of distractions on social media channels, but adding someone to your marketing database as a social contact allows you to begin to take the relationship to the next level.
This is not a “gotcha!” moment when you start pounding them over the head with a sales pitch. Rather, this is an opportunity for you to add a greater level of value to their life through a more direct channel.
The journey from a social follower to a customer isn’t cut and dry. It is going to be different for each visitor. When visitors come to your website through a social link, it can be challenging to know where they are in the decision making process. It is important to have your website optimized for visitors at all stages in the sales process by offering top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel content.
Creating a thriving community can be a great tool for directing qualified traffic to your website. Making use of this traffic will require a website that is ready to convert and educate your prospects. An inbound marketing strategy takes into consideration all levels of the sales process and can help drive real ROI from your social connections.