At first glance, social media is only a way for people to post photos, communicate with friends and family, complain about the weather and discuss current events. On the surface it may not seem to have much value beyond that.
But the key words when it comes to social media are people and communication.
People communicate with each other on social media about all kinds of things, including potential purchases. At its very core, this makes it very valuable for marketers and business owners as a way to generate concrete leads.
Even so, and quite unbelievably, 73% of CEOs don’t find marketers to be credible business assets and think they don’t generate enough growth.
One of the reasons behind this understanding is that they find that marketers put a lot of value on social media but can’t always quantify exactly how it generates revenue for the company.
Here are a few ways social media marketers can generate concrete sales and put their CEO’s doubts to rest.
1. Establish Your Company as an Authority
Throughout the course of the last eight years, social media has proven itself to be an incredibly lucrative tool for establishing and boosting revenue for thriving businesses.
Any successful marketer knows that to build a lasting customer base, a business needs to establish its brand image.
One way to do this is to sink your teeth into the market share by establishing your business as an online authority.
A good example of a brand utilizing this strategy is energysavings.com’s plugging In blog that features articles about saving money by conserving energy. When consumers see the authoritative quality of advice and information on the blog, their perception of the company starts to lean toward respecting it as a trustworthy source for energy savings (just like the Brandwatch blog, eh? – Ed.).
Track and evaluate all traffic that the blog brings in and apply the demographic and geographic information of visitors to the rest of your marketing efforts. If it’s an ecommerce site, even better. This way you’ll be able to quantify the impact the blog has on revenue.
2. Utilize Specialized Agencies
They say that:
in order to be a good communicator, you must listen more than you speak. And the fewer words you use to get your point across, the better.
This premise translates to social media very well because the most important aspect of social media marketing is listening to what your followers say.
Companies like Brandwatch sort through all kinds of social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, to locate and classify people who post and tweet about purchasing certain types of products. It then delivers the information to their clients as potential sales leads.
Some systems even score leads based on what point in the purchase cycle the person is most likely in. For example, if a person tweets “I want to buy a new SUV,” they’ll be classified differently than one who tweets, “I’m shopping for a new SUV today!”
It’s estimated that about 70 percent of marketers said they had generated leads through social media, which is remarkable in the land of social media marketing.
This strategy is invaluable for marketers, as it narrows the audience considerably, making the best use of their time and energy.
3. Perfect Your Call to Action
Calls to action are cornerstone of most good advertising campaigns. Advertisers found that ads that feature one of these statements are extremely more effective than ones that don’t.
Why not transfer this theory over to your social marketing campaign?
To do this naturally, focus on what’s in it for your viewers and skip the promotional jargon. Typically folks on social media are in the mindset of browsing and socializing, not buying.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a call to action, though. This site has some great tips for improving your calls to action on social media.
There’s no reason that any company should overlook social media as a practical aspect of their marketing strategy. It takes a bit more finesse, and quantifying its effectiveness can be difficult, but there’s no doubt that when it’s executed properly social media can generate concrete leads for your business.
Do you have any points to add?
Please feel free to share your social media marketing tips with us in the comments below.