There are countless motivations behind using social media for business. It’s a great way to connect directly with customers and prospects. It’s an excellent source for reputation management and customer service. It’s a powerful tool to utilize when promoting your own unique, valuable content.
Many businesses spend their time and money driving people to their social sites, attempting to build their following. They even use traditional marketing methods to drive traffic to their social sites. Building a following that is engaged with your products or services is extremely important, but to build solid social media ROI for your business, let’s take your social strategy one step further.
Once you have prospects on your social media sites, engaging with your content, what is the next step? If you are already taking an inbound approach to marketing, you know the answer here: lead generation.
Pending your website is set up for lead generation (if it’s not, make this a huge priority for 2015!), your social media content strategy should begin to revolve around engaging people with content containing an external link to your website. It’s all about pulling prospects in from your social channels to your website. From there, the inbound marketing process kicks in.
At our office, we affectionately call the inbound marketing process “TLC”. It’s all about driving Traffic to your website, converting that Traffic into Leads and converting those Leads into Customers. It’s a simple process that will make a world of difference for your bottom line, and social media can be the fuel behind the first step!
With 60 to 90% of the customer decision journey now being carried out online, driving traffic to your website is more critical now than ever. Whether you are taking the inbound approach outlined above or strategizing to generate leads directly from your social channels, the impact of social media on lead generation is hard to ignore.
In a 2013 report produced by HubSpot, we can see that social media is the top driver of lead generation among numerous marketing channels, both digital and traditional, like email marketing, pay-per-click advertising and direct mail. At 14%, it is neck-and-neck with search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you are just tapping into social media for your business or are a content-creating social engagement machine, you have a huge opportunity to take social a step further by generating leads via your social channels. With quality content and the right strategy, you can shift your social channels from existing as simple avenues for content promotion to lead generation mechanisms to which you can assign true marketing ROI.