Many marketers find out the hard way that great content and a hyperactive presence in the social media by themselves do not automatically translate to conversions. The audience may accept and contribute towards making a great piece of content go viral, and even engage with you more, but the intended purpose of the exercise – conversions – may still be hard to come by.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool for lead generation, no doubt, but the key is to do it right. An American Lifestyle 2015 study reveals about 70% of customers read reviews from their peers, about the product, before they make a purchase, and social network is the place where they search for such reviews.
Here are five good strategies to get your social interventions right:
1. Optimise Links to External Content
Any effective social media engagement is part of an overall content marketing ecosystem. Social media is never an end to itself, but rather one of the popular mediums, through which high value content is passed on to targeted audiences. The content itself may be a blog, whitepaper, resources section of the website, or any other landing page. It could be “gated content” where the user may have to log in, or supply their credentials, to gain access. A fair bit of suspense may be in order, to entice the user to click the link and land at the location the content marketer desires.
Make sure the landing page, to which the user redirects himself, is equally engaging, and contributes to advancing the prospect in the marketing lifecycle. Many marketers make the mistake of simply offering enticing content, with a link to the product page or the home page at the end, hoping that the recipient, grateful for good content, would oblige by clicking on the link, and buying something. That isn’t happening.
2. Promote Content Native to the Platform
Many marketers are still struck in a time warp, and continue with a one-dimensional social strategy. The social media is a vast space, with many myriad platforms, each with its own idiosyncrasies. Also, today’s users access the social from various devices, and the different cross-platform content strategies in vogue are just as relevant to the social space as well.
Make sure to promote content that best suits the platform, and delivers maximum entertainment for the users. Users convert only if they get an enhancing experience, and the message adds value to them. They don’t care about your sales targets or your brand reputation.
Native content adapts to the unique language, sensibility, culture, and style of the specific platform. For instance, a compelling story, with an image or video, may work well on Facebook, but is likely to fail in LinkedIn, where a whitepaper offers better chance of success. Similarly, a video heavy landing page may drive away users accessing the link from a mobile device, whereas a link to a lean landing page that loads lightning fast will gain more acceptance from mobile users.
3. Don’t Go Overboard with Links
Posting links is a good way to gain leads, but too much of the same thing can be just as bad. From time to time, offer something of generic value to the user. For instance, at times a corny marketing joke in Facebook, or an inspiring quote in Twitter, with no connotation to the product may be just as effective, to strike a chord, and gain credibility. Once the user gains your trust, links can follow. Using the social media as an RSS feed is a mistake best avoided.
4. Create a Personal Experience
The importance of personalisation can never be understated, but surprisingly, very few marketers attempt it on the social space. The bulk of their efforts are rather on one-size fits all generic posts. Localised content, appealing to Facebook users of a specific location, individual social messages on birthdays, and other initiatives can boost the odds of the recipient following up with the link, and eventually converting.
5. Never Give Up
There is no one good way. Social media is all trial and error, and even when something clicks once, there is no guarantee it would click the next time round. The marketer needs powerful analytics tool to identify the effectiveness of each intervention and measure the social media impact of their interventions. But side by side, they also need to innovate, rather than continue with the same high-impact thing. As the cliché goes, past success is no guarantee for future results.