What is all the commotion about when people see your content on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Facebook and take the decision to follow you? As more and more people buy mobile devices, social media marketing is becoming a trending topic of conversation.
If you are still on the fence about whether this is the way forward for your business, whether it be online or offline, please consider one central fact. Most people will not buy from you if they feel they can't trust you.
Upon reflection, that applies both to offline and online business. This doesn't apply exclusively to the internet. If a random stranger came up to you trying to sell you all sorts of products or services, you probably would not buy from them. In fact, you may be put off.
The same plays out on the internet. There has to be some level of familiarity and trust for your target audience members to want to do business with you. Accordingly, a lot of businesses have been going online to try their hand at social media marketing. Thinking that all they need to do is set up a social media account, post to it frequently, and somehow, people will buy off of the links they feature in their updates. If only things were that simple.
The majority of people will not buy directly from links you share on your social media profiles, take this research by Marketing Week conducted in 2016 for example. It's no surprise that many businesses are under the impression that social media marketing doesn't work for them.
This is mainly due to not having a cohesive social media marketing strategy. This form of online marketing truly improves sales for local businesses, online businesses, entrepreneurs in various sectors and large corporate entities. A strategic, fact based approach should be used. Social media marketing is audience driven, their wants, needs and behaviour is a priority.
Build a Mailing List
What is the best approach to gain targeted leads for a business? Start building a mailing list. This approach helps to initiate a relationship with people who have developed an appreciation for your brand online. This might not translate into an immediate sale, but as long as they're giving you permission to send them email, there is a good chance of conversion.
This means that the commercial value of your mailing list grows over time. This also goes a long way in helping your online brand followers develop a deeper level of familiarity with your brand and your offerings.
The bottom line is, the more familiar you become to them, the higher the chance they would trust you enough to buy from you. Again, this might not take place immediately, but it may take place sooner rather than later. It all boils down to building a list.
To build a list, you should have a lead magnet (something of value to offer), a great landing page and an easy opt-in form with a clear call to action. This is the page that recruits people to sign up for your mailing list.
Social media marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of promoting your landing page. How? By offering the above freebie “lead magnet” or some sort of digital bribe to incentivise people to sign up to your mailing list.
You've probably seen these when you've visited resource sites. They would get you excited with their content and then they would tease you about some "ultimate secret" or " The complete list of…" that you can only get through a booklet if you sign up for their mailing list.
You may have also visited websites that incentivise people to join their mailing list through an email based seminar. You get to learn how to do certain things that you don't already know and the only thing that you have to do in exchange is to sign up for the mailing list.
Once you are on a mailing list, you have a relationship with that brand. The companies behind those brands can send you updates and many of these updates have links. Each of these emails is a conversion opportunity. Make this work for you.
If you're still unclear as to how your business can benefit from email list-building facilitated by social media marketing, here are 5 ways you can improve sales. We're talking about sales. We're talking about actual conversions, not just eyeballs to a page or clicks on a link. We're talking about one conversion metric that directly impacts your bottom line.
Social Content Helps You Become a Known Quantity
Keep in mind that if you're going to try to blast your sales page links on social media, you're doing it wrong. Most buyers don't buy at first impression. They have to first develop a level of familiarity. After this, they can then decide to trust you or not.
The good news is, when you use social media to share your content, your target audience members see your content and brand at the places they hang out, on social networking sites and media sites. This builds familiarity with your brand.
Now, they're not going to jump out of their seat the moment they see your brand, but at least you're part of the landscape. You're not some random, unfamiliar business. Instead, they get the feeling that they've seen your brand before.
Your Shared Content Positions You as an Expert
This is the part we get excited about. Who doesn’t want to be an expert?!
The content that your business is sharing on social media accounts can be your own content or it can be third party content that is related to your niche. Regardless of how you do it, when you consistently share audience-specific and need-specific content, your audience members start thinking that you are an expert. This is in part due to the Rule of 7 - this may be considered old school marketing, but it is a sound concept to follow.
There are many marketing survey studies that conclude that consumers have to see a brand several times before they click or they develop a very favourable impression. While this is called the Rule of 7, the actual number of repeated views or brand exposures can vary. Still, keep the Rule of 7 in mind.
People need to view your ads several times before they decide to click. People will need to be exposed to your content before they decide to click on the content and to see what's going on. The point here is that by seeing your brand again and again and being exposed to the great titles and headlines of your content, you audience members start to "soften" up to your brand. Even if they don't click, they soften up.
Your Engagement with Other Niche Experts Further Cements Your Expertise
On platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, when your audience members start seeing the influencers and online personalities that they follow interact with your brand, it has a tremendous impact. In the eyes of the audience, you have a certain level of expertise, otherwise, the people that they already know to be credible and authoritative wouldn't be engaging with you.
What's really happening here is that by using social media to interact with known or established influencers, you end up piggybacking on the credibility of these experts. If you engage them well enough that they quote you or tag you, even better. This association leads to more members of your target audience taking your brand more seriously.
Again, this is all about the Rule of 7. (The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser's message at least 7 times before they'll take action to buy that product or service) The more your audience is exposed to your message all over the place regarding a specific niche or content topic, the more likely they will be to start associating your brand with that niche. This is a crucial part of building and maintaining expertise.
Persistent Content Shares and Consistent Quality Build a Solid Brand
I wish I could tell you that marketing on social media networks simply involves just dumping content once and reaping tremendous benefits. Sadly, the "one and done" approach doesn't work. It really doesn't. You have to automate publishing so your content is visible in areas of the social platform you're marketing to pretty much on a regular basis.
The reason for this is that people use social media at different times of the day. If you send an update when they're sleeping, chances are quite good that they're not going to see your content. It's a good idea to automate publishing of your content based on your audience insights and analytics data in order for it to be visible to the niche areas of social media your likely audience members hang out.
For example, you are promoting a national financial services business. It's a good idea to go to Facebook groups that deal with personal finance or financial niche markets or even debt control and share highly targeted or customised traffic there. You also should share on your own accounts, but you need to time your publications so that regardless of when people access their social media accounts, there's a chance that they would come across your content. We’re not talking about carpet bombing every local Facebook group in your area which has nothing to do with your business or over sharing to the point your own friends are fed up with your content!
Paid promotions via demographics and interest types on Instagram and Facebook ads is another very useful way to promote your business profile. Make sure you have structured an audience profile in order to accurately target your audience. We have use this method when promoting a Facebook business page or Instagram profile amongst our organic strategies, given the stagnation of organic reach on Facebook and unfortunately Instagram, especially on the larger accounts, at this point given its latest algorithm updates. Check out Hubspot’s article on the subject of Facebook and Quintly’s study on the Instagram Algorithm
You have to be persistent in your promotional efforts, and it's very hard to do this manually because if your business is busy you have a lot of things competing for your available time. Using
This is why it's always a good idea to schedule your social media posting at regular intervals. This way, you create a persistent brand.
Regardless of when people sleep or get up, they can at least get a chance at being exposed to your brand at least once a day. This is crucial to making sure that the Rule of 7 works for you. If people are exposed enough times to your brand through your quality content as well as through the quality third party content that you share, people have a higher likelihood of following your social media accounts.
Followers are More Likely to Sign Up on Your Landing Page
This is the final step. When you build a following on your social media accounts, you're not just blasting them with content that has links to your website. Instead, you should promote your Landing page
The more quality content you share, the more likely your followers would click the link to your squeeze page because you have already proven yourself as a source of authoritative or credible content.
The trust factor is already there. Keep this in mind so you can maximise your social media activities.
Make no mistake about it, it's very easy to waste a tremendous amount of time, effort and resources on social media only to end up with very little. Using these tips and partnering with a specialised digital marketing agency which has the skill to analyse your target audience, audit your website and social platform data and implement a personalised strategy based on these findings is crucial. This will allow your business to harness the marketing power of social media with the conversion authority of email marketing campaigns.