David is a best-selling author, speaker and trainer. He is also CEO of IPD, a world-class marketing agency based in Tampa, Florida.
Social media has never been a hotter avenue for marketers to venture down than it is today. At the time of this writing, it is estimated that Facebook has around 2.74 billion monthly active users, with these users spending approximately 34 minutes per day using the platform. And there are no signs of this slowing down.
It is for this reason why marketers, salespeople and business owners alike are using Facebook and other social media platforms in search of new leads, new sales and even new employees. What was once looked at as an addition to marketing has now become the main avenue for marketers to reach consumers. Social media marketing is here to stay, and many believe that it will only continue to grow in prominence within the coming years. But how can marketers convert the conversations they have on social media into leads for their company?
Below, based on my personal experience, I’ll offer some tips on how to convert the everyday interactions you have with your audience into real, strong leads for your sales team to follow up with.
In order to stay in front of your audience, you need to post consistently. With such a large margin of individuals on Facebook comes a sea of posts, likes, comments and shares. In order to even have the opportunity to talk with your audience, you must take the time to post at least daily on Facebook, Instagram and the other social media platforms that you may be using. Your audience can’t interact with you if they never see your posts, and if they never interact with you, then they will never become a customer!
When I first began to incorporate social media marketing into my company many years ago, I wasn’t aware of this fact. I didn’t take the time to post regularly and instead posted sporadically. I didn’t understand why I received little to no interaction until I made the decision to view social media as a genuinely useful avenue that needed my full attention. By making the decision to post daily, I grew my follower count and emboldened current followers to interact with posts.
Post content worth clicking on.
This can mean different things depending on your brand, industry and audience demographics. There is no set science or equation that can truly determine whether or not a post will resonate with your audience, but by being aware of what your brand represents, the industry that you are in, as well as the specifics of your social audience, you can make educated decisions on what to post as well as what not to.
As a guideline, it is wise to provide a wide variety of post types. Pictures, blogs, videos, even memes can be useful in gaining engagement from your audience. One of my favorite aspects of social media marketing is the fact that you can generally post anything as long as it is on-brand with your company. Have fun, and don’t overthink it! People want to interact with posts that they feel provide them with something. Informative posts can work well, and fun or funny posts can, too. If you find that your posts aren’t gaining much traction, don’t worry, just adapt!
Engage with others so they will engage with you.
If your audience notices that you don’t respond back to their comments, then chances are they will stop commenting. The aspect of social media marketing that makes it enjoyable for the consumer is that they can interact with the brands and companies that they love — and in real time. Don’t be afraid to talk to your audience, and don’t fear commenting on or liking their posts and comments as well. Social media is, was and will always be about interaction. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, then you will need to get out of your comfort zone. Engagement is one of the most crucial keys to converting conversations on social media into leads. You simply have to do it. Otherwise, those conversations will only ever be just that: conversations.
Don’t go for the close.
I know that this may sound counterproductive, but let me elaborate: Don’t go for the instant, first-time-speaking close. You do not want to come off as spammy or overtly aggressive to your followers. Once a follower gets the feeling that you are just there to sell them your products, engagement will plummet. Make sure that you don’t only interact with audience members when you have something to sell. Instead, treat it as you would with any other consumer. Establish a relationship, get to know the individuals behind the screen, and display the value that your company can provide to them.
Ask for their business.
While you should not go for the close with every interaction, don’t feel bad when you do ask for someone’s business. When you have built a rapport and displayed a proper level of value in your business and products or services, feel free to discuss these products/services with audience members if you feel that you can help them. Audience members expect you to do so. They have connected with you and remained connected to you for a reason. Make it clear that you feel that you can serve them with your product, and then do so.
Social media can be a massive avenue for marketers and salespeople alike to gain leads. Post regularly. Post exciting and engaging content. Interact with your audience. Don’t jump to the close too early. And finally, ask for their business, and watch yours grow!