Should Your Company Market on Social Media?
Direct Selling with Social Media – Don’t Do it.
Social Media can definitely increase your business. The problem is that most companies take a Direct Sales approach when they attempt to market on Social Media (especially Facebook). Here is the reality — Direct Selling on Social Media Simply does not work very well. In most cases, businesses end up losing interest in marketing on Social Media because of the low conversion rates (typically speaking, you can expect under a 5% conversion rate when attempting to direct sell on Social Media) Consumers just don’t want to be sold when they are visiting their preferred Social Accounts.
How do you measure your success with Social Media Marketing?
That doesn’t mean that social can’t be used for sales, it can and there is much success to be had there. But you have to approach it differently. You can’t just go and blast your PR all over the place, no one will listen to you, and if no one listens then no one buys. Again, not good.
It’s even worse when you are just starting out, trying to get your product to the market. You have no brand recognition what so ever.
Your Goal With Social Media Should Be: To Build Trust
People buy from companies and brands that they recognize and trust. That have some kind of relationship with them. So don’t use social media to sell per-se. But to get attention (at first) promote good relevant content, run contests, create an identity in your industry first.
Once people recognize that you don’t just blast your company’s PR all over the place, but share stuff they like (give good advice, relevant info etc) and find useful, they will follow and like your activities.
TIP: Do Not Sell On Social Media – Do your Selling on your Website
AFTER You have built trust!
Now that you have their attention, it’s time to drive them off of Facebook and into your website. In there you have total control over the environment and thus can work your conversions magic.
The easiest way to drive people from Facebook to your site is through your very own blog. You write a great blog post, and share it (and hopefully others do that as well) on social media.
It works because a blog post still carries the same DNA of your previous activities, meaning sharing relevant content. The difference is that now you are the creator of that content and they are consuming it in an environment that is controlled by you.
Some new people land on your site, read the post and see your lead magnet they can’t resist. Now you get their e-mail and keep nurturing the relationship by sending something of value on a regular basis. Over time they’ll develop trust in you and might even like you. Then they’ll be ready to buy from you.
It’s definitely a long term strategy, but one that will pay off handsomely in the end. Blasting “buy my crap” on social media will not lead to anything.
So What Metrics should You Look at on Social Media?
Direct sales numbers are not a good metric to look at when it comes to social media – so what is?
When you post stuff on Facebook, Twitter and the like – do people reply , like , comment, share your stuff? The more of those you get, the more confident you can be that you’re doing the right thing, e.g. pushing out content that people care about and want to read.
If there is no engagement with your content then you have to take a critical look at what you’re doing and why it’s not working. Getting traction takes time, but don’t let that become an excuse. Lots of companies have developed a significant following in 1 year or less.
Why is it Engagement so Important on Facebook?
Engagement is especially important on Facebook, because of their EdgeRank algorithm that rewards “engagement” on your posts. Meaning that posts that attract a lot of engagement in terms of actions such as Likes, shares, and comments will be rewarded with greater visibility in users News Feeds.
How much traffic are you getting from social media? Here’s how you can track that with Google Analytics:
- Go to Traffic Sources section, select Sources and All Traffic. From there you can identify who sends you the most traffic.
- Once you know your main social media traffic sources, go ahead and create Advanced Segments for those websites to individually analyse your visitors from those sources.
- For others check under All Traffic and set-up different Advanced Segments as necessary for your traffic sources.
3. Lead generation
How many new leads are you getting thanks to your social media efforts? One thing to remember is that leads from social media are different from your traditional leads.
Different as in you can’t go straight for the kill a.k.a sale – that will kill the sale with a social media buyer. Instead you must work on building trust through valuable and useful content and then slowly move into the sales part.
Social Media Examiner advises (Tip #4) to use decision making content that is designed to answer questions that are commonly being asked when purchasing your product. That way when your leads are finally in the buying phase they already have the answers to their questions that normally come up.
1) Social message match – Make it Congruent
The primary message on your landing page should reflective on what you said in your social media channel. Seeing a familiar message adds to the feeling that you made a “good” click.
By having a mismatch between what you said on social and what awaits visitors on the landing page you risk visitors feeling lost and leaving. button.
2) Social proof – Reviews and Testimonials
Use testimonials and social media widgets to establish your authority and show your success.
Widgets show how many people have liked, shared, tweeted your product/article etc. It can be used as social proof – if a lot of people have tweeted and liked it it obviously means its good. Be careful though on how you use them – it can work against you. For example in eCommerce some sites used them in their product pages and have a row 0 there, not good. Negative social proof. Seriously, who shares a product page anyway?
Testimonials show people that you made someone else happy trough your service, product, offering. Make sure they are authentic and use real photos of people whenever possible.
3) Social sharing – Encourage People to Share
Social media icons help users share your content and offer ways for people to like your content. Likes are valuable votes of confidence (building trust) and go a long way with users who may have come to your site for the first time. Make your content easy to share. Above are social sharing buttons that Mashable uses.
Sure, there are people arguing against having social sharing buttons on your content – but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that myself.
Brightedge conducted a detailed social share analysis of 4 million randomly sample tweets and discovered that sites that had adopted the “Tweet” button drove almost 7 times more link mentions(sharing) on average than sites that did not have the button.
In some cases a simple “Tweet” button can increase traffic by as much as 55%. For around 10 minutes of work to add a share button to your side you can potentially get twice the traffic.
Not bad, not bad at all.
But remember that too much of anything is rarely good. It’s the same with social sharing buttons, apparently too many social sharing buttons make your site less social.
4) Use promotional campaigns
Holiday shopping report from Yesmail Interactive shows that consumers want to see more deals on social media that brands have been offering. At the same time consumers will tune out companies that bombard them with deals and promotions all the time.
The trick is to find a balance between putting out good quality relevant content and mixing it up with deals and promotional campaigns. Another study by Pivot Conferencefound that a whopping 83% of customers on social network seek deals and promotions.
Social Media is an exceptional tool to market with – you just have to understand that it cannot be compared with traditional metrics. There is no better way to reach a massive amount of laser targeted prospects than with social media. You must learn that you cannot direct sell using these channels… instead, relationships must be cultivated and measured using non-traditional metrics. The objective is to build enough brand trust and authority where people will ultimately visit you website (s) where most of your actual selling should be done.
Use creative blog posts or special offers (or a very compelling offer) to draw people to your website… if the offer is good enough, people will buy!