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Inbound Marketing Blog

    How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads, Revenue and Brand Groupies

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Explode Your Social Media ROI

    Let's not kid ourselves. Community and relationships are great, but wouldn't it be nice to generate some serious revenue from Facebook and Twitter? We're not suggesting you start using Facebook posts as a forum for a hard sell. How do you write and distribute content that stands out in a busy social feed? Is there any magic formula for really developing a great connection with your leads on Twitter? We've compiled the latest research to help you use social media to generate a serious ROI:

    1. Post the Right Content

    Before your sales person picks up the phone and calls a lead or drops them a personalized email, 60% of the sales cycle is over. Customers have already made more than half a decision that they'll be purchasing your product. That's one of the best arguments we've ever encountered for an inbound marketing strategy. How do you ensure the first 60% of the sales cycle is exceptional? Social media outreach isn't just a great way to build community, it's a real way to sway your future clients towards your brand. Here's how to ensure that no one is driven over to your competitors' website during the early stages:

    • Sharpen Your Buyer Personas: How old is your average customer? What's their average income? Are they more concerned about cost, convenience, packaging or image? You may think that your company's commitment to keeping costs down is king, but if your clients are mostly interested in your return policy and customer service, you should rethink your content calendar and inbound marketing strategy!

    • Create Content to Answer Real Persona FAQs: No one knows better than your sales representatives the questions they have to answer day in and day out before a lead becomes a client. Are clients concerned about how to use your software or the nutritional content of your trail mix? Address these questions in content. Not only will you attract clients who failed to get their questions answered over at your competitors blog, your sales team will thank you!

    • Act Like a Publisher: Curate videos, memes, news items and infographics that will hit a home run with your buyer personas. Remember, over 73% of engagement on Twitter takes place within the first hour after you hit "Tweet." Marketers and small businesses have traditionally been constrained by the cost of advertising space. Space is not the issue, it's getting noticed and keeping people's attention! 

    2. Generate Shares

    Think back to the summer's pervasive piece of viral content. We're talking about Call Me Maybe, the very bubble gum pop hit by a 26 year-old runner up on Canadian Idol. Say what you will about the song, you can't deny the fact that Carly Rae Jepsen's 260 million YouTube views and counting are downright enviable. How did the formerly unknown folk singer do it? Justin Bieber. The teen idol made his own parody version of the song which launched Jepsen into instant fame.

    While few of us can dream of earning the attention of Bieber's 29 million Twitter followers, it's really a lesson in networking. Follow influential blogs and build real relationships with the Biebers of your industry. All it might take is one well-followed retweet to achieve viral status. While the exact formula of content that generates hundreds of thousands of views is a mystery to even the most experienced marketing experts, Hubspot Scientist Dan Zarella's research on generating social media shares could give you some insight on how to create and distribute the right content:

    • Audience Relevance (18.6%)

    • Increasing Reputation (8.8%)

    • Furthering a Message or Cause (8.6%)

    If you want your Facebook and Twitter followers to share within their networks, make sure you're answering your buyer personas, writing intelligent information and taking a strong stance.

    3. Be Sincere. No, Really Sincere.

    Marketing research has indicated it takes seven points of contact before you can yield enough influence over a person to make a sale. If you approach the situation correctly, you can rack up these seven points of influence right on your latest Facebook post. Internet Marketing blogger Ryan Stewman recently illustrated just how quickly, easily and cheaply you can rack up these seven touches on social media:

    1. Prospect Sees Your Facebook Post, Tweet or Pin.

    2. They Hit "Retweet" Leave a Comment or Share.

    3. You Author a Sincere Response and Tag Their Name

    4. They Receive an Email Notification They Were Mentioned

    5. Prospect Sees Their Name Mentioned on Social Media

    According to Stewman, steps #6 and 7 are entirely up to you, but keeping an engaging dialogue running in the comments can easily bring your future client from "like" to "love and trust" territory!

    As a blogger, I've recently put a ban on my tendency to respond to retweets and shares with a simple "Thanks for the share!" It's just impolite and impersonal. The Twitter user might feel a little appreciated, but they're probably not going to keep the dialogue going. When someone takes the time to open dialogue with your brand on social media, don't even think about letting the door shut with a simple "thanks." Make a joke, be sincere and most importantly, end your response with a question to invite them to keep the conversation going.

    How Do You Generate Shares and New Clients on Social Media?

    image credit: photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Social Media, Lead Gen