In 2012, when marketing research company Marketing Sherpa released its study of just how important social media is to marketing, 72% of marketers reported they had already recognized its value and were employing it to generate leads. The growing popularity of social media and heightened acknowledgment of its marketing power have raised the bar even higher so that today’s marketers need to employ every tactic available to maximize their success.
As before, value proposition is still critical to success in lead generation. The key is in learning and understanding the brand’s customers. Having this information and data empowers marketers to fine tune and tailor their messaging.
Marketers should conduct a search for the company brand, as well as those of their competitors to uncover valuable information. In addition, close attention must be paid not just to good comments, but also to complaints and suggestions. The latter can sometimes lead to product improvements that will raise the brand’s popularity and appeal.
Marketers should keep close tabs on product and/or industry influencers. What they and some of their followers say can be valuable in making changes to marketing direction, and even product additions or alterations.
Much like listening in by accident to an interesting conversation at the store or the airport, hanging out on the most popular social platforms the company’s customers frequent can be invaluable, if only to overhear what they’re saying. This might unveil unexpected candid comments, but could also stimulate new ideas for blogs, webinars, etc.
When appropriate, marketers should engage in online conversations. Over time, this can build trust and confidence, and can encourage new prospects to check out the company or brand.
Don’t Go at It Alone
Professionals should strive to utilize everyone on the marketing team to take on these different tasks and then share the results in meetings. Doing this not only empowers each member of the team, but also gives them a deeper understanding and appreciation of how they and each piece fits together.
Marketers could encourage customers to share photos and comments about the brand. Coming up with a contest and generating publicity before and after can also trigger interest and boost enthusiasm.
Keep Content Flowing
Consistently using content in social media that attracts interest and engagement is ideal. White papers, infographics, and case studies can produce leads and generate calls to action.
Engage and Convert
Marketers should encourage open communication and respond to all queries and comments, both good and bad. The cost to acquire new customers is a lot higher than retaining existing ones, and this should work as their mantra.
Not only is social media a valuable tool in generating leads, but it’s also important in fostering and building that relationship. When possible, conversations can be laced with topics important to the brand or company. Including the company call center can effectively encourage customers to share feedback and input.
As in all marketing strategies, organization is key. Marketers must use action steps with assignments, as well as timelines and goals, and share the results with everyone involved.
Engaging everyone and listening to their comments and ideas guarantees success. Equally important are open-mindedness to change, which may even include dropping certain action items if they aren’t working.