how to use social media for your business - woman juggling social media icons

How to Use Social Media For Your Business

Ever feel baffled about how to use social media for your business?

I have three questions for you to consider. Answer them and you’ll be better able to harness the power of social media for your business. And that applies to lead generation, conversion and engagement.

1. Are competitors eating your lunch on social media?

If you’re not leveraging social media as well as your direct competitors, watch out. They may be pulling ahead of you both in terms of market share and reputation among your prime prospects. One of the first things you must do if you want to survive and grow is become aware of the competitive landscape.

Which social networks are your prime prospects hanging out in? LinkedIn? Facebook? YouTube? Pick the one they’re most likely to frequent and do a little competitive research.

Just being aware of what your competitors are doing there not only gives you an idea of how to position your offerings, it may give you some great ideas to “swipe and deploy”. Just don’t simply copycat them — Make their ideas your ideas by changing them up or improving on them.

And, of course, if you have no competition (unlikely) in the social network your perfect prospects hang out in, then GREAT! You have an opportunity to race ahead.

Not sure? Check their website to see if it links to any social networks. If it does, are they placing content there consistently? Is it engaging? What do you need to do to position your specific current offers as more compelling?

2. Are you getting real traffic to your landing page or website from social media?

In today’s “Digital First” world, your offers need to get found by your target audience. Social networks, used strategically, can generate traffic for you in several ways.

Google, Bing and other search engines recognize “social signals” as a measure of visitor value. The term, social signals refers to the shares, likes and overall social media visibility of a web page. Search engines view these activities as a form of citation, similar to backlinks. How well your page measures up to other similar pages for a given search helps determine where your page ranks for that term.

For instance, embedding a Twitter feed ticks a lot of boxes. The search algorithms favor current activity. Assuming you’re posting fresh content on Twitter daily, the search engines see that as a signal to rank your site higher, and will send you more traffic.

A quick search online reveals a variety of tools to track social media results. Here are some things to look for. You want a tool or tool set that enables you to…

  • Track competitors, see how their campaigns faring and compare them to yours.
  • See the impact of your social media efforts on opt-ins, page traffic and audience growth or decline.
  • Determine which campaigns drive pipeline growth, deal flow and revenues.
  • Collect data from the platforms you’re most focused on.

If you’re not ready to invest in one of these tools, Google Analytics can give you some basic insights. And there are other free tools as well as free versions of paid tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, MeetEdgar and others.

They can give you a reading on how well your social media efforts are resulting in real traffic to your landing page or website.

3. Do you have a system that converts social media strangers into prospects?

It’s one thing to have a follower, friend or contact on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter… But the profits don’t get real until you’ve got prospects in a funnel, on their way to doing business with you or your brand.

Your landing page then must give your social media visitors a reason to respond. To exchange contact info in exchange for something of value. In today’s world, that step is critical. Once you have contact info, a real relationship can begin. Otherwise, it’s like chatting with partygoers at someone else’s party.

After the party’s over, you may never see them again. However, if you strike up a conversation with someone at the party and decide to exchange phone numbers or an email address, now you have a way to continue the relationship beyond your host’s digs.

To trigger that precious exchange then, isn’t it worth some serious effort to make that exchange as enticing as possible? Only pretty much every day, right?

Okay, so how do you do that?

Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your landing page is converting as many visitors into prospects as possible:

A Headline That Hooks Your Visitor

Does it arrest his or her attention and pull them into the rest of the page?

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Subhead That Reels Them in

Whereas your headline grabs attention because it taps an emotion, your subhead gives your visitor’s rational mind a reason to stay… It provides an “excuse”, if you will, for your visitor to satisfy his or her emotional need to continue into the page.

Powerful Picture

It may just be a thumbnail to your video, but it has to evoke a strong feeling in your visitor. And don’t make this mistake: It’s NOT about decoration. Let it punch up your headline, really bring it to life. It must reinforce the message in your copy if you want a page that converts at a good to great rate.

Your Value Proposition

What do you propose to do for your visitor? How will it add value to his life? How will his life be different once he accepts? It should promise to solve a particular problem he has, fulfill a need, or, at the very least, satisfy his curiosity about “what’s on the other side”. To put it in Godfather terms, an offer he can’t refuse.

Benefits

Bullets and/or a paragraph or two may be enough to fill in all the details your visitor needs to accept the offer. How much explanation do you need? That depends on the complexity of the offer. A pack of gum or chocolate bar at the grocery checkout doesn’t require a lot of explanation. A white paper solving a critical problem in rocket technology might need you go a little more profuse.

Proof

It must provide more than enough proof that what you say is true and that he’ll be happy with a decision to opt in. Trustworthy testimonials, endorsements or case studies, for example, can lend credibility to your offer. Facts and statistics may help. And the logic of his own experience, such as, “Just think, in your life, haven’t you ever _____________?” can be very convincing.

Something about Pleasure

What benefits will he enjoy with your solution? How will that affect every day of the rest of his life? How will his friends and family regard him? Remember, we’re decisions start in the subconscious. Painting a desirable picture speaks to the subconscious directly, triggering a desire to make a positive decision.

Something about Pain

At least touch on or, better yet, really dig into the pain he’s feeling now without your solution. How does it affect his daily life? How other people see him? What experiences is he missing out on? It can be framed in terms of current state — what’s he experiencing now, or future state — what his life will be like without your solution. Remember, people are far more motivated to avoid pain than to go after something they desire.

Logical Flow

Check for logical flow. If something seems confusing or awkward, people will just exit out, even if they don’t know why. They have too many other options and too little time. Run it by a friend, colleague, or even perfect strangers; ask if they see anything they don’t understand. This can save you a lot of wasted effort.

Guarantee

Nobody likes risk. Least of all, somebody who just met you online. Give your visitor every assurance that there’s no risk. If it’s a free offer, assure them you won’t spam him or trade away his contact information. If there’s a price tag, spell out what he can do if he’s not absolutely happy with what he gets in exchange for his hard-earned cash.

Powerful Call to Action

Make it clear. Add a reason to act NOW. Remember, later means never. And don’t make it a B.S. reason. He’ll see right through it. Make it real. At the very least, point out how the sooner he says yes to your offer, the sooner his pain or problem will go away.

Methods of Contact

Finally, people like to know they’re dealing with real people. Especially online. Putting a physical address, phone, number, email address and social media handles on your page gives your visitor a sense you’re for real and that you’ll be there if he has any problems or questions.

Bottom Line: Learn how to use social media for your business!

Website visitors who’ve seen you on social media are more likely to respond to the content and offers they find on your website. Seeing that you’re active on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, assures them that you’re “open for business” and ready to respond to any questions or concerns that may arise in the course of doing business with you or your company.

Also, an effective social stream shown to your target audience keeps you “Top of Mind” so that even if they aren’t interested today, they’ll think of you when that day arrives when they’re ready to take the next step toward becoming a buyer.

Another thing that social media can do for you or your brand is to position you as a “player”.  As a result, you may be invited to participate in expert interviews via podcast, webinar, live cast or blog post. It also may help you land speaking gigs at live events, which can be very profitable if done strategically.

And let’s not forget, people need to experience something new seven to twelve times or more before they even become consciously aware it exists. This is more true today, in today’s media saturated world, than ever before. An effective social stream gives you a chance to put your proposition or various aspects of it in front of your prime prospects multiple times, without seeming pushy.

If you struggle with whether or not your company’s investment in social media marketing is paying off, you’re not alone. The key to knowing goes back to the principle, “What gets measured gets managed.” So watch your sales, track down where they’re coming from and compare investment to outcome. Then tweak and repeat — it’s an ongoing process.

Social media can, if done right, be a highly effective and profitable part of your marketing arsenal.


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About The Author

Mike Connolly

Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers and Infusionsoft Certified Partner, Mike Connolly lives in Boulder, Colorado, builds marketing funnels that rock, and loves cycling (almost) all year round.