Most business owners in Maryland generally believe that they need to be active in social media. The big challenge emerges when they have to decide which platform or platforms they need to be on.
It's at this point where many decisions go awry -mainly because the prime focus of why they should be on a particular platform is off base. In my mind, there's a primary reason for a business to be active in social media and that is to drive leads and sales. Having that as a singular focus makes it easier to decide where to be in social media and what to do once you're there.
With this sharpened focus on driving sales and leads, there will be two core activities a business will need to consistently do in order to be successful:
1. Create content and share on the chosen platforms.
2. Engage with others on those platforms.
On the content creation side, the content you share is intended to convert traffic to leads and those leads to sales. The key concept here is conversion. While it's nice to have people look at your content, you want to include a call to action with each piece of your content. The call to action asks those viewers of your content to do something - preferably, something that benefits them and is easy to do.
Let's say you have a sign business. You've done some research and know that there are 5 key considerations to designing successful signs. You create a blog post on your site that talks about some of the considerations and offers a two-page guide to sign design as your call to action. The person on the social media site would see your post title, click on it to go to your site to read it and embedded in your post is the call to action to get the free guide. The call to action is a clickable link to a landing page that recaps the highlights of the 5 considerations and has a short form asking for the person's name and email address. Once the form is filled out , the guide is emailed to the visitor using the information provided in the form.
So, the lead generation cycle using social media is: content creation > content publishing on social media site > reader clicking on blog post title > site visit to read post > reader clicking on the call to action > reader filling out short form on landing page > two-page guide emailed to lead. Keep in mind that not all of the content you share on social sites should be yours. You want to share other relevant content about your industry and current events in your industry so you don't turn people off by being too salesy.
On the engagement side, you want to spend time responding to or eliciting response to the content you're sharing and commenting on others' content. The engagement should be strategic and link to your sales and lead generation efforts.