Who said picking the right social media network for your business was easy? Over 200 social platforms compete for our attention and it’s your job to pick the one (two, or more) that resonates most with your core audience.
Facebook and Twitter remain among the top social sites, nevertheless you should definitely check out Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and video networks such as YouTube and Vine. Since Facebook and Twitter signals don’t contribute directly to SEO — see Matt Cutts’ recent confirmation, it’s wise to consider being more active on Google+ and YouTube for example.
Pages from social media sites are ranked differently
One of the biggest advantages of using social media is the fact that you can flip the marketing funnel thus turning existing customers into your greatest sales team. Marketing mogul Seth Godin says the following: “You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.”
This statement reinforces the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. Let’s face it, 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth above all other advertising, while 82% of small businesses consider word-of-mouth marketing to be the most effective way to find new customers. So why not use the power of social media and attract more of the right customers?
Many of the entrepreneurs and small business owners I talk to rely on common sense when choosing a certain social media network. The fact that everybody has a Twitter, Facebook & Co. account is proof enough for them to be present (aka have a profile but not necessarily be active and engaged) on the major sites. That my friends is a common trap to be avoided.
Here are 3 factors to consider prior to focusing your valuable time & energy on a particular social media channel:
1. Customer preferences – If your customers like to participate in group discussions on LinkedIn and get recommendations from industry experts, you should be on LinkedIn too.
2. Your numbers – What do I mean by that? Most certainly you don’t want to rely solely on customer feedback (aka preferences), therefore it’s crucial to analyze your current profiles and dive into the numbers. Where do you get the most traffic? Where are people engaging heavily with you & your brand? Focus on different growth indicators and metrics. Remember, it’s not about having lots of fans and followers. Level of engagement is the metrics to look at.
3. Customer value – Focus on the right customers! Which social media sites are sending valuable traffic to your website (low bounce rate)? You want to attract people who love to read your content and engage with you. The key is to build valuable relationships for your business.
Now that you have three techniques to evaluate the social landscape and be able to turn prospects into customers and customers into evangelists, let’s have a look at how to build a sound social media marketing funnel. The following infographic provided by Quick Sprout explains the necessary steps you’ll need to take…
Social media takeaway
I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences with social media so far: some strategies have been very effective, others have cost me a lot of time. Twitter continues to be one of my favorite social channels. I have been able to connect with awesome people worldwide and they have helped me build a very strong podcasting community.
Here’s the thing though: if you expect users from Twitter, LinkedIn & Co. to come to your site and purchase right away… I’m sorry to disappoint you. In most cases it won’t happen. If you continue to provide loads of value on your site, users will come back after a couple of weeks or months. People are more likely to buy from you after being exposed to your “stuff” a few times — assuming they still like what you say and offer.
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What about you?
What’s your favorite social media channel? Are you generating sales through it?