Apr 3 2014, 3:21pm CDT | by Forbes
Businesses that engage in social media marketing are already doing themselves a world of good. A strong online presence is crucial to successful online marketing, and social media plays a huge role in building that online strength. Social media, however, can do even more.
Converting leads with social media seems like a pipe dream to many businesses, but for some, social leads actually convert. Stop doubting your ability to turn a real social ROI; here are some of the best tactics for converting leads with social media.
Publish gated content
When you come up with a great piece of marketing content, place it behind a gate when publishing it. A gate is an online form that users must fill out, usually with their name and email address, in order to access the content. Those users are then generally added to a lead funnel for outreach by the sales department, or subscribed to an email newsletter. Gates should be used sparingly, because public content (ie, content that’s accessible to search engine crawlers) is essential for good organic search visibility and SEO. But some marketing channels are perfect for gates, and social media is one of them.
Social media is great for gated content because once users reach your online form, you know their interest has already been piqued. When you post content to Twitter, for example, anyone who clicks your link has already decided they want to view that content. Will some leads be put off by content that requires a gate? Undoubtedly so, but if the content is presented well enough and you have a decent reputation, seriously interested readers will gladly give their name and email address to see it.
One great example is Infusionsoft’s gated eBook. Infusionsoft, a marketing software provider, published an ebook titled “How to Convert Fans and Followers Into Customers”, and placed it behind a gate on a landing page. The page clearly explains the features and benefits of the ebook, and only requires a name and email address to access it.
Include a promo code in your profile image
Whether it’s your Facebook cover photo or your Twitter background, static images on your company’s social media profiles serve as ideal locations for promo codes. Leads who just happen upon your profile may be intrigued enough to find out more about your business, and already interested leads will find the encouragement they need to become your customers.
Non-coded offers work too, but codes are especially useful in social media because they provide a direct way to measure ROI. If you create a promo code just for Twitter, every time that promo code is used, you’ll know Twitter converted for you.
One great example of this is HostGator’s Twitter profile. HostGator knows a thing or two about social media conversion; their Twitter profile exhibits a simple call to action in the profile background image, including a 20% off promo code made just for Twitter. With over 50,000 followers, this tactic provides users with an easy way to get in touch, while providing a monetary incentive for doing so that allows the company to track conversions via social media.
Create a clear path to conversion
All too often, businesses develop beautiful social media profiles that offer no opportunity for followers to become customers. A link to your company website isn’t enough. Like all well-converting landing pages, every social profile you maintain needs a call to action and an easy way for leads to complete that specific action.
Of course, your options are limited in different ways for all the different social media sites, but there are a few key tactics any business can use.
Your business is missing out if your social media profiles don’t convert leads. Does every conversion tactic work for every business? No; that’s why you should mix it up, and try different tactics until you find some that work especially well for your business. Other companies are converting leads with social media. Trust that you can, too!
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