BY: Brian Hughes
Do you think promoting your blog through social media is a waste of time? Or do you think focusing on social media is less important than your other marketing efforts? Think again.
Over a third of online users turn to social media to learn more about different brands. Over half of marketers who have been active on social media for two years have seen sales increase. And 41% of local businesses use social to drive sales.
Why People Fail at Social Media
Social media marketing educators note that many people fail to drive profits through social media because of a misconception. It has been observed that people often think all they need to do is post an update asking people to buy. When their followers don’t, these people think social media isn’t effective.
The truth is that generating revenue through social media comes down to three tactics:
1.Knowing your audience
2.Speaking of their pain points
3.Using paid and organic traffic
- Online marketers widely agree that you must choose a niche wisely in order to be successful. You need to know who the members of your target audience are and how they are wired. This knowledge will enable you to create blog posts that speak directly to their desires and fears.
This means that you must take a stand for something, even if you alienate some people. If you’re not alienating someone, it’s unlikely you’re appealing to anyone. You don’t need to be abrasive and antagonistic. But if you don’t stand for something, what do you actually have to offer?
For example, many people surfing the web love to eat meat and have no interest in a vegan-oriented blog. But many others would be very interested in such a blog. If you try to appeal to both groups, you will lack credibility and dilute your message. You will be much more successful by appealing to one or the other.
- As online marketer Jerry Low observes, “No matter how well written your content or how beautiful your blog design—if you fail to pick the right niche, you will fail to convert your effort into money.”
He recommends several methods for determining your niche. These include doing keyword research and finding out where online advertisers are spending money. Facebook is also useful for narrowing your audience (as well as for generating revenue, as we’ll discuss later).
If you have a Facebook page, you should explore in-depth the profiles of the people who have already liked your page. This ability in itself is a huge advantage of social media because it provides you with an easy way to learn about your potential buyers. The more you know about them, the more successful your marketing will be (and the more profits you will gain).
You can also learn about your audience by looking at your competitors’ pages. Find out which of your competitors’ posts are the most popular by going to Insights > Overview > Pages to Watch.
Another strategy you should pursue is finding out who is succeeding at marketing on social media and then mimicking their tactics. Why are people following them? What problems are they solving? What are the qualities of the most clickable headlines and the most popular posts?
You can also evaluate how your competitors are failing and learn from their mistakes.
Very Common Mistake to Avoid
There is one primary mistake people make when attempting social media marketing. They fail to realize the fact that they have customers all over the web on a variety of platforms.
Most companies post the same piece of content on all their platforms at once and then don’t think about the post again. If people are following you on several apps and you put the same content on all of them at the same time, your followers will receive multiple notifications about ONE post. But they are only going to read your post on one of those apps.
The result is you are squandering an opportunity to get your followers to notice you multiple times on every platform they enjoy.
Companies should create fewer pieces of extremely valuable content in a variety of formats. You could present one piece of content as an image, video, blog post, set of slides, a list of tips, podcast, quote, and so on. Then spread out your posts on different platforms on different days, using automation software to make the process easier.
The way this strategy could play out is you first publish a blog post on your website on the first day of a campaign. The second day, post on Facebook with a comment to generate emotion and interaction. Next, post on LinkedIn (with a link back to the original blog post) and the next day on Instagram (again, with a link back to the blog post).
The following day, post on Pinterest and the next on Twitter, and so on. This way, you are generating links and sending traffic back to your blog, making the most of every chance to get your audience’s attention.
As you cultivate relationships with your followers, there are a number of ways you can turn the value you’re providing them with actual income.
One way is to use social media to capture sign-ups for your email marketing. You could offer an incentive for signing up, such as a discount. Or you could give people the chance to sign up directly through Facebook. Tesla, for example, has a Sign-Up button on its Facebook page that takes you right to a place on the site where you can enter your email address.
The freemium model is another option for generating sales. You can offer something for free or for a trial period as a motivation for users to return and spend money once they know and like your product. Make sure that what you offer is useful without giving away too much. If you give away too much for free, people won’t think your product has much value.
You might consider affiliate marketing, where you partner with a social influencer who has an audience that would benefit from your product. If your interests align, the person or group will drive traffic to your site and get a percentage of the sales you make.
Of course, you can always attempt direct selling through social media. Facebook is a great platform for this tactic. You can showcase your product through images, video, and Facebook Live. And you can add a “Shop Now” button to your page so your followers can easily click through to purchase from your site.
On Instagram, companies will often post a compelling picture of their product and then direct their viewers to shop via a link in the bio. With the new Instagram for the Business feature, it’s possible that brands will soon be able to show the prices of their products within each post and enable purchasing within the app.
Many social networks work well for generating leads and filling your sales funnel. This is especially true for B2Bs. Look for third party tools developed for lead generation on specific social platforms. For example, Socedo is a Twitter lead generation tool.
Oktopost can measure social media insights and identify previous visits if a repeat visitor later subscribes to a list or downloads a white paper.
Use Your Imagination
You’re going to have to be creative in figuring out which platforms are most suited to your company’s marketing efforts. For example, while people commonly go to Instagram to learn more about their favorite brands, most of SnapChat’s users are not on that platform to shop. So SnapChat is not a great avenue for direct selling.
But SnapChat is popular with a younger demographic. If your message is targeted to younger people, you should explore how you could use it.
The nature of SnapChat is lighthearted and often silly, so the app could be a good fit for you if those qualities are in line with your branding. This post has some great ideas for using SnapChat to generate leads.
If you ignore social media, you are ignoring the potential to skyrocket your profits. Create and post excellent content. Build relationships with your followers. If you are strategic, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised with the results.