Few marketing buzzwords seem to elicit more attention than social media. That’s because when a social media campaign is creative and well-executed, it can prove a powerful addition to your marketing arsenal.
But with so much competition for attention, ever-adapting algorithms and costly marketing mistakes, many have a difficult time generating a significant return on investment from social media. Yes, social media marketing can be rife with pitfalls—but it’s also packed with potential.
This became abundantly clear to me when I interviewed Florian Sussbauer, a social media systems guru and one of Germany’s top experts in building and scaling agencies. During our conversation, we talked about how social media can be used to significantly supercharge any company’s inbound marketing campaigns.
You just have to utilize it to your own advantage.
Content Is Everything
High-quality content is key to a successful social media marketing strategy. In fact, according to recent statistics in a joint report from Eloqua and Kapost, content marketing has been shown to produce 300% more leads than paid search as an acquisition channel.
Promoting this content through social media and other channels is a great way to drive traffic to your website—and after interacting with this content, consumers are more likely to express an interest in your services.
Quality content isn’t focused primarily on selling, either. In many ways, successful social media and content marketing efforts build an audience in the same way as a traditional sales process. They focus on nurturing a relationship and providing value over time, rather than seeking an immediate sale.
Sussbauer’s advice strongly reflects this idea too.
He shares, “The best Facebook ad campaigns don’t sound like an ad—especially when selling B2B services. Social media users have a tendency to reject content that sounds like it’s overtly trying to persuade them. Instead, social media ads need to deliver value to the customer, then and there. Giving away a free ebook or sharing a link to your latest blog post strengthens your reputation and relationship with potential leads.”
Leveraging The Power Of Facebook Targeting
Quality content is an essential starting point, but it won’t have much of an impact if you aren’t using the right tactics to put it in front of your target audience. “If you truly wish to find quality inbound leads with your social media marketing, you must take a deep dive into targeting,” Sussbauer explains.
He adds, “Basic demographics aren’t enough. Facebook lets you dive deeper by focusing on user interests, employment sector and more—and you can exclude the groups you don’t want to target. Creating a lookalike or custom audience on Facebook using a pre-existing customer group is a great way to find new leads who are similar to your current customers.”
Though shrinking the potential audience for your Facebook ads may seem like it would limit your potential for generating quality inbound leads, the opposite is typically the case.
What’s more, according to Sussbauer, inserting a Facebook Pixel on your website is another invaluable tool in fine-tuning your targeting and generating inbound leads because it allows you to more effectively retargeting to individuals who have already visited your site.
He adds, “This code is embedded into your site content to track the actions that users take on your site. This not only allows you to better gauge the effectiveness of your current ads, it also helps Facebook further optimize your custom audiences to deliver your content to users who are most likely to take the desired action.”
Closing The Sale
Once you’ve generated inbound leads from your social media marketing campaigns, you have to take the right steps to continue on and close the sale. Using the right tools to organize and evaluate inbound leads can play a crucial role in growing your brand.
A quality platform will allow everyone involved in the sales process to share information so they’re better equipped to engage with prospects. By ensuring that your team is working with qualified leads and then adapting their conversations based on information obtained through lead generation tools, your sales staff can use their time more efficiently.
Of course, you also need to have the right sales team in place.
Look for those who share your company’s core values, particularly people who are growth-oriented and constantly trying to improve their own skills.
Coachability is another important attribute when assembling a winning sales and marketing team.
As Sussbauer explains, “A coachable marketing team is always looking for learning opportunities. They’re actively seeking ways to get better—and this allows them to become more efficient and find new ways to contribute to your agency’s bottom line.”
As therapist and author Laura Di Franco writes for the Huffington Post, “Being coachable is about awareness and the ability to take the gold nuggets from a situation and use them to your advantage. There’s wisdom in being coachable. It means you’re paying attention to other people and the experience, wisdom, skills and knowledge they’ve earned and you’re willing to listen close enough to see what might help you on your own journey.”
Using roleplaying exercises can be a great way to evaluate a candidate’s coachability. Consider providing feedback after an initial sales pitch and then having the sales candidate do the pitch again. Do they apply the feedback to their new pitch? This is a great way to determine if a candidate is truly coachable.
With the right team and resources in place, the leads you generate from social media can turn into a powerful source of revenue for your business—ensuring stronger sales results moving forward.
By making effective use of social media as an inbound marketing tool, you can have confidence that your advertising budget won’t go to waste.
read more at http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/ by Ryan Robinson, Contributor