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From Likes To Leads: The Power Of A Social Media Content Strategy

 

They like you; they really, really like you. But have they become leads and customers? Have social media contentthey gone beyond hitting that “like” button on your blog post, article, or other piece of content to giving you some of their information in return, telling you that they are receptive to more content on the same topic? Or to a sales call?

If not, then you do not have engagement, response, or conversion. You just have a pat on the back that says, “Thanks, you made a good point.” There is nothing that causes the individuals clicking “like” to go any further down your sales funnel. Social Media Today calls this the endpoint of the first generation of social. It doesn’t build a relationship; it is simply another form of outbound marketing. Nothing about a “like” tells you whether that person wants more information or is even in the market for your product or service.

You need to create confidence in your potential lead, according to Make Social Media Sell. Your content in the social media sphere must not only engage but must have a call to action to spur response. Each piece of information you give them must nudge them toward taking a specific step in the sales process by making them “crave” more and deeper information. This, in turn, makes them feel more knowledgeable about what they need to solve their problem and more secure that you are the one who can help the most.

This advice is not new. It just bears repeating often: social media marketing is more than building awareness by broadcasting the brand, offering sage advice, or sending an automatic thanks to someone’s response. Your content strategy needs to address more than just showing thought leadership or asking for permission to market. It must guide the reader or viewer through your funnel using content in exchange for information that will help you understand the needs of a prospect so well that your next pieces of targeted content will lead him through the tunnel toward customer acquisition.

Great content has been likened to honey for bees but it is more like breadcrumbs that keep the prospect engaged with you. Each breadcrumb should be the answer to a question, or provide a “tease” if you will, that the solution to his problem is available ahead. The better your answers, the more confident the prospect is that you have the knowledge to not only solve the problem but help him define it. You are providing proof that you are, indeed, an industry expert who can get him exactly what he needs and can also give him the tools to persuade any other decision makers, influencers, or other involved parties that he has found the right solution.

This is what content marketing is. Your social media content strategy must provide solid support for the content by promoting it in the right place at the right time. Find the places where people in your industry gather to exchange information, ask questions, and discuss mutual problems. Those are the social media hotspots to promote your content and start conversations. Don’t feel limited to Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook. Set up a Google Alert for certain keywords to guide you (also a good way to find your competitors). Create content that answers questions often posed to your customer service team or sales reps.  Listen and then listen some more.

A good social media content strategy should keep your bottom line in mind. The whole reason behind it is to find customers who buy, not just lurkers who “like.”

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