Once a company has the social media platforms set up, functioning, being managed either internally or externally, and in sync with their website, it’s time to go to the next level – using social media to generate leads and a sales funnel.
While implementing social media properly will result in a boost to your website’s SEO results (but that’s another topic for another time), the real measure of success is tracking leads, sales, and ultimately revenue to your bottom line from your social media assets. There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the easiest way to put this into practice is to form an email list of people that are interested in what you have to offer.
Email marketing is one of the older tricks in the book in terms of online marketing, but it remains in use for one reason: it works. The basic set up works like this:
- Find an email list service that you can use (Mail Chimp is popular, easy to use, and free)
- Create an email sign up/opt-in form that your potential customers will put there information on
- Create a reason for them to give you their information (typically in response to a give away of information, etc…)
- Place that email opt-in form someplace where they will be able to see or be taken to it
- Get the word out
You can create a landing page for the email opt-in form to be placed on for your website, or facebook page (using an app), or both. What’s important is simply to have it someplace that people can be taken to so that they can see it and decide that they want to sign up for it.
From here, you need to determine what type of incentive you will use to entice people to sign up for your email list. People aren’t simply going to give you their information for no reason and (while some may be easier to convince than others) they will need a reason to decide to give you their information. The easiest way to do this is to give them useful information that they can use – specifically, they type of information that your company specializes in. Whether it’s tips on how to keep their home from flooding, things to keep in mind when redecorating their house, whatever, the important thing is to make it relevant to them and relevant to the products and services that you provide.
You can automate this process by using the auto-respond feature in mass email platforms. These are easy to set up in most mass email platforms and you simply follow the step by step instructions.
Next, you use your social media channels to push the availability of the helpful information. You can also run ads to the particular folks who may be interested in that information and that you want to reach. It’s up to you.
Once you begin building your list, it’s important not to spam them (for these purposes, I’m using the word ‘spam’ to refer to email you send these folks who have signed up for your list that is irrelevant to the reason why they signed up for your list in the first place). I believe that you have an ethical duty to your customers to only send them information that might be relevant to them (obviously, specifically relating to products and services that you offer), and to do so in a manner that doesn’t needlessly fill up their inbox. Once a month. Twice a month. MAYBE once a week. But if you email them too much they’ll unsubscribe and you’ll have lost them from your email list as potential customers.
If you have a sale, are sending them more useful information on things that might interest them, or merely want to stay in touch and ask for feedback. These are all reasons to send emails to your email list. It will take you some work to build your email list up, so make sure you are intentional about building value to your readers and potential clients (or even current clients) in the information you send them. They will appreciate it, and you will too when they decide to convert and take you up on whatever your current sale or offer is that you’ve emailed them about.
That is simply one way we go about converting social media activity into sales leads, and transferring them into our typical sales funnel. Social media doesn’t need to be nebulous, but you do need a plan for turning posts into positive cashflow. For that, we’re happy to help.