Converting Social Media Leads to Business

“Engagement doesn’t pay the bills. Be strategic: get the leads and convert the leads to paying customers.” – Mari Smith

Cannot get enough of social media, right? There are over a billion active users on one or the other of these sites. For businesses this translates to a great platform and channel for promoting their brand and enhancing the growth and reputation of their company and brand.  If this powerful tool is used well, converting social media leads to business should be relatively easy. We are not saying that it does not take time, patience and effort but if your company is able to post ‘value’ for its readers, converting social media leads would become one of the simpler aspects of your business.  If however, you are managing your social media incorrectly, then you can forget about converting social media leads to actual business. A report suggests that some businesses (about 61%) have been able to acquire new customers based on social media leads – but this also suggests that there are 39% businesses that fail at converting social media leads to business.

As a company, you would understand that waiting for things to happen is the worst kind of strategy and is not viable for business.  Converting social media leads must be a well-thought out strategy – complete with planning, analysis and a clear understanding of the kind of users there are and their preferred social media channel. Unless you are able to grasp the relationship between the social media sites, the content, your website and other aspects that lead to ‘conversions’, it would be tough to acquire new business. Each aspect plays a unique role in converting leads to business and must therefore be understood in conjunction.

Those companies that understand the criticality of converting social media leads invest enough resources to analyse and monitor user behaviour. Without a clear understanding of the users, it would be difficult to engage and build a rapport with them – both these are critical to converting social media leads to business. They ensure that they give the social media users and readers a sound reason to become customers, recommend the company’s offerings to others and take action that would lead to converting more people to your company. People tend to be more attracted to requests when there is solid backing for it. As mentioned, in order to ensure maximum ‘conversions’ your company must ensure that the content on your social media sites is ‘valuable’ and effective for the readers and also that it links with the company’s blogs, website pages and other content that your company publishes.

Is your company able to manage converting social media leads to business? What steps have you taken and do you ensure that the content you post is great and the channels on which you post them – the best? When you promote content ensure that it is not only relevant to the particular social media site, but is also thoroughly engaging, informative and entertaining.  Customers and other people accessing these sites are always in a hurry – short attention spans ensure that they would stay on your social media site longer only if they know and believe that the content therein is of use to them. You cannot expect that as soon as you place content you would begin converting social media leads to business – it takes time and consistent effort. Each social media site is different – the target audience, the way of communicating and what is communicated – hence it is important to tweak your social media content to suit the particular site if you want to start converting social media leads to business.

We have said earlier that if your company is not using social media as a marketing tool, you are causing yourself immense harm. Your customers are on there, prospective ones are there too and even your competitors are ‘making a killing’ by using social media. A strong and well-defined social media ‘presence’ is now a business requirement and cannot be ignored. It may seem tough to manage this highly visible and immediately ‘reactive’ channel of communication but the fact is that when managed right converting social media leads to business will be one of the best ROI that your company can have.

Use gated content (ensure it is effective and will be highly useful) – that is ask the user / reader to complete a short and simple form with few details of their name and a channel id on which to communicate with them, before they access the content. This information then becomes a ‘lead’ for your relevant teams, who can then prepare customized documents to ensure that converting social media leads to business is easier. If a customer / reader actually takes the time to fill in this form, your company has crossed the first hurdle – the customer / reader has expressed an interest in what you have to offer. With time as your social media content gets better and more customized you would have more referrals and draw more people to it thereby increasing your company’s chances of converting social media leads to business. As a customer, would you not take the time to provide your details if you knew that whatever content is behind the ‘gate’ (read form), will be worth your time and will add value to you and your business?

To ensure that you are converting social media leads to business to the best of your capability, ensure that you allow for a ‘call to action button’. This just means that you allow the readers and users to easily share the content on your social media pages and website with whomever they want. Creating great content, a highly engaging profile and other such things would be of limited use, if you didn’t allow the users to ‘pass’ it on. In fact it makes more sense – this is free advertising and saves your company money, time and effort that would be required to reach out to a larger audience.

When users reach your social media site, they can be offered an email subscription of your daily blogs. This way your company remains current in the mind of the users and also gives the users value-added information on a daily basis, which enhances your company’s chances of converting social media leads to business. Your company has to take the lead in building connections and relationships before it expects any returns and additional business. Ensure that during this process of building relationships there is no indication or coercion on the user / reader to buy your products or even to have your company’s sales or marketing person get in touch with them. With this kind of pressure, the user might not return to your site and you would lose out on the opportunity of converting social media leads to business. You would much rather a company representative arrange a call with them after a few interactions – this is more effective and convenient for the customer.

Go easy on the users and readers – especially first timers. Even for repeat visitors, don’t make them feel pressured into taking any kind of buying decision. For converting social media leads to business, you need to ensure that the ‘visitors’ have enough information about your company and its products before they make any kind of decision. Ensure that your company makes that balance for them – it makes your company more likeable and attractive.

Making money through ‘space’ available on social media sites prompts most companies to ‘sell’ the space to advertisers. To enhance your company’s chances of generating more leads and converting social media leads to business, use this space instead to promote your own website, your company’s other social media pages and other aspects of your business.

If your company is not converting social media leads to business, it is missing out on some potentially huge amounts of business. There will be times when the ‘conversions’ don’t happen but these can be minimized by optimizing the steps involved in raising awareness, building rapport and relationships and engaging the users to ensure that they convert to customers. Don’t let your social media efforts and strategies fail because of inefficient handling of this highly powerful tool.

Learn about a new approach to better customer service!

Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree