Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a lot of fun and have a way of keeping people on their sites for extended periods.
But let’s be honest: Can they attract quality prospects who convert into revenue for your company? Yes, but only if you have a process for filtering out all the random tire-kickers and finding the real customers among all the social media noise.
So, in this article, I’ll explain how we filter out those tire-kickers so we can focus on converting qualified prospects into happy customers who refer their friends. (Ironically, this frequently occurs on social media sites.)
Step 1: Make a list of social media keywords.
Spend an hour or so brainstorming and then narrowing down a list of keywords your prospects will likely be searching for when they are on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn before you do anything else. The goal is to have a good list of 10-20 keywords that make sense and show “signs of life” in Google’s Keyword Tool. (More on that later.) This list will be partially overlapping but slightly different from the type of keywords you might buy in a Google AdWords campaign. For example, a prospect may type “rolling stones tickets cheap” into Google, but they may type “rolling stones Facebook group” or “rolling stones fans” into social media.
Here’s a Google site that will significantly speed up your brainstorming: Type “keyword tool external” into Google and click the first result. After you enter a few obvious primary keywords for your product or niche, Google’s Keyword Tool External will generate a couple of hundred related keywords. Suppose you enter “classic car” and “auto show” into the keyword tool. In that case, it will return related and similar words such as muscle car, hot rod, automobile show, classic car show, classic car parts, classic auto air conditioning, drag racing, NASCAR, Formula 1, antique car repair, custom coachwork, car auctions, and so on.
Then you go through the list and eliminate the ones that are not relevant or have a low Monthly Search Volume (number of people typing it in). While using Google’s keyword tool to find social media keywords may appear strange, don’t worry; it’s still a handy brainstorming tool. Also, remove any words unrelated to what you hope your prospects will do once they find you. For example, phrases like “apartment for rent” or “cheap apartments” should be avoided if you’re trying to sell a training course on investing in apartment buildings.
Step 2: Schedule your social media publishing for the next 30 days.
You’re aware of how things work in small businesses. It won’t get done if you don’t put it on the calendar. This is a straightforward but beneficial task.
First, because you won’t have to do a creative task every morning, pre-scheduling dramatically increases the likelihood that you will have consistent social media content dripped out into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Second, by writing your social media content in one session, you can create a flow that makes sense to the prospects who see it. If you try to write Facebook status updates or Tweets every day for a month, you will not only go insane but also have difficulty remembering the subject and tone you were on the day before. This is a real annoyance and creates an odd and choppy experience for the reader of your status updates or tweets.
From personal experience, I implore you to set aside 2 hours monthly to write 30 Facebook status updates and 30 Tweets. (By doing it once a month, you can still make changes if you have promotions or special events to mention. That is why you should simultaneously avoid creating a year’s worth of social media content. That, and the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome!)
Step 3 – Filter your general inbound prospects to create a smaller hot list of qualified candidates ready to move forward.
This is the stage at which the magic happens. Even if you didn’t want to use social media as a lead generation source but had money to spend, you could rent a list from a company like Macromark or Nextmark and then drive these prospects to a website or phone operator who would separate the hot leads from the tire kickers. So, identifying hot leads from general tips applies to all aspects of your proactive marketing.
Okay, here’s how it works: You offer something that would be considered VERY compelling to the type of prospects you’re trying to attract in exchange for them providing complete contact information or making a small initial purchase that will kickstart the relationship between you and your new prospects. For example, suppose you send a postcard to your options. In that case, the postcard could direct them to an 800 number where operators would ask questions to determine how interested and qualified they are to purchase your product/service.
You could also direct them to a website that offers something enticing in exchange for permission to contact them further. In internet parlance, this is known as a “squeeze page,” which means you are squeezing the desired information or action from the visitor to the website. Don’t be alarmed; it doesn’t have to be as painful as it sounds! A good squeeze page offers a fair trade: something valuable in exchange for the right to contact you again by phone, email, or mail. In most cases, I’m glad I signed up for the squeeze pages because it’s how I stay on top of what’s going on in my industry and learn about cutting-edge new strategies and tactics. Typically, someone will email me the subject, “hey, check this out…” As a result, if the right thing is offered to the right prospect, as in my case, squeeze pages create a win-win situation for both the company and the opportunity.
How about combining this with social media? It’s pretty simple. You could include a link in a Facebook status update or Tweet that directs prospects to a page that provides more information about your company. Alternatively, you could lead them to a squeeze page offering something valuable in exchange for their email address. Better yet, especially within Facebook, you can have a link direct people to a page within Facebook, such as one of mine at facebook.com/MakeItHappenMarketing. According to marketing research firms, people are more likely to click on a link if they stay within the social network they are on. Having prospects land on a custom Facebook Page from within Facebook is an excellent way to gradually build trust with them before asking them to leave and visit a new Internet site.
While there is a LOT you COULD learn about lead generation for your business, whether online or offline, there are only a few things you NEED TO DO to begin generating a flood of targeted, hungry leads.
Why spend months becoming a lead generation expert when you can learn the insider secrets the pros use to generate tons of targeted, pre-qualified leads right now, even in this economy, in just a couple of hours?
Work smarter, not more complex, and learn from the pros making tons of money in various niches.
Read also: Push Your Business Into A Niche: The Way To Do Niche Marketing