Image under the tartanpodcast under Creative Commons License 2.0
 

Social media marketing (like direct response marketing) needs a good list of prospects and understanding of what they want in order to engage them with relevant information that will get them to buy from you.

 

After all, people will not be over keen to listen if they have very little interest.

 

Social media enables you to build up prospects over time, and you've also got the potential to go viral - but this is not something you can count on (and if it does happen, it won’t necessarily be a post that you particularly want to go viral).

 

Few social media leads convert, so research ways you deal with your leads and see if you can identify where your online leads typically fall off: Unsubscribing from your emails, unliking / unfollowing your channel, abandoning your landing page, or abandoning your shopping cart/enquiry form.

 

Pay attention to your content on social media with conversion & engagement in mind. Most platforms give you inbuild information about which posts are most popular, where what is triggering your follows & unfollows etc.

 

 Here’s an article outlining five ways to track unfollowers.

 
 
 
Image under mrsdkrebs under Creative Commons License 2.0
 

Someone that clicks on a Twitter post to download an e-book is showing content interest but not necessarily sales interest.

 

They may be interested in your content and potentially be a sales prospect for your product or service in  the future, but if they’re not ready to be sold to now then the normal sales process for more direct leads is going to be a major turn off. So, it would be more beneficial to find other ways to utilise these opportunities.

 

Most content lead qualification forms will include questions probing customers to give information about how likely they are to be changing existing providers or looking to purchase a new product, along with some indication of time frames.However you get this information, it will give you a greater handle on when (or if!) they may be open to a sales approach.

 

Someone that followed / liked you and engaged in a conversation on social media may still be a lead despite the lack of further details so avoid offending with an early sales pitch.

 

Possibly nurture these leads over a period of time – maybe weeks but probably months – to ensure they continue to think about you and are reminded of what you offer. Hopefully when they are ready to convert, you’ll be central in their minds.

 

 Emails provide great nurturing techniques: Adding people to a monthly newsletter and using systems that generate personal sounding emails. Annoying as these may sometimes be, they do offer a gentle series of gentle nudges to help keep you at the front of your potential client’s mind.

 
 
 
Image under Sean David under Creative Commons License 2.0
 
 
Alternatively, dependent on your industry, you can integrate a campaign that meets two requirements; for example, see what Topshop did with their Pinterest campaign. 
 
You can look on the worse examples of follow-up marketing automation emails as an instructional manual on what not to do – my particular least favourites are the ones which eventually resort to plaintive messages such as: ‘David… We’ve missed you… Please login again and see just how many amazing new features we’ve been adding to our system…’
 
On the whole, it will be more effective to spend your time analysing your social media trends and implementing the best strategy to get people onto your landing page or retaining them on the social platform, than worrying about conversion rates.
 
Further steps to utilise social media channels are available here.