Maybe you sensed this already but using social media and social media marketing by itself is not an effective method for generating new business.
The fact is, social media marketing is more about preaching to the choir —- people who already know about your business and have chosen to follow you for one reason or another. Yet social media is being looked at more and more as a way to pick up the slack of a battered SEO industry still reeling from significant changes rolled out by search engine giant Google since 2012.
IT NOT ABOUT SEO – IT’S ABOUT MARKETING
Our feeling is that it was never about SEO, or social media marketing, or Content Marketing alone. To use an analogy, it’s not about the “shampoo,” it’s about “clean hair.” Likewise, SEO, Social media, etc., is about MARKETING in general and finding ways to match your products and services with the people looking to buy them. As always, this means a mix of face-to-face networking, online marketing, public relations, advertising and even direct mail. Since our specialty is online marketing, we feel that finding the right mix of paid, earned and owned media placements is key to having your prospects and leads find you — not you find them. That’s the key: You need to do everything you can to increase your own chances of being found, at the time of need, by people actively looking for what you have to sell.
So aside from helping you engage with and stay top of mind with EXISTING clients and prospects, how can social media, specifically, help you generate new clients and expose you to people who do NOT know you and your business?
BOOST POSTS ON FACEBOOK
One way to extend your presence on Facebook, the 800 pound gorilla of social media, is by boosting your posts. Remember, one of the reasons for our love/hate relationship with Facebook is because even if you have 500 followers, Facebook does not allow all 500 of your visitors to see each of your posts. We outlined that in detail in this recent blog post. But by boosting your posts on Facebook, we recommend not paying to reach all 500 of your existing fans but using the boosted post to reach brand new people who have never heard of you before. And that is something that Facebook can do quite effectively as well as cost effectively.
Here’s what we got recently for $40 we spent. And I have to confess, this wasn’t a very well-thought out campaign, more of a spur of the moment decision. Take a look at what we got:
The Results of Engagement:
The Results by Gender
So it basically cost me $20 for each new like to our Facebook page. Not really cost effective if gaining new likes was my metric of measurement. But I blame myself for not having a clear call to action. This was just a blog post we had written and I wanted to see what type of traffic $40 on Facebook would bring us. Another way to look at it is that for $40 we generated 83 clicks which comes out to .48 cents a click — much cheaper than many of our pay per click search terms on Google Adwords.
We’re going to try this again with a specific call to action such as a landing page with an email sign up that will more accurately allow us to track a genuine conversion rate which will be the sign up itself.
OWNED, PAID & EARNED PLACEMENTS
Our goal for this as well as other paid methods of content exposure is to try and counter a lot of the recent Google algorithm changes that have nullified some tried and true SEO tactics such as anchor text links in press releases, and find a mix of OWNED media placements (your own blog, Facebook page, Google+ page, LinkedIn page, etc) PAID placements (Facebook boosted posts, Google Adwords, sponsored Tweets, etc) and EARNED placements (useful content that gets shared virally).
Stay tuned as we explore the mix of owned, paid and earned placements.
What mix of placements are you using to get out there?