So you have a Facebook page or an Instagram feed – what now? How do you make sense of these in the context of your overall online marketing? This is a quick guide to where social media fits within the sales process.
How Does Social Media Help?
Clients sometimes ask us to add social media feeds to their website. This is an understandable request – after all, Facebook posts and Instagram images make for great content. Not only that, but posts encourage conversations, and social media chatter boosts word-of-mouth marketing.
But for most industries, social media is just that – social. It’s really a way to meet new people or attract new followers, and have conversations with them. From there, you can bring them through to your website, where you work on turning conversations into conversions – i.e. a sale, booking, sign-up or form submission.
This means the goal of social media posts should be to bring people across to your website; sending someone who has found your site off to your social media feeds takes them a step away from conversion, not a step closer.
Don’t Have Time to Write Facebook Posts?
The most efficient way to benefit from your social media feeds is to publish content on your website first, and then push the content onto social media with a link back to your site. Blogging is a very powerful way to improve your search rankings with Google and should be your top social media priority. (Yes, blogs are social media too.)
To publish a blog post on your Facebook pace, simply add the blog post link to your status and the post will appear. It will get more clicks if it has an image, so be sure to add images to your blog posts. Once you have pasted the link into your status bar, you can then write a status update above it, and even delete the link; the post will remain attached to your update.
This takes a matter of seconds, and gives you the double whammy of using the same content to boost SEO on your site, and to attract Facebook followers back to your site when they click the link to read your post. Make sure that all your blog posts have a call to action somewhere on the page to encourage the reader towards conversion. You can make the process even easier by setting up auto-posting with a service like Zapier.
Tips on Posting to Twitter and Instagram
Re-post to other social media in a similar way, but do bear in mind that each type of social media has its own idiosyncracies.
Twitter: Write a pithy comment to get attention, with a short url linking to your post. You can use a tool such as https://bitly.com to create the short url, effectively reducing the number of characters the link uses up and giving you more space for your comment. Twitter is challenging because it’s very fast, so primarily whatever you write will need to be ‘click bait’ – i.e. intriguing enough to persuade people to click on your link.
Instagram: Add the photo you’ve used with your blog post, with a short precis of your key message. You can’t add a clickable link to an Instagram post, only to your profile, so you’ll have to rely on your followers to be keen enough to type in your website address or go to your profile to click through: direct them there every time you post by typing “Link in profile”. Again, this means if your aim is to bring followers to your website, you’ll need to give them a compelling reason to do so.
What Are Hashtags?
By searching on hashtags (particularly in Twitter and Instagram), users will find content on that search term. So it’s worth using hashtags to indicate that your content is relevant to a particular topic. For example, #whaleshark gets you noticed when people search for whaleshark content, which brings you to the attention of a directly relevant audience.
You’ve Got Their Attention – What Next?
Most importantly, you’ll need to think about what you want people to do once they’ve found your post on social media. How are you going to tempt them into your conversion funnel?
You can think of the sales process (conversion funnel) a bit like this:
Attention -> Prospects -> Leads -> Conversions
Social media is one way to get attention and attract prospects. Your website will most likely sit at the pointy end of the conversion funnel. All your effort here should to go into clearing the pathway from prospects to leads, and leads to conversions.
Anyone arriving at your site who isn’t ready to convert can still link through to your social media feeds and stay in touch with you. They remain a prospect, and you stay in their line of vision until they are ready to make their way back to the website and enquire/book.
3 Points to Take Away
- Blog posts are for engagement, not distraction – start here.
- Social media are where conversations take place; your website is where conversions take place.
- The direction of travel needs to be from conversation to conversion.