Hubspot, as usual, conducted a great webinar called 5 Steps for Awesome Social Media Lead Generation (Video and Slides). The main speaker was Kipp Bodnar, Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot and co-author of the B2B Social Media Book.
Kipp opened the webinar with a yell that jolted me a little (he was really excited :). He confessed that he is a giant marketing dork (his words, not mine), and that while normally, experts paint a fluffy picture of social media, he wanted to do something different.
He started by pointing out a problem – a study that angered him: 73% of CEOs say that they don’t believe marketers drive revenue or demand to their business! “They thinks were just arts and crafts!” He argued the good news here is the only way to go is up.
Bottom line is, as marketers, the measurement of success in social media should be it’s ability to generate leads. When we can demonstrate that Social Media does generate leads, we can prove that 73% wrong.
Here are some summary notes:
- This is the best time EVER to be a marketer.
- Leads is the metric to rely on. Its a proxy for sales.
- Social Marketing that doesnt drive sales wont last.
Examples of how social lead happens:
- Tweet > Landing Page > Form > Lead
- Friend “Likes” a Facebook post > You read the Blog Post > There’s a Call-To-Action > Landing Page.
- +1 on Google > Brings you to a product page > Call-To-Action > Landing Page
Best way to generate leads with Social Media?
Kipp spent 2011 doing in depth research on what works.
1) Get the “basics” right
- Build your reach! This is a HUGE step. If no one is there, it doesn’t matter what you share.
- Follow, Friend, and CONNECT. This is the simplest step, but at the same time hardest – a lot of marketers think reactions are just going to happen by themselves. NOPE. You need to search and seek out the conversation. For example, follow industry people on Twitter, then they’ll follow you back. That’s how you start. Get out there, talk, connect, friend.
- Share lots of links! People are looking to news and info more than ever before. Dan Zarrella found a correlation that those who share links have more followers.
- Post often and consistently! Bit.ly (the link shortener website) released data on their clicks- the shelf life of a social media link is only 3 hrs!!!!! That means you need to post something engaging and post often cause chances are after awhile, that link will disappear.
- Automatic Sharing. Use some automatic sharing applications to minimize your admin time. Set up connections between twitter feed, blog posts feed, etc. There are plenty of services like tweetdeck, hootsuite, etc, that will do this for you.
- Leverage your existing base of contacts to join your social networks. They can start as early members. They may also be advocates that share your info, thus building your reach. Email marketing is a huge opportunity to build social network. Include social links in your emails, explicitly ask existing subscribers to join.
- If you have a Facebook page, USE A “LIKE GATE”!!!! These are landing tabs that force visitors to “like” the page to see hidden content, which is usually a promo or something free your company can offer to entice them to join. “Like this page to get….” IT WORKS.
2) Maximize Content Discovery
- We need to get people excited to read and share content.
- First, you need to create or have fresh regular content. So people will know to come to you for information.
- Second, you need to share that content.
- Next, we have to do dedicated monitoring. Who’s talking and responding to your posts? Who’s sharing? Of those people, who do we engage with so they can continue to support you and advocate for you?
- COMMIT to a CONTENT CALENDAR. A lot of companies wing it, and you will find yourself struggling to come up with content everyday. Take the time to sit down and build this calendar so you just put the time in once a week/month, then everything else is like clockwork.
- BUILD Social thank you pages. This was a great piece of advice I hadnt heard before. Put links on thank you pages to share. When a visitor likes your page thank them and explicitly ask them to share your page. To make it easier for them, provide a “share” link (many plugins or widgets are provided by facebook/twitter themselves).
- Time-box – too many people spend too much time monitoring their social networks (or they dont spend enough time). Start out with 15 minutes a day, post and respond. Scale up as needed.
3) Create Conversion Ubiquity – Calls to action all over the web
- Place Calls-To-Actions everywhere!!!! If you’re not catching them, your missing opportunity. It doesn’t have to be in everyone’s face, but make it available.
4) Test and Fail fast.
- FAILURE SUCKS!!!! But, invaluable part of marketing. Allow us to improve and iterate.
- Set qualitative objectives. If you can’t measure your progress, then you cant know if you failed and how to improve.
- Set a methodology how to gather data. You need to figure out how you will measure everything. There are plenty of built in insight tools as well as 3rd party tools to measure social media.
- Finally, conduct and experiment. Set action items following up experiment.
- If something works, you double down, if it doesn’t, change.
5) Optimize for Maximum leads
- Social media converts best vs. most other traffic. The rapport from word of mouth or that is just built from interacting with your brand is invaluable.
- Keep in mind though, not all platforms are right for all businesses. If your “Visits” to “Leads” are low for x platform, change your strategy and try a platform that works.
- Conduct RADICAL tests. Landing page, web design, social media campaign. Test 2 radically different ideas, and most likely, you will end up with a hybrid of working parts from both tests.