Social media is a powerful and necessary tool that companies cannot ignore if they intend to grow sales and remain competitive in this day and age. Unfortunately, many professionals in charge of social media for their firm do not maximize the tool, and can potentially lose leads as a result. This often happens when the company is too small to have a marketing department, but they have a savvy employee who sees the value in social media. This post helps them get it right!
You Don’t Own Your Followers
Perhaps the most important lesson to learn here is that no one “owns” their followers. If you post an update about your company and it is liked, or even shared, by several people, that’s great! But that’s where your interaction with those people stops. Similarly, if you post a case study, blog, or article you have written directly to LinkedIn or Facebook, your audience has the opportunity to read it and then continue scrolling through their feed. But how can you know who read it? How can you determine if they were a potential customer? How can you follow up with them? You can’t.
While it is incredibly important to post to platforms like LinkedIn to establish yourself and your company as experts in your field, it must be done wisely. Any content that you produce must first “live” on your company’s website. Why? Because as we addressed above, we do not “own” our followers on social media and there is often limited information we can get about people who follow us on those channels. Ultimately, LinkedIn (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) benefits from that data, not us. Not to mention, the most important bits of information about your company is found on your website, not your social media page. We want people to come to our websites to see everything we do, and ideally, capture information about them through gated content to add them to our sales funnels.
That means that when you write a valuable piece of information, you should post a quick excerpt from it on social media, and also provide a link to the piece. This requires your audience to go to your website to read it. You can take this a step further by adding a “gate” to the content, as mentioned above, which would require visitors to complete a simple form (i.e. Name, Company, Title, Email) to access the full content. Now you have vital information about those who are interacting with your content. You can add them to a list for future newsletters, and you can reach out to them directly, as they are warm sales leads. Be careful not to overuse this feature – you don’t want to inadvertently turn people away. Keep gated content limited to case studies or large pieces of content. Ultimately, the more eyes you have on content, the better for your brand recognition!
Don’t let your content live a short life on social media. Make it work for you and drive traffic to your website. Only then can you reap the benefits of a social media marketing strategy.