Twenty years ago, your usual marketing campaign was «let’s place our ads all over the place and hope for the best». Nowadays, not only this doesn’t work at all, it’s also considered a faux pas.
Thomas Davenport, Mathew Crowford and John Beck — system analysts and marketing professionals — consider the reasons behind this so-called «attention economics». According to their ideas, attention is the most valuable resource a person can possess. And in the time when Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Youtube and other service produce more content per second than most people can consume in a day, potential clients are very negative towards those that distract them from other, more interesting things.
In XXI century you no longer can hope that clients will see your ads and immediately go buy something. You have to look for the potential buyers, convince them that they want your product and you have to be subtle about it. And to do this, you need leads.
Who are leads and why do you need them
A lead is a person that shared his contact information with you. For example, an email, a phone number, an address, etc.
This gives you an opportunity to work with this person directly, to know what they want and offer different options. And if the lead is genuinely interested and the seller is worth their salt, then lead will purchase the product and be happy about it.
But not all leads are equally valuable. For example, a lead that gave you their e-mail is better than a person that liked your page on Facebook. At the very least, because you can send targeted offers via email, while on social networks all your posts are aimed at all subscribers. Not to mention that it’s much easier to ignore a Facebook post than an email.
That’s why your work with leads via social media should be two-tiered — not only you have to generate subscribers, you also have to convert them into proper leads.
How does it work in the wild
If you are interested in the theory behind it, you can read any of the other 28 000 articles on the subject. It will be long, boring and most likely won’t offer anything particularly valuable. So instead of going over this once more, let’s just look at a practical solution and offer a solution for a SMM-manager that will be dealing with it.
Domashev Inc. develops and sells house appliances. After they completely monopolized the market in the home country, they start thinking about expanding overseas. But no one has ever heard about them in the US, so the marketing campaign has to start from scratch. The first task for the SMM-manager — a.k.a. us — to generate leads.
How to generate Facebook subscribers
First, you need to properly design the page:
- Choose the classification. In our case, Company, Organization or Institution. Fill the proposed fills with actual info.
- Pick a good URL. For example, http://vk.com/domashev
- Upload a decent logo and a cover picture.
- Fill the page with content.
Good, regularly posted content is at least half of your success. That’s why you need a content plan for at least two or three posts per day. For example:
- At 8:00, we post a funny video where the child cannot cope with a large and uncomfortable vacuum cleaner. You can try to promote your product, like “With super easy to use Domashev STH-8800s this does not happen!”. But if you won’t, more readers will repost it.
- At 13:00 we post a link to an article in the blog “Techniques that work forever”. The article is not ours and does not promote our product, but it will be interesting to at least some of the subscribers.
- At 20:00, a fun commercial picture. Not just “Here’s a photo of our product,” but something unusual. An example from another industry.
All these posts are a) diverse, so that the reader doesn’t get bored and b) designed to be shared with friends, and friends will come and subscribe to our account.
The content plan should be created monthly, in the last week of the current month — although this is more of a recommendation, not a requirement.
The second half of success is the promotion. Here, you will need either a lot of cash or a lot of creativity. Preferably, both.
- Order reposts on the group pages. For example, in groups called «House Keeping» or «Cooking Smart». Pay their owners so that they repost two our posts per day. Keep paying until we have enough subscribers to grow naturally.
- Create a brand identity. And make it so interesting, that even people who would not be generally interested, start subscribing for the antics. Anything can be a thing, even dark professional humor — as long as it’s really funny. For inspiration, take a look at Twitter accounts of Sonic and Wendy’s. The first one successfully uses memes and other brands’ commercials. The latter is not afraid of throwing shade on other fast food networks and their fans. Both have tons of subscribers just waiting for the next bomb to drop.
- Organize contests. With discount promo codes or the product itself as prizes. You can also have a continuous discount for all subscribers, but that is usually outside of the SMM-manager paygrade and requires coordination with the higher management.
How to generate Instagram subscribers
The structural unit of the Instagram is an image. And not just an image, but a bright, colorful and, so to say juicy one.
Which is why we are going to post:
- Photos. «Glamour» pictures of our tech and the results of its work. For example, a smoothie made with our blender.
- Stories. An Instagram story is a slideshow with subtitles that tell a story. So share some stories from the company, take pictures and post. For example:
- Inside. Show the assembly process for our new device from beginning to the end. Of course, take Apple-worthy pictures — with style and intrigue.
- Educational. Telling people how to make that smoothie.
- Contests. Like on Facebook, have contests with discounts and products as prizes.
You will also have to promote the page:
- Hashtags. Log into Websta and start gathering hashtags with popularity score less than 3 million. Each week, gather a list of 100-200 hashtags you can use to promote your posts. The following is an exploitation of the Instagram hashtag system. At some point, they will patch it up, but for now, it’s working.
- Post 30 hashtags in the photo description.
- After five minutes, delete the first 30 hashtags from the description and post the next 30 into comments.
- Half an hour later, place another 30 hashtags in the description.
- Three days later, delete all the hashtags so that your old posts won’t compete with the new ones.
- Follow the followers. You must follow everyone who liked your first pictures. Most people will follow back and become a core fanbase for your group.
How to generate Pinterest subscribers
Pinterest is much more difficult than other social networks — it’s audience is dedicated to fashion, food, and craft, which means that promoting literally anything else is practically impossible. So we are going to post pictures of glamour-looking food and maybe crafts made with our products. First, make them yourself, later you can pick them from your followers’ pages.
- A perfect Pinterest pictures should have 2:3 aspect ratio, good lighting, warm colors. And no faces — only the result of your work.
- A perfect Pinterest description should be 100-200 words, with 2-3 hashtags and one link (to the recipe or a landing).
How to convert subscribers to leads
Subscribers in social networks are good, and often they even become clients. Although all your posts will be seen by all subscribers, so you can forget about targeting individual users. And this is bad because it is targeting that gives the best results.
But you can not just ask for e-mail addresses to start targeted marketing. Therefore, we coordinate actions with other departments and drive our subscribers to their lead generators. For example:
- Newsletter. For example, with advice on housekeeping.
- eBook. For example, «The best dishes you can make in electric stove». Of course, people would have to enter their e-mail before getting the link
- Corporate blog. The blog should have its own newsletter with updates.
After the subscribers turn into leads, they are delegated to the person responsible for e-mail marketing. Most likely, they will receive ads, a newsletter from the company’s blog and promo codes. In general, they become a part of the second or third stage in the sales funnel.
SMM is more of an art than a science. There is no one recipe that will allow you to generate leads reliably. The rules vary depending on the industry, the audience, the corporate image, and many other factors.
But now you have an example of a working campaign, from which you can build your own. And if you have something to add to the article – techniques, observations, maybe even inside info – do not be shy, write in the comments!