I recently recorded a session on How To Turn Social Media Into A Major Source Of Business Wins. The video you’ll find below, but for those who prefer to read I wanted to also provide a transcript of the key points raised.
So let me start by spelling out what we'll be trying to achieve. As the Founder of Social-Hire we work with small businesses all around the world and what we do for those companies is help them to get quantifiable and consistent business results from social media. Firstly by coming up with the right social media strategy for their business and secondly by then doing the social media work for them day in day out to actually get those results.
So my aim with this video is to help you understand why the things you've been doing on social media probably haven't been getting great results to date and then to share the approach we use to get quantifiable and consistent business results from social media and hopefully help you to turn your situation around.
So let's talk first of all about what it is that definitely doesn't work. Now I do loads of consultation calls each month and speak at various Expos and industry events. From all the interactions I have with business owners, I'd say well over 90% of them are either frustrated that their social media efforts just aren't producing results or they simply have no idea whether their efforts are paying off or not. For many of you taking the time to review this, I'm guessing that’s also the situation you find yourself in?
If I think of the typical company I speak to, they've spent maybe a year or two trying to ratchet up their social media presence. Some of them have even invested a lot of time and resource into producing their own content so they have their own insights and resources they can share with the market via social media. Their focus is very often on 1) trying to post more consistently, 2) trying to get employees to buy into the idea of sharing the company's posts and 3) craving some engagement as a sign that social media is having an impact.
There's a belief that if we're being seen more by our target clients or our ideal candidates, in time that must surely pay off through an increase in queries or more candidates wanting to work for our company.
The problem with this approach is there's no clear path to business results. What I mean by that is we should have a clear vision of how the things we do on social media each day directly translate into more business results. We should then know that if we double our investment of time and money in social media, we'll double the number of client enquiries or candidate applications that we receive too.
Often though there simply are no tangible business results or the business can't determine whether it's getting tangible business results from social media. So how do we do things differently and how can you apply that learning in your business?
Well I'd encourage you to start with your end goal in mind and then we build our social media strategy around achieving that end goal. For example:
Now I can say with absolute certainty that social media can produce these results for businesses because we've worked with clients who've done all of these things. So how do you go about doing that too? Well social media will produce these outcomes if you just focus on two things.
Firstly we've got to reach more and more of your ideal prospects customers or candidates on social media so one of your key areas of focus should be on how can we reach more of the right people. That could be through growing your fans /followers /connections. It could be through influencer marketing. It could be through having a viral post or competition. It could be by running really effective paid ad campaigns.
All these things will help you to increase your reach. But that on its own is not enough. We also have to master how to convert that reach into end results. To do that you're going to need to experiment to find what works well in your business. Brainstorm two, three, four ideas that you think could convert fans, followers and connections into more tangible business results and then experiment until you have a proven winner.
So hopefully you're now starting to see a world of difference between the way that you've been approaching social media and the way that really works - with a proven methodology that can scale and where we know that for a given amount of input into social media we can expect to get a certain number of client inquiries or candidate applications or online sales generated. The gulf between what most businesses are doing and this more structured and scientific approach is why most businesses are stressed out that social media just isn't working for them.
If we look at some examples, we can get a feel for this working in practice. So first up we have Joe and Joe works in a consulting business. They win clients who are some of the biggest company names you could think of in the world and they're trying to engage the most senior decision-makers within those businesses. So with them our aim was to build up the audience of those senior decision-makers and then - as with lots of consulting firms - they run a series of events during the year that they invite those potential clients along to and that gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and win sizeable consulting contracts.
In the video you can see the feedback from Joe about how they've won a major contract entirely off the back of social media work and indeed that flow of new leads has continued in the months thereafter and is consistently feeding their sales funnel.
Second up we have Will and Will runs a recruitment business. He asked us to help with both starting conversations with potential clients and getting him calls and meetings with those decision-makers. As well as helping him to tap into the passive candidate audience within his market.
As I share on the video, you can see again the results social media has generated very transparently. Will identifies both candidate placements made and new clients won, all within two months of our work starting. So you can see these things can happen quickly. Once you start doing the right things you see results and you see consistency of those results (although I’d counsel you to assume more than 2 months is needed to get results, we usually expect the first tangible wins within 3 months of starting).
The third example is Marc and Marc is a business mentor and so he asked us to help with a couple of things. Firstly with generating high quality meetings for him with his ideal client prospects. Secondly to also help him to run really well attended webinars so that he has the chance to present to people en masse and remotely. As I share in the video, you can see from the testimonial that the social media strategy delivers on exactly the kind of client interest and results that Marc was looking for.
Last but not least we have Howard, who runs a marketing agency. Howard asked us to help him set up free consultation calls with his ideal prospects. Again we followed a similar process. We grew the audience of those ideal prospects and then we needed to have something to use to convert them - in this case consultation calls. As you can see in the video, Howard says this is the best marketing money he’s ever spent! I share that not to trumpet Social-Hire, but to hopefully reinforce the idea that this way of approaching social media marketing really does work!
So what do all these businesses have in common? Well what they've all done is they've all followed this approach of focusing on growing their reach in a targeted way and then experimented with ways to convert that audience reach into end results.
Both of those things take a little bit of time. You've got to spend some months growing the reach that you have with your target audience and you've got to spend some time experimenting to see which of the different ways of converting that audience actually work best in your particular market with your particular types of clients or candidates. But you can see across all these different sectors - and we see it all around the world - if you follow that kind of approach focusing on reach and focusing on conversion then you will get far better business results.
Now clearly we could talk for a lot longer on how you go about generating reach for your business with your desired target audience; we could talk for a long time about the types of experiments you could run to see what is going to convert that audience most effectively for your business. If you’re like to investigate further, probably the best is for us to do that via a one-on-one consultation. We're very happy to set aside some time to work through that with you for your business and arrange a free consultation sometime in the next week or two.
However, to ensure you are ready to start implementing this type of approach let's just run through three quick qualifiers:
Firstly you must be planning to invest in your social media presence and results within the next three months. Why? Well social media changes really quickly and so there's no point formulating a strategy for your business if you're not actually going to go out and implement that pretty soon.
Secondly you must be focused on long-term results. Growing an audience and doing the experiments to figure out how to convert that audience take time. If your business is in dire straits and it needs amazing miracles to happen within the next few days to avoid disaster then investing in social media just isn't right for your business and I wouldn't want to suggest that this is going to be a cure for your woes. But if you're focused on getting results for your business and wanting to make sure that this time next year you're in a far, far stronger position than you are today then great.
Last but not least, you must have a budget of at least £11k / $17k to invest over the next twelve months - or a resource within your business that you can devote to social media to achieve the same kind of results that we would achieve if we were working on all of this for your business.
If you can say yes to these three things you're ready to start getting business results from investing in social media. We'd love to have the chance to have a call with you and run through some of these ideas in more depth specifically as they relate to your business so please do go ahead and book your free call:
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