No one does social media marketing for fun! If they tell you they do they are lying.
Trust us, there is a limit to the amount of lame a person can be. We’ve tried.
Social media marketing is a means to an end. It’s a great, wonderful, and impactful means to a very good end but still a means to an end. The goal of social media marketing is to generate leads for your business. This can be traditional leads like an interested person contacting you for a consult or it can be a more complex lead like a fan from across the country liking and sharing all of your content. The goal is to generate leads, but how do you do that? And what do you do with the leads when you do generate them into existence?
Great question. Here’s our best advice on Harvesting Leads from Social Media Marketing.
Step 1: Define your Goal
Before you can know how to harvest a thing you have to know what you are harvesting right? Apple picking looks very different from cranberry picking. Define your fruit - your goal - your target.
Are you attempting to gain followers? Are you attempting to increase engagement? Are you trying to get more referrals? Website views? Ect ect ect. Defining your goals allows you to focus your attention on what matters most and prevent you from getting lost in the sea of contradicting best practices.
Flooding an apple orchard won’t help you collect apples. It will just kill all the trees.
Step 2: Optimize
The word optimize always puts me in the mind of a 1990’s businessman in his late 40’s whose word of the year has been synergy for the last 4 years running, who religiously listens to Tony Robbins and still thinks the Palm Pilot was the technological peak of our human existence, but that’s just me.
Despite my distaste for the word, optimization is key when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure the platform you are using is best equipped for the goal you have in mind. Make sure the people you are trying to reach exist on that platform. Make sure your platform looks good, the information is completely filled out, the branding is right, it links to where it should, and whatever else is necessary.
There are countless optimization guides for specific platforms online and some are easier than others but this step is essential and shouldn’t be skipped.
Think of this step as getting ready to go (insert your favorite fruit) picking. Get the appropriate shoes, pop the address into your GPS, make sure there is gas in your car, etc. Bunny slippers make awful apple picking shoes.
Step 3: Plan
Once you know what you’re trying to do and where you are trying to do it you have to decide how. If you’re harvesting apples from an apple orchard and you came to the right orchard on the right day, in the right shoes but you don’t know how you are going to reach those high up apples, then my dear, you have an issue.
Planning your content ahead of time is the easiest way to keep your content on track and the easiest way to keep your sanity. There are a million different planning styles. Some people prefer simple to follow plans like motivational quotes on Mondays, sales posts on Tuesdays, curated content on Wednesday and so on and so forth. Other people, like the nerds at The Clever Catalyst, like to build monthly content planners that assign themes, topics and goals to specific days, weeks and months at a time.
However you decide to plan, make sure you do. No one takes all the time to get ready and drive to an apple orchard only to eat the apples that have already fallen off the tree.
Step 4: Implement the Plan
Easy enough. Once you’ve planned your content. Create it and post it.
Pro-tip: use a bulk scheduler and save yourself a bushel of time. (topical pun for the win!)
Step 5: Show Up!
Y’all this is the most overlooked step of all of them and honestly it’s insane. Why would you go through all the effort to plan, research and optimize (gross) your social media marketing plan and then NOT SHOW UP!
Posting regularly is not enough. You have to be showing up. You have to be engaging with your audience. You have to be returning your dm’s quickly. You have to show up.
This can intimidate a lot of people. They think no one cares what they have to say, or they have too much other work to do or everyone will see right through them and be completely turned off by their lackluster sales attempt.
If you think any of these things answer this question; why the flip (excuse my language) do you have a social media marketing plan then? Delete it all. Stop wasting your time on content creation and shut it down. Not being dramatic. Just honest.
If you aren’t going to climb that ladder to grab those honey-crisps you may as well keep your booty on the coach.
Step 7: Stick Around
Really the last step was the last step but there is more to say. Social media marketing, especially organic social media marketing (which just means not paid social media marketing), is a long game. You don’t just get 1 million followers overnight and even if you do those million people aren’t necessarily a million customers. If you’re looking for fast results look ANYWHERE else. (except Bing, nothing is slower than Bing)
To harvest leads from social media marketing you have to stick around. You have to be engaging day after day after day after day. People have to see and interact with your brand so often they have a feel for who your brand is. That is how loyalty is created.
Social media leads can take a longer time to harvest but trust me just like how purchasing an apple at the market is nothing like eating one fresh off the tree, a lead that has been slowly and gently molded from an passing interest to a dedicated customer is a better quality lead and well worth the effort.