An Excerpt from Corey’s New Book: Social Media Overload!
A successful social media strategy can deliver results far beyond just generating new leads. It can help you strengthen credibility when decision makers are kicking your tires online. And while they’re in research mode, It can keep you ‘top of mind’ until prospects are ready to buy. Social media can also help you strengthen relationships with customers and enable them to become a powerful referral network for your business.
But most businesses fail to see these kind of results because of the critical mistakes I’ve outlined below. Review the list and see if there are areas where you can improve and take your digital marketing to a higher level.
1. Not Fishing in the right ponds
Where are your customers and potential customers spending time online? Are they active on Twitter? If not, why should you be? You don’t have to be on all social media sites. REPEAT: You don’t have to be on all social media sites.
Decide where your audience is spending time and plant your flag on those sites. If you’re typically targeting businesses, LinkedIn is probably the place you’ll want to spend the most time. With over a billion users on Facebook, chances are good that some of your prospects are active on that site.
Action: Ask 10 current customers to rank in order the sites that they spend the most time on. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as their choices. Follow up by asking how many times in the past month they’ve used each of those sites. You’ll notice a pattern and stay focused on the sites they ranked highest.
2. Getting outperformed on Google by your competition
Google is still the behemoth search engine where the majority of people are going to make buying decisions. How are you measuring up against your competition?
There are three areas where you can focus your time and resources:
1. Google Advertising
2. Organic Listings
3. 3rd Party Directories
Each of these important areas has a dedicated chapter in my book. For now, I will give you a simple tip that can help you improve your presence on Google.
Tip #1: Pay where you don’t show up. If you’re ranking poorly on a certain keyword phrase within Google, this might be a good opportunity to invest in Google Advertising. It’s a quick way to get your Website on the first page of Google by bidding on that keyword phrase.
Tip #2: Prioritize directories. An example of a directory is yelp.com, angieslist.com, or Google+ Local Business. And there might be hundreds more in your industry. My suggestion is to do a few Google searches and see which directories rank the highest. Focus on those first. So if I were a Mortgage Broker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I’d do a search for ‘Mortgage brokers Milwaukee WI’ and see which directories rank first. Prioritize accordingly.
Tip #3: Publish content using your Critical Keyword phrases. If I do a search on Google for ‘Atlanta Construction Company’, sites will rank highest with those words used in different areas on the site. The same goes for your social media profiles. So figure out the phrases you MUST rank for and make sure you use those words in content that you publish. Don’t overdo it, just include them where appropriate.
3. A credibility diminishing Website
If your website sucks, social media can’t help you. I trust that your products and services are of superior quality. Does your Website reflect that superior quality? Here are four common mistakes I see most business Websites make:
- Color pollution – more than three primary colors on a Website.
- Critical information below the fold – Making visitors search (scroll) for content such as phone number or physical address.
- No Opt-in box – A place for a visitor to give you their email address or phone number. If you let a visitor leave your site without getting their information, you’ve failed as a marketer.
- Not being mobile-responsive. It’s not enough to have your site shrink down to fit a screen. Your site needs to recognize the size of the screen and adjust to allow for easy thumb-navigation. If your looking for an immediate solution, I’ve found dudamobile.com to be a good resource to quickly get your site mobile-ready.
4. Allowing your social media sites to die on the vine
Nothing kills credibility faster than an untouched profile. I’d rather you delete the profile than let it sit stagnant with few followers or connections.
Action: Take inventory of all of your social media profiles. Create a plan to consistently update them and build a following. Take advantage of sites like hootsuite.com that will allow you to schedule posts on dates of your choosing. If you decide it’s not worth the time or resources, delete the profile.
When it comes to building your numbers, I have two suggestions:
- Give people a compelling reason to do so. Don’t just ask them to join your Facebook page or YouTube channel, tell them why they should!
- Send an email blast! Most businesses have a good email list of past customers and prospects. Send a blast to them with five compelling reasons to join your Social Media sites. That should help build your numbers in no time.
5. Not taking advantage of LinkedIn as a sales tool.
I hate cold-calling. Early in my career, I figured out I was terrible at bypassing gatekeepers and getting myself in front of decision makers. I had to find a better way.
And I did so by using the Get Introduced feature on LinkedIn. It allows me to turn cold calls into warm leads.
Simply look for potential decision makers that have a number two next to their name. That means they know someone that you know. LinkedIn is gracious enough to let us know who that mutual connection is and they facilitate a way for the mutual connection to introduce us.
As an example, say I found Sally Smith, President & CEO at ACME Enterprises. She has a number two next to her profile and LinkedIn tells me that our mutual connection is Steve Morrison. I’ve done work with Steve in the past, so I reach out to Steve and ask him about his relationship with Sally. Lucky for me, he knows her quite well. I then request that Steve INTRODUCE me to Sally. He does a marvelous job of setting me up as an expert and even I couldn’t screw up the sale.
It’s my favorite feature on all of social media and I hope it benefits you greatly!
You’ll find a much more detailed explanation of this strategy in my book, Social Media Overload!
6. Selling on Social Media instead of directing them to your Sweet Spot
Recently, I did a consultation with a residential roofing company. Toward the end of the meeting, they were still confused on exactly where they sold more roofs. I asked them to take me out on the roof of their building. Once out there, I told them this is the place where you sell more roofs. Same place you always did. You use Social Media to direct more people to the roof, but the place you make the sale remains the same.
An IT consultant’s sweet spot is probably the prospect’s office. So they may build credibility and stay top of mind on social media, but the sale will still happen offline. An exception might be an e-commerce site. In that case, your sweet spot might be your website. It’s extremely important to recognize where your sweet spot is and encourage your social media connections to get there.
Drive them to your sweet spot and you’ll start to see better results.
7. Talking about your company, instead of your community
What could you share or write about that your customers and prospects would deem interesting or valuable? You should ask yourself this question before you share anything on social media.
It doesn’t matter the channel. It could be your blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Twitter feed, I want you sharing information that will benefit your audience.
Over time, you’ll start to build trust and credibility with them.
This is, by far, the most effective way to sell your value and yourself. If you deliver this great material on the web, imagine what they’ll get by working with you.
Take Action: Think of the five most Frequently Asked Questions you get from prospects. Use these questions as your next five blog articles or social media posts. So if you’re a dentist, you might repeatedly get the question about the most effective ways to whiten your teeth. That’s a good blog post.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember to always Make It About Them. It’s the golden rule to seeing results with social media.
This article highlights seven critical topics from my latest book, Social Media Overload: Simple Social Media Strategies for Overwhelmed and Time Deprived Businesses. If the article resonates with you, then the book will help take your business to the next level.
About Social Media Overload:
I wrote this book to help businesses avoid the trap of being overwhelmed by all the hype surrounding social media and focus on the areas that can actually produce results.
The book will help you:
- Decide which social media sites you need to pay attention to and the sites you can ignore.
- Avoid Website mistakes almost every business makes.
- Strengthen your reputation on Google and other 3rd party sites.
- Stay connected with prospects until they become customers.
- Generate real business results from Facebook.
- Learn powerful LinkedIn strategies to turn cold calls into warm leads.
- Guest chapters on YouTube (Erik Qualman), Twitter (Jay Baer), Klout (Terry Brock).
It will serve as a roadmap for you and your team on how to increase leads, strengthen credibility, build long-term relationships, and win referral business.
Please connect with me and let me know how it has helped you! You can email me at email@example.com – send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll send you bonus material from me and my all-star advisors ($1,000 value).
About the Author:
Corey Perlman is an entrepreneur, best selling author and nationally-recognized social media expert. His first book, eBoot Camp, (Wiley) became an Amazon.com bestseller and received global attention with distribution rights deals in both China and India. He delivers keynote presentations and workshops to audiences all over the world.
Corey’s company, eBoot Camp, Inc., is a social media marketing company that builds and manages online marketing campaigns for businesses.
Connect with Corey:
To see Corey in action, go to YouTube.com/eBootCamp