The number of social networks and smartphone apps has exploded. All of this can get very confusing, not to mention time-consuming. Social media expert Chris Heiler helps us break it all down so you can actually formulate a social media strategy that’s not just fun and trendy, but also helps you grow your business.
To get started, let’s take a look at Heiler’s list of the five most important social networks as they relate to generating qualified leads and driving sales.
Facebook helps keep you top-of-mind
The majority of a Facebook Page’s fans will be customers, employees, family and friends—not prospects. Think about it: Why would someone like your Facebook Page if they weren’t already familiar with your business?
Facebook is used best as a real-time complement to your company website, helping keep people updated and current with your business. Use it to stay top-of-mind with your current customers to drive referrals and repeat purchases.
Facebook is also effective for marketing your seasonal services like lawn aeration, irrigation start-ups and holiday decorating. Why? Because you’re touching base with existing customers to promote additional services. Taking this concept one step further, you could offer Facebook followers a fan-only special on a certain product or service, for example.
Finally, a paid Facebook ad promoting your services can be highly effective if done correctly. You can target people based on where they live, their interests, gender, age, etc.
Google+ for top-of-mind, new leads via search
Google+ can be used in a similar way to Facebook. Just realize that G+ doesn’t have the large audience like Facebook does as of yet.
The competitive advantage Google+ has over Facebook is its impact on Google search results. Social signals are now impacting search, and the impact is only going to become greater in the future.
This opens the door for attracting prospects via Google+. Most of your prospects begin their search for landscape products and services via Google, not Facebook. So a strong presence on Google+ can contribute to your website attracting more visitors and more qualified leads.
Twitter can reach influencers
Twitter can be an effective way to generate leads because of its ability to reach influential users in your market. “I find it to be the easiest way to connect—and engage—with influencers,” Heiler relates.
It can be effective for both commercial and residential clientele. Use Twitter to get on your prospect’s radar, and then follow up through other channels.
You can also connect with local media and other local organizations to get on their radar. They might be able to introduce you to their audiences at some point.
LinkedIn great for business-to-business prospecting
LinkedIn is best for commercial (business-to-business) companies as it relates to generating leads and sales. LinkedIn can be a really powerful prospecting tool, as it’s a good way to get “warm introductions” to potential customers or partners, as opposed to traditional cold calling.
You should create a profile for both yourself and your company. In the professional setting LinkedIn provides, these pages serve as your resume, so to speak. So treat them as such—with creativity, professionalism and attention to detail.
Pinterest uses images to drive people to your website
“The only reason I’m mentioning Pinterest is because, in a short amount of time, it’s driving more traffic than most other sites,” Heiler points out. “But traffic for traffic’s sake is worthless—it needs to be driving qualified visitors to your site.”
You’ll want to pin images from the landing pages on your website so the traffic from Pinterest goes to a page where the visitor can take action. Here’s a good example: pinterest.com/pin/19210735881152298. Check it out and click on the image to see what happens.
What you might want to do is pin an image of an outdoor living space you just built for a homeowner. That image would then direct people back to your landscape design/build landing page on your website.