9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Nurturing leads with your social media strategy is like growing plants.
First, you must place the seeds by publishing your content. Then, water accordingly by interacting with followers. Fertilize if necessary by answering questions and educating. Check on the growing seeds every so often by reporting and keeping track of your progress. And finally, sit back and watch leads bloom into beautiful customers!
Leads come in many different forms—like a beautifully tended garden. So, we’re here to help you devise a plan to fertilize your garden with a well-executed social media strategy.
But before we dig into the dirt of today’s topic, let’s simply begin with the definitions of both lead nurturing and social media marketing.
Lead Nurturing defined:
Building relationships with potential clients even if they are not currently looking to buy a product or service.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) defined:
Producing content that users will share with their network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.
Lead nurturing and social media marketing are both parts of the larger inbound marketing process. Both marketing strategies seek to communicate to your leads with recurrent and targeted messages. If used in tandem the right way to the right audience in the right place consistently and frequently, the results can be extraordinary.
Ideally, social media will nudge your leads further down the marketing funnel to eventually convert, purchase, or become a promoter for your brand.
With the help of social media, you can increase your brand’s visibility and develop relationships online. By providing useful information and helpful tips (a.k.a content marketing), you’re building trust and rapport.
Social media is an ever-changing medium for communication. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other platforms help people connect and share. While you’re attracting these leads, rest assured knowing this traffic is interested in you and your messages.
Email marketing tends to be the main focus when it comes to lead nurturing. And email messages certainly work; research has made this clear. But today, are consumers overwhelmed with too many emails? Inboxes can filter marketing messages — meaning lower engagement for email sends and increased potential for unsubscribing.
79 percent of marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20 percent. Yet, emails are still an integral part of the lead nurturing process — just not the sole focus.
Success begins with your list of contacts. Starting a list from scratch through email marketing can be a challenge. With social media, your list builds itself in a way. Followers, Facebook fans, Likes, and favorites grow as you post more content and attract more people.
Today, relationship building usually begins online. Getting your content in front of a new lead can be difficult. Thankfully, social media marketing makes it a little easier.
However, contacts will look past your page if you only post product promotions or sales events. Strive to be genuine and engage them with helpful information. The goal is to connect, not get a sale (at least not right away).
When you want to connect with a younger generation, social media is the way to go. Millennials comprise one-fourth of the United States population and have $200 billion in buying power. To the so-called “entitled” generation, user reviews, word-of-mouth, and social media all play an important role in driving the desired final sale or conversion.
In fact, 91 percent of millennials say they would consider buying a product if a friend recommends it. And, prospects are 71 percent more likely to purchase a product if referred through social media.
Facebook and Twitter are the top two social media sites with the highest numbers of users. While Instagram is predicted to grow the fastest in 2015. So let’s take an in-depth look at all three social media platforms and how your social media marketing automation for each can help with lead nurturing. We’ll even provide you with some strategies to try on your social media channels.
Let's Get Social.
How Do You Like Me Now?
Getting a customer to “like” you on Facebook is half the battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting. Fifty-one percent of people who “like” a brand on Facebook say they’re likely to buy a product soon after.
If you notice a lead is commenting or “liking” your Facebook content, interact with them, especially on topics or questions pertaining to your products or services. Doing so proves to them you appreciate their interest, are concerned with any questions they have, and that you have the answers they need.
Keep track of your Facebook fans who actively interact with you — they are your evangelists.
If you put in the effort to connect with them, they may put in the effort to become your customer. Maybe give a unique offer. Or message a promo code for your website. Or better yet, ask for a review on your Facebook page. Positive reviews or feedback from others is a great way to build trust and convert your leads into your customers.
Freebies and special offers can drive contacts to visit your website. By giving your fans this exclusive gift, you spark their interest and make them feel special—and that’s how your brand will stand out from the rest.
Have an event underway?
Create a Facebook Event Page and send out invites to those who have “liked” your Page. Before you create the Page, be sure you have the resources to successfully promote the event. Make this group feel like it’s an exclusive event to help generate appeal. Only post content that informs or promotes the event in some way.
The VALLEYHILL Facebook event photo is a great example of an event Page banner image. The artwork is simple and clearly shows the style of the band, VALLEYHILL. The date and time of the event are also clear.
Group members will likely comment or ask questions about the upcoming event. Respond accordingly and accurately, and try to do so in a timely manner. Check out the next image of a post on the Event Page. VALLEYHILL is asking their following what songs they’d like to hear.
Your replies are critical—it could be the deciding factor in a person’s attendance. If you let too much time pass and appear unresponsive, the interactive quality of the Page will diminish.
Facebook Ads complement every stage of the buyer’s journey. Meaning, you may use them to reach potential leads who are either in the awareness, consideration, and decision stage. Ads on Facebook will provide you with more than just reach and engagement—they will even drive a direct response.
The AdRoll example of a Facebook ad will appear in the target audience’s Newsfeed as an ordinary post. The copy is short and to the point. There’s an option to “like” AdRoll on Facebook, and they’re offering you a free download. The image is easy to look at and shows precisely what the offer is about.
A Facebook ad could be a user’s first interaction with your content. With Facebook’s Power Editor, you’re able to aim ads at users with specific interests or behaviors—they don’t have to “like” your Page in order to see your content. Impressions, clicks, comments, and reach can all be monitored with the Facebook Power Editor.
Facebook ads come in handy because you’re able to know how many leads are generated with the ad through website clicks data. You’re also able to see the number of impressions, click-through-rate, and cost-per-click. To track conversions, simply insert a conversion pixel in your “Thank you page” associated with the ad. This is the page users will see upon completing a form submission.
Promoting your content with Facebook ads is one of the best and fastest ways to generate new leads. Be sure to test and optimize your ads for the greater results.
While Facebook is great and all, let’s move on to another social media beast.
Tweet Tweet Tweet-a-Lead Deet
By beast, we mean bird.
On Twitter, lead nurturing really begins with listening to the conversations your potential prospects are having. Look for keywords, hashtags, and phrases that align with your brand, and join in on the conversation.
It can take a lot to monitor the Twittersphere, but thankfully there are many great tools and services out there to help! For small to medium businesses, you can manage multiple accounts with TweetTwain. The HubSpot social monitoring tool, HootSuite, and TweetDeck are also wonderful Twitter monitoring tools.
Some people take to Twitter to ask for product recommendations. Look for them and respond! Twitter isn’t only for marketers, it can be a powerful tool for your sales team as well. Set a workflow for handling future Twitter prospects. Listen to what your prospects are tweeting, record their pain points, and share helpful content with them.
On your business’s Twitter page, make sure your bio contains a link to your website or better yet, an email-gated landing page. You’d be surprised how many companies miss this opportunity. Adding this link means you’re one click away from obtaining new leads. On the landing page, make an enticing CTA to improve your click-through rate.
Personalized hashtags help expand the reach of your messages, improve SEO, and increase the likelihood of someone discovering your content. It’s a good idea to keep your hashtag relatively short and simple. Doing so increases the likelihood that others will remember and use it in their own tweets.
Also, make sure no one else is using the same hashtag. Having a hashtag exclusive to your brand will make it easier to monitor and track. Think about using it for promotions or social contests—anything to build awareness for your brand and attract a following.
We all want to feel like a winner. Running user-generated content contests on Twitter is a fun way to obtain new email addresses. Entice your audience with a prize in an enter-to-win sweepstakes. Results may vary, but if done correctly, your email list could grow substantially.
Twitter is all about building relationships, so spend some time cultivating a community of people you want to attract with your expert knowledge and information your leads will enjoy, and possibly share with their networks.
Build your following base by actively posting engaging content, and consider the 4-1-1 rule to add value to your Tweets. For every one self-serving tweet, re-tweet one relevant tweet and share four pieces of relevant content written by others.
Adding the Twitter Lead Generation Cards to your Tweets is another way to get your leads to convert and fill out a form faster than they would a landing page. A Tweet with a lead generation card is basically like having an embedded landing page within your Tweet—but with fewer steps.
Your leads on Twitter who see the Tweet are just a few clicks away from giving you their information. The cards help increase conversion rates by capturing contact information with in-app form-fills.
To use this, your CRM system must be able to integrate with Twitter lead generation cards, and an endpoint must be set. Twitter can currently integrate with these CRMs:
Twitter isn’t just for collecting followers, retweets, favorites, and replies – it’s also a great marketing channel for warming up your leads.
Put It On the ‘Gram
In the past, we’ve told you about how to market your business with Instagram and how to share posts on other social accounts. Now let’s talk about how Instagram can be used for lead nurturing and generation purposes.
The social photo sharing trend has only increased. Thanks to the stylish features, cool filters, and mobile ease of Instagram, this trend will likely stay strong.
While you can’t necessarily collect contact information for leads on Instagram, it’s still an excellent platform to attract a following and nurture them. Consider who your intended audience is and post content that reflects their interests and your brand. Instagram allows marketers to get creative visually, and many prospective customers are visual learners.
Instead of writing a valuable blog or social media post, give Instagram a try and visually show your prospects who you are, what you do, and why it works. Place a link on Instagram posts that will lead people back to your bio. In the bio, place a link to a website or email-gated landing page.
Give your followers a chance to peer into your company culture—this is a great way to build a community. Create a personal connection and show potential customers your brilliant staff and co-workers are just like them. Doing so will humanize your brand and make you relatable.
If you have a physical product you’re selling, show it off on Instagram. Demonstrate how the product works with a 15-second video. Using video is a great way to create how-to posts on new products.
Running a user-generated content contest on Instagram with a specified hashtag is a great way to engage users and spark creativity.
National Geographic, in partnership with Honda, ran a photo contest on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustContest. Some entrants got their photos on the @NatGeoTravel Instagram page. The winner of the contest won an exclusive National Geographic photo expedition to Yosemite National Park. How neat is that?
Liking and commenting on other brand’s Instagram posts may seem counterintuitive — but it’s actually quite the opposite! Doing so will help you engage with other and potentially collect some of their followers. And eventually, you could earn some valuable leads in the process.
Marketing on Instagram has great potential to cultivate your brand. If your business stands out with a local connection, tag your Instagram photos with geotags. That way, your customers will know exactly where to find you on the map. Ads on Instagram are still in their infancy.
But recently, Instagram announced that advertisers both large and small can run campaigns. Like Facebook’s ads infrastructure, advertisers may target their messages to reach people based on what they care about.
Industries like travel, e-commerce, entertainment, and retail seem to be doing especially well with ads on Instagram. When creating an ad, move people to notice your brand or service through visual inspiration. That’s what Instagram is for, after all!
If You Create It, They Will Come
When it comes to lead nurturing, you have many tools at the tips of your fingers to attract your following and guide them to become your customers. Focusing on one tool will bring you some success, but integrating your messages with a combination of mediums, abling you to be in multiple places at once, is like sprinkling fairy dust on your inbound marketing strategy.
To put it simply:
- Use Facebook to connect and interact.
- Use Twitter to build a following and share ideas.
- Use Instagram to inspire and engage.
Social media gives you many great opportunities to begin the sales cycle by reaching your audience, sparking relationships, promoting your brand, and implementing your lead generation strategies—whether that be business-to-business or business-to-consumer.
As a rule of green thumb, if someone leaves a comment on any of your posts, continue the conversation. Reply to them or share any additional information that would help. If someone “likes” your Facebook page or retweets you, that post is shared with their social circle, exposing you to an even wider audience. Use social media to drive traffic to your website—this is where the conversions happen. There, people can dig through your blog and find something interesting. Or maybe they’ll sign up for an offer on your website.
There are multiple ways to turn a stranger into a lead, and encourage them to become a customer. Social media is your first impression—it’s the handshake that begins the lead nurturing process. It’s also a great way to attract customers and drive them to purchase or become a loyal enthusiast for your brand. Use the strategies above that are right for you, and watch your leads bloom into your beautiful customers!
Now that you know how social media can help with lead nurturing, check out our Resources page where we offer free courses and e-books on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
Learn About Your Like-able Side
To learn more about how we can help your business generate more traffic, more leads, and more revenue with social media, fill out our Internet Marketing Assessment. We’ll help you discover what digital marketing services would be best for your specific business.