Let’s start with what is NOT a lead and work backwards from there. First and foremost, a lead is NOT a sale! Somewhere in the conversation of digital, internet and social media marketing, the concept of a lead got mixed up with “sale”.
“I have tried advertising on Facebook but never had any success.”
If I have heard that once, I have heard it a million times (seriously). You may have heard this yourself, heck you may even be feeling this way. If you are a marketing professional, certainly you have heard this.
Somewhere along the line, many people have bought into the very convincing social media used car salesman type who pitches free webinars, giveaways and eBooks while talking about their monthly six-figure income from Facebook Ads. There are a LOT of these slick talking used car salesman types out there, have you seen any of them?
These used car salesman are the cause of many problems, first and foremost after you see enough of them it’s easy to start believing and be convinced that it IS easy to make six figure income from Facebook Ads, right? This mindset creates and fosters a mindset of laziness and entitlement, it must be easy since all these people say it is!
Then people buy into one of these used car subscriptions or services and receive ZERO return. The mindset was from the beginning, if it’s not easy then they quit and are gun-shy when they are on the rebound. Way too many times, I have been the person on the other end of the phone from someone who is trying to rebound from this scenario, they have a complete lack of trust of Facebook and social media marketing “experts.”
We are slowly moving backwards from what is NOT a sales lead, so what exactly is a lead on social media? Simple, a lead is anyone that show an interest in your business or brand, very simple, yeah?
Your next question might be (should be), what does “showing an active interest mean?” Again, VERY simple! Anyone that likes, comments, shares, messages or follows has shown an active interest. That is a lead, the easy part. Now, however, comes the difficult part, you must find out why someone took an active interest in your business or brand!
The purpose of this article is not to discuss content posting strategy, however, if you are using social media for a business or brand and you are asking the right questions, you should be provoking responses (emotional responses) from people based upon “pain points” or problems that your business will help solve. Some examples below;
I could go on forever but I will not! In the three brief examples above, the recipe is the same; Use quality media (picture, video, infographic) and ask an emotional question, attack “pain points” or symptoms of problems that your business is proficient at solving by attempting to provoke a response. It’s SIMPLE!
This is where marketing and sales meet. The path from lead to sale may take 1 step or may take 20 steps … BUT … you must have a plan or strategy to ENGAGE with the prospective customer at this point. THIS IS WHERE SO MANY FAIL!
Once you have engagement, now it’s the job of a sales professional to “nurture” that digital relationship and convert it into a meaningful commercial relationship. I am not implying that every prospective customer should be treated like a piece of meat, I am simply recommending that a sales professional should step in and nurture the relationship. The marketers job is to acquire exposure and capture attention of consumers, the sales professionals job is to convert captured consumers into paying customers … AND … this is where marketers SUCK! (I hope I did not offend anybody, I am a marketer so the last statement was partially self-deprecating humor)
If you were thinking to yourself; “This sounds like a lot of work?“, you are asking a great question, please bear with me and I will share some simple solutions to this problem!
First of all, I am a BIG advocate of “working smarter not harder” yet also very careful not to over-complicate or over-engineer solutions. Marketing Automation has been a buzz word for a while and many of the big name marketing influencers insist every business needs an automated solution. Marketing automation is the process of advertising, capturing, nurturing and converting consumers through a prescribed series of media and communications (i.e. advertisements, emails, drip campaigns, etc.) Each piece of content and communication is carefully scripted to provoke action to the next piece of content or a call-to-action to a “tripwired” sales conversions.
My approach (and recommendation) is more simple and less complicated than full blown automation. This approach is to create one-on-one REAL WORLD relationships as fast as possible, no fancy programmed content placements and no gimmicks, a strategy straight out of the Gary Vaynerchuck, #GaryVee, playbook;
“Social Media is a Gateway Drug to One-on-One Relationships”
A one-on-one relationship in my world is a phone call or in-person meeting, SIMPLE, yes? I equate this strategy to calling a service provider (i.e. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.), if you have to follow the phone menu to “Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that … ” too many times, it’s quite easy to get upset and frustrated and leave a bad taste in your mouth.
My automation recommendation is simple, with the goal of creating the one-on-one as quickly as possible, I recommend direct response messaging, messaging call-to-action and comment-triggered direct response messaging.
First and foremost, social media and Facebook lead generation is NOT sales. Social lead generation requires a plan, a strategy and requires work. Many forget that prior to the internet and prior to social media, lead generation was MUCH more challenging and very costly.
If you publish good content, ask meaningful questions about “pain points”, LISTEN and stay engaged, the social media landscape, specifically Facebook, is filled with opportunity. All you need to do is be willing to put in a little work or hire the right people!