My clients come to me because they have hit a wall and can’t grow their business by finding new buyers of their product or service, and they are looking for ways to generate leads. Very often I suggest using social media. Frequently I get responses such as:
- But Sara, I’m already using social media and it’s going nowhere.
- I tried this already, Sara, and it didn’t work. I sell a high-quality product. My clients are not the type to buy on the Internet. I’m not selling to broke 20 year olds on Twitter, Sara!
Did you know that 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn? Contrary to popular belief, it is in fact not just for college kids and not everybody on there is broke. Social media fails to generate leads when any one of the following 10 things are happening. Please read on to learn which one may be happening at your company.
Your content has not been properly designed to lead the right people to see you and your advice as valuable
It’s got to be too good to be ignored, or else it will be ignored. This sounds harsh, but it is the truth. The way to get there is not by talking about you. It’s by getting into the buyer’s head, their subconscious mind. The best blog posts are those which provide the reader with information that answers questions people have, but don’t necessarily realize that they have. One woman I know had tremendous success because she was featured in a prominent article entitled, “Do I really sound like that when I talk?” She is a speech therapist and the business Think about it. This is something that crosses people’s minds all the time, but they never ponder it in detail. Your content has to make a light bulb go off in people’s heads. When you do, responsiveness increases.
The other thing is, are you talking to the right level of a buyer. If you are selling luxury suits, do your YouTube videos feature demonstrations of how to properly hang a suit on a hanger? Think about it – do you think the people who buy Zegna suits don’t know how to take care of them? The people who are going to search for information about how to hang up a suit are college kids or first time suit buyers. Not likely to buy Zegna! A better topic would have been a video about how to pick a business suit to wear to a Board meeting. Here you’re targeting the higher level executive who probably already owns a luxury suit or two.
Your posts are not properly tagged
Most people, even if they buy in person, at least check out the product and its competitors on the Internet before they make the purchase. The algorithms used by search engines are constantly changing. Are you updating your tags with them? If not, all the money you spent on SEO has now gone down the drain. People typically make the mistake of tagging the post with words that describe the post. A more effective way is to tag with words that people type into the search box.
You are not interacting the right way, quickly enough, or frequently enough, with the people who like or comment on your postings
When somebody asks a question, posts a comment, likes, or forwards one of your postings, you have a short amount of time to respond and motivate them to take the next action. In the age of social media, you have 24 hours for an article to be “live” and then it fades away. If you are too busy to respond, you’re wasting all the effort you put in to get people’s attention in the first place. Do not assume that they will take the action on their own – you have to lead them there. Appoint a marketing specialist to assume your identity on social media and follow up if you lack time to do so.
After a reader responds, you should thank them as the first thing you do. Then quickly take the next step, such as sending them a white paper, asking for their email address, or directing them to another posting on the subject. They’re way more likely to do what you want if you get them right after they post.
There is something wrong with your professional presentation.
Spelling errors, grammatical errors, unprofessional LinkedIn picture, a website is too slow or crashes frequently, website text is too small, not colorful enough, information clearly hasn’t been updated in months or years. All of these things say to the reader, “I don’t really care about how I present myself to the public.” Why would anyone buy from you when the next competitor is just a click away? Really, that is how competitive it is!
You are not posting frequently enough.
In sales, they say that people need to be contacted 5-6 times before they respond. There is so much noise in the media and people are inundated. Don’t expect to get noticed if you post a blog every month. I post every day but I’m a professional writer and can get my stuff out super fast. I would suggest a weekly or biweekly posting at minimum. Never sacrifice quality for quantity though.
Once people get interested, they can’t find you.
Imagine that you read this great blog post and then you Google the writer and they don’t come up anywhere. The only thing you could do would be to initiate a friend request on LinkedIn but you don’t have their email address. It goes no further. Or, you search for their website and you can’t find it because it’s on page 2 of Google. Yes, page 2 of Google. That is how impatient a society we have become.
You are not including a call to action
Even the most motivating of content can get lost if there is no clear indication of what the reader should do next to benefit from your expertise. At a minimum, at the end of your post you should encourage readers to subscribe to all your channels. Offering a small giveaway such as “The first 20 people to like this post will receive a copy of my monthly economic commentary” is an even better example of how to get more visibility with your audience in a way that drives home your value.
Your title or first two lines are boring.
If you had to choose between two frozen yogurt restaurants, one with a bold bright sign called Bananas for Yogurt, and the other one with a faded, chipping sign called Frozen Yogurt Store, which one would you pick? It’s that much of a jungle out there folks. The most immediately engaging content, not the most intelligent, is the one that attracts viewers.
Your content is negative
In an effort to get people’s attention, you may perhaps be coming off as too critical of the buyers that you are intending to attract. Ask yourself these questions. Is our tone condescending? It’s so easy to sound shrill in writing. Are we making the prospect feel stupid by ragging on them for having the challenge that our product solves? You may be turning people off inadvertently.
You lack a grand finale
Yes folks, as important as it is to draw people in with our first two lines, you’ve got to inspire them to forward your posting by doing something exciting at the end. I try to use humor as a way to lighten the tone before my call to action, which are the last lines of my post. Wake them up!
Is your social media not generating the leads you want? Do any of these 10 reasons sound like they may be what’s holding you back? Please contact me for a consultation to fix the problem.
Bullas, Jeff. “25 LinkedIn Facts and Statistics You Need to Share.” December 2, 2014. http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/12/02/25-linkedin-facts-and-statistics-you-need-to-share/