Whether you are new to social media marketing, or a seasoned expert, the process of starting and warming up a social media account is the same. There is a cycle you have to engage in to make the best use of your time online. The good news is that this cycle follows a buyer’s cycle in most industries.
Noting that prospects could become clients from any phase of the cycle. It’s important that the different cycles are understood in order to develop a strategy for each phase so you can make the best use of your budget, and encourage greater success.
Inbound marketing experts call this the Attract, Engage, Convert, Delight cycle…. and it looks a lot like this:
Whether you are starting a new Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, or TikTok account, you will start out with zero followers. Attracting new customers begins by building your audience. How do you do this? First define who they are! A buyer personae includes everything from age, sex, income, and lifestyle demographics. How you attract people to connect with your social media accounts is easier once you know who you ideal buyer is.
Quick ideas: invite your friends and family, run a contest, connect with others, encourage others to follow back…
Attracting people to Like, Follow, or Subscribe is only the first stage in your strategy. Getting people to engage with your content is the next.
This is the process of creating content that people will engage with. Engagement may look like sharing a post you create, or linking an image you share, or clicking on articles you write or curate.
Engagement practices are an important part of your social media strategy. Not to be confused with conversion, or lead generation. This second phase helps the algorithm display your content to those who like your pages, or follow your accounts, without having to pay for impressions.
Quick ideas: create quotes, share your blog posts, curate content from other sources…
This is my favourite part of your social media strategy. Also the one I am most skilled at. Converting your audience into workable leads and prospects is where inbound marketing strategies excel! Otherwise known as permission marketing, this phase exchanges content or ideas for people’s contact information. This is the process that pushes your customers into the sales funnel.
If you have handled the first 2 phases of this cycle properly ads for lead generation should be fairly cost effective. Please note however, content created at this phase is often the most expensive. This is where you will hear buzz words like “CTA” or call to action, Landing pages, Lead Form Ads, etc.
This phase can be combined with a closing strategy.
It is at this phase that sales and marketing come together in perfect harmony. This is often where most companies fail because they assume their marketing strategy will cover both ends. It does not. Sales and marketing can work together to create awesome strategies, but they have very different roles. If you want to discuss a sales strategy further, contact me direct.
Quick ideas: downloadable content (top 5 lists, worksheets, case studies, etc.), strategic research projects (surveys), newsletters, educational material like online courses…
Otherwise known as the client for life program! Just because someone has closed the deal doesn’t mean that it’s time to forget them. Quite the opposite actually. This is the phase that you will pick up your most referrals, references, and if you are a seasoned sales representative, your most prospects. Jeffrey Gitomer has a brilliant way to put this, “Nobody likes to be sold, but everybody likes to buy! Especially from people they know, they like, and they trust!”
Your social strategy should continue to engage your audience, delight them with further discounts, upsells, and opportunities to share their happy experiences with others.
Quick ideas: create brand advocates, offer incentives to post reviews, give discounts for future purchases, use your pixels to retarget customers…
So there you have it! From start to finish, your social media and content strategies need to encompass all 4 phases of a buyers cycle. When done well you can keep your budget manageable and make the best use of your social media manager’s time.
How will you Attract, Engage, Convert, and Delight your customers today?