While many companies rely on traditional marketing methods to reach new customers, inbound marketing…. Social media… presents opportunities for new customers to FIND YOU!
We’d like offer some initial recommendations to improve your inbound marketing program and build stronger relationships with your customers. And, generate new leads for your products and services.
Generate Leads on your web site
Make your website work for you. If your company has a website that currently acts as an informational tool (essentially a digital brochure), consider reinvesting in the site to make it a lead generating tool! Here’s how:
- Host and post information about seminars and webinars… people love to learn!
- Offer a newsletter…. That will help you create new and fresh content on a regular basis.
- Encourage visitors to post comments…. it’s great tool to learn first hand what is on people’s minds.
- Write a blog…. build your industry thought leadership by voicing an opinion on trends impacting your customers.
- Provide useful information in the form of white papers, case studies, and how to videos… help your customers do their jobs better.
The secret is to create landing pages where your new potential customer exchanges their contact information in order to sign up for a seminar, register for a webinar, subscribe to your newsletter, download a white paper or technical guide, or access how to videos for exclusive members.
Pick A Platform
There are a lot of social platforms available, nearly a new one is launched each week, so it’s important to identify the right ones for your customers… and focus on those outlets only.
In the Pump Industry, my two favorite platforms are Linkedin and Twitter. So let’s discuss how you can better use each of these platforms to create a presence that is an effective environment to generate leads.
- Build and complete your profile. A LinkedIn profile is essential in today’s business environment but you can’t make everyone on your team use LinkedIn. Remember that LinkedIn has 332MM Profiles and it isn’t going away. The first step is to complete your profile. Follow the on-screen steps when you create your profile until it says 100% complete! And yes… it does include a photo and I recommend you use one! A hint: Sometimes those photos are a great reminder for the person you met at a crowded trade show. No one wants to communicate with a light blue box. When updating or distributing content, make sure your brand is not being tarnished by misspelling and incorrect information. Once your profile is created, you can begin to search for people you know in industry or would like to connect with for business opportunities. Note: Look for ways you can answer questions and help others learn without selling.
- Create a Company Profile. You can now post as a company on LinkedIn. And, this is great news for those who aren’t sure who should be the “face of the company.” Once your company profile is created, ALL employees should connect to your company profile to their personal LinkedIn profile. It’s a great way to drive traffic. It is essential that your customers can see your correct company information when they click on the company listed next to your name, especially if you are posting company information positioned as a thought leader.
- Establish a Thought Leadership Program. Most companies struggle with identifying people to post on behalf of the company. Start by creating a social media policy and distributing it to all employees. Everyone who is on social media should understand that they represent the company when they post. We encourage people to post on subjects where they have the expertise and knowledge. Think about social media like a trade show, with a customer wants more information in your booth. You find the most knowledge person in your company and put them together. It’s the same on social media. Once this is done, you can assign employees to topics or groups where they can post and answer where they are the subject matter expert.
Pick a Respectable Twitter handle (name). If you don’t know, this is how people actually identify each other and talk on twitter. My handle is @CharliKMatthews. I want people to know exactly who they are communicating with… if it has my name by it, you can be assured I know the tweet went out and can address me directly. Handles like PumpGirl32 wouldn’t do me any good and it would make people uncomfortable to mention it. You want to give your customers the best environment to be open to talk with you publically. Clearly identify your Twitter objective too. Then, start connecting with people in the industry! Have fun and reach out to new connections.
Post Regularly. This one is hard for most people to figure out in the beginning. It is basically a personal preference. Ask yourself, how seen do you want to be? Do you want to only be an observer? That’s ok too, but don’t expect people to follow you if you have nothing to say… Personally, you have to post when it is convenient for you and be true to your self, whether you only post, standing in a airport line, waiting on water to boil, or are constantly posting. You decide what regular is for you. For a business, it’s different… If you are using it as a branding tool, you must post constantly as the feed changes constantly and if you post only once a day… consider that only your marketing team sees your posts… Once a day is perfect for other networks, but for Twitter… it is not.
Use Hashtags. This is where you can really make connections with people with common interests or industries… hashtags basically enable search engines. #Pumps is often associated with trade shows, so when we launched the Empowering Pumps twitter account, we began using the hashtag #pumptalk so we could connect the pump industry. In one click you can see all our news, articles, videos, and conversations. Others in the industry now use that hashtag as part of their marketing strategy. Hashtags are also great during a live event. You can use it to see what activities are happening or who is interested in the event… actually there or just following it with mentions and retweets. It is a highly effective way to attend an event if you aren’t able to be present and to connect with other that are interested in that topic… well if they have followed the step of a respective profile!
For assistance with your social media marketing, please contact www.EmpoweringPumps.com to learn more about how we support social media marketing within the pump industry.