When it comes to cleaning, you’re an expert. But are your social media skills still covered in dust? If you’re not seeing the conversions you hoped for from your social media, it might be time to spruce up your strategy. After all, the online world can change pretty quickly. Below we’ve collected three easy steps to teach you not only how to keep up with social media trends, but how to use social media for lead generation as well.
Step 1: Grow Followers or Fans for Your Business
This is the first step, because without a solid following on your business’ social media accounts, the other two steps will be much, much less effective. Unfortunately, it can also be the most difficult. But take it from us — using social media for effective lead generation is well worth the effort!
The core concept you need to embrace is engagement, and we can’t emphasize that enough. (In fact, we’ll be talking about engagement in our other tips, too.) On Twitter for example, the best way to get started is to follow other accounts. Not only will this increase the likelihood of that person or company following you back, it also increases the opportunity to interact and share content that will increase engagement for you. On a platform like Twitter, that means both your followers and theirs will see your conversation.
Another great way to get started is to check out what keywords and themes your competitors are using as part of their conversation. This will give you a starting point for finding people that are interested in your industry, product, or service. One way of doing this is to use social listening tools like Crowdfire. In addition to providing useful analytical functions, Crowdfire will let you find Twitter users based on either prominent keywords they use or who a certain user (e.g., a competitor) follows.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t sell yourself short on other social media platforms either. Twitter and Facebook are possibly the biggest, but that doesn’t mean that sites like Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or YouTube have nothing to offer your business, especially when you’re seeking more engagement. What’s important is giving your audience a reason to stick around and interact with you because that’s what’s going to lead to conversions.
While the type of content you produce will determine which social media sites are best for your company, the platforms you use will also determine what audience you’re able to reach.
You can use Pinterest, for example, to tap into different segments of customers that may be looking for a service like yours. Think about home-related pins that could be of interest, but aren’t directly related to cleaning either. You could pin home cleaning remedies, but also home decor ideas and easy clean up craft projects to do with the kids. Think outside the box when it comes to what kind of content will appeal to your customers.
This will also help drive more traffic to your site and develop content that is shareable by your fans and followers. We’ve previously touched on ways videos can boost your visibility and sales, and these are both just the tip of the iceberg.
Step 2: Produce & Share Content and Promote Offers
We’ve touched on why you would want to re-share content from others, but with that, it’s important that you generate valuable content of your own. Merely curating content is okay for getting started, but it shouldn’t be a long term social media marketing plan. Your content is going to be the reason your followers will want to interact with you, as well as why influential users will want to share what you have to say.
With the rolling Panda algorithm update that began over the summer, you need to make certain, now more than ever, that your site and blog content is optimized using long-tail keywords. This provides value to your site, and thus your readers. If you’re still not sure what that entails, consider why a customer turns to a service like yours. Perhaps they have allergies, or maybe they have items made from delicate materials that require special care. Is there a particular seasonal reason to clean beyond the traditional “spring cleaning,” or are there new cleaning products or methods your company uses? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and create content that’s going to be interesting and useful. In fact, this is another great reason to take a peek at your competitors’ followers — see what questions they’re asking and what they’re finding useful. You don’t need to feel limited to the traditional blogging format either; try infographics and videos to share information in an interesting way.
Next, you should to be promoting your blog content on each of your social channels in some way. This is the most basic way for users to move from social media to your website. At the same time, you don’t want to spam all of your social media accounts with the same exact post across all of them. Each platform operates differently, and users expect a different experience on each one. Tumblr, for instance, is much more informal and tends to provide humor, memes, and gif images. As a cleaning company, that may require you to think outside the box, but that doesn’t mean crafting a Tumblr promotion is a waste of time. When done correctly, a Tumblr post increases your odds of going viral, and if you’re also consistent, you could build a customer base that will become loyal to your brand for years to come.
It also bears noting that you should be linking to your social media profiles from your website, and that you should offer clear calls-to-action to let users easily share your blog posts and promotions through those social channels. Sometimes your best advertisers will be the people reading your blog!
The place where content and promotion meet for some of the best lead generation is by creating offers. Your fans will always love a deal, so consider discounts, giveaways, and contests on your social channels, though you do need to be sure to offer them at a time and in a way that aren’t going to hurt your bottom line.
Utilizing a platform like Offerpop can even ensure users need to follow your account in order to participate in your contest. If you’re not sure what kind of offer would work best for you, go back to looking at your engagement. What are your users asking about? What are their needs? Designing an offer based on the answers to those questions increases the odds that they will not only participate, but share your promotion. In fact, sharing a post about the offer itself could be a requirement for entry, or count as one entry, similar to buying a raffle ticket. Remember: Offers should always operate as an investment in leads, and if it’s damaging your business, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Step 3: Listen to Your Followers. Literally.
Engagement is the key to a successful social media marketing strategy. But with multiple platforms and services, customer interactions can become harder to keep track of if you don’t have the right tools. Fortunately, there’s plenty available, both for free and for a price. We’ve already mentioned Crowdfire, which lets you build lists of users based on keywords as well as analytics about your active/inactive followers and your fans.
Here Are Some of the Free Social Media Options:
- Google My Business – You may be familiar with this already, but if you’re not, you should be. The service is free, and not only will it put you quite literally on the digital map and give you all the tools you need to generate great engagement on Google, it will give you a robust dashboard that allows you to see reviews, page visits, and other analytics. Your Google AdWords campaign can be viewed and controlled from this dashboard as well.
- Hootsuite – This dashboard gives you the tools you need to manage several social media accounts across a number of platforms all in one place. You can build special columns that track keywords and hashtags in real time, and you can create posts or reply to commenters without having to log in to several places at once. It even offers analytical reports that can be compiled as presentations. While the basic version is free, it is worth taking a look at the premium, paid versions of Hootsuite as well, as it opens more control and offers more robust options.
- SocialMention – This tool is simple and straightforward to use. Simply do a search of a person, product, or brand, and you’ll receive information about how it’s mentioned in everything from blogs, vlogs, and social media to the news.
Of course, once you’re in a position to do so, paid platforms are going to offer much more in depth analysis. A couple of the top options are:
- SocialRest – A relative newcomer, this startup was incubated at Capital Factory and further backed by Rackspace. With those credentials, it’s no surprise this platform is on the rise. Utilizing advanced machine learning, it collects a huge variety of raw data to tell you how effective your digital content really is, as well as to track conversions and the resulting influence that generates conversions.
- DataSift – Marketing itself as a privacy driven Human Data platform, it processes some two billion interactions across thousands of sources in real time every day to produce insights and meaningful data and market insight that can be utilized to optimize your marketing campaigns.
The point of whichever option or options you choose is to help you in “listening” to your followers. Whether it’s through the topic you’re tracking, a trending hashtag, or simply looking at the comments directed at you, you should be noting what they’re saying and actually get involved in the conversation.
Most importantly, listening ensures your social media content is relevant. It allows you to answer customer questions, provide new (or even just correct) information, and keep your proverbial finger on the pulse of your followers’ needs.
Start Generating New Leads Now!
The obvious part of how cleaning service companies can use social media for lead generation is interacting with followers and potential customers; when they talk to you, you want to answer them as positively as possible. What may sound counterintuitive is this: you need to engage leaders in your industry, and sometimes that means engaging with your competitors. The internet is a melting pot of options and opportunities as much as it is an ocean of information. By engaging with other accounts, you increase your visibility and your authority in the eyes of customers. If influencers you engage with re-share your content, that puts you in front of their audience too, greatly increasing your reach. Does your plan for lead generation include following, interacting with, and re-sharing posts from influencers?
Hashtags have proliferated throughout social media. Once only useful for sorting specific posts, hashtags make a strong addition to keywords for lead generation. How will you identify and track the hashtags your customers are using?
Do you have a plan for offers that could draw in new customers? Does it take advantage of holidays, seasons, and other events?
Don’t limit your interactions to merely customer service, although, correctly handling customer service through social media can go a long way toward earning loyalty. Friendly, informed interactions build a relationship with potential customers that increases your social reach and increases the likelihood of conversions. Have you already used a platform to listen to your followers? What were the results?