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How to Drive More Traffic and Conversions from Social Media

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How to Drive More Traffic and Conversions from Social Media

Social media is a great way to generate traffic and brand awareness but it is not so easy for instant conversions or lead generation.

Inherently, social media platforms are tough for marketing because people use social media to get entertained and distracted from work. They may not be too willing to think about their business, even if they are decision makers.

Here are a few ways to drive traffic and convert it into conversions, sales and leads from your social media channels.

1. Set up your social media profiles

This is a fundamental step a surprising number of businesses are missing: Make sure your social media profile provides a clear way to learn more about your company, read clients’ testimonials and contact you.

Instagram

Instagram bio allows a single clickable link, so it is a bit limiting, especially if you want to highlight several products or link to your other social media channels. Yet, there are tools that allow you to easily create social-media-friendly landing pages that are well branded and engaging, for free.

Link In Bio by Lightricks is a free tool that helps you maximize your bio by letting you create a beautiful, easily customized, and mobile-friendly landing page to promote whatever links make the most sense at a given moment – campaign-specific content, seasonal offers, more social profiles, a newsletter signup, etc.

How to Drive More Traffic and Conversions from Social Media

Linkedin

When it comes to B2B, Linkedin is one of the best social media platforms to utilize. Yet, while most businesses have at least some Linkedin presence, they take surprisingly little care about what their profiles look like there.

For company profiles

  • Set up your custom URL
  • Add a detailed description
  • Add your logo and header image
  • Create a custom button (i.e. your CTA to direct people to your lead generation form)

For employees’ profiles

Those of your customer-facing employees (like sales people, customer support team, outreach agents) should have:

  • A real and professional profile picture
  • Job description
  • A business email address for people to be able to get in touch

Twitter

Like Instagram, Twitter doesn’t give a ton of options as to modifying your business or personal profile page. You can add a profile picture, a header image, a short description and a link. You can use the same Link In Bio link here as you use on Instagram to allow your prospects to choose how they want to engage back with your business or its representatives.

2. Foster brand recognition

A recognizable brand is a long-term asset that will make any aspect of your brand easier, from organic rankings to lead generation, and social media is one of the most effective tools to build your brand.

They say, one needs to see something at least 8 times to remember it, so make sure you do a lot on social media, across multiple channels, to pop up in your target customers’ feeds again and again, until they remember you.

Plenty of your prospective customers will encounter you in various channels. They’ll see your posts on Twitter and Facebook, and see your Instagram updates, and if your content is inconsistent, it will muddy their impression of you. Keep things clear, and your brand will benefit.

If you are still planning to launch your platform and working on creating a digital marketing strategy, make sure to find a brand name that is available across several social media channels. Namify is a tool that will help you with that step:

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From there, make sure your social media profiles match your brand identity, and your content has some brand-driven elements as well.

For visuals, Venngage offers “My Brand Kit” where you can save all your brand identity visual elements to easily apply it to the image content you create. 

With tools like these, every piece of content that gets published on your social media profiles will remind people of your brand building awareness and recognition. It takes time to build your brand, but focusing on engaging your social media audience will soon start making a difference.

Creating a recognizable brand benefits both SEO and sales, and social media is one of the best tools to do that.

Social media is a colorful, inviting place. It revolves around images, art, and innovation. As such, it’s important that you steer into this creative focus with your own company’s content. You can do this in multiple ways, such as:

  • Creating quality content: If you quickly snap a photo and slap it up on your Instagram account, no one is going to notice it. However, carefully thought out images that are designed to stand out can help you attract attention in a very saturated marketplace. Use bright colors, interesting backgrounds, and above all, be purposeful.
  • Look for unique approaches to your content: Everyone’s taken a picture of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. At this point, it screams mundane. What if you’re the one company that posts a picture of an employee doused in cold brew, though? In other words, if you can find a unique angle to promote your products and services, it will help you cut through all of the white noise.
  • Inspire users to be creative: Sometimes you need synergy to keep the creative fires lit. For instance, if you have a brewery, make a one-of-a-kind coaster for your brand. Then, encourage people who visit your location to create user-generated content by snapping a picture of the coaster and posting it on Instagram — after tagging you, of course.

Regardless of the specifics, if you look for ways to be creative, you’ll be far more successful in generating organic attention on your Instagram profile.

To that end, you should create a varied content calendar (and line up helpful tools) to steer your content-production efforts for the next year or so. It doesn’t need to be complete, and you should leave gaps for spur-of-the-moment work, but it should encompass the general topics you want to address plus the audiences you’re trying to reach with them.

Social media users are attracted to personality, spirit, enthusiasm, and humor. You’re trying to win them over with your brand, and if you seem boring or generic, that won’t happen. You can’t be lax, of course (there are major risks to veering away from your brand guidelines), but you can be informal.

3. Locate Your Target Audience

The economy of effort is hugely important in social media marketing. Even with powerful tools on your side, you can’t be everywhere at once (and if you could, it would prove counterproductive through making your brand seem intrusive). You need to find your prospective buyers so you can do whatever you can to target them specifically.

Awario will help enormously with this task, but it will still require a lot of manual effort. You’ll need to get involved in conversations, looking very closely at the exchanges taking place to discern how much value there would be in targeting them (for instance, rooting through a subreddit to gauge how heavily the users spend).

If you don’t know where you’re trying to sell, then your effort will all be arbitrary, and much of it will achieve nothing. You’ll also struggle to cater your messages as required. Accordingly, you should take as long as you need for this step, and only proceed to the next when you’re entirely confident that you know what you need to do.

Think about the companies that thrive on social media, and look into how they participate in conversations. Find the elements you like, and emulate them. It’s all about nailing down the fundamental limitations on your social selling so that everything beyond that can be creative.

4. Identify people behind companies

B2B is all about businesses selling to businesses but in reality those are still decisions and transactions made by real people. The best way to sell your product to a company is to reach out to people behind that company. 

When working on your lead list, make sure to keep record of:

  • Company’s official social media profiles
  • People who work for that company and their roles

Both Linkedin and Twitter can help you with the latter: You can find real people who may be decision makers (or may influence decision makers) and connect to those making either or both of the platforms.

On Linkedin

Navigate to your target company’s page and find your common connections with that page. If you or your sales-reps have well-connected Instagram account, you are likely to have some second-tier connections:

1655501625 825 How to Drive More Traffic and Conversions from Social Media

On Twitter

Create an account at Followerwonk and search for your target company’s handle. Make sure you select the “Search Twitter bios only” option. This will filter all the results to those profiles that mention that business name in the bio (so they are likely to be working there or have been working there in the past).

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Reaching out to those people…

Once you know people behind your target company, follow them and identify some additional ways to reach out. Most of those people will link to their personal websites where you can find contact forms as well as maintain several active social media profiles.

Connecting on a personal level will help you get to know your target company and its decision makers more, and get a better response rate.

Finally, while it’s important that you create a buzz for your business online, often the work is already done for you. Take user-generated content as an example. While some content of this nature can come from deliberate marketing efforts such as working with influencers, a large portion of user-generated content begins naturally, and it is nearly always started by users who don’t follow your company on social media yet.

When you search for conversations on social media where users have tagged your brand, it can provide the perfect opportunity to organically jump into the conversation. Whether you’re addressing a concern or showing appreciation for a complement, tracking down brand conversations and using them to engage with potential new customers is a great way to stir up organic conversations for your business on Instagram.

5. Invest in retargeting ads

Finally, social media ads may not work that well in B2B, but using those social media ads to retarget to those prospects who already visited your site is a great way to get those prospects converted into leads.

Installing Facebook’s tracking pixel is pretty easy and you will start accumulating your data right away. Likewise, Linkedin offers a retargeting option as well.

Make sure you have a well set-up, mobile-friendly and fast-loading product page when you invest in social media advertising. Speed optimization tools can be of big help here.

When investing in retargeting ads, make sure to segment your audience to better personalize their experience. You can remarket to people who visited a certain page or performed a certain action (e.g. abandoned their cart).

This way you can match your ad to their previous engagement with the site and personalize their on-site experience. Remarketing is more effective if you:

  • Shorten your sales funnel (to eliminate any barriers)
  • Set up additional conversion funnels (e.g. free demo or a free download).

Look for ways to experiment and diversify your call-to-action and lead generation process. There may already be a lot of opportunities in your niche.

Conclusion

Social media can be a great lead generation channel which can drive direct conversions as well as act as a supplemental tool for your lead generation efforts. It takes a strategic approach for it to work though:

  • Agreement that this is important
  • Allocating dedicated time, resources and budget
  • Openness to getting outside help or training
  • Including it as an agenda item in key meetings
  • Integrating it with other marketing initiatives
  • Having articulated goals for the social media efforts
  • Allowing for experimentation, creativity and failures
  • Accepting the possibility of some negative consequences (e.g. visible complaints, the occasional online faux pas)
  • Tracking activities and results

Ensure that everyone is on the same page. A large social media marketing campaign needs a lot of people working on it, and everyone needs to know about your guidelines. If you let someone post without reading and agreeing to them, you’re asking for trouble.

It takes time to find best-working tools and tactics but with enough consistency you will see it work. Good luck!


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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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