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What if you could spend less time writing content and still drive web traffic and generate leads?

Oh. Wait. You can….and I do!

Social Networking: Lead Generation Without Content

I spend the majority of my time actively networking, not posting and sitting on my ass hoping my content is seen. I follow specific people and pages. I interact, support and add value. That simply activity, which is easy and honestly, fun, is what YOU should be doing and what I  have found to be the BEST way to leverage my time on social media.

 

One of those I follow is my friend (and one of my influencers) Debra Jason. We met on social media through a mutual friend. While we have yet to meet in person, we have spent a good deal of time networking together and supporting each other.

I am always reading her content (it is that good). She recently shared a post from her website, The Write Direction. As a standard practice I commented on the post itself and to further support her, also took the time to add a comment directly on the blog post itself.

 

The result of networking and interacting with Debra:

  • I saw her social share of the post.
  • I added a valuable comment on social and the blog post itself
  • One of her blog readers saw my comment.

 

Apparently, the comment made an impression. Not only did they track back to my post (Want Results From Facebook? Stop Sitting On Your Ass!), they filled out my lead capture form to sign up to receive my content in their inbox!

 

Lead generation through social networking, not content.

 

A perfect example of driving web traffic and lead generation WITHOUT content.

I’ll add this is not an isolated example of driving web traffic from social networking. There is this one:

 

Value of commenting on a blog post found through social networking

 

And this one:

 

Driving web traffic through social networking

 

Social networking is how I have been able to leverage social media effectively to build my brands since 2007, and it’s proven to remain highly effective through all of the algorithm changes.

A single value-added comment might just be worth far more than any piece of content you post.

 

Consider spending less time on your content and more on being active, visible and engaged.Click To Tweet

Driving Interaction From Your Reactions

When Facebook’s reactions showed up last week, there was the typical banter as to who likes them and who doesn’t. Me, as with most new features or updates, it’s never about liking or disliking them. It’s about figuring out how to use them.

And, as it turns out….

…Facebook’s reactions are quite the tool for getting more interaction on your posts.

Facebook's reactions rolled out globally - using them to get more engagement

Why?

Facebook does a great job at limiting brand pages from communicating directly with people. It’s why pages can only tag individuals under only a few circumstances:

 

Here’s the kicker – reactions count as engagement. No big update there as I could always tag you to say ‘thanks for the like’ previously. The issue with that approach meant ‘do it for one and you pretty much need to do it for all.’ Could get a bit tedious, not to mention string of comments filled with the same ‘thank you’. I will admit my friend Debra Jason has this technique quite well. (It’s actually her technique I thought of when reactions first appeared).

Reactions, however, offer a bit more. Add a ‘Wow’ to my Facebook post and I can tag you in a comment asking ‘Why the wow’. I could further ask if it was you learned something from my post or some other reason.

An angry reaction?  I could respond with ‘Do you disagree?’

So much more potential than the plain old ‘like’ wouldn’t you agree?

Facebook’s reactions open up a number of new opportunities for brand pages to tag individuals to create more engagement and interaction.

No Engagement On Your Posts? Who Cares!

One of the challenges for small brands on social media is simply getting engagement.  We stress over writing and posting good content our readers want at the perfect time only to find it doesn’t get seen or worse – it does – and still there is no engagement! Rather than tell you why and how to get that engagement (I’ll save that for a later post), I’m going to throw this out there and tell you to:

Stop worrying about how many likes, comments, and shares you’re getting. You do NOT need engagement on your social media posts for your efforts to be successful.

For the record, your efforts should be focused on creating engagement but not seeing good levels of does not mean your efforts were worthless and social media as a failure as a result. I stress this point because it is possible, no matter what efforts you undertake, you may never actually get good levels of engagement.

 

Maybe it’s your product or service?

If you’re a fertility doctor, a divorce attorney or therapist, there’s a good chance not only won’t someone want to like or comment on your posts, they may not even want to like your page. The same may be true for lawyers, financial planners, and doctors. On the off-chance, someone they know will see that activity is enough of a reason to not engage.

Some just prefer to lurk.

Some people don’t like to comment. They may like the page and lurk on purpose. They want the information, not the conversation. They’re learning, researching and making a determination of what they need or want and if they’ll buy from you. Unless they have a specific question, you won’t likely hear from them until they’re ready to buy. Even then, contact is likely to be them emailing, calling or stopping by, not social engagement.

 

Stop stressing over post-level engagement

It isn’t necessary to drive sales

A  very compelling CTA in radio spot or print ad may get your customer’s attention and trigger that ‘buy response’ but by the time they get home or take few minutes to think about it, they can find all kinds of reasons not to buy. The moment passes and it’s forgotten.

The big value for smaller brands using social media is the direct connection and interaction it enables. You can talk to your customer, ask questions and work to move them to action in real-time on a piece of content. This direct, immediate communication makes it much easier to work through customer objections.

But what if you don’t get the engagement? Those compelling CTAs in a radio or print ad still work. Not every customer will have or create obstacles. The same holds true for CTAs in social content. Even though social media’s value is predominantly its inbound capability, it still can be successful as an outbound tool. A post with a great CTA doesn’t need engagement to convert.

A word of advice here. Leveraging social media in this way over the long-term is not a good practice. What you may gain with this approach will be far less than otherwise possible using social media as a relationship tool. I am merely pointing out it’s possible for social media to generate revenue as an outbound tool when the inbound aspect isn’t working.

 

It isn’t necessary to drive website traffic

This is another area where engagement simply isn’t needed to convert. A great intro which makes the reader want to click throughOptimized link content for a Facebook post - title, meta description and featured image + source and Facebook Authorship and an optimized link (think visually appealing featured image a great meta description and title) is enough.

In fact, a post which doesn’t see a like or comment but drives traffic may result in even better engagement later. Once on your site, there is an opportunity to capture email or other lead generation information allowing you to provide more tailored content and to engage with a prospective client when you want, rather than waiting for them to take action.

Focusing on writing content which drives web traffic is a great tactic for those whose businesses, like those mentioned above, tend not to get post-level engagement.

 

It isn’t necessary to build relationships

How do you build relationships and connect with your audience if you’re getting limited or no engagement?

Limited: With the exception of Facebook (it’s not as easy but still possible – why you need to leverage your personal profile for business) you can see who liked or +1’d your content and privately or publicly thank them, even ask them a question to drive further interaction  They still may not reply with more than a like, but they are aware you noticed them and took the time to acknowledge them. That is a simple gesture which goes a long way.

None: Even with lurkers on your profiles, you can still create relationships.

 

If you cannot build relationships through conversation, build it through your content.

 

Original Content.  I urge my clients to be more personal on their business profiles. Bring some of yourself into your brand. If you’re a small business owner or solopreneur, it’s already there. You just need to showcase it and put it out in the open. Bonds form over commonalities and shared interests. They form when there are natural connections.

This is one of the primary reasons knowing your audience is so important. Knowing their likes, wants, desires and interests, their buyer persona, allows you to create content which speaks to them. Posting stories which appeal to your audience on a personal level as part of your content mix is a simple way of connecting without the actual conversation.

 

Shared Content.  Sharing content is a terrific way to reduce your time commitment while still showing authority but it is also one of the best ways to create relationships through content. Consider HOW you post the content you are sharing.

 

You do not need to engage with your audience to form a connection or bond if you’re creating content which resonates with them.

 

The Bottom Line

Without question, you want the engagement. You want likes, comments, and shares. You want to write content to drive them, but knowing you may never get that engagement, make sure your content needs to ‘speak’ directly to your audience, to make them connect with you and your brand.