When it comes to driving traffic to your website, demand generation marketers have a number of tools available in their playbooks.
Search engine optimization is an effective strategy, but it takes time to see the pay off in prospects. It can take months to see a return in terms of increased traffic and leads.
Another option is paid search marketing. But pay-per-click ads can be expensive. To, too, isn’t a quick-fix solution, but rather one requiring patience and an ongoing investment.
Proactive Social Outreach
That’s why proactive social media outreach is a great option.
It’s “free” and can show near-term results while you are waiting for your SEO efforts to pay off.
Social media networks like Twitter are often the perfect place to find people who don’t know about your business just yet, but are likely to engage with your content and become your customers based on their interests.
Due to the public nature of Twitter, you can find prospects based on the keywords they’re tweeting, the groups they’ve joined, the industry they work in or how they describe themselves on their social profiles. By reading prospects’ profiles and tweets, you can get useful insights on what content they may be interested in.
How To Find Prospects
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn each have their own internal search tools to help make your search easier and more fruitful.
For example, Facebook’s Graph Search makes it both easier for you to find prospects and for prospects to find you. It searches multiple factors including people’s interests and likes, and lets users easily find companies that offer the things they’re looking for.
Twitter’s tool lets you plug in keywords and then shows you a list of the most recent and popular mentions of that keyword.
You also can monitor trends by setting up lists for certain hashtags or keywords and saving the search as a stream – that way you will always see the most current references to those words. TweetDeck allows a refined search in which you can filter particular types of tweets (such as those with web links), exclude particular words and search by user type, such as members of a list you’ve created.
How To Engage
The key is authentic engagement rather than a robo-response: People like to feel connected to a real person. Regularly providing quality content your users are interested in will help attract and retain followers.
Start to lightly engage your prospects by ‘liking’ their past tweets, mentioning them, or following them.
If prospects show interest (i.e. by following your handle, retweeting you, or engaging in conversation), it can mean they have an interest in your product area. It’s a good time to shift the conversation towards how your product can solve their business challenges.
At this point, you could send prospects a direct message referencing why they should engage with you (based on what you noticed from their tweets) and send them to your landing page via a link. Depending on your preferred buyer persona, you might offer a free trial of your product, or a webinar, an e-book or content from your blog.
Why It Works
As Audiense notes, 85% of Twitter users feel more connected to a brand they follow.
Proactive social outreach works because you are selectively reaching out to the prospects who are engaged with your brand and you’re sending them valuable, useful information to move them into your buying process.
According to a study by Socedo, prospects who have engaged with their brand on Twitter move 25% faster through their sales cycle and convert at a 22% higher rate compared to prospects who haven’t engaged with them on any social network.
By using social media, you’re able to connect with your prospect one-on-one and gain the benefit of cultivating an engaged audience. You know they’re interested in what your company has to offer because they’ve already connected with you – and you’re off to building long-term relationships with your prospects.
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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com
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