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Digital Marketing Strategies

Many businesses are attempting to quickly establish a social media marketing strategy. But are they doing it correctly? Find out how to promote your business and generate leads online with these expert tips.

Put social media marketing to work growing your business.

Getting prospects to like or follow you on social media is the first step. The real task is guiding them through your sales funnel and converting them into paying customers. When you’re able to understand the needs of your audience, you can better engage them with useful, timely information and eventually convert them into loyal customers.

Social Media Marketing Strategies to Know

“Never before has the customer been this close to the brand and the best part is, it’s a 24-7-365 environment,” says Laura Gallagher, founder and president of Madison, Wis.-based PR and digital agency The Creative Company, Inc. “Six out of 10 Americans are on social media every single day.” Ready to discover new sales opportunities? Check out Gallagher’s guide to social selling.

Plan your message. Before establishing your social media presence, consider the sales messages you want to convey. “Treat it like an editorial calendar,” Gallagher suggests, “and identify peak promotional periods. For example, we worked with a grocer and created a calendar: January we focused on health; February, Valentine’s Day; March, a March Madness contest, and so on.” By creating an editorial strategy, you can anticipate – or influence – your customers’ needs during those periods and target your social selling message accordingly. You also want to make sure that you create shareable content posts that people can’t wait to share with their networks.

Have a clear call-to-action. This is a “show, don’t tell” world, says Gallagher. Images and videos can be an engaging way to increase your brand visibility and boost your sales conversion rates. “Facebook algorithms have changed again. When Google does a search, if your post has video it will show up more often than feeds without video,” she explains. “Make them interesting and use call-to-action phrases like “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” “Download,” and “Watch More.”

Avoid the hard sell. Remember, social selling is about doing business through building relationships. “Be careful about sharing things that are strictly promotional or people will shut you off. You wouldn’t want your brother-in-law to try to sell you life insurance at the Thanksgiving table!” Some business advisers recommend a 20-to-1 methodology: 20 relational posts for every one promotional.

Be present. “If you want to play, you have to be there,” Gallagher says. Content creation is a labor-intensive practice and one that your brand needs to be prepared to invest in to be successful. If you don’t have the time to maintain your social media presence on your own, Gallagher recommends hiring a firm to help you come up with content. “But if you’re going to hire a person, you’ll want them to be part of that community,” she says. “Meet with them regularly and preview the material.” It’s your business and your job to make sure that you have brand consistency on all your social media platforms.

Review analytics regularly. Whether you use a paid tool or free analytics, review what kind of progress you’re making and set goals for followers, likes, and so on. With analytic data, you can fine tune content strategy and step up certain practices based on the review of those numbers.

Uniform Messaging Can Drive Lead Generation

Before you can convert your social networks to fans you must have a lead generation and nurturing strategy. It’s about engagement, not just being there. “Think ahead on how you can get involved and engage your audience,” says Gallagher. “Make better content, pay for promoted posts, and if you’re just starting out, consider paying for ads to increase likes and/or drive Web traffic.” Always make sure your strategy is consistent and targeted.

Building out a new sales strategy can require some adjustment for your sales team. Adjust your messaging to be connected to your community, and sales staffers will have an easier time ramping up because they’re likely personally involved on several platforms. As you’re adjusting your sales position, take some time and contact your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab). You’ll get the guidance you need and a fine-tuned policy that meets your business’s specific needs.

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