social mediaSocial media marketing is a bit hit and miss don’t you think? By that, I mean, it’s a hit for some and a miss for others. So you have to ask yourself, if social media channels are not working for you, are you doing it right?

It may just be that you haven’t given your strategy enough time. Like all digital marketing, building a following, engaging readers and generating interest does not happen quickly.

But before you throw your hands in the air and say “so what’s the point then,” statistics that have been produced in the last year show that social media channels do boost sales.

According to Marketo.com, 58% of marketers confirmed sales did increase significantly thanks to glad generation on social platforms. However, marketers also said they had been plugging away at social for three years.

Established authority

The reason you need time and patience is because you need to earn trust from other social networkers. Before you start to see developments in lead generation strategies, you have to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

This involves being socially active so that you are on-hand to offer advice and answer questions your followers have. It also means getting customer feedback and keeping your brand visible through blogs and newsletters.

Do your research

That little ditty is not the only disappointing news for social butterflies eager to go diving in and get started on social media marketing. We know it’s an exciting prospect, but steaming in unprepared will waste your time in the long run.

The first decision you need to make is which social networks will work best for you. There are too many to use them all so limit yourself to two or three. Vine or Instagram gives you good alternative options for content marketers creating image and video campaigns.

You need to do some research and determine, what audience you mostly want to target (B2C or B2B), and which social channel gives you the best opportunity to reach an audience.

Advanced audience targeting

Social media enables you to understand your audience better than any other advertising platform, and it is incredible how much data consumers are prepared to share. They even tell you what they are thinking.

Demographic targeting in social media is important, but you can elevate leads by understanding the psychographic of your followers. You grade this be measuring and analysing patterns of behaviour.

Take your consumer data and develop profiles of your followers to include lifestyle, attitudes, expectations and activities. Having this data to hand can influence your marketing strategy and direct you where you put your ad spend.

Lead generation tools

You easily increase your chances of generating leads and closing sales if you have social media software to alert you to prospects. Listening tools in particularly give you instant opportunities as they alert you to followers that are talking about your brand, products or related topics.

If you are new to social media, or looking for ways to improve engagement and lead generation, hopefully this insight will have helped. Like everything, perfecting social media marketing takes practice and experimentation, but don’t give up too easily, you will get there.