Reading time ( words)
One of the fundamentals of Social Media Marketing is that you are building relationships based on trust. And trust takes time. One of the things social media use does is being there for the 95% of your prospects who aren't in buying mode right now. So expecting them to drop everyone and buy now - while a humorous thought - isn't realistic.
Monitor your progress on a regular basis. Meet with your team regularly to discuss your progress and reactions and interactions with your audience. Monitoring can be mundane as most of a company’s posts don’t generate comments, but you sure want to be ready when one does. I watched a PCB manufacturer's webpage as a long rant from an irate customer describing the company’s shortcomings in excruciating detail was left unattended for anyone to come across and read for almost two years.
I suggest that you measure everything to start with - lies, comments, interactions, you name it - and then start honing in on the ones that could be a precursor to a sale. For example, in my own business, the number of people who view my blog posts both on my blog and when I post them on LinkedIn are important indicators, but I have found that the number of certain types of people who view my LinkedIn profile to be really important, too.
Analyze the obvious results in light of your goals: number of leads and cost per lead are obvious ones. Later on, your sales team will be able to contribute the close ratio for leads and whether they took longer or shorter periods of time to close.
In your analysis, look to prove and disprove relationships between precursor measurements to see if they can help predict final results. Look for patterns in your metrics.
Use your analysis as a basis for experimentation. You can make slight alterations to almost every aspect of your social media: wording, content, layout, offers, opt in page, how much, how often, titles, headers, graphics, you name it.
Experimentation doesn't mean wholesale changes and disruptions, but a lot of more subtle things. Does a long form top ten list get better response than ten quick tips? Lots of little adjustments can add up to big changes in results.
And as Winston Churchill famously said in 1941: "And don't give up. Never, ever, ever give up."
Bruce Johnston is a sales consultant specializing in Social Media and especially LinkedIn. He has 30 years experience in high tech sales and management. He can be reached at email@example.com or through his profile on LinkedIn.