Is social media a valuable tool for generating and screening leads? If you’ve read anything about online marketing over the past year (or 10, 15, 20 years), you may wonder how we could even ask such a question. The idea that we could express doubt about such a fundamental marketing principle must have you shaking your heads.
In reality, we’re not suggesting social media is a poor choice for marketing your business, generating leads, or screening them. On the contrary. What we are suggesting is that not every platform is right for every business – and that likely includes yours.
But wait. Doesn’t every business coach in the world say you have to be on Facebook? Isn’t it true that if you don’t have a YouTube channel loaded with videos, your business will die, die, die? And hey, what about Twitter? My sister’s husband’s cousin is in sales and he told me it’s the best way to reach my largely female target audience. (Turns out 70% of Twitter users are male, while only 30% are female.)
Which Platform Should You Target?
The question of which social media platform you should focus on to best engage your target audience is not one we can answer for you in a blog post. Too much depends on the nature of your business, your short and long-term business goals, your personality, and the types of people you want to work with. Yes, you can choose who you’d like to work with – and whom you’d rather not! (What a concept, huh?)
Let’s take a quick look at some of the social networks that are most popular with online marketers, shall we? (And please, excuse the hints of skepticism we display here. Again, there is no single answer to the question of which one is best for your business.)
- Facebook – Do you have what it takes to compete for the attention of your target audience with some one-third of the world’s population? (That’s 2.6 billion of the 7.9 billion or so on the planet who are on FB.)
- Twitter – If you want to work with clients who have the attention span of a hamster, the 240-character messages allowed in tweets is the perfect venue for finding prospects.
- Instagram – This media-sharing platform would seem an ideal place to market a design-related business. And it is, that is if you’re looking for a platform that’s dominated by Gen Z and Millennial females under age 34 (about 34% of all users).
- YouTube – While many do not recognize the video-sharing site to be a social media platform – it is. With some 2.3 billion subscribers, it is second only to Facebook and ranks as the second most popular search engine behind its parent company, Google.
- LinkedIn – For those who work with businesses of any size, this B2B platform offers quite a bit of potential. With 310 million active monthly users, with 196 million in the US, about 43% are female and 57% are male worldwide. More than 50% of US College Graduates use LinkedIn and there are 61 million senior-level influencers and 65 million decision-makers on LinkedIn. (Omnicore)
Now what? Where do you go from here?
Your Ideal Client Profile
You’ve probably heard it before … we’re saying it again. It’s time to do some homework. And yes, we know that the infinite number of coaches who tell you social media is a must also hammer this idea home, as well. (That includes us, too!)
The good news is there’s a super simple way to get started on this task. To get started, remember that although your ideal client profile will be a fictional persona, it should be firmly based on reality. Take a look at your current clients and identify the ones you enjoy working with most and the types of projects that have brought you the best business.
Better yet, rank them. Who did you love working with and why? Who was OK to work with, and who caused more problems than they were worth? (Sometimes, it’s easier to profile the “Never again” persona than the “I loved working with them” client. But, both have value and can be used to build opposing profiles.)
Then, build your ideal client profile on those relationships and projects for a realistic target you’re more likely to hit, moving forward. And, while it may sound counterintuitive, the more specific you make your ideal client profile, the stronger it will be. A detailed profile allows you to focus your search and screening processes to find exact areas and client types that will grow your business.
And the real golden nugget to be found by doing this… With this kind of profile in hand, it will be much easier to find and target the social media platform they use. Easy peasy, right?
Of course, there’s plenty more to say about generating and screening leads for your business, whether on social media or elsewhere. Don’t worry though, we’ll be posting more on the subject soon.For now, if you have one or two (or more) questions we didn’t answer in this post, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation for answers, or to let us help.