Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media Lead Generation
Before we start, there are some numbers we need to keep in mind. Instagram has over 1 billion active users every month. Twitter had over 330 million active users when they last released their reports on it. LinkedIn isn’t that far behind with 303 million active monthly users.
Facebook blows them all out of the water with a reported 2.89 billion active monthly users. But this isn’t a competition between social media sites. According to Data Reportal, 4.48 billion people use social media – 57% of the world population. The truth is many of those users overlap. In other words, they use multiple platforms at the same time.
Billions of people are engaging on some of the biggest social platforms every month – many of them every day. If you want to generate leads this year and beyond, you can’t neglect social media. That said, there are some common mistakes people make in social media marketing that hurt more than they help. We’re going to look at some of those mistakes today, and how to avoid them.
Using outdated marketing techniques
A few years ago, everyone panicked when Facebook and Twitter did away with their chronological newsfeeds. This put a spanner in the works for a lot of marketers. In the space of one update, social media marketing could no longer rely on posting at the right time to maximize engagement.
Other social media sites followed suit, either as a reaction to the trend or by being bought by one of those parent companies. Today, randomized newsfeeds are the norm, except they aren’t randomized – they’re dictated by an algorithm.
This meant that people couldn’t reliably expect their posts to reach the majority of their existing audience – let alone reach new users. That’s just one example of how quickly social media can change, and how dangerous it is to stick to a strategy once the conditions around it change.
Not understanding the platform you’re using
Now, the shift away from chronological timelines affected almost every other part of social media marketing. Even as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so forth moved on to algorithmically generated timelines, they prioritized different things.
Even though Facebook owns Instagram, the two social media giants operate slightly differently. Facebook prioritizes engagement, emphasizing content that generates reactions and comments. Instagram does this too, but it also evaluates who a user is following and engaging. That ultimately determines how likely the algorithm is to put a post on someone’s timeline – so it’s about engagement and relevance.
What does this mean for your brand on Instagram? Well, you’ll need to prioritize audience selection. Your target audience will see some of your posts if they engage with you, but they’ll see more if they’re also following a network of similar content, hence why brand partnerships are so popular on there.
Poor bio construction
One thing you can do to boost your social media lead generation strategy is to optimize how people find your social media profile. This starts with your handle (e.g. @JohnSmith) and extends to your actual bio. But why is the bio important?
Well, when someone searches a keyword relevant to your brand, most social media sites will split the results into the following categories: Top, New, People. There will be other tabs but these have the most overlap. The search results under “People” are dictated almost exclusively by the content in the bio. If someone searches “organic vegan soap in Ohio” then the profiles with the highest keyword relevance will rank near the top.
As fun as it is to give your social media profile a fun bio, it’ll only be seen by people already following you unless you also prioritize keywords.
No links on promotional content
We’ve spoken a bit on engagement but not what it means from site to site. Let’s use Twitter as an example. Twitter analytics let you see some interesting metrics behind your posts, namely:
- Media Engagements
- Profile Clicks
- Link Clicks
Other than impressions, all of those other metrics get lumped together to get you your total engagement. So what does this mean for your posts? Well, if you only ever post text with no image/video and no links, your total engagement can only be made up of likes, retweets, quote tweets, and comments.
Not only are you missing out on link engagements, but you’re missing out on a key performance indicator too. When you post promotional content, ideally, you’ll have a call to action followed by a link that takes your leads where you want them to go. Every time someone clicks on that link, it’ll register in your analytics. This isn’t just good for the algorithm – it tells you exactly how many leads each post is generating!
Neglecting video content
A useful way to stay ahead of the curve is to pay attention to how social media is evolving collectively. Whether independently-owned or as part of a parent group like Facebook, social media sites change every year – they’ll do that according to their individual goals. But when they start making the same changes around the same time, that’s something worth noting.
When Facebook bought Instagram, it also borrowed an interesting feature from the site: stories. Stories are the short clips posted by users. The main difference is that they show up horizontally along the top of the newsfeed, not as part of it. Facebook integrated that same technology on WhatsApp three years after it bought the instant messaging platform.
Today, stories are a common feature on most social media sites, and there’s a good reason why they’re popular – and effective. Firstly, they all appear at the top of the newsfeed, and they appear chronologically. While you can’t time your normal posts to your audience’s peak activity time, you can time your stories. Secondly, stories give you access to link widgets which you can use to embed any link directly into a story. Stories still allow captions, just like regular posts.
But the most distinguishing feature is that stories usually only last 24 hours before they expire. That creates a shorter marketing loop and lets you post daily without clogging your regular feed with promotional content.