Increase Your Sales with the Latest Social Media Tips
Justin Blaney, Serial entrepreneur, professor, #1 bestselling author of 15 books
Social media is the Wild West for businesses who want to grow huge without having access to the incredibly expensive traditional customer acquisition paths of our past (TV ads, Sports Sponsorships, expensive retail locations, printed catalogs, etc.). There are a lot of people spending money on social media and getting almost nothing for their investments. Likewise, there were a lot of people who went West to make a fortune in gold, but never realized their dreams. Since tactics are changing so quickly, and very few people have a clear path toward success that can be relied upon again and again, you have to be scrappy, innovative, bold and strategic if you’re going to win in this new Wild West of customer acquisition. Below are 11 tips that are most relevant in 2018 for success in online marketing.
- Try everything you can afford. Mix up search (keyword-based ads like Google and Bing search results), interruption (where an ad interrupts a customer and calls them to action like most ads on Facebook), mobile, desktop, various social networks, and even the optimizations within those networks (lead form, landing page, local, wide targeting, narrow targeting, unique keywords, etc.)
- The faster and cheaper you can find out an idea doesn’t work, the more ideas you can try. The key to success in this new fast-paced, changing world is to try as much as possible as quickly as possible. Since everyone is constricted by budget on some level, the faster and cheaper you can find out an idea won’t work, the quickly you can kill the idea and reallocate that money and time to the next idea. It takes a lot longer to prove an idea works than to prove an idea doesn’t work. That’s why your goal isn’t to find something that is successful so much as eliminate ideas that aren’t successful. When you find something that isn’t failing completely, that is when you invest more in it, testing it on a larger scale, honing your strategies, and eventually you may find that you have a concept that is working well for you.
- Try using tools in ways they aren’t intended to be used. It might seem counter intuitive, but hacking tactics can be a great way to stumble on a lucrative loophole. It takes a bit of tinkering around but I’ve found some really great strategies that yield some of the highest ROIs by using a screwdriver as a hammer. For example, in Facebook you select an objective, perhaps to drive people to your local store, but you can place a link in that ad that actually drives people to a landing page while advertising it to people who are near a particular address. Because of the way Facebook’s algorithms are always changing, you could possibly stumble on a way to drive traffic to a landing page less expensively.
- Find ways to reach customers in the blue ocean. Everyone tends to copy each other and do what’s easy, like all the people swimming on top of each other at a busy beach. But if you can find a way to go way out in the ocean where people are still cruising by on yachts and cruise ships, perhaps you will be the only person competing for their business. For example, if everyone you are competing with is targeting the same keywords on a Google campaign, the cost of those customers is going to be very high. In this scenario, whoever is willing to lose the most money on a customer is going to “win”. But if you can find keywords that none of your customers are using, perhaps by attracting customers in a more roundabout way, or if you can find an entirely different path to reach your customers in a way that your competitors haven’t thought of, you can reduce your cost of customer acquisition by as much as 99%, or more. I’ve actually seen these concepts reduce the cost of a lead from $160 to $0.50.
- A/B test everything. Assumptions in marketing can be deadly. You should always test every idea against a benchmark of success. When you stop testing ideas and attempting to improve your ad results, you are giving your competitors a great gift because the one who tests the most and keep trying new ideas wins in this new social networked and digital world.
- Stay on top of our changing internet world. Email still works, but it’s become more dead every year. Try WhatsApp, Text messages, push notifications, anything else to have direct contact with your customers.
- You should never rely on a social network like Facebook to show your posts to people who have liked your pages. We can rely on social networks to do what’s best for them, and that isn’t always what’s best for you. Facebook is a great example of a situation where advertisers spent a fortune building up a following there only to find that Facebook reduced the amount of organic (unpaid) exposure until it has become essentially zero. Facebook owns your page, they own the likes that you’ve accumulated and they own every post you share. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, use social networks to gain your audience, then find a way to cut out the social network as soon and cheaply as possible. This will give you direct contact with your customers, something that no one can ever take from you.
- Be genuine. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s as relevant as ever. You may be able to find some robot that gets you followers on Instagram, but it’s going to be very low quality followers, and you have a lot of risk of getting caught and ruining your brand. Gaining followers naturally is actually a great way to test your concepts too. If you can’t gain an audience organically, it could be because you haven’t created a product that is resonating. If you pump up your results with fake growth, you are missing an opportunity to find resonance with real consumers, and it is that resonance that can propel you onto the biggest stages.
- Always compare results to a benchmark. Do not invest any money without proving that it’s a better use of your money based on actual results than whatever your current benchmark is. Your goal is always to establish a benchmark, then improve upon it without resting or every assuming that you’ve gotten as good as you can. You can always find ways to get customers more effectively and cheaper.
- You need a funnel from first hearing about you to a purchase. You cannot expect to post your Kickstarter on Twitter and have purchases result from this organically without some kind of path between the two points. A funnel can include a multistep plan to convert new interested parties into highly valuable long term customers. Funnels include emails over time, multi touch processes, the addition of other push notifications, and very small and easy to accept calls to action that slowly grow into more costly calls to action as you gain trust with the customer. You want to help your customer take baby steps toward you rather than expecting them to get married to you the first time you meet. These are just a few of the top tips to consider when marketing in 2018 on social media. If you have any of your own ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments. And please be sure to tune into the upcoming webinar on this subject. We’re going to spend an hour going through these points and more to help you become the best marketer you can be.