You probably already know that a lot of people, including your potential customers, are on social media.

But have you ever asked yourself:

“How does social media actually help me grow my business?”
“How does social media help my business win more customers?”
“How does social media help me increase my sales?”

In this article, I’ll explain the process you need to take to ensure your social media doesn’t only increase your “likes”, “followers”, etc – but actually grows your business.

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The biggest mistake businesses make with social media

The number one mistake I see businesses making with social media is simply not having a plan to convert social media leads into sales (more on how to do that later in this article).

The second biggest mistake I see is people not being patient and understanding that it takes time to nurture leads from social media into sales.

You can’t spend a small amount on Facebook ads, follow a few people on Twitter, and expect instant sales.

However, if done correctly, you can create a system for generating leads on social media that works incredibly well and brings you predictable and scalable results.

You just need to know how.

Create a social media system to grow your business

It all starts with creating what we call a “Social Media Selling Machine”.

In this machine, you need to:

1. Create (and stick to) a plan
2. Have at least one system to generate leads
3. Have at least one system to convert those leads into sales

As you can see, it’s all about creating systems for your social media marketing. Systems that produce predictable results, on a consistent basis.

Then, you need to take ACTION to implement those systems in your business each month.

Create (and stick to) a social media plan

Creating a plan is the first and most important step in growing your business through social media and in creating a “Social Media Selling Machine”.

Most of our clients hire us to create a 12-month social media plan for them. Why?

1. It’s easier for you to see the bigger picture and follow through with action
2. You can clearly identify what you need to do each month to grow your business
3. You can ensure you have systems each day, week and month that help you generate leads and convert leads into sales

If you’d like to learn how to create a social media plan for yourself, be sure to read my article on “The ultimate guide to creating a social media strategy for your business that works

Create a system to generate leads

ConvertKit Lead Generation Example

Once you have a plan for the next 12 months, you need to implement systems that continually generate new leads for your business.

What are “leads”?

At Skyline Social, we count a lead as a potential customer who gives you their contact information.

This is usually in the form of a name and email address that you then add to your email database.

How can you generate leads?

One of the most effective ways to generate leads is to give something of value (a free guide, video, article, course, etc) in return for a potential customer’s name and email address.

If you have an interesting offer you can give to potential customers for free you can easily generate leads on most social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn.

Generating leads is probably my favorite part of social media. It’s so exciting to see fresh prospects signing up to your email database each day!

If right now you’re not generating any leads, start small and work your way up. A few leads a month to start with is great.

Once you find an offer that works, you can always scale up your lead generation machine (by adding more social media channels, investing more money in paid ads, or spending more time engaging with prospects).

But remember: generating leads does not equal sales. That’s why the next step is crucial!

Create a system to convert leads into sales

Most people try to jump straight to the sale before generating leads on social media. It usually doesn’t work.

For example, have you ever accepted a connection on LinkedIn, and then minutes later received a sales pitch from that person selling their services to you?

Most people have and it’s annoying and intrusive, and for that reason, not very effective.

People buy from people they know, like and trust.

If you reach out to someone, who hasn’t asked or shown any interest in what you do, then jump straight to a sales pitch – ask yourself: do they know you? Do they like you? And most importantly, do they trust you?

If the answer is no, to any of those questions, then now wouldn’t be the best time to sell to them.

You need to build up trust first.

So you may be thinking:

1. How do I get my prospects to know me?
2. How do I get my prospects to like me?
3. How do I get my prospects to trust me?

We’ve found the following three ways to be the most effective.

Method 1: Post daily social media updates

Posting social media updates on your social media channels each day is essential to building trust, with not just your leads on social media, but leads that find you on Google, word of mouth or anywhere else!

Imagine a potential customer visits your website, checks out your social media channels and they see that it hasn’t been updated in years?

Forgotten, outdated, inept. Not a great impression.

Alternatively, imagine they go to your social media channels, and they see that you’re active and posting each day.

On top of that, imagine they see you actually posting content and social media updates that are interesting to them!

What kind of an impression do you think that would make on your potential customers (and even your existing ones)?

It will make you look like an expert and authority in your field. It will build trust.

So, posting regular social media updates that are relevant to your potential customers, is an excellent way to build trust.

Method 2: Creating unique content

Creating your own content, in the form of articles and videos, is an excellent way for people to get to know you, like you and trust you.

There are so many benefits to creating unique content for your business that this is definitely one method you do NOT want to skip.

Creating content can help your business:

  • Generate more leads (the content you can create can be re-purposed as a lead-generation offer)
  • Rank higher on Google (studies have found a correlation between high-quality content and higher appearances on search engines, such as Google)
  • Build trust and credibility (you can show people first-hand that you are an expert in your industry)
  • Builds likability (people can get a sense for who you are and what your business is about by reading your content and watching your videos)
  • Nurtures your leads (creating content allows you to nurture your prospects by sharing the content on social media and via email)
  • Increases conversions (if you create content about your pricing, your services and other questions people have about your business, it can increase the chances they buy)

Creating content is a must-have for any effective social media marketing strategy.

Method 3: Follow up with leads

Finally, you can nurture your leads and build trust by following up with them on a regular basis through email marketing.

You can do this using free tools such as MailChimp or paid tools such as Kartra (which is what we use).

What should you email your leads?

Well, remember your primary goal is to build trust and likability.

One of the best things you can email your leads is the unique content you create for your business.

Guides, videos, blog posts, etc – that provide value to your potential customers – are all excellent ways to nurture and build trust with your potential customers.

How can you get started?

If you’ve never run an email campaign for your business, again, we recommend you start small and keep things simple – then work your way up from there.

For example, you could start by creating an email database for your leads (both new and old ones in the past) and follow up with them with an email once a month with your latest (or best) piece of content.

That’s a brilliant first step to nurturing your leads to the point that they trust you so that when there’s a need for what you do, they know to hire you.

Create the systems first and then improve them

Once you’ve created the systems (usually that’s the hardest part) the next step is to look at the results you’re getting and see how you can improve them.

Some things to ask yourself are:

  • By changing my offer or my target audience, could I generate even more leads?
  • Could I create automatic email sequences for prospects that become leads?
  • What other content could I create, that I’m not creating right now, would help convert leads into sales?
  • What are some of the most common questions potential customers ask my business? Have I ever addressed those on my website?
  • How many people are opening and clicking on my emails? What can I do to improve this?

It’s important you track your results and then continually see how you can improve them.