Jamie: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today for our presentation, “How to Drive More Leads with Social Media.” First, a bit of housekeeping. We will be sending the recording out to everyone on the line today, and we’re gonna also follow up with some resources related to today’s presentation, too, so just be prepared for that, look in your inboxes. So if you do need to hop off early or you just wanna share this presentation with a colleague or friend, we got you covered. And also, you will be muted throughout, so feel free to ask questions. We will be gathering those up. So you can type those directly into the little chat modal there in the GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll be, you know, like I said, gathering them and asking them at the end.
We’ll also be watching Twitter. So if you have questions or you want to participate there, our handle is @emmaemail, and a hashtag for today is #SproutEmma because we are joined by our friends from Sprout Social, or one friend, in particular, who I’ll introduce here in a second. But for those of you that aren’t familiar with Sprout, Sprout Social is a social media management platform used by over 15,000 leading companies around the world to more effectively manage social channels and provide an exceptional customer experience, and they certainly do that.
And our speaker today is Michael Patterson. And Michael runs the Webinar Program at Sprout Social, and spends most of his time creating content for webinars, ebooks, and blog posts with other companies leading their spaces. When he isn’t poring over content, he can be found exploring Chicago’s unique neighborhoods and breweries. You can find him on Twitter @MPatterson22, and we’re really excited that he’s here. So say hi, Michael.
Michael: Hi, Michael. I couldn’t miss that opportunity.
Jamie: No, you couldn’t. Yeah, I do not blame you for taking it. And I’m Jamie, and I am your host. I will shut up here in a second, and again, I’ll be monitoring the Q&A, and I’ll join you at the end. But for now, take it away, Michael, let’s enlighten these folks.
Michael: Of course. Thank you so much for that fantastic introduction, and thank you, everybody, at Emma for coordinating and getting us on to do this webinar today. And thank you, everybody, for joining us. Let me say greetings from Sprout HQ in the beautiful, rainy, snowy area of Chicago. Really excited to start talking about driving more leads on social media. As I understand, a lot of you are coming from Emma, so you have a lot of different email lists that you need to start building out, and I think that there’s a lot that can be done with social. And for those that are coming from the social side, I’m really hoping to help, give you a couple of additional ideas when it comes to driving leads for the rest of your teams, whether those be sales or email themselves.
So just a bit more about me. I’m Michael Patterson, Digital Marketing Specialist here at Sprout Social. I’ve been at Sprout for about three years now, which has been fantastic because when I started, we were at about a quarter of the size that we are today, so the marketing team is a lot smaller and still growing.
So I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with a ton of the different functional areas. So I’ve worked with the paid social, the organic social, obviously, this is a social media management company, and our email teams really closely. We coordinate together all the time. So I’m really hoping to spell out some of the ways that we can connect.
So let me just dive into the overview here. And I kind of dissected this presentation into the various segments of social media that you can use to drive leads. So first off, we’ll talk about paid social, and all the different networks that you can utilize and kind of the benefits of each network and why you should consider them. We’re gonna talk about organic social media and how to create a content strategy that will help you drive a passive flow of leads. And I’ve recently worked with a couple of different companies, one in the social media contest space, and one that runs social media quizzes, so I have a lot of great insights from them on how to leverage both of those to drive leads. And then we’ll talk about a thing that’s a little bit less known, and that’s employee advocacy. And it’s something that we really enjoy here at Sprout, and another one of our amazing ways to generate leads. And then, we’ll open it up to questions. So I think that the core content in itself should be about 40 minutes. And then I know Jamie is gonna hop back on. We’re gonna be happy to answer some questions that you have as they relate to email or social media or just, you know, facilitating feedback that you have.
So, let’s get into driving leads with paid social media. And I did the paid social media here at Sprout for about a year and a half, so I was actually able to work within each of these networks very closely. So let’s kick it off with Facebook, right? The social network of choice, the absolute powerhouse.
So if you haven’t set yourself up on Facebook quite yet, it’s really easy. All you really need is a Facebook business page, of which, I’m sure most of you already have that Facebook business page. And if you don’t, I would definitely encourage you to go and create one. Even if you’re not using it to kind of establish this robust presence, it’s a really great thing to have to passively share content.
And from there, and it’s a theme that you’re gonna start seeing throughout the paid social media, is that you start with a campaign. And at that level, you’re really kind of trying to make up your mind on what you wanna use social media for. Do you wanna use it as a direct acquisition channel and kind of drive trials and sales in and of themselves? Or do you have a more long-term flow? Do you need to actually just get email addresses so that you can begin to nurture them? And I’m guessing that’s a big piece of what everybody here’s working on.
But if you want a couple of other campaigns, you can do a lot of great things, like, Facebook has these different campaigns that you can use to kind of boost your following and everything like that or get people to view your videos, so it’s all great.
And then, you get down to, within Facebook at least, the next thing you have to do is to create an ad set. And that’s actually where you start to choose the targeting for your paid Facebook ads. And we’ll get into the targeting next.
And here’s a look at the actual platform, that is Facebook’s paid side. And Facebook has a lot of great functionality when it comes to targeting for your paid ads. So a couple of the unique features is you can actually import the current list of emails that you have, or if you have a long list of phone numbers within your CRM, you can download those as a CSV document and upload them right into Facebook. And then what Facebook’s gonna do is it’s gonna try to match those email addresses and those phone numbers to the people that they already have using their site. So each time you upload a list, you’ll probably get about 50% of the emails to match one to one. And this is great if you wanna continue to nurture those leads that you’re already emailing. But as this is a lead gen webinar, you can use something within Facebook called a Lookalike Audience. So you tell Facebook essentially, “These are all the email addresses that I currently have. These are the people that I know want to opt into my content. Why don’t you go out and find a ton of different people that look exactly like this audience?” And that’s what it will do with a Lookalike Audience.
And a Lookalike Audience, you can also actually base that off something else. You can base it off website retargeting. So if some of you work within the ads at your own company, you know retargeting. It’s that once somebody visits your site, you can follow them around the web. Well, with Facebook, you can actually add a pixel to your website, and that way, when people go back to Facebook itself, you could target them with those ads. So say they just came to learn more about your product, and then they left right away, well, then you could use the retargeting to hit them with a message like, “Hey, come back to our site and download this ebook, or come check out this webinar that we’re running.”
And apart from that, you can also retarget based off app activities. So if you have somebody actually download your application, and you can see that they go in and they check out a couple of key features, but they don’t really make it all year round. Well, if they don’t make it fully around, you could retarget them based off of that when they get back to your site
So just in general, the benefits of Facebook is that they do have that incredibly robust targeting. And not only that but you also have access to Instagram ads. So if you do wanna start advertising on Instagram which is… The self-service platform has actually only recently been rolled out. I’m seeing a lot of companies start to test around with it. You need access through Facebook’s Power Editor. So you do need to start that Facebook Ads account.
Another great thing is that Facebook, from my personal experience, has some of the lowest cost per leads across the rest of the social networks that we’ve tried. And another great thing with the Facebook Ads is that they recently came out with this ad format, where you could actually tell Facebook you’re just wanting to collect leads and the actual ad type itself. People can just one-click opt-in and share their Facebook information with Facebook, who will then relay that to you. So those are a couple reasons why you’d wanna use Facebook.
And next is the amazing network that is Twitter. So Twitter Ads are fantastic as well. If you want to get started there, you have to create and actually kind of maintain a Twitter presence. Because we’re not sharing content very regularly, people may click through one of your shared ads to your page and see that you’re not a very active company. I think that kind of takes away from the social proof that you can establish. But after that, you actually just attach your payment information to Twitter, and then from there, you go on ahead and choose the goals such as lead gen or direct acquisition or website traffic. You pick your audience and your budget, and you build out the creative.
But the best thing about Twitter’s targeting is that you can actually target based off keyword. So if you have a CPC campaign running right now, and you have maybe like a paid search manager or something like that, you can go knock on their door and ask, “Hey, is there a list of keywords that we know for a fact generate revenue for our website?” And then, you could take that list of keywords, upload it to your Twitter account, and this is what it will do. So, every time somebody sends out a tweet using one of those keywords or somebody engages with a tweet using one of those keywords, they’ll actually get lumped into this bucket. So they’ll start to get served your ads, so some of your lead gen ads. So if you’re like Sprout Social, every time somebody said something like “social media strategy” or “social media tool,” we would then lump them into this bucket and we’d start serving them ads to come back to our website and download one of our ebooks or join one of our webinars, which is just fantastic.
Twitter also has a lot of interest targeting, as well, and website retargeting similar to what Facebook offers. So the core benefits of Twitter being that, the keyword targeting is actually really, it differentiates itself from other networks. You can’t do that across other networks, and the leads are similarly cheap on Twitter as they are on Facebook.
So moving into LinkedIn. This was definitely one of the networks that I was most keen to use at Sprout. As we’re a B2B company, I think most B2B companies should definitely start to use LinkedIn in some capacity because if you think about just when you personally go visit LinkedIn. So whether I’m at work or I’m at home, whenever I go on LinkedIn, I’m kind of in this business mindset, where I wanna see the newest social media strategies, or I wanna see maybe what my friends are working on and things like that. So I’m already kind of turned on to business. I really want to get into business. So if you have a business tool, this is where you wanna sell people on it.
So to get started with LinkedIn Ads, you have to actually attach a business page to LinkedIn Campaign Manager, super easy, though. And as you can see as the trend, you create a campaign. You create your ad copy and you choose the targeting and budget.
The targeting is actually, for LinkedIn, what really sets it apart. So you can get really granular, and so, you can target specific companies. So say, your company just wants to hit every Fortune 500 company. You could download that list and then just type it in into LinkedIn, and [inaudible 00:13:02] serve your ads to each of those companies.
And then within that search, you can actually add specific job titles. So you could say, like, “I want the marketing managers at all Fortune 500 companies, or I want the people who work in sales, because I have this sweet sales application, let me sell to them.” So it makes it really effective to target people not only when they’re business-minded, but very granular, as well.
I know that another big thing that a lot of people are excited about is you can actually target specific educational backgrounds, as well, which is pretty great to some companies doing that.
So, like I said, the LinkedIn benefits, so great for B2B products. You target people when they’re on work. And if you end up spaying, I’m sorry, if you end up paying enough for LinkedIn Ads, I think the amount is $25,000 over three months, you can actually get a designated LinkedIn team to help you. And they’ll help you not only create ads and make sure that your ads are fresh all the time, they’ll help you fine-tune all the targeting you have. They will help make sure that the people that go to your website are actually converting. So if you spend enough on LinkedIn, they will definitely make sure that you have some help there.
And the last company I want to talk about, and it’s just because I’ve been finding a lot of success with it recently, was actually purchased by LinkedIn, and it is SlideShare. So SlideShare makes a lot of sense to me because the content that I’m creating are these slide decks. And with SlideShare, you kind of just upload them there, and you could start to gain a ton of free impressions on your content.
If you have great slide decks, which is not to say that this one is a great slide deck. But if you do, if you’re artistic at all, maybe more so than I am, you can definitely start to see that you get a ton of free impressions on SlideShare. But as this is about lead gen, that’s not the only reason why you’d want to use SlideShare.
So you can actually turn on lead collection with SlideShare. And I think a lot of you may have used SlideShare in the past. And lead gen was actually a free functionality with SlideShare, but they actually made it recently, so you actually have to pay per lead. But it’s nice in that, with SlideShare, it’s actually a static cost per lead, so you know exactly how much you’re being charged per lead. It’s $8 a lead. And depending on the product that you offer, this could be extremely cheap or maybe kind of expensive.
Also, the ability for people to just auto-fill the information there like first name, last name, email, with LinkedIn, reduces a lot of the friction that you’d normally see with lead gen campaigns. [inaudible 00:15:33] go to your website and you ask for all that information and they have to enter it manually, well, LinkedIn definitely, like, takes the difficulty out of that.
And yeah, so it really wraps it up with how you wanna start to drive some leads with paid social, if you haven’t done that yet. And obviously, there’s a lot more functionality that we haven’t discussed. And there’s other networks like Instagram, but we can cover that in the question section if everybody still has questions on that.
But the next session here is driving leads with organic social media. And I think that there’s a little bit of confusion when we talk about organic social media, and that’s really just the social media presence that you have all of the time. So whenever you’re sharing a post for free, you’re not boosting it on Facebook, or whenever somebody is actually reaching out to your company on Twitter or Google Plus or something. And that’s really considered your organic presence.
And this is a four-step process, really quick, to show you how you can establish this robust social media content calendar to start sharing content all the time to start passively generating some leads.
So the first step really is to figure out what your audience wants to hear. So what your audience actually wants to read, what they’re willing to give you their email address in return for. So a great way that you can do this is, if you’ve been on social media for a while or if you have a business page that has been on social media for a while, is you can actually access your former social media data. And I think it’s kind of hard to associate that. Social media channels are these channels that are really data-driven, and they’re very analytics-based. And I think that there’s like a negative connotation that social media channels are kind of fluffy, but that’s definitely not the case at all.
So the first step here would be to access your post history. So if you have a Facebook for business page, you can navigate there, and in the bottom-right corner, you could see how you access Facebook Insights.
And similarly on Twitter, if you just click your own profile icon, you can navigate down to analytics. And from all of these different places, you’ll be able to pull your post history. And this is just a little bit of a Sprout plug here, just because we do it, as well. You have a sent message report if you use Sprout. It aggregates the data across multiple profiles and the various networks, as well, so you have quite a bit more data to start working with.
So the next thing you’re gonna wanna do is, once you actually pull that data, really dive into what has worked. So these are a couple of screenshots of my personal Twitter history, so they may not be that impressive. But you could see on the left, I sorted it by the amount of clicks that my content got. And then I could start to look at the top and say, “Okay, well, why did that post get so many clicks? Is it because I used the hashtag #InstagramMarketing?” And if that’s the case, then the people that follow me on Twitter must be, you know, really fascinated with Instagram marketing. I should probably start to create a lot more content based off that. And on the right, as these are two different time periods, there’s different content there. It’s talking about this higher education social media roundtable that I did. So it’s obviously something that, you know, the people following on Facebook, it definitely resonates with them.
So not only looking at your own past performance, you can start to look at what people associate your social media presence with. So this is just another quick report that we have on Sprout. And, you know, not to toot that horn there, but I’m sure you can find the data all around the world. You can see the topics that are frequently mentioned with your brand as well as the hashtags that are frequently mentioned with you. So you could see on the left, people, when they’re speaking to me are talking about social media engagement, and they’re talking about social media management tool. So those are obviously a couple of things that definitely resonate with my following.
Similarly, on the right-hand side, you could see hashtags, so I might wanna use these when I’m creating posts moving forward in order to increase my reach. So social media marketing, Sprout webinar, social media, keep your customers, all great things that I’ll definitely want to pepper into my posting strategy moving forward.
So you have an idea of what you want to post about, but a lot of companies may not have all of the content at their fingertips. If you’re a smaller company that doesn’t have a blog, that’s, you know, consistently creating ebooks and webinars and things like that, you may need to source content to supplement your own hosting strategy. So where can you get your content, right? So I think a lot of places, you can look to your internal sources such as your company blog. If you don’t have enough writers on retainer or anybody to write for your blog, you can actually reach out to partners or customers and ask them if they wanna write for you. I think a lot of people really chomp at the bit to be able to share some of their insights with some of their favorite companies. And you can always repurpose all of those things into the ebooks and the webinars and the things that live behind the gate that people will then go on to give you their information for.
And another thing that people really love to look out for online is product announcements and product updates. So if you have a product or a service that’s constantly evolving, make sure to share those, as well. And it doesn’t always have to be a link that you share. If you just have a design team that’s constantly coming up with fresh images, make sure to share those across your social channels, as well.
We’ve actually been doing a lot of research lately, and we find that visual content gets, you know, shared so much more than text-based posts, and it gets all sorts of engagement and things like that.
So even if all of these different channels aren’t enough for you to feed the beasts that are the social networks that are insatiable when it comes to the amount of content they need, here are a couple of tools that you could use. Feedly, the first one, is fantastic. You can create a free account, and you start to follow the different topics or the different publications that you really like, and then they’ll start to stream all of the fresh content from those companies or the fresh content surrounding those topics into an RSS feed that you can immediately just take and share out to your social following.
BuzzSumo is a great one, as well. You can go to BuzzSumo and actually just type in a keyword or type in a topic, and it’ll bring back the most socially shared articles based off that topic or from that specific URL. So if you have an idea of what you should start sharing, you have the resources, it is really important to start figuring out how often you need to share that content.
So this is just kind of a guideline, and you can find a lot of these online. So post three times a day to Twitter, or post three times a day to Google Plus. But the big issue here is that no two social media presences are exactly the same. They’re like snowflakes. So the industry standard isn’t always going to be completely right for your company. So whereas one company may be able to get away with sharing 10 times a day to Twitter, maybe your audience isn’t nearly as engaged and you can only get away with sharing twice. So I think it’s a big question of testing how, you know, test sharing three times a day. And then the next day you could share six times and really hone in and figure out which of those days gets you the most engagement, and then use that to dictate how many times a day you post, but also keep testing that. You know, nothing in social media is static, everything is always changing. It’s such a fast-paced, dynamic industry that you’re always going to be testing that.
So just a couple of things to consider when you’re figuring out how often you should actually post. So your post quality. You know, which isn’t to say that anybody’s coming up with any bad posts, but how much time are you really spending creating ebooks? Or how much time do you spend on a webinar? If it turns out that it’s really great content, I think you can get away with sharing it more frequently. And if you’re getting a lot of engagement from your fans, obviously, there’s a need for the content that you’re sharing with them.
A lot of it goes with your industries, as well. So I think, you know, there’s a lot of industries that aren’t necessarily, they’re not inherently social media-based industries, so the customers may not use it as frequently. I guess I’m just blessed in that I work at a social media management company, so our customers are pretty much always on so we can share more and more frequently.
Another thing that gets into it is the annoyance level, so it’s just key to be mindful. If you’re sharing, you know, 10 or 15 posts a day, it might start to get a little bit annoying for your customers. And if you start to see that you’re getting a lot of people unfollow you based off sharing more content, then it’s probably time to slow it down a bit.
Everybody coming from the email side of the house probably, you know, has a strict idea of how often they want to send emails without getting, you know, more unsubscribes. I think that really translates to social media as well as how often can you reach out to somebody and anticipate them engaging with you before they unsubscribe by unfollowing you?
So, you know, you have the cadence, you have the content, what do you do next? It’s important to take the time to really sit down and establish a social media content calendar and start to really fill it up. So, you know, if you’re doing it on the fly, like once or twice every single day, you have to go find a link to share, you have to write the copy for it, and then you send it at that time. I always think it is just a lot easier to just get it all out of the way first. So really sit down and create a robust schedule.
So, if you create this ebook, right? It’s not one and done. It’s not just a matter of, “I’ll share this one time, and then I have to go create another ebook and, you know, bog down my design team and spend 12 hours creating copy.” It’s more of, “Let’s share this multiple times to social media.” And there’s no strong formula as to how many times you can recycle a post before people get a bit annoyed. But, you know, it goes back to, how much time did you spend on it? So this is just an example of, you know, this person in this status, sharing it across, like, the entire month of June, and really filling up their social content calendar and scheduling something more than once.
All right, so that covers the paid and organic social. And these next two things I’m actually really excited about because I started doing more research into it and working with these companies really closely. So I borrow the next content with permission, of course, and working alongside my friend at Wishpond. And they have a social media contest platform. So the first contest that she likes a lot, and that she’s always talking about, is a Twitter Sweepstakes. So this is leveraging Twitter and your Twitter presence to actually drive people to a specific landing page for the contest where they will then give you their lead information.
So this is actually just what the landing page looks like, that they’re sending people to. It was created through Wishpond. And you could see it’s really cohesive in that there is the homepage symbol at the top. There’s the connect button at the top, notifications and everything like that. So it looks like you didn’t even leave Twitter. And you’ll actually, if you click those buttons, it’ll bring you back to your specific Twitter feed. So this is a great place to send them, and then, this is where you’re actually creating the content that drives them to your website.
So a good amount of time to run these contests, these Twitter sweepstakes, is for about a month. And then it’s general best practice to tweet it at least once per day. It goes back to your posting cadence, of course. And just to always make sure that the copy that goes along with the posts that you’re creating is really unique. So it doesn’t look like, you know, you’re scheduling it once after another. Make sure that they all look like unique posts, and that people want to engage with them because they’re fresh pieces of content.
Similarly, you can do the same thing with Facebook, and this is all Wishpond, again. But the great thing about doing it with Facebook is that you don’t even have to send people off of the Facebook site. You can create a separate tab within your business page that specifically runs contests.
So, this is an example that Wishpond had sent me of, Diamond Candles ran this sweepstake. And they actually…I have the figure here. They did 30,000 new leads just with this contest here. So Diamond Candles is actually a pretty big site. So it’s not unheard of that they did 30,000 new leads because they probably have a pretty massive reach themselves, but it bodes really well.
This is another example of somebody doing a Facebook contest, Nerdogy’s Spring Sweepstakes. I hope nobody who works there is on the line right now in case I butchered that one. But you could see that they’re driving people to that Facebook tab as well to collect the email address, Facebook URL, 2 plus 7, obviously, to weed out spammers. I think I know that one, I think it’s nine. And then, yeah, they’re driving even more leads from there with that sweepstakes.
And the prize in and of itself, I don’t think has to be super massive. So this one here is a free iPad Mini. And the one previously is $70 in “Super Candle Cash.” So it doesn’t have to be this massive, robust presence, I mean, prize, rather. It’s not “Wheel of Fortune,” you don’t have to give away a new car, but something that is worthwhile. And I think something especially that relates to your business, not to take Nerdogy down a peg here, but a free iPad. That’s really a lot of people that are just wanting to join your contest because they want an iPad. That doesn’t really weed out people who are actually interested, whereas this it’s, “Okay, you’re entering my contest because you want Super Candle Cash, so you obviously have this interest in candles.” Just a little food for thought there.
So this brings us to social media quizzes, which are amazing. I think it’s such a fantastic way to generate leads on social because who doesn’t love a good quiz? So I went to Qzzr’s, and that’s [inaudible 00:29:52] qzzr.com site, and I was looking at a couple of great examples that they had. And the one that they were talking about as being one of the most successful quizzes that they’ve ever launched was this, “Which ‘Star Wars’ bounty hunter are you?” And, of course, I took it. So you take it. And at the very end of the quiz, right before they tell you the results, they give you the ability to opt-in or have your customers opt-in by submitting their email. And this is where you get the leads. So if you can create this really popular quiz that goes kind of viral, if it’s something relevant and topical, which I think the “Star Wars” one was, as “The Force Awakens” just came out, well, not recently, but a while back, around when the quiz came out, it probably did incredibly well.
And for those curious, Boba Fett is what I got. I think that it’s great. So, and then from there, you have the ability to actually share the results that you have, so either via Facebook or on Twitter. So you’re sharing these results. So say, I shared with my friends, “Hey, I got Boba Fett.” And that doesn’t just have this one-off effect, a lot of people will then start to engage with that. They’ll say, “Oh, man, there’s no way Michael’s Boba Fett.” And that kind of follows this example that they have right here. “Don’t flatter yourself too much,” is what somebody said. And then another one said, “Wow, I suddenly feel a strong urge to find out which bounty hunter I am.” So it’s kind of this self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to leads is that people get really excited with their results. They wanna share it with all of their friends, as well.
Yeah, and those are the quizzes and contests. I think that those are a really great way to grab traction, really flash in the pan kind of things to get a ton of leads. And this next one is the last bit I was gonna talk about, and that’s driving leads with an employee advocacy program. And I think this is something not as well known is this idea of employee advocacy. So what is that? It’s that you’re leveraging, which is pretty much the number one asset that your company has, right? It’s your employees, it’s you, it’s the people who actually work there. So the people that actually work there, it’s trying to get them to share out these webinars that you’re trying to get people to register for, or these ebooks that you really need people to download. And it’s relying on them to share those with their own communities.
So you’re leveraging the employees’ connections to gain an increase in social traction. And it’s not just a great way to get, you know, more eyeballs on your content and more registrants to your webinars. It’s a great way to actually keep the employees that you have engaged, sharing the content with them. They can read it themselves, they can share it with their friends. They then become, you know, this thought leader in their industry. So they don’t have to spend time curating their own content. You know, they go in and they share it, and their friends see it, and they think they’re smart, which, of course, they are, but it’s just a great way to scale lead gen and keep everybody happy.
So you may think like, “Okay, well, I give this ebook to one person and then they shared it. It’s not that powerful.” But if you look at the power behind a single employee, and that’s, on Facebook, you know, the average person has 305 friends, on LinkedIn, they have between 300 or 3,000 connections, and on Twitter, an average of 208 followers. So you add that all up. And you don’t just take that by one employee, you take it to the power of your entire organization.
Let’s skip this. Math problem here, so it’ll load up. Right, so let’s say you have 100 employees and each of them has that average, 850 connections, you’re soon getting your content, which is, you know, your webinars and your guides in front of 85,000 people. And that’s just with one piece of content.
So an idea of how that works. You take a URL for, say, a webinar. So this is an example webinar, even though it says, “Free ebook.” I don’t know why I put that one. But this is a URL for a webinar that we were doing at Sprout Social. So I load up the URL, and it pulls in all the meta-information. So it’ll say, “Free ebook. ‘Social Media Ideas, Formulas and Shortcuts,’ come join it.” And then you can add a bunch of catered copy for each specific social network, as well. So you could say, “You know, every time somebody shares this on Twitter, add the tweet copy “#socialideas, #socialmedia.” And that way, you’re not just getting it in front of their audience. You’re getting it in front of this massive expanded audience based off of those hashtags. And you can really just kind of think about it, I guess, as a hopper of content that you curate, and really just encourage your own employees to share.
And that’s just a tool called Bamboo that we have at Sprout, as well, if you want to try that out. But the next thing, you know, all said and done, you spend social media to gather all of these new leads that you have. It’s so crucial to track and improve and market your social media efforts, right? So if you look at it in terms of ROI, you need to prove that all of these things that you potentially spent money on or you spent your own hard-earned time on, how much traffic did you generate, and how many of those actually converted to leads? And how does that compare to your other channels? So, and then, say, you threw them into your email flows, which of them converted? So how much revenue did you actually generate from social? And then, you can kind of put a figure on, “Okay, well, social’s worth this much to me. I can get this much additional buy-in from our company, and we can spend X amount of dollars if we’re doing paid or, you know, purchasing quizzes.”
But the issue with ROI in terms of social media is that it really doesn’t tell the entire story. We rely on another metric at Sprout. It’s kind of more ROE, so the return on engagement. So yeah, you created these quizzes that got in front of massive amounts of people which created this incredible brand awareness for you. And a lot of people say they reached back out to your brand and they started conversations, and then that’s a new relationship that you have, or say they were already a customer in your database, that’s just increased loyalty. And in the end of the day, down the line, that does all revolve back to profit. But it’s just kind of the tying it to it that gets a little bit tricky.
So the best part of having all that data at your fingertips is that you can go on and share it with the rest of your organization and show them how well social media has contributed to your lead, your lead gen, and then the rest of the revenue that followed your funnels. And yeah, so I ran through that content clearly faster than I thought, so happy to answer any questions that you had throughout the deck or just to kind of chat about different things, different tactics.
Jamie: Well, we got tons of questions. Thank you, Michael. That was super-fascinating, and I learned a lot because I talk about email marketing all day, but I learned quite a few things, and it was awesome. So again, we got so many questions. So I was, actually, I almost pinged you, and I was like, “Hey, wrap it up fast, we got lots and lots of people.”
Michael: “You better get off that [inaudible 00:37:08], Michael.”
Jamie: I know. First and foremost, and this question came in a couple of different forms. But the question from William said, “I noticed there’s been no mention of Instagram or Snapchat. Are these platforms not worth the time?” Other people sort of framed it not even, “Are they not worth the time,” but are they not what, you know, falling into the lead gen camp or do they serve a different function? Kind of, what are your thoughts on those channels?
Michael: Totally. So I did have some slides on Instagram, and I really wanted to bring them to the presentation today, but they didn’t really fall explicitly into what you would call lead gen. There wasn’t an actionable way to actually pull email addresses and first names from people, but there are a lot of really great contests that you can do using Instagram. You can do like a hashtag contest for whoever has the most creative use of a certain branded hashtag will win a prize. So then you get a ton of different people, and GoPro does an amazing job at this.
So GoPro has, what they have is a photo of the day. So you use your GoPro, and you take a gorgeous picture, and then you hashtag #PhotoOfTheDayGoPro or something like that. And then, all of those people’s followers then see that hashtag, and they associate that with your brand. They say, “Oh, GoPro.” So you’re getting this massive reach in so many different impressions. And a lot of people, you know, familiarizing themselves with your brand. But that’s more top of the funnel, not actually capturing lead information, unfortunately.
Even though I think there’s a couple ways that you can leverage that and kind of, maybe you put a link to your site in your bio, but it wasn’t anything as tangible. And Snapchat, I don’t think that there’s any lead gen component there yet. I use it personally, and I love it, but I don’t think the lead gen’s there yet.
Jamie: Right. No, that’s a great answer. The other one, I want to get to this really fast because I think 50, I’m exaggerating, but it felt like 50 people asked, “How did you make the quiz? What website are you using to make that awesome quiz that you showed?” Or what would you recommend? Yes.
Michael: So the site is Qzzr, it’s Q-Z-Z-R.com. And they do have some free quizzes, the ability to create your own free quizzes. Of course, there are paid plans if you want to do things like, you know, white label it, yes, [inaudible 00:39:34]. If you want to put your own company logo on there and really brand the quizzes yourself, that’s where you’re looking at spending some money. But yeah, you definitely have the free quizzes. And that site actually comes from, the parent site is Boombox. And they have a ton of different functionality for lead gen on social media like contests and things like that.
Jamie: Very nice. Well, I typed Q, it’s Q-Z-Z-R.com?
Michael: Yes, I believe, unless there’s an additional Z which I’m forgetting, but I think it’s just the two Zs.
Jamie: Okay. Well, I took a risk and I just typed it in the chat box for all of you curious folks. And I did not click on the link yet, so proceed with caution. I’m sure it’ll be fun no matter what.
Michael: If you all end up taking that “Star Wars” Bounty Hunter quiz, let me know what you get.
Jamie: Let him know. There’s his Twitter handle. I know I’m a little jealous that you got Boba Fett, I’m gonna have to let you know. Let’s see, what else did we get? Oh, my gosh, everyone is excited about those quizzes. So let’s see here.
Michael: I think [inaudible 00:40:39] still find a lot of them, like, “Which Taylor Swift are you?” I didn’t take that one because I didn’t have the time, but I plan to find out later today which Taylor Swift I am.
Jamie: Oh, man, please keep us informed, loop us in on that one. Oh, Peter, one of our very first questions to come in, was, “How do you get past the idea of paying for ads, for eyeballs that already like you?” Well, what are your thoughts there?
Michael: It’s something that I think a lot of people, you know, are kind of upset with is that you spent all this time creating this massive following on social media, these people really opted into your content. You know, they want to see all of the posts that you’re sharing. But due to what I would consider as just an increase in noise, and there’s a stat that I really like. It’s that, every time you log into Facebook, there are 1,500 posts waiting for you in your News Feed.
So, you know, the social networks definitely had to figure out a way to reduce that noise because I think even though a lot of people as users don’t like algorithms, they themselves don’t maybe realize the value that is kind of pruning out a lot of this content that you would find overwhelming and stuff that you don’t really find relevant anymore. So it’s helping create, I think, a better user experience. And that may be me taking a side with the networks but, you know, the organic reach in and of itself isn’t dead. I think if you keep looking at your post history and you see what works, and you continue to fine-tune everything that’s worked, you’ll see an increase in some of the messages that you’re sending and some of the content that you’re posting. And even if, you know, I guess it would be kind of giving in. It’s just kind of easy if you could have, you know, five dollars here, five dollars there to spend to boost your posts. And maybe increase your following there and just get more engagement. It’s typically worth it. But yeah, I know it is kind of a tough thing, a tough pill to swallow, but them’s the breaks, I guess.
Jamie: Yeah. And we do that here all the time. You know, we’ll boost some thing, you know, on women. It’s really nice to just have that ability to kind of do it at a moment’s notice because it is really, you know, a small amount of money but it can have a huge impact. And for us, we always feel like, you know, those people that are…yes, they already like us but we don’t see it as paying for eyeballs that we already have as much as it’s just, you know, bumping it up to the top of the eyeballs that probably like us the most because they took the time to actually hit the button and raise their hand and say they wanted to be our friends. So, very, very good information there.
Let’s see, oh, I like this one, too. This is about, we have a couple of really good content questions. But Laura asked, “How frequently can you repurpose your content on social media?” What are kind of your hard and fast rules for that? Or do you have any?
Michael: Six. No, I’m just kidding. So, you know, I think it depends on the content itself. So if you spend a lot of time creating this really robust, evergreen piece of content, you can, of course, get away with sharing it more. I would say off the bat, schedule it… It just varies so much based off your presence. But definitely, schedule it more in the beginning. And then, as time goes on and the content maybe decays a little bit, you can schedule it less frequently over the following months. And I think you can continue to get away with it as a lot of the people that follow you freshly may not have seen it yet.
But in terms of hard and fast rules, I don’t know, especially it would depend on how much content your company creates, like how much do you need to rely on that specific post? And if it does get down to the point where, you know, you really have to send as many eyeballs to one page as possible because you don’t have the resources to create more content, just make sure that you’re always changing up the copy that goes with it, too, and looking at it in a fresh light or adding new hashtags to it so it’s seen by new audiences. But three times a week, maybe.
Jamie: Yeah. I like it. You heard it here, guys…
Michael: It’s so small.
Jamie: ...he says it’s exactly three times a week, no more, no less. No, just kidding.
Michael: My Social Media Manager, Darryl, is on the line. He’s probably gonna yell at me when I get out of here, like, “That’s not right at all.”
Jamie: Darryl, you can type into the question box and complain, and we’ll relay it. So another question on the content from Garrett, “Are there certain pieces of content or calls to action rather that work better in different channels? So for instance, should we only talk about a B2B webinar on LinkedIn and only run a sweepstakes somewhere like Facebook? Or does it matter? Or is that something to test?”
Michael: That’s something to test, but I do think a lot of these networks favor different types of content, as well. So, of course, if you have video, that’s something that you’re gonna want to share on Facebook more frequently, because if you look at like the engagement rates across different post formats, video just skyrockets. So if you have something like that to the post format, I think you can rely on Facebook, or even if it’s just maybe like a video preview sending people to your actual page, rely on that.
So, you know, and then there’s things like if you have an infographic that you’re really wanting to share, those are probably best. You know, don’t keep it only on these sites, but Google Plus, a great place to leverage those as well as Pinterest. Especially when you have Google Plus, you have so many different really niche communities within Google Plus, you probably find a ton of different communities where you can continue to repurpose that infographic.
And, you know, LinkedIn is still kind of keeping up with the functionalities. I don’t know that they have…well, I don’t think they have in-stream video playing yet. So yeah, I would say probably keep it more business-oriented images and text-based posts to that.
Jamie: Good advice. Also, Darryl has spoken and he said, “Why, bro, why? Love, Darryl.” So.
Michael: He probably didn’t anticipate your reading that out loud.
Jamie: That’s all right. Well, sorry, Darryl. Put you in the spotlight, so we all get our moment. Also, Qzzr does work. So thank you to the brave folks who did that and then let us know, so feel free to click that in the chat box. We have time for a couple of more questions, and we have some. So I’m gonna…
Jamie: ...like, keep asking them if you’re excited about that. The other question I have is… Let’s see, we’ve got Greg asking, “How can you use social media to nurture the leads that you generated?” So you talked, you know, all day here, all day, sorry, for the past hour, about how to get the leads, but how do you actually push them through the, you know, down the funnel, I guess, so to speak?
Michael: Of course. So we’re talking in terms of, sorry, nurturing them on social media, right? And not, you know, with your email funnel?
Jamie: Yes, yeah. How can you use social media specifically, yeah, to continue nurturing?
Michael: So here are qualifiers I could think of just off the top of my head. So if you aren’t super inclined to spend a lot of money on Facebook, which, and, of course, not everybody is, you can definitely create those target audiences where you upload these lists of the people that you want to nurture, right? To Facebook’s Power Editor, but only spend maybe a couple of dollars on a campaign that tries to drive them to like your page. And then, you know, they have the chance to see your organic content as it comes through.
Another thing you could do is, I would definitely…I’m a huge proponent of making it very clear to your customers after they either buy your product or they become a subscriber of your product to try to funnel them into your social media pages. So maybe in your thank you email from right when they purchase from you, you can say, “Hey, make sure to give us a follow on social media. We’re very active. Here are different pages, you know, based on which networks you like.” And really from there, kind of harping on the fact that you’ll be there to engage with them should they have any queries or feedback.
We have some crazy statistics here in that like the way that social media has trended is about a 51% increase in the amount of messages sent to brands on social media. So I think a lot of your fans and the people that you’re trying to nurture are gonna be really inclined to reach out to you on social media so long as they know where to find you. So just do your best to try to push them to your social networks, you know, whether that’s on your site or use that dedicated email or maybe just a few dollars on Facebook trying to promote to those lists that you have.
Jamie: Good advice. We’ve got another one from Samantha. And hers was kind of specific, but I think what she’s asking could apply to lots of different brands and verticals as she says, “We’re a publishing company, and one of our objectives is to get great reach on Facebook since these often lead to clicks, likes, etc. However, we’ve recently noticed a decline in our organic reach. What are strategies to improve this?”
Michael: Totally. So I know that tool, actually Qzzr, has a very specific, you know, set of features that are for publishers. Well, that’s just off the top of my head there. So that’s one way to do it. So I think that at the end of the day, what that is mostly, that piece of advice spans is the need for creating more interactive forms of content. So, of course, people are losing organic reach, some companies by the wayside, some others aren’t quite as effective. But I would just say, you know, finding a way to create more interactive content, if you have a video team or if you can just somehow find a way to use, you know, what you have on deck, maybe like your phone to create videos that try to get people in there, as well, because I know videos are getting rewarded with a lot more reach, as well.
And those could just be teasers to the content that people are clicking through to. So as a publisher, if you have this long-form article, and you kind of tease that article with a video to drive people back to your site, and is a good tactic, as well. I’m gonna think on that. I’m trying to think of more specific pieces of advice to drive more of that traffic.
Jamie: No, that was great. That’s a good start. I mean, definitely. And I think we see often in email that video is just a stickier kind of format, which is interesting to, you know, we see it all over the place on Instagram, and that sort of thing. Like, kind of, I will be scrolling through, and if I see a video, I will click on it, and then I’ll realize that it’s an ad later. I’m like, “Oh, what is this? It’s gonna move.”
Michael: Once my credit card info was in there, that’s when I realized that it got me.
Jamie: Yeah. I’m a marketer, and I still lose my mind. I’m like, “Ooh, a moving picture, how novel.”
Michael: So I think additionally, to answer that question is, another piece of feedback is Facebook also has a plethora of, like, free organic publishing features. You can actually target specific people based off interests even for free now. So you can say, “Hey, there’s this one article we just wrote. I think it’ll definitely resonate with people who are interested in X or Y.” Or, you know, maybe this specific article which is about Wisconsin’s, yesterday, their primary. I can, you know, geo-target this strictly to Wisconsin and people may find it resonates a bit more with them, they’re more likely to share it out and then you increase the impressions and clicks there.
Jamie: Perfect, and actually, that’s a good segue into a question. It’s actually a two-part question from Anna Kate. We’ll start with the first part, which is, “What is the recommended size of a custom audience on Facebook? Like if I have a list of 3,000 email addresses, is that enough to upload and target, too?” What’s a good starting point with that? Is it just, you know, is it quality over quantity? Or what would your suggestion be there?
Michael: Fully. I think 3,000 is enough right there. It depends on how quickly you do want them to actually convert, though, because Facebook, of course, isn’t gonna hit all of them, all in one day, but it is a good jumping-off point. And, you know, you could definitely keep using those lists that you’re uploading to augment the pool using Lookalike Audiences, as well. I would advise, though, to keep your campaigns where you’re targeting lookalikes from those specific emails that you have separate, so you have a good idea of, you know, “How does a lookalike audience compared to my core audience of 3,000 people?”
And it’s also key to remember that, you know, once you upload 3,000, just because of the list of people that you’re uploading has 3,000, it doesn’t mean that Facebook will be able to pair that one to one, because if you imagine, so I used this wicked old email address to sign into Facebook that I haven’t, you know, I haven’t touched in a long time. But when I go on and I, like, sign up for an ebook somewhere, I typically use my business address. So Facebook’s not gonna know that that’s the same person right there, unless they use the phone number, as well, which I think is updated. So even though you’re uploading 3,000, you may not hit it. But that’s fine, I would just continue to test it. And, you know, if you’re not getting the reach that you want or the impressions you want, then you can augment it with lookalikes as you wait for your list to continue to build organically.
Jamie: That is great advice. And yeah, that’s super-true. My Facebook login is a college address that I, you know, haven’t had access to in 10 years, probably, so, I would be in the same boat. Let me look here. I know, we got so many. I’m trying to pick the ones that I think will apply to the most people. Let’s look here. I think we probably have time for about one more, and then we can wrap it up.
Michael: Perfect. Yeah, you can [inaudible 00:54:39] the questions, you guys, to @MPatterson22 if, you know, still have any. I’ll try to answer them throughout the day, but as soon as I get tied to my desk, I’ll probably do a couple of other things first.
Jamie: Yes. Let’s look here. Okay. More questions about the quizzes, guys. You can go to qzzr.com. Let’s see, see what we got. Okay. We’ll end on this note. And it’s kind of taking it back here. And it’s pretty broad, and you’ve kind of answered it, but it is, I think, a good place to sort of sum things up. So Veronica wants to know, “Which social networks have you seen the most success in terms of lead gen? Who’s the winner? Is there a winner? Or does it just vary depending on what you’re doing and who you’re targeting and what you do?”
Michael: Totally. So they’ll definitely vary based off what you do. I would kind of say that LinkedIn and Facebook may tie, just specifically for our brand, because as a B2B company, I will say that the leads on LinkedIn are more costly. The clicks you’ll find on LinkedIn may be a bit more expensive, but that’s because you’re really accessing this audience of people who are so business-minded, they’re such a hot commodity at the time. And, you know, there is a lot of data on those people. So even though the cost per lead became more for LinkedIn to us, the actual cost per subscribers that we saw was typically lower than we saw across the network. So, just my main piece of feedback would be, of course, cost per lead is something that you have to be hugely cognizant of, but you really wanna tie back the cost of the lead to what they end up doing in terms of revenue.
So even though, you know, you may get 100 leads on Twitter, all a dollar each, none of them may end up, you know, buying anything. But for us, at a very high level, I would have said LinkedIn and Facebook, as well.
Michael: But that was back in my heyday of paid social. We have another manager on it now, but we kind of work together, so.
Jamie: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think that’s a great a great point to kind of leave things on. And again, we do get lots of other questions. I will get those in Michael’s hands as quickly as I can. You can also tweet at him, like he said, @MPaterson22, and he will eventually get to those after he, you know, takes a sip of water, breathes, walks around a little bit, stretches.
But, yeah, no, I think that’s a great point, and that’s, you know, sort of our philosophy here at Emma, as well. You know, it’s, quantity is fantastic, but, you know, obviously, LinkedIn, we’re a B2B platform, so, I mean, that might actually bring higher quality leads. They’re worth, you know, spending a little bit more on, and that sort of thing. So I think that’s awesome advice and a really good note to kind of end things on. So, well, Michael, thank you so much for joining us.
Michael: Thank you.
Jamie: This was super-important. This group was amped up.
Michael: Yeah, if you want to see Jamie and I together, we’ll be at Marketing United in Nashville in, like, three weeks. I’m going as an attendee to their very awesome event.
Jamie: Yes, thank you. That’s actually a great plug. Yeah, the Marketing United, it’s coming up quickly. It is here in Nashville, April 19th and 20th if you’re a non-customer, and 18th through 20th if you are a customer because we have a pre-conference that first day just for customers with deep dives into our product. And Andrew Caravella from Sprout, I hope I said that right, will actually be speaking on stage, very excited about that. And Michael will just be here learning and having a lot of fun, probably.
Michael: [inaudible 00:58:28] honky-tonk.
Jamie: Yeah, get honky-tonkin’ with us. And we’ll also be emailing out a special code for $100 off. Today is actually the last day for advanced tickets, so we will get that out to you. The code is Sprout100 if you are interested, and you can go to marketingunited.com to check that out, and I’ll actually just type it.
My last little blast here to everyone. Sprout100, 100 bucks off, and today’s the last day to get those advanced rates. But yeah, we’d love to have you here with us. And I’m excited to meet you, Michael.
Michael: Yeah, you too, and anybody else who may join us from the line.
Jamie: Yeah, I hope to see some of you guys there. Okay, cool. Well, again, thanks so much, Michael. And you guys have been lovely. And we’re gonna leave you to it. So good luck out there. Let us know if you have questions.
Michael: Yeah, thank you, everybody, so much. Good luck, and, you know, feel free to reach out to me if you need.
Jamie: Yep. All right. Bye, guys.