6 Ways to Convert Social Media Traffic Into Leads

social media how toAre you getting traffic from social media? Want to convert some of that traffic into leads?

This article will share six easy ways to turn lurkers into leads.

Some background

A little background starts by evaluating your current lead generation process and whether it’s helping or hurting your efforts.

It’s important to understand the relationship among your lead generation strategies, your social media channels, your blog and your landing pages. Many times when we think of generating leads in social media, we look at the content we’re posting and neglect to look at the surrounding elements that also touch the user.

Every status update about a new blog post has three steps to drive lead generation: the status update, the blog post and the landing page. Each one of these has a different role in the process and offers a unique opportunity to optimize lead conversion. A typical lead conversion process in social media looks like the image below.

lead generation process

Understand your opportunities to convert leads.

You’ll notice there’s a critical component in the middle—the blog post. We spend a lot of time creating relevant content for our readers and promoting it through our social media channels. But many times, we forget to look around the content of the post to see if there is an EASY way for our visitors to become leads.

Karen Rubin, marketing product manager and marketeer for HubSpot, offered these great tips to help you optimize your blog to convert your social media traffic into leads.

#1: Offer an email blog subscription

RSS has become one of the most popular ways to allow readers to subscribe to your blog. However, it has significant limitations for lead generation. There’s no way to message an RSS subscriber directly because you don’t actually have any contact information. Your only point of contact with an RSS subscriber is when you post a new blog article.

Offering an email subscription as your primary blog subscription vehicle allows you to keep your subscribers up to date on the latest content while also sending emails that facilitate your lead generation process. Once the user has opted-in to receive updates from your company, you have the ability to continue to market to them and nurture them throughout the buying process.

email subscription

Offer an email subscription on your blog.

#2: Add a Welcome pop-up for new visitors to drive email subscribers

I know many of us probably cringe at the idea of having a pop-up when someone comes to our site; however, this has been shown to tremendously increase the number of subscribers to your blog.

Chris Penn from WhatCounts tested this methodology and was able to increase his blog subscribers by 733% in only two months! If you implement this well and establish rules for when the pop-up will show, it can greatly increase your email list.

email popup

Drive email subscribers with a Welcome pop-up.

#3: Include RELEVANT calls to action on your blog posts

Every blog post should include a call to action that is relevant to what the post is about. Karen pointed out that “The key is that your call to action be relevant. On the HubSpot blog, if we have a blog post about social media and marketing, we don’t include a call to action to our landing page optimization webinar. We include one to a social media–based webinar.”

call to actions

Put a call to action on EVERY blog post.

#4: Keep it light and easy

Most of the calls to action we see on websites are all about buying a product or requesting to speak to a sales rep.

Karen describes this as a process of building trust, “just like you don’t ask a girl to your place to spend the night on a first date, you also don’t ask a visitor from social media to sign up for a demo with a sales rep. Someone who has read 140 characters about a blog post on Twitter and clicked through to see what the article was about likely doesn’t know enough about your company to want to dive in head-first and sign up for a trial or a demo.”

Many times our blog has first-time and repeat visitors; therefore, include calls to action that make it super-easy to buy if they’re at that point, but also include the “softer” call to action for those on a first date with your site. You definitely don’t want to force someone to search for how to get more information about your products or turn off a first-time visitor with a sales offer. Balance is the key.

#5: Be your own advertiser

Traditional content creators’ goals are to bring in visitors and then sell ad space to make money. As the world of marketing has changed, marketers are creating content and using social media to drive visitors.

Why not also use your ad space to promote your own offers? Modify traditional banner ad locations into new calls to action for your offers and drive more of your visitors to landing pages where they have the opportunity to convert into leads.

self advertising

Use traditional advertising spaces to promote your own calls to action.

#6: Optimize your offers with landing pages

Once someone has clicked on one of your calls to action, make sure your landing page is optimized to convert the visitor into a lead. HubSpot recommends you follow the 7 steps outlined here to start converting more leads! For example:

  • Keep it simple: keep everything about this page simple, including the number and nature of the questions you ask.
  • Keep it short: seeing a massive list of 15-20 questions will make your prospect think hard about the value of his or her time.

At every stage in this process there will be people who fall off and don’t convert. You can maximize your efforts and minimize fall-off by optimizing each step in the process to drive efficient throughput.

Ultimately, the lead conversion process on your blog is just as important as the actual blog post itself. The goal is to create an efficient lead generation process between your social media channels, your status updates, your blog and your landing pages. Don’t let your social media strategies fall flat because you haven’t created an efficient way for them to become a lead.

What do you think? What has worked for driving leads on your blog? Do you have an example of a great blog that is set up to convert leads? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts or questions.

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About the Author, Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the president of SME Digital, the digital marketing division of Social Media Explorer. They provide digital marketing strategy, implementation and measurement using the Full Frontal ROI methodology. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Nicole..what I tell my members is if someone visit your place of business then you must collect information form them. Always get some type of information from your readers.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Nice and easy tips to convert leads but often over looked :) Thanks Nichole for sharing it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.spencer2 Steve Spencer

    Nichole,

    I hate to be one of those folks that just chimes in to say “nice post”, but… Nice post! :)

    Great points.  It’s shocking how many people overlook these simple tips, like offering an email subscription.  Also, the perfect length of post is very important in my opinion.  This post as an example, was visually pleasing and didn’t make me squint to read it.  Also, it was short enough to consume.  I hate blog posts that are like a manifesto, where I need to make a huge time commitment just to read them.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    It is definitely a balance. By asking for information from your audience to get something it does add a barrier to entry that can decrease activity, however with the same document you could have 10,000 views and 150 leads or 50,000 views and 0 leads. Most of my clients would prefer the more targeted audience with relevant follow up information.

    So we want to ask for information on content that is relevant to the buying process, not everything we create.

    Thanks so much for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Rana – Thanks so much! I’m so glad you found the post useful. Kudos to Karen for providing some great tips!

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Please don’t call your email subscription an email “subscription” or use “subscribe” in your call to action. I firmly believe that “subscribe” is a turn off word. It has connotations of payment and commitment. It’s a “feel-bad” word. Use a “feel-good” word. For instance, “Never miss an update” or “Keep in touch” or “Follow us by email” or anything you think might work for your audience is a better notion than “Subscribe”.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Steve – Thank you so much! I’m personally a big fan of the nice post comments! :-) And thank you for the feedback on the post format, it is always a balance of trying to provide relevant and actionable information without creating a manifesto as you called it. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t so I’m glad this post was the right balance for you.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Fergus, thanks for your feedback!  It’s really interesting to see the different emotions people have towards words.  For me “subscribe” is more “clinical” (no real negative connotations), it sort of pushes me towards a “membership/community” mindset.  But I don’t live in a place bombarded with “subscribes”  :)

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Fergus – Absolutely, thanks so much for sharing! This is a fantastic tip.

  • http://repurposedcontent.wordpress.com Chris K Leslie

    A lot of people forget that being able to re-market (if you will) to a person or business is better than cold calling any day. 

  • http://twitter.com/Thoora Thoora

    Great tips Nichole. Re: creating blog email subscription… Do you recommend leveraging blog content for regular marketing emails or two different content strategies? Many thanks.

    Renée Mellow, Thoora

  • http://pervarakapadiaatmoney.blogspot.com/ Pervara Kapadia

    Thanks for this post Nichole – indeed it is refreshing to go through the pointers that you have shared. 

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Chris – Abso-freaking-lutely. LOL. I am a very strong believer in generating enough interest to convince prospects to give you their email address so you can follow up with a killer conversion email strategy. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/richmac Rich McElaney

    Nichole,

    This is a topic of heavy conversation at our office and you summarized the process very well. That graphic at the beginning of the post tells it all – there is an absolute relationship between your blog, site traffic and conversion and it is all too easy to get wrapped up in things and forget this important connection. And when it doubt – test, test and test again!

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Personally, I recommend three strategies actually. Blog content is great for people who have subscribed for email updates but haven’t necessarily done an activity that shows they have an interest in your products/services.

    Then I recommend a strategy for people who may have downloaded content that shows product interest, but it is the kind of content that shows they aren’t necessarily ready to convert now but may in the not so distant future.

    Finally I recommend a separate strategy for someone who has done something that indicates definite product/service interest and appears to be ready to buy. This would be someone who perhaps signed up for a one-on-one product demonstration, requested a product quote etcetera.

    I take the three groups and break them up into slow leads (blog content email strategy is appropriate), medium leads (a content based conversion email strategy combined with some promotional offer is appropriate), and fast leads (a personal hands-on, one-on-one follow up approach is most appropriate.)

    I wrote a post that goes into more detail on this. http://fullfrontalroi.com/2011/02/2-serial-social-media-lead-killers/

    I hope this helps.

    Nichole

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Awesome Pervara. I’m so glad it was useful. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/fredfelton Fred Felton

    I love #5 absolutely brilliant great article ;)  

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  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Fred – Thanks for commenting. #5 is one of my favorites too! I see many blogs that don’t have a clear way to become a customer. It can be tough in social media to find the balance between self-promotion and promotion of others, however adding a clear advertising message to your blog is a natural fit.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Sweet Rich! I’m so glad you liked the graphic. I created that one myself! :-) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  • Margaret

    Love it all! 

    Do you have any suggestions where to find [easy-to-follow] instructions to do #2 (add a welcome pop-up) on wordpress?  I have googled but am not having much luck,

  • Deemtech

    hi

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Awesome post Nichole. I think a great follow up post would be: 5 Steps to Implement a Lead Nurturing Program (or something like that). I think a lot of people misunderstand the process of lead nurturing. Love your stuff!

  • Daraadalpalad

    Hello I am a new user and I am not versed of the English language and the languages ​​of Arabic Is Assistant

  • SanJuanSEO

    Oh I LIKE that! Yes. Never miss an update. I will be using that one. Thanks so much for mentioning!
    Colleen, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching

  • http://sylvanmedia.com/blog Michael

    Fergus, great discussion point. 

    I think this goes beyond simple semantics and really does speak to the
    experience that you want your readers to have.  I couldn’t agree more
    subscriptions seem like a commitment.  As a first timer I may not want
    that level of commitment to your blog.  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Cindy, I think you’re right. At the end, we can never be certain how a particular person or a narrow demographic and geographic target will respond to something unless we ask. My statements were all in that “general case”. I do think it’s important to understand the guidelines that work “in general”, to learn your audience, and then ultimately to use what works for your audience — which includes breaking “the rules” when you should.

    The hardest part for someone who is new to some aspect is having a good sense of why the guidelines exists, when they ought to be broken, and what indicates a strong case for breaking them. If you’re at that point, you might actually be an expert because you’re analyzing and thinking creatively about problems.

    But it never hurts to begin with the “in general” guidelines and then look for the evidence in a specific situation that confirms we should enforce or abandon them.

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  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Glad to share it, especially feeling it really connected for someone and they found something they can build upon to help clients get results! I’m passionate about a few things, and one of the big ones served here is simply finding ways big or small to make the web better — one button at a time maybe. :)

    In a way, it’s really shifting from author-language “I want you to subscribe,” to reader-language “I like this blog so much, I never want to miss an update.” I’m guessing you’re a professional from that “SEO” in your name, but to the students out there, master this first in your mentality and then in your language, and you will have taken a solid step to building a firm foundation to understand the core of what marketing is and can do. Marketing never answers the question, “What do I want to tell the audience?” It answers, “How can I provide the story my audience wants to hear in a way that will create a valuable relationship for them and for me?”

    Enough pontificating from me, yeesh! Thanks for letting me know how I might have helped in just a small way.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Thanks, Michael!

    I agree that it’s one of those “semantic” points splitting hairs over the minutiae of grades of meaning. It’s actually pretty dramatic. Even if someone doesn’t agree me (and I am sure that they exist even if they haven’t replied to my original comment to tell me so quite yet), at least we’re examining the words we use and what they mean to our _audience_. We want them to do something. We have to present that as something that they either already want, or when they hear it, takes on the value of something they want.

    Colleen particularly liked something like “Never miss an update”. One of the advantages of that is the creation of a sense of urgency. That’s another typical marketing strategy. If someone doesn’t convert (in this case subscribe) _right now_, the odds that they will do so later plummet.

    It’s hard to believe that “…and if you call in the next ten minutes, you will also receive another verbose comment from Fergus on your blog! Order now!” fools anybody (yes, they have a stop watch and they turn that deal on and off based on a master schedule of where every infomercial they schedule runs in every market around the world), but it works. Why? Because the marketers behind it know that after 10 mins — even if an audience members decides to call but does not — they’ve lost the sale.

    So should we feel like the urgency of “Never miss an update” is false and manipulative in the same way. I don’t. You really can miss an update. Heck, on the web if you don’t have a sense of urgency, chances are you don’t sign up at all, and then you really do miss things you might have enjoyed receiving. All those manipulative techniques can be applied, with a little ethics and fair-minded thinking, to pursue a mutual interest with your audience rather than serve yours.

    Mere semantics? No way! And if not convinced, read about A/B Testing to see how a word or colour shade difference can make or break a conversion.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Nichole, thank you — and thank you. I got so excited about my pet tip that I completely forget to share my appreciation for your article. This is something I was exactly looking for to share with a new staff member who is (doing great!) learning about how content and social media strategies (as well as content and SEO strategies) must interoperate. It explains the similarity and difference powerfully. Thank you.

  • http://www.iriediva.com/ IrieDiva

    that pop idea…i certainly cringe at the thought because i always close them immediately whenever i encounter them. i wonder if they are really effective……

  • http://dukeo.com Dukeo

    Great article Nichole!
    The point number 5 is really inspiring… This goes in the same direction as a point developed by Michael Dunlop on his blog with a “no leakage” theory. His whole blog doesn’t let you out unless you either close the window or visit one of his own product-page…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Fergus,

    We listen. I will be implementing your suggestions and have already changed the top navigation. Thank you!

  • Teal Sullivan

    I really liked the information shared… one comment or request might be to have a short video to watch… I am a ‘listener’ and more readily absorb info rather than reading on the computer…. you might get your info into more folks brains by creating short videos and posting rather than articles to read.  Now, I will be looking for the “How” in creating a subscribe to my blog” on my site… I’m sure it varies a lot…but would be interested in any advise on the techno side.   ~Teal

  • http://www.mindframecampaign.org/ MindFrame

    Fantastic advice…thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    Hi  Nichole,

    Great post and loved reading it. Thanks for the share and got to know many valuable points about social media traffic to leads.

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  • http://www.marketingtwentyone.co.uk Ginny Carter

    Great to remind us that email sign up and blogs have a special relationship, thanks.

  • Stephanie

    Thanks for the great tips for a newbie like myself.  I would like to say though, that I personally dislike the pop up idea.  I have several business blogs I visit a few times a week, and it annoys me that I get the same large pop up every time, and have to close it so I can read their content.  Just my two cents:)

  • http://twitter.com/SlumberSteph Stephanie Cochran

    Fergus you have made some excellent points! Thanks for sharing & making me rethink the wording for my email subscribe button. I think that “Never miss an update.” or “Follow us by email.” can work for not only your blog but e-newsletters, ezines, whatever you choose. I am in the process of creating my blog & already do newsletters, etc & will be rewording my buttons. I think it gives it a more personal feel & doesn’t lead people to think they are just another sale. Nicole ~ fantastic post & well written! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Nichole, I think a simple GET IN TOUCH section – call to action might also help to generate leads from this traffic. However, the article was simple & insightful. And yes, I cringe at the idea of having a pop-up when someone visits my site :)

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    You can check out this article by Chris Penn. http://blog.blueskyfactory.com/general/welcome-popups-for-building-your-email-list/ but if you are on WordPress you simply want to find and install the plug-in they recommend. That is what I did. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Great Suggestion Nick. I’ll see if we can get something like that on the agenda. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    I couldn’t agree with you more, personally I’m not a fan. But if you read this article by Chris Penn he did a test and showed that it dramatically increased email subscription rates. http://blog.blueskyfactory.com/general/welcome-popups-for-building-your-email-list/

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Thanks so much. I’ll have to check out the post by Michael, it definitely sounds interesting. There are definitely extremes, I wonder how he does this while still fostering a positive user experience. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Teal – Thanks so much for the suggestion, I’ll definitely keep that in mind for future articles. Unfortunately, I’m not a techie and adding the subscribe feature is different in every platform, but maybe someone else will jump in and help.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Awesome, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    You’re welcome. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Stephanie – I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I think pop ups are definitely a polarizing topic. I never would have added one to my site for all the reasons you mention, however when I read this post by Chris, I figured it was worth a test. And as a result my email subscription list has grown substantially. I totally understand your perspective. Thanks so much for commenting. http://blog.blueskyfactory.com/general/welcome-popups-for-building-your-email-list/ 

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Henry – I think most sites have a get in touch or contact me section. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is a strong enough call to action, readers need to be told what their next step is and it needs to be easy to accomplish. If the reader has an idea about what they can contact you for they will likely seek out that section. But there  is probably a much larger group who won’t take the time to figure out how you might be able to connect on their own unless you create a very clear path to conversion for them. Why should they reach out to you? What will they receive in return? These are the types of questions I like to try and address with the call to action. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/StartUpSocMedia Michael Logan

    Oh wow.  I am not doing this very well.  Hadn’t thought about this quite like this.  Mike

  • http://twitter.com/StartUpSocMedia Michael Logan

    Wow, need to do some review on this.  I could be doing much better.  Mike 

  • Gsideman

    I will never use a pop-up ad regardless of statistics, because I rarely revisit a website that has one. I find them intrusive and annoying. It smacks of the non-permission based advertising that we supposedly tossed to the sidelines when social media and engagement evolved. 

  • Gsideman

    I do like the idea of using banner ad space to promote your own products/services. Keeping your approach “light and easy” is another winner. 

  • Margaret

    Thanks Nichole!

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  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Michael – I hope you are able to implement some of the tips here! Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

    Awesome, I’m so glad you found some of the tips useful. Thanks so much for commenting.

  • http://www.grace-cheung.com/blog Grace Cheung

    Very helpful & timely article for me :)

    Tip #2 – Welcome pop-ups REALLY annoy me. I don’t want a website to bug me to subscribe BEFORE I even read their content. At the very least, the pop-up should show up when the visitor closes the browser.  Also, if your content is that great, just make it easy to subscribe to emails (like in tip #1) or the RSS feed.  

    Chris Penn’s study does provide a compelling case for at least testing out this method, however.  I’m curious to see if the number of new subscribers has been sustained over time.  

  • http://sylvanmedia.com/blog Michael

    Hi Fergus,

    Just so that we are on the same page I am agreeing with you and that your point was well received.  At the essence of your argument you are saying that the way a brand says something has direct implications for how that brand’s  audience will interact with it.  Just wanted to clear that up.  Thanks again for sharing

  • https://plus.google.com/+AnaHoffman/ Ana Hoffman

    I recently added a welcome pop-up and while not all my visitors are equally charmed by it, I am quite happy with the results. I mainly use social media to drive traffic to my site and these tips work. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Hi, Teal.

    Do you know what blogging software or platform you are using?

    Is it hosted for you (like WordPress.com or Blogger.com) or is software that you or a developer installed for you on your own hosting?

    Most platforms support this sort of behaviour right out of the box, as it were, but perhaps it has been disabled?

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Yeah, no kidding, Nichole. I read that and cringed pretty hard. Anyone who tries to prevent me from navigating as I wish isn’t getting any business. But then, I’m not really sure what Dukeo means. How exactly anyone could create that scenario is unclear to me. Sounds like a violation of the Javascript sandbox if they can force me to close my browser rather than navigate away.

    I went to the best page that I could find for Michael Dunlop on Google, and I found nothing unusual or constrictive about the site. I left by typing a URL into my browser and it worked fine.

    Dukeo, can you provide a URL and a browser/OS combination where this is demonstrated please? Thanks.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Hi, Michael. I realized you were agreeing, but when you used the term “semantic”, I too thought some people might dismiss it as irrelevant hair-splitting. It wasn’t that I thought _you_ were, but it made me want to respond further to the idea that _others_ might have seen it that way. I totally appreciate we are on the same page? Make sense, my friend? Thanks again.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    Good point, Stephanie, and won I hadn’t really considered myself. “Subscribe by email” does sound awfully generic, doesn’t it? Having something different, friendlier, more inviting is itself a great argument for doing something a little different.

    And it opens up the whole idea that every element of your site is in its own way content: just as much as we want to write an original, interesting article, so too should our calls to action be original and interesting, no?

    What a great community we have here, I must say. Really enjoying the exchange.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    I think you make a great point, Chris. You want to keep your previous customers coming back, and to continue to engage with them. They’re far easier conversions than new customers since they already know and hopefully liked their previous experience.

    Not to disagree or because I think _you_ would miss this, but we do all have to keep in mind that we cannot thrive on only our existing customer base. We do have to pursue a growth strategy that’s right for our companies. If we don’t, we will find our pool of customers dwindling as people move away, their needs change, or other inevitables transpire. I worry about a person who suggests to me that they’re happy with their current level and don’t want to plan for any sort of growth. I think you have to grow at least a little bit to maintain the size of customer base you have.

    But I’d like to conclude by re-iterating that you are very right, Chris. If a business needs some new business, it can be a great idea to look at how it can reach its previous customers better.

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    There are more than a few examples of that opinion being posted. Trust me, I sympathize. However, Nichole is making a valid point. Whether we like pop-ups or not (someone does?!), we should want to know that they’re effective. Even if we don’t use them, there’s some value in knowing that. I find it rather a curiosity to be honest. They don’t work on me, so I’m not sure why they’re so effective in general.

  • http://twitter.com/SuperCareero supercareero.com

    Thanks for this timely post Nichole, 

    We’re launching a website (Phase 1 of the site will be launched in about 2 weeks, at the start of August) and we really need articles like this to read to help us promote the site. 

    The goal of the site is to help people make the most of their careers by helping them learn the key skills to be the best that they can be in their current role/position and guide them in learning new skills to fast-track their career and get their next promotion quickly.

    We will incorporate some of your tips on our social media campaign, and we’re hoping to have a great start. 

    Thank you,
    SuperCareero
    http://www.supercareero.com/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1379008164 Sarah Wess Potter

    Do you really think every business selling a product needs a blog to turn social media into leads? Why not go from social media straight to the product pages or at least the brand landing page?

  • Barry

    Love the post and all the comments

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    There is never an “always” or “never” — except for this one. ;)

    Understand that the social audience is clicking your link in order to obtain something of value to itself. An article with free helpful information represents significant value. Now that they’ve received value generously given, they begin to value the relationship a little. They experience the natural human tendency to return an obligation and create value for you. Foster this relationship and you can create powerful brand advocates who will invest their own resources in marketing your business.

    Consider your alternative. They click your link (if your lucky) in order to receive the “valuable” opportunity to purchase something from you and create value for you. Or they get the incredible opportunity to read your marketing copy and learn about your brand. Does that really seem like the winning strategy to you?

    But if you’re Groupon, this could make good sense since the entire value in your customer relations revolves around deals. Just don’t expect any loyalty or value in that relationship. Bargain hunters are not interested in forming valuable, lasting relationships or brands. They just care about cheap, and I you’re competing on price, you’ve probably lost the game before you’ve started.

    All of that said, blogs – and social media in general – can take up a lot of time, especially to do right. That’s why my marketing company will provide custom researched and written unique content for client blogs, as well as being available to manage social media campaigns.

    Which is an example of me supposing that might not tick anyone off to give myself a plug since I think I’ve contributed some real value. I am being a little tongue in cheek here, but the point is always “give first” and earn the opportunity to present a self-promotional message. Oh, and there is no always.

    What’s your take, Sarah?

  • http://www.focused-nutrition.co.uk Martin

    Great work here Nichole, quite a bit of new stuff for me
    Face book is relatively new for me, just keep on learning.
    PS do you keep fit at all? Running, bike, swim ?
    your thoughta on keep fir snack bars would be appreciated, when you have a moment

  • http://brankicaunderwood.com/ Brankica

    I find it really interesting that you mention pop ups, because seems everyone is so much against them. I am too BUT I am about to run one of my blog. 

    There are many superior plugins that recognize returning visitors and won’t pop up that thingy every time someone loads a page. So with a little bit of planning and thinking we can optimize them not to annoy too much. I think I will set the timer to at least more than 15 seconds to run the first test. 
    I actually think people are not so much against pop ups per se, I think it is more the fact that some bloggers have them enabled to load every time someone loads a page and it can be pretty annoying. Especially if it is a blog I visit often and have been subscribed to for months. The second thing that resonated with me is “be your own advertiser”. I actually do that a lot on a static site and it creates a great flow of traffic to pages I want the visitors to see, be it sign up pages, sale pages or just some seasonal pages. It is a great advice and I hope those who haven’t tried it before will give it a go. Nichole, this is a great post and I am off to read what else you have here  :)

  • http://twitter.com/JanetAronica Janet Aronica

    I think I might be too… I guess “careful” is the word when it comes to email. If people are subscribing to receive your blog posts via email is it still cool to send them all of your other marketing communications emails (newsletters, news about webinars, new product/new feature announcements) even if they haven’t technically opted in to receive those yet? Honest question. Still trying to learn and do the right thing with email. Great post btw :)  

  • http://sustainablylush.ca Fergus Gibson

    I think it’s a really bad idea. You have created an expectation “contract” with each visitor about what email she’ll receive.

    What I think you can do is send an introductory message that thanks them for signing up. In that email you could provide information about how she can opt in now or later to a separate list and what value it will provide to her.

    If you combine it all into one list, you run the risk of alienating your audience very early in the relationship.

    Another option which would be subtler and better in mind would be to rely on the CTAs on your site and include the occasional linkage between your blog content and the conversion funnel of your site.

    If you can occasionally add an article that describes a problem your service or product solves, you can include a reference to your offer along with alternative ways of solving the problem (essentially a presentation of your “unique value proposition”). Just don’t blow the ratio and lose the audience.

  • http://twitter.com/JanetAronica Janet Aronica

    I like these tips.. :) Thanks!

  • http://www.thespeedticket.com Mark Evans

    Fergus, thank you for that tip. My video blog is under development and I have an “email subscribe” section designed into the sidebar and on our Facebook landing page. Thinking now I will change to your softer language idea. Liking “never miss an update”. Thanks again.

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  • http://sylvanmedia.com/blog Michael

    Yeppers!  How your Monday is going well

    Michael

  • http://www.directresponse.net David Polykoff

    “At every stage in this process there will be people who fall off and don’t convert.”

    I believe this to be so true.  Optimization doesn’t mean optimizing one aspect to the lead generation process.  Any detail can be the reason for a missed lead opportunity.  At any point during the process.  You should always be reviewing all channels to see how they can be optimized at any level.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SRWDWB2AN55CC4D2THRCQC5XVE Janice Maddox

    I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, GetCent.com

  • CaseyWarren95628715

    I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, PennyHub.com

  • http://www.FaceForwardMedia.com SEM Services

    Landing pages play a prominent role in generating leads, they are invaluable to company success and quick to build if you have the resources. 

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  • Bloomtools

    Effective Tips posted you. Good Job. i believe that unique and informative article/blog-posts always help us to get more subscribers.

  • Pingback: Matt About Friday: The "How to Sell More on the Internet by Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate" Edition | Matt About Business

  • http://shawnozbun.com/ Shawn Ozbun

    Linkedin is still the number one referrer to my blog. I believe linkedin is probably the best social site out there for driving traffic. Here is a post I wrote on the subject. http://shawnozbun.com/internet-marketing/how-im-driving-thousands-of-visitors-using-linked-in-two-simple-secrets/

  • http://thewebtrafficwizard.com/targeted-web-traffic/ Landon Westfield

    Status Update > Blog Post > Landing Page….that looks like a pretty solid sales funnel you got there.  I’m definitely going to have to give it a try.  I’ll test it out and let you know how it works.

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  • http://twitter.com/planomania Rebecka R.

    Thanks so much! This article answered all my questions and gave me some great suggestions. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabriella.peterson.12 Gabriella NpaComputers

    Isn’t that the truth! Subscribe sounds like MORE email.









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