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Social Media Marketing - Is That All You Got?

By John McTigueJun 24, 2010

I was inspired to write this post by a HubSpot webinar by Pete Caputa (aka @pc4media) in which he (nicely) flogged marketing agencies for "lite" services that no CEO needs. Primary culprit, social media marketing. Pretty much all marketing and PR agencies are either offering SMM as a service or are planning to. The question is, what's in it for the client?

is social media marketing showing you the money?

Sell Value, Provide Value

That headline's almost a direct quote from Pete, and it rings home with me. Most companies hire marketing agencies because they want to make more money, not less. How? By generating more sales. How do we do that? By bringing in more qualified leads and delivering them to our clients' sales team in a nice pretty box. Social media marketing in the absence of a comprehensive lead generation strategy is fluff, in my humble opinion. I don't care how many uber-fans you have in Twitter and Facebook. If they aren't handing you their phone numbers and asking you to call, you have accomplished exactly "nada".

Where Does Social Media Marketing Fit In?

In the grand scheme of inbound marketing, social media is more of a means than an end. It's an important tool in increasing brand awareness and building retention. It can help drive people to the site to sign up. BUT social media is not a task you can check off on a list. It's not a goal, and it's not a deliverable. It's a way to help you get there. If you want to sell (and deliver) value, you have to capture leads and convert them to customers. Let's review how that's done:

  1. Be the #1 source of valuable information, products and services in your field or industry
  2. Convince everybody the #1 is true by virtue of your blogs, webinars, videos, social media etc. Just be awesome, and people will think you are awesome.
  3. Think of your website as your office. That's where everybody goes to do business with you. Is there a sign on the door (that tells people what you do). Is the door open? When people come to talk to you, do you take down their name, address and phone? Of course you do - so start doing that on your website.
  4. Tell people what you want them to do. That's what your call to actions do. Want them to sign-up for a free pumpkin? Tell them in your CTA and point them to your landing page.
  5. Don't assume everyone wants a free pumpkin. People are curious and they will check out your free pumpkin landing page. You have their attention. Convince them to sign up.
  6. Free pumpkins deliver $0 to the bottom line. All you have now is a lead, but that's a lot better than no lead. Yes, you are filling the funnel now. Work it. If you have a phone number, call. If not, set up a lead nurturing campaign to further interest them. The more time they invest coming back for your stuff, the more likely they will convert. Use the technology that's out there - HubSpot, Salesforce, whatever you have - use it to track and work your leads.
  7. Deliver value. Measure your leads and sources. Analyze, adjust and keep fighting the good fight. Build on success and discard the stupid ideas. Show the CEO how you are delivering dollars and driving ROI.

Ok, so you're a marketing company, and yes you need to follow these steps for your own lead generation and sales. More importantly, you need to do the same thing for your clients. And, oh yes, don't forget to tell people that you do this stuff. It's not social media marketing, folks. It's lead generation and conversion marketing - it's inbound marketing.

Any questions? How did I do, Pete?

Photo Credit: Stefson

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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