As my business continues to grow, I'm taking a close look at the types of services I offer. Currently, the focus is on Internet marketing consulting with a particular emphasis on social media (me and about 1,000 other people these days). My services are offered both to businesses directly and to agencies needing an outsourced provider. I also speak professionally and do half-day and full-day workshops on these topics.
CONVERSATION + CONVERSION
I've come to realize that the proof is in the pudding. As I said the other day, conversations have to lead to conversions, and I've come up with a plan for social media engagement that does just that. It involves taking advantage of what the usual suspects – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc – have to offer, but goes one better. It builds in calls to action via the use of a best-in-class lead acquisition and email follow-up mechanism, Infusionsoft, a company for which I recently became a reseller.
Whether it's a blog, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, or other channel within social media where a company has a presence, to the degree possible, there always has to be a definite, conspicuous call-to-action associated with the content.
Conversations, while valuable, are not an end in themselves. They have to lead to something more tangible, whether that be traffic to the company Web site, email newsletter subscriptions, or sales leads.
I don't think this in any way consigns the conversational aspect of social media to second place. Rather, it puts it in its place. I still believe that the real strength of social media marketing, that which makes it unique among all forms of marketing, is its ability to connect people in a very personal, human way.
Rich Goidel, managing director of marketing agency Dangerous Kitchen, likens this "conversation for the sake of conversation" approach to playing with turtles, an analogy he uses to describe much of what goes on in social media marketing today. We spend hours each day engaged in conversations that have little bearing on the bottom-line.
I'll let you read his post for the full story, but suffice it to say, conversation for the sake of conversation is inadequate if it doesn't lead to some type of conversion. Everything, including social media, has to align with business objectives.
Of course, I can't tell clients to do something I'm not willing to do myself. Therefore, you're going to see some changes around here and soon. For one thing, I'm going to implement Infusionsoft's follow-up system (as well as its CRM capabilities) for my own business.
At one time, this blog was nothing more than an outlet that allowed me to scratch my itch where Internet marketing and social media was concerned. Now, it's the main property where I market my consulting and training services. Suffice it to say, I've got a lot of work to do where it's concerned.
One aspect of social media marketing that I've been tasked with is the development of custom Facebook Fan Pages. Surprisingly, I've found a great deal of pleasure in providing this service and will continue to expand it.
I recently partnered with a couple of designers to build fan pages that function exactly in the manner outlined above, combining conversation with conversion. Accompanying that is marketing via Facebook Ads as well.
Admittedly, I'm no Mari Smith where Facebook marketing is concerned, but excited about offering this service nonetheless. You'll soon see it reflected on the site as well.