3 Tips for Social Media Lead Generation

3 Ways to Use Social Media for Lead Generation

If generating leads is vital to increasing sales at your company, don’t ignore social media. It can help you get the word out about your services, allow you to engage with customers and potential customers, and even figure out what kind of content to add to your website. There are social media networks for every niche, using every medium – including content, imagery, and video. You’re sure to find something that works!

Before you start using social media, though, you’ll want to have something to say. Sharing other people’s content is wonderful – and a must. However, to get people back to your site where they can become leads means that you have to give them a reason to visit! This means blogging, and it means learning to package your message properly for each network.

Get Suggestions for Generating Relevant Content

The first rule of social media is to create original and relevant content. While this may seem impossible in today’s world of content overload, you can do it! No one will say exactly what you want to say in …

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Messages in a bottle are so romantic - but they don't work well on Twitter!

Message in a Bottle? Not on Twitter, Please!

This morning, I was distracted from what I SHOULD have been doing by a story on NPR. It seems the oldest known “message in a bottle” has been found in the Baltic Sea after over 100 years bobbing aimlessly. It didn’t go far, though – it was found close to the spot where 20-year-old Richard Platz tossed it back in 1913. You can read the story here.

Sadly, the bulk of the writing has been obscured by damage from time and moisture, but still, it’s pretty cool, right?!

So, what’s the connection with Twitter?

When you toss Tweets out at random, with no direction and no intended recipient, they could go unnoticed for a hundred years or more (that’s 100 “Twitter years” – probably equal to about 6 hours :)). If someone does stumble upon it in a search later, the content might be completely lost due to lack of context or focus.

Sometimes it’s fun to just “throw something out there” and see if anyone responds. I’ve done this on …

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Why Content Marketers Love Pinterest

If you’re already using Pinterest to drive more traffic and leads to your business website, you’re probably already a little in love with it. I know I am! There are so many reasons, but here are a few I’m extra grateful for today.

Pinterest Can Be Lead Generation Magic

The initial benefit we saw was an increase in website traffic – lots of it. Last month, in fact, one of our customers got nearly as much traffic from Pinterest alone as from all other organic sources, including Google. Take a moment to look at your analytics and imagine doubling your organic traffic just by using Pinterest. It can happen!

But, at first we struggled with lead generation. Would it be enough to justify the one to two hours a week we dedicate to Pinterest?

Well, I’m happy to report that we’re starting to see the amazing lead generation potential of Pinterest on the accounts we manage as well. Last month, one of our client’s Pinterest leads accounted for 42% of all leads!

It’s true, you have to find …

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How to choose a domain name for your website

How to Choose the Right Domain Name and Extension for Your Website

This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section on the Inbound Hub blog.

Well, you’ve done your market research (who knew there was such demand for a kielbasa manufacturer in Cleveland?), chosen your business name (“Greg’s Kielbasa” — after your grandfather!), and perfected your product anddelivery — Yum!

Now you’re planning a website that’ll have your potential customers’ mouths watering and distributors lining up around the corner. But there’s one step that can turn even the most confident of business owners into a waffling, indecisive pool of jelly: choosing the perfect domain name and extension.

There are plenty of different aspects to consider before selecting just any old name. So how do you ensure your website is represented by the best possible domain name and extension? First, a short lesson on how they came to be.

Domain Names & Extensions: A Brief History

Before 1984, when University of Wisconsin technicians developed a name server, there were no domain names, only numbers like to designate a website address. Imagine that on your business card!

Suddenly in 1985, domain names using the …

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How to make the most of your content offers

How to Make the Most of Your Ebook or Whitepaper – A Step By Step Guide

Creating downloadable Ebooks, whitepapers, templates, check lists, or other content offer with information so valuable that people would pay for it is a pillar of effective online marketing or “inbound” marketing. When you create remarkable and useful content, you’re able to build and segment your email lists for more effective marketing and lead follow-up.

But just how do you get from a content offer to a useful email list and lead nurturing process? And how do you get people to sign up for your offer?  This process can be overwhelming, but when you break it down step-by-step, nothing gets left out and your content can be a big success! So, let’s get started. You can also download a very detailed checklist here.

Promoting An Ebook or Whitepaper with Marketing Automation

You can promote your content with a combination of programs for landing pages, email and nuturing – and we’ll try to give you affordable options, but we prefer to use HubSpot. Not sure it’s worth the investment? Check out this …

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10 Reasons You're Missing the Boat on Pinterest - and how to Change it.

10 Reasons You’re Missing the Boat on Pinterest

On Pinterest, but not feeling the magic? You may have missed the boat, but you can catch up – no doubt about it! It’s worth the effort, too. According to an industry report from Wayfair, Pinterest referrals spend 70% more than visitors referred from non-social channels, including search.  We find that Pinterest quickly becomes a top traffic-referrer for our clients. With over 80% of pins being repins, it doesn’t get more innately viral than Pinterest. 

Let’s look at some of the common ways people miss the point of Pinterest, and how you can turn it around.

1. It’s All About You

This mistake is by no means unique to Pinterest. In fact, sharing only brand-specific content is a very common rookie move on every platform. Pinterest IS a great way to drive traffic to your site, so by all means, share your own content with links back to website pages and blog posts. But, inherent in every social network is the need to BE social and useful. Share relevant content that is of value or interest …

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Why we will not turn off comments on our blog - a response to Copyblogger

Why We Will Not Turn Off Comments On Our Blog – A Response to Copyblogger

Yesterday, I was surprised to read that one of my favorite sites for online marketing tips and ideas, Copyblogger, is no longer going to allow comments on their blog. Their reasons were understandable, and maybe when my blog gets to the size of theirs, I’ll consider doing the same, but I doubt it. Here’s why I still welcome your comments on my blog.

We Want to Comment Right Here, Right Now

One argument Copyblogger makes is that comments really belong on social media. I get that. However, when I read a great blog post, I may have a question, compliment or something to add to the article. Right now. Ask me to go find you on Twitter or Facebook to comment, and I will get distracted by a hundred other things on the way – I promise. More than that, now I have to either find your update about the blog post and respond to that, or put my comment in context.

Assuming that your content is so fantastic that I’ll put forth that much effort is …

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Can You Ever Really Scale Social Media Marketing? Should You?

This post originally appeared on The HubSpot Insiders blog, a section of Inbound Hub. Corey Eridon, editor of the HubSpot blog, interviewed me back in October. We had a lively Facebook chat about whether you can ever really scale social media marketing.

Corey: Hi Alisa! Thanks for joining me today. We’re going to be talking about scalable social media … mostly because that’s your agency’s name, and the topic’s interesting. So tell me, how’d you get that name? 

Me: Well, honestly, it was chosen before I started with Scalable. The company was started by two people who owned franchise locations of Home Instead Senior Care. So, they decided to make something specifically for franchise locations that would be easily duplicated and customized. Or, “Scalable”

Corey: Oh that’s fascinating — I used to work at HQ for a franchise organization, and I’ve always found some franchises have a hard time with certain inbound tactics, because you have either too much control over the franchises, or too little. How do you coach franchises on that?

Me: I know it can be a challenge for many. …

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Are you marketing with empathy - or contempt?

Are You Marketing with Empathy or with Contempt?

Yesterday I got a new lead from my website. As is my habit, I checked out the “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” field first. He’d answered, “leads.” Great! We love it when a company puts a high value on leads – generating and nurturing them is our strong suit. Then I looked at his website and read a couple of blog posts. It became immediately apparent why he was having a struggle with leads – and why I don’t think I can help.

Here’s To All the “Idiots” “Morons” and “Dumb Souls” Out There

Yes, the two blog posts I read on his site, before leaving in disgust, used those exact phrases to describe customers, potential customers, and readers of his blog. Wow, if that’s what you think of me, let me become a lead right now so you can help me stop being such a moron!! Sorry, a little sarcasm got out there. Gotta watch that.

True, he did not call out any customer by name, but he gave more than enough details so …

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Effectively managing your outsourced marketing team

How to Effectively Manage Your Outsourced Marketing Team

Whether you have decided to dismantle an in-house marketing department and assemble a team of freelancers, or you have decided to engage a marketing agency, the success of your marketing campaign relies on your ability to communicate.

In fact, the initial proposal and contract process is likely a good barometer of future success. Are you able to outline your goals and needs in such a way that your new agency or team completely understands your expectations?

If not, take a step back in the process before you sign on the dotted line. It may be as simple as making sure you outline specific goals. Ask your team or agency what information they need from you before they feel comfortable outlining a plan.

 Start with Goals and Measurement

As the marketing team works with you to develop  or refine your strategy, find out how success will be measured. Learn what data will be collected, how often and how it will be analyzed and reported back to you. Help  the team set realistic, specific goals and the outcomes that will be …

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