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The Only Reason to Participate in Social Media

Plain and simple, the real reason to participate in any marketing activity, including Facebook and others, is to generate a customer.

That point of view gets overlooked in favor of the “see how many fans you can get” social media game. One of the things that has become painfully clear of late is that having lots of followers does not equate into having lots of business. I know plenty of well-known, heavy hitter social media types, the ones that show up on lots of tops of Twitter lists, that are broke.

I’m not suggesting that having no followers is the way to go either, but turning followers into leads and converting those leads into profitable business is the real reason to spend time and money in any tactic.

Again, I’m not suggesting that this means you find a way to buy a few fans and then spam them into submission, but you must have a workable plan in place to move people from followers to prospects.

For most businesses this means email. If you are not consistently putting out great content and offering that content for your followers to grab in exchange for their email address you are severely limiting your ability to make social media pay.

You can do this in the form of an email newsletter, downloadable free ebook or even free online seminar or other event. The point is that if you can gain trust in your social media engagement, the kind that makes people confidently give you permission to email them, you’ll make social media pay. If you don’t, you won’t, it’s that simple.

Once you’ve earned this kind of trust, you can begin to nurture this lead, educate and make offers in ways that simply don’t have impact in most social media settings.

Obviously, you can take this offline as well – drive folks to play a game of check-in, invite them to your in person event, or get them to enter to win a grand prize at your location – but the point still remains.

Look at what your doing right now with your social media efforts and ask yourself this question – What could I do that would entice some percentage of my followers to willingly and joyfully give me their email address? – answer that and you’ll turn your social media efforts into a powerful lead generation machine.

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