Finding Leads Through Social Networking

I wrote about the power of networking in Lesson 2 (Email Campaign) of Course 1 (Marketing For Small Businesses) and how my builder friend John got his business started when he relocated to our town.

However, there are only several-hundred members down at the country club where he ran his raffle. John needs a bigger net to reach out to the other 178,000-odd residents. That net is social media.

Social media is the new form of networking
that John needs to reach out to his people.

To do this, John will have to adapt his marketing methods. There are three major differences between networking in person and doing it via social media. Social users meet in digital rooms and communicate in written words, not spoken.

Also, the opportunities are immeasurably larger and chances are, most people in John’s neighbourhood are using social media.

The third main difference is that communication is immediate and largely irreversible on the internet, and feedback can have its ups and downs. Hence, we are playing a very different game here.

Our goal is to transport our social media contacts to our websites and emails, where we have more control over what happens in their minds.

Of course, there are many different social platforms out there. Which one do you think is best for you and your business?

Is it Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest? We must use the right one, so our target audience is more likely to be there when we visit.

Which Kinds of People Hang Out on Different Social Media Platforms? Does Age Matter?

Deloitte is a multinational services network with 263,000 professionals in the field and counting. They could well be the best people to ask for advice, so we went hunting on their turf and struck gold.

The company published a survey in 2017 revealing the social media preferences of Australians. They arranged the results by generations X, Y, Z and others. Here’s a link to the full Deloitte report.

These are the birth dates of the generations that marketers target:

  • Post-War Cohort: Born 1928 – 1945
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1954
  • Boomers II: Born 1955 – 1965
  • Generation X: Born 1966 – 1976
  • Generation Y: Born 1977 – 1994
  • Generation Z: Born 1995 – 2012

Nobody appears to have decided on a name for the new generation emerging as children. Do you have ideas of your own?

Deloitte discovered that 77% of Australians use Facebook. The age spread is fairly even. Trailing millennials, Generations Z and Y under 26 years old lead the field with 81% loyalty.

“Maturers” (boomers) born before 1966 are hanging in there with 64%. Participation in Messenger was next-highest at 62% overall, with interest ranging between 73% and 42%. Here are all the results:

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“Social media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.” -Guy Kawasaki

To do this, we have built a step-by-step easy to remember system for your LinkedIn strategy. It’s our name! Engage. You will waste your efforts on social media if you can’t engage with others. Engagement is when people make an action toward your content.

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“Social media is here. It is not going to away, not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: on social media.”
– Lori Ruff

Facebook is the most popular social medium in Australia, followed by Messenger.

How Relevant Is This Information to an Emerging Entrepreneur Like Builder John?

“That’s interesting,” John replied when I shared this information with him. “But how is this going to help me find people needing new homes?”

“Which generations do you think are most likely to become your customers?” I asked. “Well, I don’t get enquiries from young couples,” he continued. “Why is that?”

Young couples are generally holding back from making large capital investments in cars and homes. Why do you think that might be? Are we looking at a reverse of the baby boom, where demand dries up and the economy stagnates?

Yes and no — millennials are paying off student loans and they don’t want to take on more responsibilities… but it goes deeper than that.

However, Generation X is emerging as the new leader in commerce and industry as baby boomers leave the stage. The Sydney Herald ran an interesting thought piece it called “The forgotten generation about to rule the roost”.

It concludes, “Generation X is poised to make the biggest mark on the workplace in the next few years, as baby boomers retire.”

Speaking of which, the Australian Health Foundation sees baby boomer retirees moving into more affordable housing options in higher-density, less expensive developments.

We already know Generation Xers have smaller families than their parents. With this information, John’s market on Facebook suddenly shrinks.

Generation Y and Z are out of frame. John’s targets are Gen Xers and baby boomers after smaller new homes.
Facebook is where he is going to find them.

With all this in mind, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How can you relate the findings of this case study with your own business?
  • What does your spread of customers look like when you sort them into generations?
  • How well will your business migrate from baby boomers to Generation Xers?
  • You need to start finding more Xers. Where are you going to look for them?
  • Should you start paying for targeted advertising in social media?

Pitfalls in Social Media: Making Friends and Advertising
Are Not the Same Thing

Many businesses still don’t understand what makes people on social media tick. The crucial factor, as I said previously, is “being social”.

Most people are unlikely to thrust advertisements for their services under the noses of their true friends. They are far more likely to drop a few interesting snippets into conversation.

I personally visit social media to interact with my friends and to discover interesting snippets of news from them and others.

“Lead people with what they want. Lead with what they have already said. Lead people from where they are at. Lead them with the things that concern them.” — Sandi Krakowski

92% of consumers around the globe regard information acquired from family and friends as more trustworthy and reliable, according to Chu et al researchers.

We must first make friends by showing that we are willing and able to share valuable information. Once convinced, our new friends may share our posts with their friends.

However, they will only do so if our information is original and engaging. First, we give out something for free. Then we wait for the tide to return.


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