Prospecting is essential to any sales endeavor but is often overlooked or poorly implemented. For prospecting to be successful, it must become both a priority and a habit. Nowadays, it is crucial the understanding of social media tools to generate leads. Moreover, we have to choose our methods appropriately. Every small business owner knows that prospecting for clients and leads is more than planning and great design, it is a habit that results in success.

Luckily for us, there are three social media tools we can include in our habit of prospecting. We can use Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to build our contact list, engage with clients, generate leads, and sales without breaking our budget.

Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook?

Just like us, there are more than 1 billion users spending hours scrolling through beautiful images, watching videos, reading the news, engaging in random conversations, or asking for recommendations. As a small business owner, it is crucial to learn which social media tools are the best for our business and not spend valuable resources on a strategy that would not result in sales.

In a nutshell, Instagram is about showcasing a product or a service via visual storytelling, while Pinterest is better for sharing products, how-to, DIY, and retail.

In my opinion, Pinterest is the number one social media tool every small business must have because every pin links to your website, ergo, traffic without breaking your budget. Pinterest is the-to-go-platform for SEO purposes and sales generator for retail.

Instagram has no contender regarding exposure and interaction, it offers a personal experience with the customer, but it doesn’t grow website traffic.

3 social media tools must have

Instagram allows you to advertise promotions directly to followers using a beautiful picture and the power of hashtags. Most importantly, you can share your beautiful image on more platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. With eight or ten key hashtags, you can boost your brand, create a call to action without spending money on ads. Instagram works great for small business owners who want to share behind-the-scenes photos or show a personal side of the brand.

Although you can use hashtags on a pin, it doesn’t look that appealing, and you will quickly get “browsed away” by another captivating picture that doesn’t have a hashtag on it.

Both platforms, Instagram and Pinterest, use the art of storytelling. The key topic here is how much design you need to put into it. Instagram allows you to do everything from your mobile, while Pinterest, you actually need to sit and use Canva or any other designing software.

Whoever uses Instagram can share the same post on Facebook, which makes it easy for marketing and e-commerce.

However, if your target audience is female or in niches catering to women, your marketing priority should be on Pinterest.

Tip: Always Follow Up

Regardless of the social media tool you choose, whenever you get a message or email it is essential that you move quickly, do not allow too much time to lapse after the customer makes the first contact, respond as soon as possible. You should always do a follow-up within 48 hours.

The follow-up needs to result in a call to action. Remember the goals of your social media campaign; Website visitors? Growing your email list? Sales?

Again, regardless of the social media tool you use, keep in mind to:

  • Be consistent: Use social media regularly, so your clients do not have to look somewhere else for the product/service.
  • Offer value: you need to offer a reason for them to click on the link. (masterclass, useful information, free download, etc.)
  • Keep trying: If your campaign doesn’t show a significant number of leads. Openly ask if there is something you can do to keep them engaged or buying your product.

3 Books on Social Media Marketing

Having said that, here are my favorite books for social media marketing:

Pinterest Power: Market your Business, Sell your Product and build your brand on the World’s Hottest Social Network, by Jason G. Miles and Karen Lacey.  Pay close attention to chapter 13 on how to sell services and intangible products and chapter 14, where they talk about integrating eBay, Amazon, and Etsy to your pins. Most importantly, chapter 15, where they talk about monetization like subscription services, third-party sales, and advertisement.

Instagram Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Following Fast, Driving Massive Traffic & Generating Predictable Profits by Jeremy McGilvre, is a step-by-step formula for building a vast following list that results in sales.

Social Media Marketing Workbook: How to Use Social Media for Business (2020 Updated Edition) by  Jason MacDonald Ph.D. is literally the textbook he uses in his Stanford Continuing Studies course and focuses on small business owners, has lots and lots of to-do lists and access to resources. If you are really good at social media, the book could sound too basic for you but is worth the reading.

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