How to Convert More Prospects on Social Media: A 5-Step Plan

Do you use social media to promote your consulting services? Wondering how to attract and engage prospective customers? In this article, you’ll discover a strategic plan you can model to convert prospects into qualified leads and customers on social media.

Do you use social media to promote your consulting services? Wondering how to attract and engage prospective customers?

In this article, you’ll discover a strategic plan you can model to convert prospects into qualified leads and customers on social media.

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Why You Need an Engaging Sales Funnel on Social Media

In the world of digital marketing, consultants and funnels should go hand in hand. With no tangible products, consultants have to communicate the benefits of their services to justify the price. They can’t simply show a product image or rely on the first emotional reaction.

The simple reason that consultants need a funnel in addition to a website or social media branding is to gain the trust of their clients. With trust-based niches like accountants or financial advisors, people don’t jump on board in just a few minutes; they weigh their options. And while they’re doing that, they’re receiving messages from other consultants.

If you want to stand out in the competitive consulting niche, you have to act differently from the hundreds of consultants who connect with people on LinkedIn and send the sales pitch 5 minutes later. Your sales funnel should be designed to generate inbound leads instead of chasing after uninterested prospects.

Educating your customers and building a two-way conversation can help you create something called an “engagement funnel.” You increase the commitment at every stage of the funnel. Start with a micro-commitment, followed by a bigger step, and build trust and reciprocity along the way. Ask people to engage with your posts, offer to answer one question on social media, and you’ll help them overcome their fear.

Now let’s look at a funnel framework you can model to take care of the main elements of your marketing—awareness, interest, demand, and action—so you can land your ideal clients on autopilot.

#1: Use Your Ideal Customers’ Pain Points to Define Your Positioning

Because consulting is a competitive niche, it’s important to research the market and clearly identify your unique selling proposition (USP). This is the foundation of your marketing campaign so you need this to create a strong message. Your USP will help guide the social media messaging that will resonate with your ideal clients.

Of course, you first need to decide who you want to work with and attract to your business. Despite a common misconception, you can’t work with just anyone. For starters, people need to have the money to hire you. Plus, they have to be motivated enough to take action within a reasonable timeframe.

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Your USP will also help you stand out from competitors who are offering similar or complementary services. The main question you have to answer in your social media campaigns and throughout your sales funnels is, “How can I provide more value than my competitors?”

You can use Facebook ads or even polls on Instagram or LinkedIn as part of your initial market research to identify your potential clients’ pain points. Here’s an example of an effective market research post on LinkedIn:

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#2: Build Awareness With Cold Prospects via Content That Demonstrates Your Expertise

If you look at a sales funnel as a four-stage customer journey consisting of awareness, interest, demand, and action, it’s clear you have to start with the first two stages to get the sale. For this, you need to create the right type of awareness.

One of the most valuable assets in your business is your reputation so it’s important to showcase your results and talent. Here are a few ways to stand out in the crowded consulting market with unique and relevant branding content:

  • Create and publish a blog post or LinkedIn article. This will help you show your expertise and connect with people on a cognitive and emotional level.
  • Publish a book or eBook. This could be the beginning of your funnel and answer your potential clients’ pain points.
  • Do industry interviews. If someone who’s considered a voice of reason and an expert will interview you, you can reach the right audience for free.

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  • Write guest posts. As with everything digital marketing, quality is more important than quantity. If you team up with another business that provides services to your target audience, you can start building an engaged audience.
  • Create learning units for your Facebook group and broadcast live video. If you’re new to social selling, you need to be present and provide value every day to gain the trust of your audience. Adding learning units to your Facebook group is one way to engage with your followers and create reciprocity.

#3: Run a Video Engagement Campaign to Warm Up Prospects

Once you know that people are listening and looking into your content, consider running a video views campaign on Facebook. The main reason this is effective is that it will help you build an audience to retarget. In a way, it’s the first stage of a mini social media funnel.

All you need to do is create a video about the topics you identified as your customers’ pain points. Once you’ve published the video, you can target a video engagement custom audience and pay a couple of cents for each video view at a time if you set the campaign up properly.

Of course, marketing—including social media—should not be a popularity contest. There’s a huge difference between watching a video and engaging with the person, let alone paying for their services. Therefore, you’ll need to add more touchpoints to the social media sales funnel before you ask for someone’s business. That’s the next step of the framework.

#4: Retarget Warm Prospects to Deliver a Valuable Resource

This is the stage of the social media sales funnel where most consultants give up and become impatient. You can’t ask for the sale yet. Just as you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you after a few dates, you need to give your prospects time to know, like, and trust you.

At this stage, you want to offer value that they can’t resist.

From your video engagement campaign, you already know they’re interested in the topic you covered about so why not give them something for free? Offer more value to create reciprocity.

This is where retargeting campaigns come in handy. Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another platform, the rules are the same: Introduce an offer that delivers huge value but only requires a micro-commitment from the client.

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Create an eBook. This tactic is less popular than it used to be but if the eBook is laser-targeted to your audience and their problems, it can work wonders.
  • Develop a video series exclusive to people who join you. Expand on the topic that interests your audience and you’ll deepen the emotional relationship while creating reciprocity.
  • Offer a free chapter of an eBook. This is my favorite method. Offer your prospects a free chapter, synopsis, or exercise from a book so they can “try before they buy.” Once they get their hands on the information, they can buy the book, which could lead to a resources page that has a funnel attached.
  • Share worksheets and checklists. This content often works better than eBooks because it requires less of a time commitment. People are also more likely to open a document if it will make their life easier and provide practical tips and solutions.

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Of course, you can deepen the relationship if you ask for feedback on the content. In the age of social media, communication should be two-way and take place on multiple channels—email, Messenger bots, and posts.

Pro Tip: If someone downloaded your worksheet, ask them to share their experience. Create a workshop where you and the community can discuss the topic. This will not only create reciprocity and trust but also social proof.

#5: Qualify Your Leads Before Proposing a Meeting or Call

Another common mistake I see when consultants build their own funnels is that they get excited about the interest they’ve created and automatically assume there has to be some demand. That’s not necessarily the case.

In fact, window shopping is more common on social media than on the high street. You’ll find that there will be people who are engaging in wishful thinking or are “freebie seekers.” If you want to save yourself from a headache, you need to find a way to qualify your leads. After all, if you don’t respect your time, other people won’t either.

Offering a free consultation to anyone is like saying, “I’m not that busy; in fact, I am desperate and will work with the first person who walks through the door.” This isn’t the image you want to project.

There are a few ways you can qualify your leads from your digital marketing campaigns, and these steps should always be implemented in your social media sales funnel:

  • Build an application process into the booking system.
  • Ask prospects about a financial commitment. “Are you in the position to invest in your XY development?”
  • Check out the profile of the person requesting a consultation. This is a simple but effective tactic.
  • Ask for a commitment. Make sure the prospect is aware that you won’t do all of the work for them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a nightmare customer… You know, the one who emails you every day and calls you at 1 am.

You can also find out more about your prospects using a website quiz that will qualify your leads. The example below is from a funnel for a property investment training firm.

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The above survey was designed to provide two different results based on the prospect’s answers. If their responses suggested they were more serious, they were presented with a higher-value offer, while others were asked to read more on the topic and download a special report.

There is also a chatbot version of the same funnel that focuses on people who are engaging with the page.

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Once you’ve qualified your prospects, you can take the next step and propose a call or a meeting with them.

Conclusion

Of course, implementing the tips above will take time. When I build funnels, I work with funnel maps most of the time. Here’s a plan that includes all of the elements of social media engagement funnels we talked about so you can implement them in your consulting marketing strategy:

  • In the first stage, use engagement posts, social proof posts (testimonials, recommendations, etc.), guest blogs, LinkedIn articles, and videos to build an audience for retargeting. Also ask questions to find out more about the audience.
  • In the second stage, retarget the traffic (audience from video views) with more value such as an eBook, checklist, worksheet, or exclusive video to build a deeper relationship.
  • In the third stage, engage with people on a personal level. Ask questions, email them, and if you have a big-enough audience (2,000+), launch a webinar for those who would like to deepen their understanding even further.
  • In the fourth stage, focus on inbound leads and qualification. Get them to take the first step and answer a few qualifying questions before they can book a consultation.

There’s a lot of work to do before you can land a client after driving them down your social media funnel. Let’s assume they’re highly engaged with your content, ask the right questions, join your Facebook community, and even fill out a quiz on your website. They’re fully tuned into your content but there’s still a big gap between being a follower and becoming a customer. You have to build a bridge that’s safe and strong, attractive, and leads them to the other side.

What do you think? How will you adapt this framework to convert prospects into qualified leads and customers for your consulting service? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

More articles on social media marketing:

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3 Kinds of Social Media Marketing You Shouldn’t Ignore

Social media marketing is about much more than likes and shares. These 3 kinds of social media marketing should be on your radar if you want to stay current and competitive.

Influencers, paid promotions and the most potent ways to build a customer base without leaving your desk.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton, available August 25 via Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.

Social media marketing is about much more than likes and shares. Today’s social media landscape extends well beyond posting a thought or meme and hoping it takes off with your audience. These three kinds of social media marketing should be on your radar if you want to stay current and competitive.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the use of other experts in your industry who already have a sizable audience that respects and trusts them. Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are likely other people in your field who have a more established reputation and audience. Maybe they have larger social followings, are published authors or are a mainstream media celebrity. These are people you can learn from, and it would be particularly valuable to have a relationship with them.

Of course, the obvious benefit to you is that when someone like that shares something you’ve written to their followers, you reach a vastly wider audience. You can’t expect that an influencer will share your latest blog post unless you already have a relationship in place — one where they’ve come to recognize your expertise and look forward to seeing your new content, just like the rest of your readers do.

Related: 5 Ways Marketing Strategy Has Changed Permanently

Social media can be a great equalizer, particularly on Twitter and Instagram, where you can follow anyone you want. Simply find the influencers in your niche, follow them and begin to engage with them naturally. You know — like a real human being who isn’t a stalker.

Reply or comment on posts that interest you, and share posts you think your own audience would be interested in. If the influencer is blogging, become an active reader and engage with them on their blog with insightful comments and questions. That will get you on their radar.

The next step is to begin to include them in your own content by quoting them, linking to their blog posts or including them in roundups, where you ask their opinion on a topic and publish opinions from a group of influencers. Or you could do a live video interview. Instead of being on someone else’s video, broadcast your own and invite a key influencer to be your guest. It’s more work on your part to organize and promote, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity for content creation.

Dark Social Media

One area you can’t measure, but that should be on your radar, is dark social media. This refers to all the ways people can share your content with other people without your knowledge. Examples include emails, text messages and direct social messages. In each of these cases, someone decided to share your content with one or more people, but they did so in a way that couldn’t be accurately measured or recorded.

While it’s unfortunate that you’re unable to track the impact of dark social media, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. In fact, you should make it as easy as possible for people to share your work this way if they want to. For instance, consider putting email buttons on all your blog posts. Or, better yet, just make sure that your social sharing buttons include an “Other” button that links to email, texting apps like WhatsApp and whatever other choices someone might want to take advantage of.

Within your email newsletters, include social sharing buttons and an invitation to share the newsletter via email along with a note that says, “Did someone email you this newsletter? Make sure you don’t miss another by subscribing yourself.” And make sure all your blog posts have a strong call to action to either read another post, head over to a landing page or at least sign up for your email list so that you can further capture some of those dark social readers.

Paid Social Media

Finally, you should strongly consider incorporating paid social media in your marketing strategy. Every social platform now offers the ability to promote posts, allowing them to be seen by far more people than your existing follower base. But be careful. It’s easy to run up costs without seeing a real ROI. Make sure that you’re using the best platform for your business, targeting the right audience and sending that targeted traffic to the best possible content.

So let’s bring this back to your latest piece of content: Think about who you’re targeting with it. Is there a particular network where they’re more likely to be active? Frankly, one of the least expensive platforms to advertise on is Facebook. It also has the best targeting and sports the largest global user base. So that’s probably a good place to start. But do give Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram due consideration.

Related: CGI-Created Virtual Influencers Are the New Trend in Social Media Marketing

We find that the best content to promote on Facebook is content that’s particularly strong for driving email sign-ups. Perhaps it has a content upgrade or related ebook that readers can download for free, creating targeted leads for your business. A nice Facebook campaign, for just a few bucks a day, can send hundreds of readers and prospects to your blog post and business. What are you waiting for?

7 Social Media Marketing Myths, Busted

There is a lot of erroneous advice online, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Unfortunately, much of this guidance seems reasonable on paper. Without the right research or knowledge, you may end up unwittingly endangering the future of your business. Here are seven common social media marketing myths you need to watch out for.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of your greatest foes as an entrepreneur is misinformation. There is a lot of erroneous advice online, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Unfortunately, much of this guidance seems reasonable on paper. Without the right research or knowledge, you may end up unwittingly endangering the future of your business. Here are seven common social media marketing myths you need to watch out for.

1. Negative feedback can be safely ignored

Social media marketing isn’t just about promoting the positive parts of your brand. It also involves managing any and all negative feedback directed at your business. Ignore those snipes and jabs and they will fester online, convincing consumers to ignore your brand at a time when you need every single customer to help your company grow. When you find negative feedback, answer it — strategically. Respond to all comments quickly. Not only can you tamp down on negative feedback before it gains any ground, but quick responses will show that you listen and respond to customer concerns, even if they are negative.

Matt Broussard, content creator and chef at Spiceology in Spokane, commands more than three million followers on TikTok, and as he shares, “All feedback, both positive and negative, has merit. As a chef, that’s what I live on: how a dish is, what it needs, how I can improve it, etc. I don’t push off negative comments, because that helps fuel how I iterate my recipes.”

2. Email is no longer relevant

Social media marketing should not be considered a replacement for other methods, but rather a tool to augment your customer reach. Email still has a role to play in your marketing campaigns, so keep those recipient lists and e-marketing campaigns around. They are still worth your time.

Related: The Secret to Writing Emails with Military Precision

3. All content represents thought leadership

Content marketing is an integral part of social media marketing. The social platform is what you use to efficiently distribute content to your users, and the content itself is responsible for perpetuating and developing your brand. However, many entrepreneurs falsely equate all content with thought leadership.

Your best content is what will likely give you that kind of authority over your audience. Some of it will revolve around answering questions or giving the market exactly what they asked for. This is less about thought leadership than appealing to your audience directly. The distinction is important, because without it, you may create content that doesn’t reinforce your brand’s authority and trustworthiness.

4. Social media and content marketing are two different campaigns

This is another notion that is simply untrue. Social media marketing gives you a platform from which you can more easily distribute your content. One does not work well without the other, and understanding this is critical.

5. Content topics must be limited to protect your secrets

Small businesses and startups are inherently starting off on the back foot. No matter how good your idea is, no matter what industry you are in, you are fighting to gain attention in a world filled with larger, more established footprints and personalities. You might be advised to limit the information your content contains in an effort to protect your secrets, but you shouldn’t.

First, much of what you privilege is already known by the competition or can easily be reverse-engineered from your product. Second, knowledge is not enough for someone to defeat or overcome your own presence. If knowledge was all it took, book readers would rule every field. Do not hesitate to share what you know with your audience and trust in your ability to execute. Your readers will love you for your openness and confidence.

6. Social media marketing is primarily for generating new customers

Sure, social media can give you new customers, but that should never be its primary purpose. Research has revealed that followers of corporate social media accounts were fans before they joined. They were not converted by the existence of the profile, making social media marketing closer to “preaching to the choir” rather than a recruitment strategy. Social media marketing is better used as a way to retain your current market, not as simply an expansion strategy. Understanding this can help you drive a relevant strategy to your growing audience.

7. Social media metrics cannot be measured

If you are looking for a singular number to track that tells you how effective the campaign is, you will not find one. However, there is much to measure, from clicks to customer behavior. All that information can tell you if your current campaign is profitable or if you need to switch gears. You just need to identify which metrics generated by your campaign are most important to your goals.

As Spiceology’s Broussard notes, “Metrics can absolutely be measured via the form of ongoing awareness, especially when it comes to brand partnerships. Long-term consumer awareness is inevitable and comes with undeniable value, even if it’s sometimes harder to quantify.”

Related: 5 Reasons You Need a Content Marketing Strategy Right Now

Social media marketing is effective, but only if you do it right. The myriad myths you face can keep you from achieving the kind of success that can help your startup thrive. Cut through the lies to ensure you have the right social strategy to persevere.

How to Promote a Documentary Storytelling Series on Social Media

Does your marketing include episodic video content? Wondering how to promote your series? In this article, you’ll discover how to release and promote a documentary storytelling series on social media. Why Marketers Should Consider Documentary Storytelling Using storytelling rather than product pushing in marketing content can give you a significant edge. While traditional marketing highlights…

Does your marketing include episodic video content? Wondering how to promote your series?

In this article, you’ll discover how to release and promote a documentary storytelling series on social media.

Why Marketers Should Consider Documentary Storytelling

Using storytelling rather than product pushing in marketing content can give you a significant edge. While traditional marketing highlights the product, storytelling creates a compelling and engaging narrative that puts the customer before the product and spotlights your brand’s mission.

Thanks to Netflix, the docuseries has become one of the hottest formats for storytelling. With consumers hungry for authenticity and transparency and algorithms favoring conversation-generating content, the docuseries is worth exploring. It allows viewers to connect on a deeper level and become more invested in your brand through a behind-the-scenes look at a journey they can relate to.

Video is known to have higher engagement rates and higher ROI than any other form of content on social media. By the end of 2022, Cisco predicts that video will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. According to Hootsuite, the average engagement rate for a Facebook video is 6.13%, while overall engagement rates on the platform are much lower at 3.6%.

The numbers don’t lie. It’s clear that video is a powerful digital marketing tool that brands can’t ignore. As a result, marketers are making big investments in video documentary storytelling to capture the right audience in a competitive social media landscape. Here’s how you can start the type of conversations that get your docuseries content noticed on social platforms.

#1: Ensure Each Episode of Your Docuseries Is Entertaining and Educational

The goal of a docuseries is both to entertain and educate your target audience. Within that context, you want to offer real value to your viewers—share lessons and insights that your target audience can relate to and learn from.

Digital Distillery, an Auckland, New Zealand-based creative agency founded by Cat Howell, is an example of a brand that is successfully using the docuseries format to engage with their target audience. The idea for their docuseries Pay the Invoice stemmed from a challenge (as many great ideas do). The agency was having trouble getting a difficult client to pay their invoice.

Many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and agency owners were struggling with similar issues. From lead generation to late invoices, there were certainly many important shared experiences for this community to connect on. But Howell couldn’t understand why everyone held their cards so close to their chests.

The docuseries she created follows seven budding entrepreneurs on their journeys to scale their businesses. The docuseries was a way for Howell to build a connection between her business and target audience. Pay the Invoice demonstrates why the docuseries is such a powerful video format for brands. It touches on what Howell calls “the human piece.”

#2: Choose a Release Strategy for Your Docuseries

The method you use to release your content can also help keep your audience engaged. “There’s a lot of power in mimicking what the best in the industry are doing. If you look at the best publisher in the world, it’s Netflix, and they release everything at once,” says Howell.

Whether it’s best for your brand to release everything at once or publish episodes weekly will depend on your audience and goals. Both release methods have their pros and cons.

A single release of an entire series can have a big impact. With the binge culture Netflix has established, people will often set aside an entire weekend or a few nights during the week to watch a complete series. Around the release date, with many viewers watching at the same time, conversations on social tend to happen organically. A full series release gives you an opportunity to have a bigger impact on social platforms through conversation among viewers watching at the same time.

If you already have an established viewer base, though, you might want to give your brand the opportunity to stay top of mind with your community over a longer period of time. You can achieve this through weekly episode releases.

#3: Optimize Your Docuseries and Episodes for Primary Distribution on YouTube

You need to catch your audience’s attention right away, especially when your video is competing for views in an increasingly crowded news feed. You’ll need to create compelling imagery and thumbnails to promote your docuseries and individual episodes.

If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, use a free tool like Canva that helps you create strong, professional-looking graphics without needing to know how to use Adobe Creative Suite.

Subtitles are another crucial component that can help your video content thrive. Audiences tend to watch from their mobile devices when they’re on the go and are less likely to turn the sound on. Headliner (free and paid plans, starting at $12.95/month) is a web-based tool you can use to generate subtitles and allow these on-the-go viewers to follow along.

Before posting your video, double-check that the subtitles are correct and the font type and color are easy to read. Fix any mistakes if necessary before publishing your video.

YouTube has a number of native tools you can leverage to make your content easy to discover. To ensure your video thrives on YouTube, take the following steps:

Compile your videos into playlists: This will help YouTube understand what content is related and can make recommendations to viewers. These playlists also help lead the viewer to watch more than just one video.

Add relevant keywords: YouTube users often treat the platform like a search engine. That’s why it’s crucial to select the right keywords and title for your docuseries episodes so your video is more likely to appear in the search results of your target audience. Think about what your ideal customer might be searching for and use titles and keywords that match up with what they might type into the search bar.

You can research YouTube titles using tools like UberSuggest (free) and TubeBuddy (free and paid plans, starting at $9/month).

Don’t forget your call to action (CTA). Include your CTA at the end of the video, as well as in the video description. Think about what you want to accomplish for your business with this video. Would you like more subscribers, client leads, or website traffic? Decide on one goal and create an appropriate CTA.

Finally, keep track of key metrics with YouTube Analytics. These include click-through rate (CTR), watch time, and audience retention. Record these metrics at least weekly and try to identify any significant patterns or behaviors that will help you improve your videos going forward.

Optimize Each Episode for Native Secondary Distribution on Facebook

When you upload episodes of your docuseries to Facebook, follow these recommended video specs:

  • Dimensions: 1280 x 720; minimum width 600 pixels (length depends on aspect ratio)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (landscape) or 9:16 (portrait)
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • Video formats: .MP4 or .MOV (recommended)
  • Maximum length: 120 minutes
  • Maximum frames: 30 fps

A Note About Distribution on Other Platforms

If you choose to publish your docuseries on other platforms, ensure that you load each episode natively to each platform, which will help boost your video’s reach. This is important not just for social media but also for your website. Embedding video content on your website helps decrease the bounce rate and improve your ranking in Google’s search results, according to Noam Judah of SEO agency TopRankings.

In addition, make sure your video is formatted correctly in both length and aspect ratio for the intended platform. You can find a comprehensive overview of recommended dimensions, aspect ratio, video format, and video length here.

#4: Promote Your Docuseries With YouTube Ads and Facebook Ads

Before you spend your hard-earned dollars on YouTube and Facebook ads to promote your docuseries, ensure that you have a solid strategy in place.

Start by creating a few audience groups that you’ll target with a unique strategy. First, identify who your main target audience is. Then break up this audience into various subcategories with similar interests.

Howell describes her main audience for Pay the Invoice as freelancers, entrepreneurs, and agency owners. But she also targets more niche audiences within this larger bucket using specific keywords, and the ad copy for those target audiences is tailored to their more specific interests. To visualize this, she was able to use the hiking episode in Pay the Invoice to target people interested in hiking within the broader audience of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and agency owners.

When you’re ready to set up your Facebook and YouTube ads, consider using Facebook ThruPlay and YouTube TrueView for the best results.

Pro Tip: It’s important to test different teaser video formats and lengths. By testing different creative, you’ll be able to better optimize your paid advertising strategy and save on ad spend.

#5: Boost Visibility for Your Docuseries via Organic Promotion on Facebook

Creating and posting a compelling docuseries are only the beginning steps of a successful content marketing strategy. Meaningful engagement with your target audience is crucial in creating a strong community of loyal brand followers. Here are two ways to generate this engagement on Facebook.

Host a Facebook Watch Party

Changes to the Facebook algorithm in 2018 lowered the reach of pages but increased the priority of posts from Facebook groups. This makes Groups an excellent platform to use to promote your docuseries. Specifically, you might want to explore the Facebook Watch Party feature, which allows group members to watch a video in real time together as a community and share reactions and comments live.

Start by creating a Facebook group post and selecting the Watch Party option.

Next, choose the video you want to watch together as a community. A watch party is perfect for launching the premiere episode of your docuseries. You can also add multiple videos if your docuseries has multiple episodes.

When you start the watch party, group members will see the post if they’re logged in. However, you might also want to consider sending them an invite so they receive a notification about the watch party.

Be sure to promote the watch party to your community in advance so they know when to tune in and join the conversation.

Facebook Live Q&A

Hosting a Facebook Live Q&A can also be an effective way to promote your docuseries on the platform. Facebook Live sessions are shown to have on average six times more engagement than recorded videos. As with a watch party, promote your live video in advance so your community knows when and how to tune in.

Before you go live, test your camera, sound settings, and internet connectivity. To do this, select the Only Me option for your audience and shoot a practice video to make sure there are no technical issues.

When you’re ready to go live, set a location for your live video and write a short but engaging description. This will help increase discoverability.

Keep in mind that it can often take some time to start amassing viewers so you’ll want to develop a strategy to fill the time while you wait for your community to log on and tune in. During this period, keep viewers entertained and engaged but don’t dive into any of the main conversation topics about your docuseries. Save these for when the bulk of your viewers have tuned in.

Throughout the broadcast, periodically reintroduce both yourself and the topic of conversation, your docuseries. You can also give new viewers a short recap of what they missed.

Take questions about your docuseries from your community while you’re live; don’t simply talk at them. This is an excellent opportunity for you to engage with your community directly.

When your video is complete, select the option to post your video as both a Facebook post and Facebook story so users who didn’t tune in live can watch the video later.

#6: Other Ways to Build Awareness for Your Docuseries

Here are a few additional ways you can boost visibility and viewership of your docuseries:

Host a Twitter chat: Consider hosting a Twitter chat as docuseries episodes are posted to create a conversation around the series. Start by picking a topic or theme for the discussion so you can guide the conversation. Also create a branded hashtag for chat participants to use to track the conversation as it’s happening and once it’s completed.

Leverage user-generated content (UGC): Eye-catching merchandise can help you promote your docuseries and also create an additional revenue stream. Consider mugs, hoodies, and hats with a phrase or hashtag your community identifies with. Then as your community posts and shares images of wearing and using the merchandise, it will help boost the visibility of the docuseries, create UGC you can leverage, and foster a sense of community among viewers.

To get the most out of the merchandise and generate as much UGC as possible, consider hosting a contest. Ask users to submit a photo of themselves wearing or using your brand merchandise. Request that they tag your brand and use a specific branded hashtag for the contest so you can track entries.

Encourage additional posting and engagement by giving contest participants bonus entry options. For instance, users who post to both their Instagram grid and Stories will be entered twice. Make the winner selection exciting. Consider hosting a live video where you select the winner and discuss the prizes. Pick multiple winners with different tiered prizes so you can directly engage with more than one follower.

Leverage the personal networks of the talent involved in the docuseries. Provide them with assets to share on their own social platforms to help you expand your reach organically.

Finally, a smart PR strategy can go a long way toward increasing the visibility and viewership of your docuseries. There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Look for guest posting and interview opportunities on relevant blogs and podcasts and ensure that these posts link back to the docuseries website or episodes. This will help you gain new viewers and boost Google search rankings.
  • Announce the launch of a new docuseries on the day the premiere episode goes live through a press release.

Conclusion

It’s clear that video content is here to stay and has become a powerful marketing tool for brands. The docuseries is an especially potent format because when used properly, it can help build brand affinity, start meaningful conversations, and create a sense of community among viewers. Use the above tips to promote thoughtful, quality content that resonates with viewers to help set your brand apart from your competitors.

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What do you think? Will you consider creating a docuseries for your brand? What topic might be a good fit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 simple things social media marketers can do to improve social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can take many different forms. Some businesses launch full campaigns that include revamping corporate or manufacturing policies and supporting them with fundraisers, volunteer activities, and charitable donations. Others companies start massive social cause campaigns to give attention to specific issues.  While large CSR initiatives are impressive, there are smaller efforts that all…

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can take many different forms. Some businesses launch full campaigns that include revamping corporate or manufacturing policies and supporting them with fundraisers, volunteer activities, and charitable donations. Others companies start massive social cause campaigns to give attention to specific issues. 

While large CSR initiatives are impressive, there are smaller efforts that all businesses can make to practice social responsibility within their industries.

In this article, I’ll demonstrate how social media marketers can practice social responsibility toward their audience and the businesses or clients they represent.

You can use the information as a guideline for authentic, responsible social media marketing.

Commit to thorough content research

When creating content for social media such as blog posts and articles, thorough research makes a difference. For example, when quoting statistics in your articles, trace the data back to its original source.

In many cases, you’ll discover that social media statistics from 2012 to 2015 continue to circulate in many of today’s articles. In 2012, though, social media was an entirely different environment compared to today’s fast-paced, influencer-based social platforms. 

In most cases, social media statistics that are over a couple years old aren’t applicable to today’s marketing strategies. 

Take steps to ensure that the content you share on social media is well-researched so your information is valuable and not misleading. You have a responsibility to your audience not to add to the onslaught of disinformation they face online.

Read beyond the headlines

Curating content on social media is an excellent way to build relationships with other brands while keeping your audience informed or entertained. 

Reading and sharing content based on headlines alone, though, can cause damage to your brand and harm the trust you’ve built with followers.

Many of today’s publications sensationalize headlines or intentionally mislead readers to earn a greater number of clicks for their websites. Before you share an article, read the content to confirm that its headlines match the story. Additionally, consider avoiding headlines meant to incite anger or fear.

Reading beyond the headlines — before your share someone else’s content —  is essential to sharing valuable, responsible content with your followers.

Institute a zero tolerance policy for fake news

Committing to a zero-tolerance policy for fake news helps build trust with your readers and has a positive effect on the world.

Over half of people say that fake news causes confusion about current issues and events, according to a recent report by Statista.

Screenshot 2019 11 15 at 09.49.35 - 4 simple things social media marketers can do to improve social responsibility
Credit: Statista

Sharing misleading or fake news can harm your brand’s reputation and your readers’ trust. And if that isn’t bad enough, during emergencies, sharing inaccurate news can also harm people and threaten lives.

For example, during the tsunami of 2018, Indonesian authorities had to invest their time battling false reports of another earthquake, a dam about to burst, and free flights to Palu for victims, all of which were fake news.

Social media marketers should learn how to identify and report fake news, and develop a zero-tolerance policy that applies to their entire team.

Practice authentic social media marketing 

As fake news and scams create a greater threat to our society’s well-being, social media users are losing tolerance for manipulative practices and misleading content.

Social media marketers can commit to authentic social and content marketing, which builds trust with their audiences and the social media industry as a whole.

Providing authentic content and genuine value to your followers means avoiding:

  • Fake likes likes or page followers that purchase, traded, or exchanged
  • Content paywalls requiring readers to pay for content before they’re able to view it
  • Stock photos photos that come from free image websites instead of genuine pictures from your office, employees, or customers
  • Overbearing self-promotion constantly pushing people to purchase your product instead of providing value to your audience

Honestly communicating your CSR initiatives in a public setting such as your website is another way to practice authentic content marketing. 

Posting CSR policies on your website and distributing them to your team is the first step toward committing to better social marketing.

Social media marketers have the opportunity to lead corporate social responsibility efforts

Most people (71 percent) say it’s important for businesses to take a stand on social movements.

Social media marketers are in a unique position that allows them to contribute to socially responsible publishing by making small changes that ensure their company’s CSR efforts are highlighted. 

Through this, they can encourage their networks to embrace their own CSR initiatives. 

Published November 17, 2019 — 17:00 UTC

3 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media

Since the future of any sector is uncertain, it’s important to build a personal brand that transcends your industry October 9, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I started my business, Hunk-O-Mania, before the era of social media and during the early days of internet marketing. While building my…

Since the future of any sector is uncertain, it’s important to build a personal brand that transcends your industry


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I started my business, Hunk-O-Mania, before the era of social media and during the early days of internet marketing. While building my company, I neglected my own personal brand — and in the last few years, I’ve aimed to make up for it by embracing social media platforms as a way to build my brand outside of my business.

Crafting a strong personal brand on social media can take time, but it can also yield significant benefits. Based on my own experience, here are a few tips on how to build your own authentic brand on social media. 

Know that you’re only limited by your imagination.

Compared to the promotional methods of the past few decades, social media is truly transformative. Imagine building a name for yourself before Instagram. You could take out magazine ads, write a personal blog or run TV commercials. For TV opportunities, you were constrained by a producer; there were limits to what you could say and limits on the content you put out. With social, there are essentially no limits. You can showcase photos of your hike one week to give people a way to connect with you personally, then share posts about the fruit smoothie stand in your neighborhood the next week so your followers feel they’re along for the ride as far as your day-to-day routine. 

Remember that your personal brand can transcend your industry. 

Building your personal brand allows you to freely explore different avenues and open more doors. This is especially important for entrepreneurs, since they often must be willing to embrace failure and try new things. As an entrepreneur, you may eventually decide to change the direction of your company and career. As the face of your company, it’s a good idea to be a spokesperson for your product or service while also presenting yourself as an innovator, an authority and a unique personality. As your career progresses, you might be under consideration for board seats or other advisory roles, and a strong personal brand can give you a leg up on the competition. Since the future of any sector is uncertain, it’s important to build a personal brand that transcends your industry — that way, you can go from, say, running a software firm to managing a restaurant chain. It’s your brand that inspires confidence, competence and trust, which are all crucial for success in business and with people.  

Communicate with followers one-on-one to drive meaningful engagement. 

Talking directly to followers is one of the best ways to form relationships. You of course need interesting content and great pictures, but the one-on-one communication is vital, especially when you’re starting out on social.  Engagement with followers shows you’re an authentic person and care about establishing a rapport with people, not just building your follower count.