“If everybody jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?” Your mother or father probably said that or something similar when you wanted to do something that “everybody” was doing. Many small business owners jumped into social media for essentially the same reason and then wondered why it wasn’t working. The reason why was pretty simple…

Your website.

You might be wondering, “How can you make a claim like that without having seen our website?” Perhaps you’re right. Yet if your home page or whatever page you are driving traffic to does not encourage visitors to provide some contact info–name and e-mail address–or the means to collect that information–a sign-up form–then chances are it’s a fairly safe assumption. And that explains why your social media efforts are falling short.

Think of social media as a handshake. That typically happens at the beginning of a business relationship, right? Have you ever gotten any business based on the initial handshake? Probably not. If after the handshake and initial pleasantries the conversation doesn’t evolve to something of interest to the person you just met, chances are good they will move on to the next person. The same holds true with your social media.

If your social media merely draws people to your site without any direction, it really is like trying to close business with an introductory handshake. Yet if you take that handshake/social media and direct visitors to a download of an e-book or pdf that demonstrates your firm’s area of expertise, you have started a conversation that you can continue. Assuming that mechanism has at the very least captured a name and e-mail address, you can continue that conversation in any number of ways, including:

  • An auto responder campaign offering additional eBooks or pdfs
  • A sample of your monthly e-newsletter
  • Direct outreach by e-mail or phone

If you’re missing these elements on your website, the good news is that it’s a fairly easy fix–particularly if you have access to web designers and copywriters in your network (like those in My Pinnacle Network do). Most importantly, do not throw away the baby (your social media pages) with the bath water until you put those elements in place. Once you do have those things in place, track results on a quarterly basis to see if your social media posts are resulting in leads.