Social media is one of today’s most promising lead generation tools – but not just for its exposure and promotion capability. Many entrepreneurs credit social media connections as one of the top sources for leads. And the way to forge this connection? Via social media messaging.
However, there are tactful ways to go about messaging strangers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These tips will help you maneuver the incredible possibilities of “DM’ing” and ensure a higher lead conversion rate, meaning you spend less time on marketing and more time on making your new clients happy.
1. Personalize Your Message
Because of the sheer number of ideal clients available online, many businesses make the mistake of doing the ‘copy and paste’ method – quickly sending out generic sales messages to everyone they can. While this method can certainly save time, it also results in far lower conversion rates – because no one wants to reply to a direct message that was clearly sent to another 1,000 people, try and at least personalize the first outreach message.
Digital marketing strategist Ishita Ganguly recommends investing the time to research the company and the person before starting the message. Parts of the message can be standard, sure – but make sure at least the introductory line is personalized and establishes human contact.
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2. Employ Your Best Copywriting Skills
You’ve heard the adage, “You only get one shot at making a good first impression.” So your first message needs to be on point. Once you write the general message, write two more variations. Then get eyes on it – from mentors, friends, team members. Solicit their opinion on which version is the most influential, or what edits you can make to ensure the messaging is as strong as possible.
If writing isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a copywriter. Matt Young, CEO of Realply, helps realtors do business on LinkedIn through personalized messages. Their secret sauce? Copywriters. “We don’t want to come across as spammy or salesy in messages, so we have in-house copywriting experts who understand the psychology of humanizing business interactions to build trust and rapport,” he shared. Even if you just contract a copywriting expert for the one message, it’s worth it.
3. Don’t just use direct messaging when you’re selling.
Since a direct message strategy goes hand in hand with growing a social media page, don’t discount the power of customer loyalty. Followers become customers when they feel a sense of comradery with you or your business, so Cydney Hatch of Disruptive Advertising advises building loyalty by also DM’ing sneak peeks of new arrivals, a personalized ‘hello’ when they follow or add you, or even a promo code that seems individual to them.
This way, they’ll be far more likely to reply and perhaps buy when you direct message your official sale. Since the trust has been built over time, it won’t seem as ‘salesy’ as one sole sales message could be.
4. Message according to the social media platform you’re using.
It’s helpful to have a handful of diverse social platforms nowadays. There are so many ways to meet new clients. However, it’s important to tailor your message’s voice and your marketing approach to the social media platform.
Kaylynn Chong shares on Hootsuite that Twitter direct messaging should be used for casual conversations, LinkedIn for professional, and Facebook and Instagram work best for more personal conversations. A good copywriter can incorporate different elements into the main message to speak to these themes, and playing to them really helps to form the relationship.
5. Be responsive.
Regardless of which platform you’re using, make sure that you respond in a timely manner if and when you get a reply. Too busy? Hire an assistant or assign a team member on ‘reply duty’ which canned responses (which will of course be personalized, too.) The best way to lose a potential customer is by letting their reply sit unanswered in your inbox for too long.
Social Media Today’s Annaliese Henwood refers to this quick response, humanized form of communication as “conversational commerce.” Every interaction you have with a customer over direct message says something about your business – including your reply time. Take this responsibility seriously!
However you choose to use social media messaging, start slow. See what works and what doesn’t before you mass send thousands of messages. The more you tweak your note and manage responses, the more you’ll make it work for you.