Mashable often posts their case studies about how small businesses were helped out with social marketing in developing leads for their business. This one case study involved Vinay Chinni, a photographer who recently moved to Los Angeles, and his Facebook fan page. The end result of the social marketing done for him on LinkedIn and on Facebook was that he did not find any qualified leads for his business.
LinkedIn is often used as a B2B resource for professionals, small businesses, and large companies. Would it have been appropriate for Vinay Chinni’s social marketer to run advertising on that social network? No, and here’s why. Even though they initially targeted event planners on LinkedIn in the Los Angeles area with ads on LinkedIn, it would have been far better to reach out to these event planners through LinkedIn’s InMail. Yes, it would have been much more intensive in terms of labor spent on reaching out personally to event planners through InMail, Vinnay Chinni would have seen potential leads develop through this method on LinkedIn.
And what kind of ads were run on Facebook for Vinnay Chinni? They were apparently sponsored page post ads. This is an ineffective method in getting qualified leads on Facebook since that was Vinnay Chinni’s goal. The ads could’ve involved a request to like the page for a coupon discount (which is a good way to track leads), or directed Facebook fans to a custom tab in which Vinnay’s work would be featured, or to his website where visitors could also contact him directly. It’s also important to build up fans, but it’s even more important to make sure that these fans are the kind that engages with the fan page, otherwise you run the risk of getting fans that only like the page, and rarely comment or engage with the page afterwards that first like.
Smart social marketing has to really consider all of the angles for a small business, figure out which social network would serve that small business well, and what forms of advertising and content creation on social networks would work best for that business.