Ask the Experts | Cost Per Social Media Lead?

Question: I am new to marketing through social media. What should the cost of generating a lead in the social media world be?

Gary Elekes; Founder, EPC Training:

I think the answer to that question is twofold. One, social media isn’t really a lead generation type of system. I don’t think contractors should look at it as that; it’s a branding strategy. And that doesn’t mean you won’t get a lead from those types of media, it really is just not a place where you would expect to get a direct lead from – say, Facebook or YouTube or Instagram or LinkedIn or any of those types of channels.

So social media is really about projecting your image, projecting a brand strategy, enforcing your brand promise. And really putting information on cause marketing and things that are relevant to your business out there, that do attach to the overall lead generation platform.

So it’s a little bit like having information out there that reminds people – similar to a billboard when you drive by – it isn’t necessarily giving you a specific offer, but you see the company, you keep the brand in mind. And if you’ve been reinforced it’s a supporting mechanism.

So what you want is you want your lead generation media to be out there and taken care of first – that’s what we’d consider to be a “primary” or a “fundamental.” So social media is a “secondary” or a “supporting” medium that then does create additional opportunities for lead generation.

So the direct answer to the question is it’s really impossible to answer what the cost per lead is – it’s probably going to be sky high. If you get Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and all your social media accounts – Pinterest and so forth – and you tie all those together rand you look and what that might cost you and you get 10 leads for $5,000 a year, you can say “OK, well that’s $500 per lead.” Sure, you can do that, but I think you would be disappointed.

What you need to do is look at your overall expenditure on digital platforms which include social media; your organic SEO, or what we would call digital brand management; what you’re doing on email marketing and drip campaigns and those types of things; and you want to look at the overall cost per lead on your digital platforms.

So what we can say for certain is that a customer base of ours – and that’s specific to our business that it’s in this space, so it’s not an industry KPI or anything like that, it’s not been vetted that way, but you’re talking about over 300 marketplaces in the United States, and some very large campaigns -- what we can say for certain is that those companies that have a blended digital strategy have a much lower cost per lead and generate more transactions per lead than those that are just individually doing a website or an email campaign without having a strategy that crosses over an umbrella approach.

So just keep that in mind. That’s the best answer I can give. I wish there was a direct correlation but there really just isn’t.

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