Inbound marketing is all about delivering the right content to the right person at the right time. But what's one of the best ways to do this?
For starters, begin leveraging social media in your inbound marketing strategy to start delivering valuable content beyond just your business blog. It’s a way for a business to share an infographic, interactive video or blog post with their 'fans' and 'followers' in just seconds and it’s just as easy for that person reading your Facebook post or your Tweet. For example, your fans and followers can then share your posts with their friends and networks, who can then pass it along to their friends, and so on....
According to our friends and partners at Hubspot, 27% of the U.S. internet time is spent on social media sites and 15% of the U.S. mobile internet time is spent on these sites as well. Considering everything the internet is used for, this is huge and can be extremely valuable for us inbound marketers.
Social media is unique because it allows you to interact with your customers and turn your “likes” into “buys”. It encourages conversation…you post, they reply, you respond. This is what we like to call an interactive relationship. You have jumped from just a 'business' to a personable 'brand' that they can not only resonate with but trust - wholeheartedly.
Your initial response is essential in turning your customers into brand ambassadors. As with any other scenario, nothing is more discouraging then sending out a message and never receiving a response. We get that (and we've been there). When a company or prospect "ignores you", it makes you feel unimportant and far from a priority. But think about your own Twitter stream for example, how many people are you following? Even if you're following 500 people/businesses, your stream changes by the second. It's easy to miss something.
But social media isn't just a place to get your message you to the world and promote your offerings. It's also a channel for customer service (in the "Engage" phase of inbound marketing). According to Hubspot, 25% of customers who post product complaints on Facebook expect a response in 1 hour. - Since it's much easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new one, you should be responding to more than just the negative feedback. Responding to a positive response is just as important as troubleshooting an issue!
So when someone admires your company blog or latest product, send a message extending your appreciation. Better yet, engage with them! Send along a tweet or post that offers a recommendation for another product or blog post that may relate to their interests or can provide a resolution to a pain they may have.
What Social Media Networks Are Right For You?
When considering what social media may be right for your business and your customers it's important to know your personas. Where does your target audience spend their time online?
Since there are a variety of different channels you can engage on, selecting the right one can seem overwhelming. You don't want to choose the wrong one, sink all your time and realize it's not worth it, right? Yes and no. Market and persona research is the best jumping off point, and ultimately determining where your customers are spending their time. But we also believe in testing. If you see that something isn't working or getting the results you want, don't be afraid to change course and try something new.
Once you determine which networks to join, monitor to see which ones are truly effective. For example, are you getting more 'shares' on Facebook, re-tweets on Twitter or are your customers resonating more with your company's LinkedIn profile? Whatever it may be, find what works for your company and your customers and utilize it for your inbound marketing success. Social media is constantly evolving, in order to stay savvy in this ever-changing world, take note of what is working and what isn’t.
Here’s The Proof
By now you can probably see just how powerful and important social media can be to your businesses’ inbound marketing strategies, but if you still have some looming doubts here’s some statistics provided by our friends at HubSpot to reassure you:
- Companies that blog regularly receive 55% more web traffic that companies that don’t and receive 70% more leads.
- Only 22% of all leads come from traditional marketing methods.
- In 2013, 52% of companies acquired customers through Facebook, 43% acquired customers through LinkedIn, 43% through blogging, 36% through Twitter and 15% through Google+.
If leveraged and implemented correctly, inbound marketing can help your company transition into a customer-focused business that drives quality leads, loyal customers and results in a measurable return you on investment.
Just like any other marketing, inbound requires proper strategy, techniques and tools. Utilizing social media effectively can allow you to personalize and grow your online presence, attract new customers, actively engage with current customers and make you stand out as a leader in the world of social media. In this competitive market their are many other customer-focused companies, in order to stand out as a leader you'll need to find the networks that work best for you and your customers and harness them for your success.
We look forward to seeing your continued success! And as always, we'd love your feedback: what social media platforms do you see success on? Let us know in the comments below!
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