Enhancing your inbound marketing strategy using social media: Tactical Steps
A 2011 survey provides some thought-provoking results for those interested in an inbound marketing strategy.
- Among the 300+ small-business owners, partners and decision-makers who participated, a combined 61 percent either considered social media unnecessary for their company, or didn’t know enough about it to form an opinion.
- Yet among the same group of businesspeople in the survey, 50 percent agreed that “word of mouth” is vital to their marketing strategy.
All of this begs the question – if social media doesn’t represent word-of-mouth marketing today, what does?
Certainly, people still engage in live chatter with their friends and family about the products and services they like and dislike. But there’s also no denying that the rise of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social networks have become today’s “watercooler” – a place where millions discover business information, react to it, share it and follow up on it.
Social media as part of an inbound marketing strategy allows even the smallest company to compete with global giants in their industry.
- Your Facebook page, Twitter feed or YouTube channel gives you the opportunity to share content of interest to your target audience, and grab that attention consistently.
- Good content also builds trust and credibility in your business – no small feat in the wide-open Web, where frauds and scam artists exist side-by-side with reputable businesses.
- Ultimately, your social media content helps close the inbound marketing strategy loop by prompting your new friends and followers to a landing page that lets them exchange their contact information for premium content or special offers.
- And ideally, your social presences is one that prompts your new leads to share with their friends, thus turning customers into brand ambassadors.
A step-by-step approach
Enhancing your inbound marketing strategy using social media involves a set of tactical steps.
1. Define your target market. While it’s exciting to imagine millions following your social page, your true goal is to attract that percentage who may ultimately become customers. Consider creating personas, holding focus groups and interviewing your best customers to discover what the best leads have in common.
2. Decide on the type of content your targets want most. This includes both the message and the medium. You already know from your inbound marketing strategy that people want useful information, not sales pitches. Work from that basis to create blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, e-newsletters or whitepapers that speak directly to your target’s interests and concerns.
3. Develop your presence using the share tools of social media – the “likes,” “comments,” “follows” and “recommends” – that encourage people to respond to your content. At the same time, make it easy for your users to proceed to your landing page, where they can realize new benefits.
4. Determine your results. Measure every aspect of your social media tactics: the unique visitors, the “opens,” public comments, content shares, call-to-action response and, of course, the visits to your landing page. A lag in any of these areas may call for a new or refreshed approach.
Discover the advantages
Using social media to drive your inbound marketing strategy can create the “push” that you need to thrive on an online environment. As a cost-effective way to position your company as trustworthy – and yourself as a thought leader – Facebook or Twitter can become the “word of mouth” that drives new business