To those who have adopted the mindset that social media is for the young and immature, let me begin with this concession:
Yes. There are an irritating number of cat memes. On behalf of all believers in social media, I apologize.
Now that we’ve cleared the air, don’t let these frisky memes warp your perception of just how valuable social media can be for your business, especially if you’re pursuing inbound marketing strategies for gaining sales leads.
Social media is one of the most powerful ways to gain real traction for a company’s inbound marketing efforts.
Just take a look at these stats:
Facebook: 1.23 billion monthly active users
Twitter: 500 million tweets are sent per day
LinkedIn: 277 million registered users
Instagram: 200 million monthly active users
Google+: 540 million monthly active users
YouTube: 1 billion unique visitors every month
What does this tell marketers? The potential to interact through social media is not only valuable, it’s a direct highway to your audience, and it cannot be ignored in your inbound marketing strategy.
Facebook, Twitter, etc. are catalysts for your inbound content. Your audience and potential leads are likely engaged in the social media already, and promoting your educational content to them where they are talking will gain you exposure of your brand and increase the opportunities for site visits and interaction.
It takes a well-developed plan to make your social media efforts reflect real results for your inbound marketing.
1. Evaluate. Take an inventory of your social media accounts and document your likes, followers, reach, posts, etc. There are a lot of analytics available on each individual social media platform, and there are also some great websites that can help you generate more of this data, such as:
2. Define your campaign. Based on your current metrics, set real, attainable goals for your social media efforts that will guide your path and your growth. Be sure to ask these questions:
- Who do you want to target?
- How do they use social media?
- Which platforms best complement your brand and content?
- Can your brand be visual?
- How far do you want to expand your reach?
3. Build an editorial calendar. The best way to organize your strategic social media plan is to build an editorial calendar for each platform. An editorial calendar is a list of pre-curated content organized by date that tells you what you will post on which days. Whether you have curated posts for a month or a week at a time, you want your social media content to directly align with your inbound marketing content, so drum up some creative ways to promote your blog post, downloads and Web content for your audience and always link back to your website.
4. Strategize growth: Incentivize your audience to grow your social media reach. Offer free reports or downloads when they share content with their friends or begin to follow your brand.
You can also bolster growth internally. Remember that your sales team is an ambassador of your brand, so have them share your content through their social media spheres.
4. Interact. The beauty of social media is its ability to connect people of across the world in real-time. Open the dialogue and engage with your online community.
- Explore their interests and their needs.
- Ask questions.
- Probe their response to your content.
- Write personalized comments when your audience is talking about you.
By interacting, you make your audience feel like a valued part of your brand and motivate them to continue interacting. This helps you nurture relationships that build your brand and ultimately bring you more leads.
Or just give us a call and let us handle the work for you. It’s what we do.