Social media and inbound marketing go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. When used effectively, social media can be an incredibly useful tool in your overall inbound marketing strategy.
Social media is a massive part of our lives, in both a professional and personal sense. We are a world of scrollers and swipers, and we spend more time than ever on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s changed the way we live our lives, the way we access our news and how we interact with others. It’s everywhere and it’s unavoidable.
There are 4.7 billion social media users, which equates to about 59% of the population. Facebook is currently the market leader, with 68% now reporting that they are Facebook users.
However, a lot of marketers either aren’t using it properly, or roll their eyes at the thought. Let us show you how important social media is, and how you should be using it in your overall inbound marketing strategy.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is an unobtrusive method of marketing that significantly improves online users’ experience and shows your company in a positive light. It is a customer-centric approach to marketing that focuses on building relationships with current and future customers.
Inbound marketing revolves around the production and promotion of helpful content such as articles, blog posts, videos, and eBooks to attract visitors to your website and convert them into leads and paying customers.
Unlike traditional methods of outbound marketing, like PR and advertisements, which shout about the benefits – Inbound attracts the prospects to the business in a much more organic and natural way.
Top Social Channels and Tips for Each
Social media is a hugely beneficial tool for marketers to use. The msot common B2B social media platforms that you can use for Inbound Marketing are:
However, you must remember that you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. You only need to be on the channels that you’re Buyer Personas are using, and if you've done your research on them effectively, you’ll know exactly where they hang out online.
Stop trying to spread your energy across all social media platforms, and instead, focus on creating a strong presence on the channels that your audience are already, organically using.
LinkedIn is arguably one of the most common social media platforms for B2B marketers. It still provides the social aspect of other platforms; however, it is more professional and allows you to connect with people in a particular industry.
LinkedIn allows you to expose your brand to a much wider audience and build secure connections with more than 822 million users.
LinkedIn is a fantastic arena for showcasing your company's strengths, expertise and competitive advantage. It also provides a space which allows you to tell and develop the unique story of your business.
Grow Your Network Posts
Posts are the best way to attract new customers and employees. They allow you to explore the products and features that your company offers at length and delve into subjects that you know your target audience is interested in. Commit to publishing a variety of posts regularly, to ensure that there is always something fresh and exciting for your followers to read and interact with.
It may be a good idea to schedule posts in advance to capitalise on the best days and times to post. Once you begin posting regularly, make sure that you continue to be active on your LinkedIn page. It looks terrible when the last posts on a page are from months ago.
Grow Your Network Groups
LinkedIn Groups are great for becoming part of a professional community, either locally or within your industry. They allow you to promote your content, network with professionals and find great new talent.
Contributing to group discussions will make your profile more visible and can build your company's reputation as a thought leader in your industry. Participate in conversations as much as you can to develop your company's credibility within the group.
Groups can also help you gather information on your target audience, by regularly interacting with potential customers and adapting your content and overall strategy based on what they like.
Twitter is a dynamic, fast-paced platform that is a powerful tool for building and managing relationships with potential customers. Using Twitter for Business allows you to develop your company’s influence in the industry, increase the number of incoming leads and boost sales.
It can also prove useful for monitoring developments in the industry, the marketing strategy of competitors, and what people say about your company in general. After ensuring your profile is up to do date, set some goals and create a strategy that will help you develop your brand image and also generate leads.
Optimise Your Profile
Take some time to make sure that your Twitter profile is up to date and looks engaging to readers. Ensure that relevant information about your company is available, including a link to your website. Choose interesting profile and background images and try to change these regularly. Make sure that it’ s easy for you to gain new followers by making sure that links to your Twitter profile are available on your website, blog, emails and other social profiles. Also, try to give people a reason why they should follow you on Twitter. This often involves moving away from the heavy sales pitch towards content that helps people find a solution to any issues they are having.
Build Your Network of Like Minded Professionals
It’ s essential to focus on building your audience before you look at generating leads or converting more sales. You should also follow a wide range of people to get an idea of what your target audience is interested in. This should include industry leaders, competitors, existing customers and relevant media organisations. Engage with these people regularly by responding to their tweets, as well as liking, retweeting and sharing their posts.
Posting the Right Content
It’s essential to focus on building your audience before you look at generating leads or converting more sales. You should also follow a wide range of people to get an idea of what your target audience is interested in. This should include industry leaders, competitors, existing customers and relevant media organisations. Engage with these people regularly by responding to their tweets, as well as liking, retweeting and sharing their posts.
Facebook has billions of active users, making it a great marketing channel for reaching out to potential new customers. Getting to grips with Facebook for Business can help with raising the brand awareness of your business, as well as increasing engagement with your website, email campaigns and other social media pages. Facebook’s Business pages offer a few advantages over personal profiles. Multiple people can manage the account, and your business will appear in relevant search results for your industry. The most important benefit of Facebook for Business is the potential to build an online community around your brand. Having a successful page with regular engagement from can prove to be much better for your business than an expensive marketing campaign.
Create Consistency with your Posting
Create a plan for the posts you would like to publish and begin to schedule them in advance. Taking an hour to schedule a week’s worth of content can then free up your time to engage with your followers, reply to comments and answer questions. At first, experiment with different types of post and different times to see what techniques get the best engagement from users. It’s important to be consistent with your posts. Don’t begin by publishing six posts a day and then suddenly disappear for a month. You may want to schedule posts well in advance to avoid this. Also, make sure to be consistent when it comes to engaging with customers. Acknowledge everyone who leaves a comment on your page, even if that simply involves liking the comment.
Create Engaging Content that your Audience Will Interact With
Try to make sure that your posts and content are fresh and exciting. Make sure to include vivid images in your posts, rather than just blocks of text. Video content, particularly clips that are short and entertaining, works well in grabbing the attention of Facebook users. Facebook Live videos can take minimal effort and usually involve merely showing off a product, explaining your services, or giving your opinion on development in the industry. You can also drive engagement by creating a competition. Your contest can take many different forms, depending on your business. It could be an offer to try your services for free or to download some useful content on a specialist topic.
Using Social Media as an Inbound Marketing Tool
The average daily usage for social media is 2 hours and 29 minutes! If that doesn’t show you just how powerful social media is, then we're talking to a lost cause.
According to another research report by Ambassador, 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media.
Top Example of Using Social as an Inbound Tool
There are lots of ways in which you can use social media to your advantage, which we have already discussed in this guide. Here are a few examples that you can promote on your social media to aid your overall inbound marketing strategy.
Marketers who prioritise their blog are 13 x more likely to get a positive ROI, with blogs over 1500 words ranking higher than shorter ones. Create a blog on your website, with a planned schedule and be consistent with it. Promote it across your social media platforms, and again, be consistent with these posts. People will slowly but surely catch on to your consistency, and they will expect this high-quality content from you at that specific time.
Social media allows users to broadcast live videos and interact with their audience in real-time. This is a fantastic tool to inject some personality into your brand. Host a regular Live video on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and again, be consistent with it. People will become familiar with it and will show up at the same time to see what you ’ ve got to say.
Offering any kind of ‘free’ content on social media will help you build a credible relationship with your audience, as long as it’s valuable and of high quality. Infographics are great for social media as they are easy to understand and easy to share. Create a branded infographic on a topic that you know your social media audience will benefit from and encourage them to share it with someone they know will appreciate it. You can always repurpose this content for a blog post, or a longer piece of content like an eBook or Whitepaper.
Social Media and Inbound Marketing Checklist
1. Create buyer personas
2. Figure our waht social media platforms your buyer persona uses
3. Focus on those channels
4. Follow the guidelines for each channel
5. Create a monthly social plan
6. Use engaging imagery and captions to grab the attention of your audience
7. Monitor and measure your performance
8. Optimise for mobile devices.
Want to learn more about getting started with Twitter? Download our guide on Twitter to help you get started!