Not on social media? Do you laugh in the face of tweeting or sigh about Facebook posts? Like it or not, social media is a necessary part of the inbound methodology. According to HubSpot, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. You may be able to write a great blog or eBook, but without social media, your content is at a stand still and you’re losing leads rapidly.
Social media is necessary throughout the inbound process to promote your content and connect with clients. Furthermore, in today’s market people expect to be able to connect with companies on social media, so when they can't find you, it damages your credibility. Consumers research their product and solution long before they will respond to a disruptive cold-call or TV advertisement. Social helps you attract, convert, close, and delight buyers throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Absolute Basics
If you don’t already have a social account, you'll need to set one up and get your wallet. Unless you have a lot of time to collect organic followers, you’re probably going to need to spend some money advertising on channels that your buyer persona uses. After you have a few hundred followers or likes people will be more likely to find your profile organically, and you can build up from there while decreasing your ad budget.
Make sure you have analyzed which channels your buyer persona spends the most time on. It would be useless to run a LinkedIn campaign if your persona spends 99% of their time on Twitter. To follow best practices make sure you have a style guide, uniform social banners, and profile pictures to reaffirm brand consistency.
Now that you’re all set up, how are you going to get people to your blogs and website content? Use your business’s social media to promote the content that prospects will want to read and see. The “about us” on social pages allows you to tell buyers in the awareness phase what you do right away, including your solutions to their problems, and what potentially makes you different from your competitors.
Having followers or likes is crucial for raising awareness for your business. Pages with more posts and followers look more credible than pages with little going on. Make sure you build up your social engagements and posts. Consumers will be unlikely to follow you if you do not update your social pages often.
While it’s clear an established, interesting social media account helps attract buyers, how does it help inbound marketers convert those buyers into leads? Did you know social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate? These impressive statistics are because smart inbound practitioners promote their gated content, events, and offers on their social media accounts. Social media can also be helpful at conferences and trade shows to advertise your presence and encourage buyers to visit your booth. All of this hard work will lead to more consumers filling out landing pages and moving through the buyer’s journey.
Having a presence on social media with ample posts, statuses, followers, likes, etc. establishes your company as a prominent voice in your industry. Being a trustworthy source for information not only gathers more leads but also cuts down on your sales team’s close time because social messaging can help to nurture leads closer to the bottom of the funnel. When social messaging is able to nurture leads without sales personnel engagement, once they do get involved their job is easier.
By analyzing who is active on your social media from commenting, retweeting, etc. you can gain a better idea who your target audience is, and what content performs for your personas. Putting your content in front of the wrong people will not help your conversion rate, so analyzing your audience will help ensure you’re putting your content in front of the right people at the right time. After that, you will be able to tailor your content to those higher quality leads, which creates higher close rates.
Many marketers forget about delighting their current customers and lose valuable recommendations. Starting all over again by attracting new prospects and nurturing them through the buyer’s journey requires a lot more time and resources than retaining current customers. Continue to share relevant content to keep your customers engaged. Try using your social platforms to run polls, have contests, promote coupons, and more to keep your business top of mind and keep your customers excited about your brand.
Social media is more than just a way for you to pass the time on your phone, you need to leverage social media in your inbound strategy. Utilizing your social media accounts throughout every stage of the inbound methodology is a smart way to increase leads and customers. So get out there! Tweet and share and “like” as if your business depends on it -- because in this day and age it does.