Social media marketing is a fundamental part of an Inbound Marketing strategy. The reason is pretty simple: it endorses all the main characteristics of Inbound, such as:
- producing interesting and useful content and distributing it efficiently via different channels and media;
- speaking to the right audience;
- being a reliable touch point for your potential customers;
- attract qualified leads and customers.
Social media is now, it's today, and it perfectly corresponds to nowadays customer's needs. As we've mentioned in this article the new era of marketing strategies is customer-centric. Brands are no longer the ones who say to you what to buy, why you have to buy it and so on. In fact, as Larry Weber says: "People don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about."
The era of disruptive marketing is pretty much over, and social media surely contributed to this revolution, because of its nature based on human2human interaction, and the fact it gives the possibility to create one-to-one relationships with customers.
Before starting to focus on how social media marketing can improve your Inbound Strategy, let's have a glance at the main social media networks and how you can use them for your social media marketing strategy.
"Real people are what make an Inbound Marketing strategy meaningful and thanks to social media you can achieve this result. " Tweet
Social media marketing: top players in the industry
It was pretty obvious starting with this one, wasn't it? As a matter of fact, Facebook is still the leader in terms of usage. The active users reached 2 billion, and its advertising services are considered the most efficient. 41% of companies that used Facebook ADS have acquired a new customer from it. If you want to actively interact with your audience, increase your brand awareness or simply to produce amazing content, Facebook is the right place where to start.
Not only YouTube is the second most used social media, with 1.3 billion users, but it's also the second most popular search engine after Google. Its algorithm and business model are unique but video content is the most consumed type of content today. As we know the audience's level of attention is pretty low because of the huge amount of information we interact with on a daily basis. But if you offer "complicated" services or products an explanation video might be the key to reach the right audience.
Instagram is the best social media network for the distribution of visual content. 90% of its audience is under the age of 35, so if your target audience is Millennials for example, Instagram is your thing. Facebook's affiliate is the perfect place where you can promote the company lifestyle and even products. You can transform your company page in a real e-commerce thanks to the feature "shop" the platform offers.
Twitter is the most famous micro-blogging platform. It’s the best way to engage with your potential clients and to build a relevant online audience. 240 characters might not seem enough to express a concept or an idea, but the possibility to share blog posts, videos or gifs is a great way to engage through content.
Pinterest is sometimes ignored in a social media strategy. In reality, it offers an amazing opportunity to share relevant visual content. Even if you don't sell physical products, you can realize boards of images with inspirational quotes or relevant stats for your audience.
Regardless of the fact that Snapchat lost a little bit of traffic after the introduction of the feature "stories" by Instagram, it still remains a good way to engage with audiences, especially with the younger ones, such as Millennials and Generation Z. Its real timing conception makes it a perfect tool in order to keep your followers updated with the latest trends of your company and industry.
Does your company need to be on all these social networks? Probably not. In fact, the best practice is to start with small steps, building a content strategy for a few of these channels, so you can test your presence on the others in a second moment.
So let's see in what ways social media marketing might give the right boost to your Inbound Marketing strategy.
"Social Media is now, it's today, and it perfectly corresponds to nowadays customer's needs. As we've mentioned in this article the new era of marketing strategies are customer-centric." Tweet
5 ways social media marketing can improve your Inbound Strategy
Building your Buyer Persona
We've already discussed what a Buyer Persona is and how you can efficiently develop it. Questionnaires, focus groups and surveys are valuable sources of data in order to target your potential customers. But the best way to collect psycho-demographic information is via social media. You can easily understand what are the interests, hobbies and other key factors of your target audience thanks to the shared information on social networks. This data will be also useful for you when setting an advertising campaign.
Entertain and inform
There are three main reasons people use social media:
- To be informed
- To be entertained
- To be connected
Sharing content without any specific purpose and without a strategy is meaningless if you want to effectively engage with your audience and to transform some of your followers in potential leads and customers.
- To inform, we share reliable information, statistics, and forecasts about the industries we mostly collaborate with, in this case real estate.
- To entertain, we produce content that might be relatable to people and businesses who work in our market and might be potentially shared, such as GIFs.
To connect with our potential customers we share graphic content that somehow introduces or summarizes our latest blog posts.
Obviously, this is our strategy, and it might not work for your business, but we assure you that nobody has the perfect strategy at the beginning, so just try it out and find what works best for you and your audience.
Drive more traffic to your website/blog
Social media surely increases SEO visibility, because of referral links. Producing content and hoping it's going to get viral is not a good strategy, but sharing valuable content surely increases your possibility to get more people to your website or to your blog. Not only you can share your content on social media in order to drive more traffic to your website, but you can re-share the content that obtained the best results, in the future. But remember, the most important thing is to share content that your customers are going to be interested in, in order to achieve good results.
To engage with your audience is one of the main principles of Inbound Marketing and social media surely helps to achieve it. As your business grows also your online presence will increase and having a Community Manager who can efficiently manage requests or doubts is a great way to engage with customers and to extend their lifetime value. In this sense, social media networks might be considered as customer care support platforms.
Promote your company's culture
People want to talk to other people. Social media is a great way to promote your company's values, successes, and even unsuccesses.
Evangelizing your social media strategy among your co-workers and encourage them to participate is a great way to boost your social media marketing strategy.
Going a little more practical, how can you efficiently manage your social media accounts and gain success in the social media sphere? There are tons of tools and new ones arrive on the market almost on a daily basis. But if you're already into Inbound, an all-in-one tool such as HubSpot might be the best support.
You still don't know where to start with your social media strategy? Start with developing your ideal Buyer Persona. Download our free template and start building a relevant social media marketing strategy to engage with your customers like a pro!