Social Media is in fact an inbound marketing tool that fits into the bigger picture of the whole inbound marketing life-cycle. Inbound marketing involves a four step process to ‘attract’ visitors to your website, ‘convert’ visitors to customers, ‘close’ sales and ‘delight’ customers into returning and promoting your brand and products to their friends.
Social media fits into both the first and fourth steps of the inbound marketing process: it is used to ‘attract’ strangers to your website and also ‘delight’ customers into returning, which is achieved through the creation and sharing of quality content and information. Social media is a great way to start conversations with customers and to find out what is important to your target market. Ultimately, Inbound Marketing is all about bringing more qualified leads into the sales funnel, efforts which social media can help to enhance.
Social Media involves socially interacting with others online, including initiating and participating with conversations within an online community, asking and answering questions, as well as sharing fun and likeable content that will attract more visits to your website and build trust within your brand.
The most popular social media sites, which you will probably have heard of, include Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. There are also many other social platforms available online, yet these are the most commonly used.
How You Can Benefit from Social Media
So what can social media do for your business? It can do a lot actually.
“Social Media Marketing: Enables Others to Advocate for Your Business through Compelling Content” Hubspot.com
From connecting with customers to increasing revenue and building trust within your brand, below we discuss the top reasons how you can benefit from incorporating social media within your inbound marketing plans.
Create a Buzz about your Brand
Social media helps in building an identity for your brand and product. It is also a great platform for getting information about your new products and services to the masses, creating a buzz through interaction and promoting online conversation.
Engage with your Target Audience
As a marketing tool, social media allows you to find out what others are saying about your brand online, which gives you the opportunity to join in the conversation with them. Why not find out what they love about your products and also what makes them tick. Respond to positive conversations with a call to action and be on hand to answer any questions that potential customers may have.
Building Trust in your Brand
Use the power of social media to enhance the trust customers have in your brand. Trust tends to increase sales, meaning that customers who value your loyalty are more likely to make future purchases from your company or website. This links in with engaging with your target audience. Respond to customer tweets, answer their questions and enhance your relationship with customers through conversation.
Increase your Revenue
Inbound Marketing is all about bringing more people into your sales funnel, which social media can help you to achieve by creating interest in your brand and products, thus expanding your online exposure. A great way to direct more people to your website via social media is to offer followers special promotions and discounts, as well as creating unique and shareable content that can be pinned, re-tweeted or shared online.
Social and Search
Although there is no hard evidence that social media gives your website more visibility in the search engine results, Google are now taking people’s preferences on social media into account for their personalised search – search engine results that are tailored to your online behaviour, including interests and likes. Google also looks to social media accounts to prove authenticity of a website, so, by having a Google+ profile with people in your Google+ network that have +1’d and shared your content, you may be more likely to received higher listings in Google search results.
Why You Should Use Social Media
Social Media is an Inbound Marketing tool, which, as you can see, possesses many benefits for any business that is trying to increase their brand presence online and direct more potential traffic into their sales funnel. Before making purchasing decisions, potential customers will research products through search engines, such as Google, or ask questions via social media.
According to Hubspot.com’s social media marketing statistics there are 500 million active users on Facebook and more than 10 billion tweets have been sent on Twitter since 2006. Now, that is a lot of online activity and a potential customer base that you could be excluding if you are not joining in with the conversation online.
What are your experiences of using social media as part of your Inbound Marketing efforts?
I would love to know if it has had a positive effect of building customer loyalty and increasing traffic into your sales funnel. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Is Social Media Inbound Marketing?
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