In last week's blog, we discussed the first stage of the Buyer's Journey on how to Attract new customers using blogging. In todays blog we will continue that discussion on Attracting new customers via social media.
Once you get a hold of the concept, inbound marketing is relatively straightforward: you try to attract visitors to your website, convert them to leads, and nurture these leads to become sales-ready and turn into customers over time. All of these goals can be accomplished with an effective mix of blogging and other types of content marketing, conversion-optimized web design, SEO, social media, and email.
Including social media as an inbound marketing tactic does not, however, mean that you can simply wrap your existing efforts into your new inbound marketing strategy. Instead, you have to make sure that you use this powerful digital marketing tool effectively, optimized specifically for an inbound marketing approach. Here's how you can accomplish just that:
1) Start the Conversation
First, it's important to treat social media as true to its name: getting social with your target audience. Rather than simply pushing promotional messages, your goal should be to create and publish content that is as relevant and interesting to your audience as possible.
Your goal, ultimately, will be to get clicks and conversions on your website. But to accomplish that feat, you have to make sure that enough people see your content in their news feed, which can only be possible if you optimize for news feed interactions. The more people comment, like, and share your status updates, the more web visitors you will receive.
In addition, inbound-focused social media marketing has to ensure consistency. Your goal is not to get clicks at all costs, but to get quality clicks that are likely to turn into leads. Rather than making bold promises, let your audience know exactly what to expect should they visit your website.
2) Build Your Thought Leadership
Social media is also an invaluable opportunity to build your thought leadership, which is a core part of inbound marketing. Put simply, you need to seem credible for your audience to give you their contact information. Through an effective social media presence, you can accomplish just that.
For example, make a habit of sharing highly credible industry sources for recent news and events in your industry that your audience might find relevant. Try to engage with influencers to get third-party validation as they engage back. The more you can do to raise your credibility on social media, the better.
3) Track Visits and Conversions
One of the best parts of switching to an inbound marketing philosophy is the fact that everything you do is innately measurable. If your goal is to generate or nurture leads, you can easily pull the exact numbers (even by source) of how successful you are in accomplishing that goal.
As it turns out, the same is true for your social media presence. Once you can attach a measurable goal to your efforts, you can better estimate your success. Tag your URLs, and use a free platform like Google Analytics to track visits from social media. Then, set up conversion goals to determine how many leads, sales-qualified leads, and customers your social efforts are bringing in.
4) Evaluate and Improve
Based on the tracking you accomplished in the previous step, you can now make conscious decisions to constantly improve your social media efforts. For example, you can determine which types of posts tend to outperform others in lead generation, which are your biggest lead-generation networks, and more.
Armed with that information, you can build a social media presence that's designed to not just reach your audience, but help them convert. Just like that, your social media turns from an isolated marketing tactic to a crucial cog in your inbound marketing machine. The results will be more leads, more customers, and faster business growth.
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