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Social media marketing and inbound marketing: Brothers from a different mother?

4 min read

Brands & Campaigns

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know the focus has shifted from buying attention to earning it. This is the basis for what some people call inbound marketing. If you buy that, then you also know that creating educational content that people want to download is a major part of inbound marketing and the fuel that helps you earn attention.

What comes next should be obvious. If one person loves your e-book, then there is a high likelihood that the person will want to share it with others. This is the reason you need a social media marketing plan for your business.

Here are the top five building blocks for social network marketing that fuels inbound marketing.

Connect everything. Stop thinking about your website, your social sites and your sales effort as separate, disconnected and unrelated parts of your business. For example, today, you are delivering an experience to a prospect. The person sees you on LinkedIn, clicks through and views your website, then calls and speaks with a salesperson. Two days later, the person sees what you are doing on Facebook and looks for video on YouTube. It’s all connected. You have to remember that, leverage it and make sure your prospect gets treated to a remarkable experience through every channel. A well-thought-out marketing strategy and social media marketing plan help you make all of the connections and allow you to deliver the experience sought by prospects.

Be consistent. Your company’s brand and overall marketing strategy has to be consistent and obvious across all sites. Offers on your website should be similar to those on your LinkedIn profile. Create dedicated landing pages for each social media site so you know which site is delivering the best prospects. Make sure language used on social media matches that on your website and is consistent with the voice and tone created in your company’s marketing strategy. Inconsistency creates concern among prospects. That concern causes prospects to pause, slow down the sales process and question your ability to execute. Consistency delivers the experience that makes them feel safe and that gets them ready to buy. A social media marketing plan makes it easier to deliver that experience.

Drive them to share. Think about social media as a highway. It connects everyone and allows you to move your message to many people with a single click. Each of your connections, friends and followers also has a collection of connections, friends and followers. While most people want to share, others need to be reminded. The best way to leverage your network’s network and drive shares is to create compelling, unique and insightful content. The better your content, the more people will share it. A social media marketing plan that’s part of an overall marketing strategy helps you map out where and how to apply that content so your fans will share it.

Start a conversation. This is where most of us go wrong. We consider social media a place to post content. Instead, we should be asking people to get involved, questioning them, challenging them and asking for their opinion. People on social media want to get involved. That’s the reason they are there. The more you can get them talking, the more people will follow you and the easier it will be to use your network as a venue to distribute content. Strategic thought and planning, as part of a broader social network marketing effort, help you figure out exactly what people want to talk about and how to facilitate those conversations online.

Track, test and adjust. As with all inbound marketing, you have to track, test and adjust your approach. It’s going to take time to tweak what you are doing to fit perfectly in your business and in your industry. Every business is different. You need to watch which social sites are driving more traffic and which ones are driving better traffic (more leads). Which sites drive leads that close or close faster? It’s all there for you to learn from and make adjustments to improve inbound-marketing results.

A few years ago, most business owners thought social network marketing was for kids and not businesses. Today, most see as much traffic from social media as they do from organic search engine traffic. This means what you do to drive traffic from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is as important as what you do to drive traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing

To learn more about how to use social media to help your business get found, get leads and drive sales, download our free report “4.5 Ways To Drive Leads With Social Media.”