I don’t need to tell you that social media is everywhere – you’ve seen the hash tags tucked away in the corner of your favorite TV show, your family and friends are constantly checking their profiles for new notifications, and suddenly just having a Facebook page isn’t enough. You also need a LinkedIn profile for professional networking, Instagram for photo sharing, and Twitter to keep your networks constantly updated. It’s overwhelming, it’s ubiquitous, and no one is immune.
So if you’re social and your family and friends are social, then your audience is social and your brand should be too. Social media marketing is an important aspect of your inbound strategy, and it can’t be ignored, or you could be ignoring a significant portion of your customers – and you know what that means – Lost sales!
Inbound marketing is all about earning people’s interest instead of buying it. Instead of pushing your marketing messages on your audience, your focus is on pulling your audience in using engaging content. Check out this Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing infographic for a great summary of the differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
For now, we’ll focus on a few reasons why social media is an important aspect of your inbound strategy.
Every marketer knows that it’s more cost effective to retain customers than to attract new ones. Social media is a great way to improve and enhance your brand loyalty because your social platforms are a great channel for communicating directly with your audience.
Connecting with your audience on a personal level helps make your brand seem more like a person, and not a nameless, faceless corporate machine. Encouraging your followers to comment on your posts, re tweet or reply, or ask questions, is a great way to involve your audience and show that you really care about their opinions.
Yes – you can actually measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy! A lot of marketers are turned off of the idea of social media marketing because it’s hard to determine hard numbers like ROI, but the reality is that social media shouldn’t be used only to improve your bottom line, it should be used to connect with and engage your audience.
Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, include basic analytics reporting. They show you how many people see your post, how many people interact with it, and how many people click on your links. Even basic analytics are a great way to understand how effectively you’re engaging your audience, which is the whole point of social media anyway, right?
Insight is 20/20
Because social media is a great way to interact directly with your audience, it’s also a great way to solicit comments, questions, or even complaints. Don’t shy away from complaints! Addressing your customer’s problems and concerns openly and showing that you care about them will improve your audience’s perception of your brand. Every brand should encourage communication and feedback. Hearing feedback, even if it’s bad, is the best way to improve your product offering.
That’s Not All, Folks
Stay tuned to our next post for more reasons why you can’t ignore social media as a part of your inbound strategy.
Nolan Wilson is a Freelance SEO writer in Toronto that specializes in SEO writing and blogging. He has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and is a professional member of the PWAC. Connect with him on Google + and Twitter.