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How Social Media Can Enhance Inbound Marketing Strategy.

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Posted by Carl Davies - 04 April, 2018

Millennia's engaging in social media content

Social media, that place where humans live and content thrives. If ever there were two ingredients for the perfect marketing recipe, that would surely be it, wouldn't it?

Oh wait, there’s more? Add to the mix - It’s cost effective. It generates traffic organically. It helps you better understand and target your audience. And, it’s a shrine for customer service satisfaction. Now you’ve got yourself the icing on the cake and the cherry on top!

A business chair and deck chair on beach showing how social media has become dominated by brand loyalty.

Welcome to 2018. A time when content is king and social media is the castle it lives in. Business has officially met pleasure. The collide of these two worlds has given way to a medium that’s more about social trends, brand loyalty and influencer mania than it is friendship. We revel in the opportunity to click “attending” on the hippest event in town, share an exclusive peak at the hottest new gadget, or show hundreds of “friends” which sports brand is our favourite. Social media’s influence on content discovery and customer loyalty is phenomenal.

With 72% of online adults active on social networking sites, the opportunity for brands to grow lasting and scaleable relationships with customers is vast. Those relationships create the foundation for what can eventually become a businesses greatest marketing asset: customer advocacy.

This kind of success doesn’t come overnight though. Neither does it involve creating a page and mindlessly posting updates. Without a sensible social media strategy in place, the productivity of your inbound marketing efforts are compromised. So, in true social media fashion, let’s “share” some insight into how social media can turn a simple “like” into a delighted returning customer.

Reach a lot of people (that already like you!)

A crowd of people in a heart shape showing that people on social media already like you.

Social media allows you to have two-way conversations with potentially millions of people. But not just any old Joe Bloggs. People that already like you. People that let you sit in their pocket. People that want to interact with you.

The opportunity to speak and listen to your audience, responding directly to their wants and needs is central to the inbound marketing methodology. This helps you connect with your audience on a human level, showing that you are listening, understand, and care about their concerns. For today’s buyer, that’s priceless!

Customer service (the way your customers want it...)

A man delighted by good customer service on social media

Buyers like good customer service, but they love good customer service that’s immediate and effortless. Given that ⅓ of the world's population are active on social media, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to find that implementing a social customer service program can increase your annual customer service score by 20%. Social networkings sites such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms for quickly solving your customers’ queries in a desirable and cost-effective way.

67% of companies believe that social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the customer contact centre. Companies that improve their customer experience on social from average to “wow” can see 30-50% improvement in key measures such as likelihood to repeat purchase, upsell, and recommend your product to others.

Sharing (is caring...)

A Starbucks cup with name on showing that content needs to be more personalised and stylised on social media.

Sharing content where audiences live means that content needs to be more personalised and more stylised than ever before. Making posts relevant for your readers will increase the chances of attracting new visitors to your site.

It’s essential to think pleasure not business when targeting your audience on social media. Content that helps is superior to content that sells. By this stage, you will have already researched and discovered the topics your ideal customers are interested in reading, as well as which channels they are most active in. Create social posts based on these optimised topics and broadcast them in the relevant channels:

  • Make them insightful and engaging.
  • Use language and imagery that’s eye catching.
  • Review your best performing social media posts each month.
  • Learn from them to improve future posts to attract more readers.

If your social posts are distinctive, well-written, consistent, helpful, memorable and provide real value, then you'll succeed at building a loyal audience that converts. As you continue to help users and visitors along their journey, you will build a relationship with them which is established on trust. This is a recipe for turning them into a promoter once they have paid for your services.

 Define your brand voice (and own it!)

Innocent's tweet highlighting effective brand voice on social media

Innocent own a uniquely witty, informal and playful tone. Because it comes from the very core of their company. At heart, the company was built by creative, fun people trying to do something good. The copy isn’t revolutionary, it’s just honest. It’s an extension of the people that work there. And it’s what their followers enjoy seeing.

Look at your own business and write what feels natural to you. Determine what tone of voice you want to use for your business and what types of posts you will be sharing. You need to share content that is relevant to your ideal customers and make sure your topics and weekly posting is consistent to keep your readers interested.

Get to know your audience (even better...)

A man holding a question mark over his head to show how social media can be used to make more detailed buyer personas

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a B2C marketer or B2B marketer, ultimately you’re a business to human marketer and humans live inside social channels. Love it or hate it, people say what they feel on social media, and this extends far beyond just how their day is going. They talk about brands, personalities, businesses, and products.

Positive or negative, monitoring and engaging in two-way conversation on social is a great way for you to not only learn about what your customers love about your company, but also their frustrations. Routinely monitoring your social media accounts will provide you with valuable, candid insight, allowing you to do more of what's working and take action to remedy what's not.  

 To be discovered (be discoverable...)

A man looking in shop window to represent how social media should entice readers to your website

You know that feeling you get when you walk past a shop and you’ve just got to take a look inside. That’s what your social media page should aim to do for your website. When your social media page is discoverable to the world it provides an opportunity for people to get a good idea of what your business is about just by looking at your posts.

This is great opportunity to deliver value and build up an authority in your field by letting your content do some of the taking. Use social media as a platform to leverage content that you have produced, including:

  • Blogs
  • Videos  
  • Infographics

This will help boost organic traffic to your website. It will also show your readers and customers that you’re a reliable company with credible information they can trust. By spending as little as six hours per week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.

 Get noticed (by embracing emerging technologies...)

A women engaging in virtual reality headset

As technology evolves, so too will the best ways to interact with your ideal buyers. For many customers today, an experience is inauthentic if it’s not interactive. Gartner predicts that 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality by 2020. New technologies like virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enablers that will help you reach consumers in innovative ways. 

Many brands are turning to virtual reality as a way of solving existing industry problems and enhancing the customer experience. Marriott International and Delta Dental are examples of companies at which the corporate IT function now reports into the CMO. These companies see this strategy as a way to better align IT with both the revenue engine and customer experience.

Facebook Live is also gaining traction as a cost-effective way of retaining audience’s attention. In fact, Facebook Live videos are watched 3 times longer than videos that aren't. They also generate more engagement, with users commenting on Facebook Live videos at 10 times the rate of regular videos. Incorporate this instant form of communication into your strategy to captivate your audiences and enhance your social media experience.

Conclusion

With social media, you can reach your ideal audience members where they're already participating in conversations relevant to your business. You can feed your sales funnel with relevant prospects, build an audience, nurture relationships, establish trust and boost awareness of your brand by sharing the wisdom that speaks most directly to your unique value proposition. Doing this well over a long time can result in customer advocacy and brand authority. That my friend, is priceless!

Read our Content Marketing Guide

Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing


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