Becoming a part of the conversation in today’s evolving social world is not only a smart marketing tactic, it’s absolutely essential. It increases awareness of your brand, builds relationships, facilitates outside interaction, allows you to stay connected with your customers and leverage brand advocates, promotes your content online, and so much more. But how does it fit into an Inbound Marketing strategy?
The Benefits of Social Media for Attracting Prospects and Generating Qualified Leads
If you are already focusing some of your marketing efforts on developing relevant, engaging and informative content that is search engine friendly and offers solutions to your potential customers’ challenges, then social media offers the ideal outlet to engage with prospects and customers, and push your content out there for the world to see. Additionally, it adds personality to an otherwise dry sales cycle. Leveraging the power of social channels to extend your reach is relatively an easy addition to your program, but it is important to understand the tools that are available to your and figure out what type of strategy makes sense for you.
Some Additional Considerations.
Your social media campaigns should incorporate your other content marketing and inbound marketing efforts. Content that you post should share your insights, industry knowledge, key trends, events, or any other elements that support your competitive advantages and core values. Consider how these elements address your various audiences’ needs and goals—do they provide answers they are seeking to find online? Are they keyword optimized to reflect the questions or topics they would be searching for? Do you offer enough variety to speak to each audience at various stages of their buyer’s lifecycle? Map out a strategy that covers the most obvious items, and build on it as you execute your program over time.
Starting out, it is important to have a clear objective for your program. Some typical social media goals could be increasing qualified leads, attracting new prospects, generating interactions and growing download conversions of relevant content. Whatever you are looking to achieve with your efforts, it must be attainable (something you can actually achieve), measurable (offering a clear, trackable criteria to monitor progress and success), and it must reflect your overall business goals. Additionally, it should align with your overall marketing strategy and initiatives.
Monitoring and Tracking
A regular schedule for publishing your content via social outlets is a key component to a successful social media marketing plan. Part of this entails breaking down your overall goals into smaller, more manageable tactics that can be monitored each week against a set target, to keep you on pace to reach your main goals each year. Items to track include: campaign progress (activities and future indicators compared to goals), likes, followers, engagement, connections and recommendations, shares, retweets, comments, and traffic back to your website or landing pages. Hold yourself accountable to keep detailed results dashboards that clearly show what you did and when, what you got out of it, and what came from it. Being able to adjust as you go along will help ensure you effectively reach your goals.