Inside Inbound Marketing: Social Media’s Role by Cory Bosket on 10/21/2015 It’s no longer enough to have a website for your business. In today’s environment, social media marketing is no longer a question – it’s a necessity. Social media has proved once and for all that it is much more than a mere fad, and nearly ¾ of all online adults actively use social networking sites with many using these sites frequently throughout their day. Simply put, social media is an outstanding way to market your business and break down the barriers of communication between your brand and your customers. Social media is an ongoing, ever-evolving conversation that just may be what you need to push your business ahead of the competition. Still not convinced? Consider this – Facebook’s population is more than twice as big as the United States’, boasting over 968 million daily users and growing. That leaves potentially hundreds of customers and connections out there for your brand. Stop making excuses when it comes to your brand’s social media presence and get started revamping your social strategy today. Build Your Social Community Before diving into your social networks, begin by defining your target customer. Start with the easy stuff like defining your ideal customer’s demographics and begin outlining your ideal persona. Take some time to consider your customers’ likes, dislikes, values and what appeals to them most to help build a blueprint for your social strategy. Write it all down, and use the information you collected to determine what social network your audience accesses the most. If you want your message to be heard, you must first attract an audience. Your social media strategy should focus on creating a social, interactive, two-way dialogue channel for your community. Some strategies to help you start engaging your audiences include: Sharing updates that provide value to your community Publish often and promote not only your own content but other industry news as well Make it accessible! Make sure that your profile is completely filled out so that your community has a complete portrait of what your brand does. Engage your community in two-way conversations – responding to every tweet, comment, or new follow even if it’s just to say ‘Hello.’ Once you have a solid community established, it’s time to start converting those followers into leads – and maybe even loyal brand enthusiasts. Merging Your Content Marketing and Social Media Strategies Your brand’s content marketing and social media strategy should work hand-in-hand, complimenting one another to provide a powerful foundation to build a successful inbound marketing campaign upon. Learning how to effectively merge your social media and content marketing campaigns can increase the value of your latest brilliant blog post. Merging your content and social strategies consist of two primary components – promotion and discovery. Content Promotion: Posting links and snippets to your social profiles will help improve the visibility of your blog posts, and may even create valuable social signals for your brand. When creating your content, make sure to provide plenty of visuals and power statements that grab the attention of your followers. Content Discovery: There is no better way to improve your audience engagement than by hearing it straight from the source. This is where the open dialogue in social media comes into play. Take some time to listen to what your followers are saying about your brand, and use your blog to answer their most common questions for a surefire piece that produces engagement. Nurture Your Community No matter how many followers you’re able to collect, it’s essential useless unless some of your followers eventually turn into customers or even brand evangelists. Converting your brand’s passive followers into social engagers isn’t easy, but the practice more than pays off in the long run. Social media is a great way to give your business a bit more personality and make it seem more human. Strive to build genuine, real relationships with your followers and provide them with valuable and unique content that helps them connect with your brand. On social media, it’s important to be personable first and promotional second. Establish yourself as a thought leader, show your customers you care through comments & replies, carefully monitor what your followers are saying about your brand and your competitors, and you may just find yourself with an easy boost in customers and sales. Gain Valuable Insights Into Your Audience We mentioned earlier how social media puts you face-to-face with customers like never before. Several social media platforms already have their own Audience Insights tools attached to your profile, helping you get to know the people who matter most to your business and what matters to them. Keep an eye out for key metrics and leverage all the ‘social noise’ and transforming it into a strategy that strengthens your inbound marketing efforts: Monitor customer voices on social media posts, forums and news sites for a continuous stream of straight from the source data on what how your customer’s feel Use social media tools to collect key information and terms that drive a response from your audience Take some time to structure the information you collect, separating the social noise into valuable data you can use to your advantage Analyze what you hear and give yourself insight into what action to take next Use that insight to deliver a social strategy that moves your business forward and turns passive followers into active ambassadors for your brand Social Media is no longer a luxury. In fact, it’s become one of the fastest and most affordable ways to grow your online presence and build your inbound marketing campaign. Don’t leave your brand’s social networks falling short and seek out the social media management services from Eyeflow Internet Marketing. Putting our 14 years of experience to work, the social media marketing team at Eyeflow can create a voice and personality fit for your brand while actively working to build up your community of brand ambassadors and loyal followers. So what are you waiting for? Start putting your business front and center for your customers and watch your business boom with help from Eyeflow Internet Marketing. Share the Love Related posts: Inside Inbound Marketing: Paid Advertising’s Role Inside Inbound Marketing: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign Inside Inbound Marketing: Why SEO Still Matters Inside Inbound Marketing: Content Creation Cory BosketCory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes. 2016 Digital Marketing Essentials Learn how to improve your search engine performance dramatically and do more business online! Check it out!