It’s rare to meet anyone who doesn’t have any social media profiles these days. In fact, studies show about 70% of Americans use at least one social media app daily. (Facebook is the most popular choice in case you were wondering.) Furthermore, the same research reports that social media use is on the rise across almost all age groups.
Social media appears to be here to stay. So, it’s no wonder that it has become a cornerstone of inbound marketing. It can be an excellent way not just to connect with your existing customers but also to attract new ones. Instagram says 83% of users discover new products or services on the platform.
With so many people on the apps in a buying mindset, it’s a no-brainer to ensure your social media strategy is on point. Keep reading for some of the most important facets to consider when developing the social media side of your inbound marketing plan.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Before we dive into the social media aspect of inbound marketing, let’s look at it as a whole. Inbound marketing tactics encompass all forms of content creation that entice prospects. In contrast, outbound tactics revolve more around outreach, such as cold calling.
Inbound marketing typically goes over better with potential customers. Why? Because it’s a more natural way to build rapport with your target audience. People engage with high-quality content that interests them. One way to provide users with this kind of valuable content is by leveraging social media.
Why Is Social Media an Important Part of Inbound Marketing?
Because most people use it, social media gives you the potential to reach billions of prospects. You can quite literally reach anyone with internet access. You can advertise to people locally or even in distant countries. Social media makes it easy to promote your company and build a positive perception of your brand worldwide.
Additionally, using social media is a very cost-effective marketing strategy. While there are paid options, such as running targeted ads, they’re not mandatory. It’s free to create an account and post on most platforms. This enables you to build a following for just the cost of creating content. It’s one of the cheapest forms of advertising available.
Social media is also an extremely versatile facet of inbound marketing. With the many different platforms available, you’re guaranteed to find one that works for your company. For example, visual brands with physical products may thrive on Instagram and Pinterest. Alternatively, if your business is service based, you might prefer LinkedIn or Facebook.
There are myriad content ideas for every platform. Whichever you choose will provide plenty of new opportunities for your business to reach more people. Just make sure you have a winning content strategy.
5 Benefits of Social Media for Inbound Marketing
So far, we’ve only scratched the surface of how social media plays an integral role in inbound marketing. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how social media helps with things like search engine optimization (SEO) and customer service experiences.
ATTRACT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Social media can provide better advertising options than traditional media. You can easily customize social media ad campaigns around your target audience. Ads can be tailored to focus on anything from search terms to demographics to market segments. This helps you with promoting only relevant products and services to users.
Connection and Collaboration
Another important way social media leads to increased exposure in your target market is through networking. Comment on social media posts from other leaders in your industry. Do live video collaborations. Guest post on each other’s accounts. Social media is all about engagement and interactions.
STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND
Social media should feel like a more conversational and personalized extension of your main website. Create content in your brand voice and aesthetic. Your social media profiles and feeds should always be clear and cohesive. You want users to get an immediate idea of who you are and what you do when they land on your pages.
Share valuable content that establishes you as a trusted leader in your industry. When your readers view you as a market leader, they will become fans and customers. A loyal audience is more likely to promote your content and services to others.
GENERATE MORE TRAFFIC
All your social media profiles and posts can link back to different parts of your website. These links are known as backlinks, and they drive more traffic to your site. Quality backlinks and higher traffic numbers boost your SEO ranking, which determines where your pages are more likely to appear in search engine results.
When search engines rank your pages higher, you are pretty much guaranteed to get more traffic over time. SEO is another important part of inbound marketing that social media complements.
ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Interact with your customers in the comment areas and run polls. It’s the quickest and most direct way to hear from your audience and also to show that you are interested in creating a relationship with them.
Social media helps foster the connection between companies and their customers. The best customer service experiences are those that are personalized and sincere. View every comment as an opportunity to have a genuine conversation with your audience.
GAIN VALUABLE AUDIENCE METRICS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Many social media platforms provide audience analytics. Get insight into what pieces of content perform well and what your customer demographics are. You can cross-reference this information with your Google Analytics data from your website.
When put together, the data can paint a picture of how social media marketing is contributing to your business goals. This information can help you hone your overall inbound marketing strategy over time.
In this day and age, it’s likely you’re on at least one social media platform. The question is: How effectively are you using social media? Whether your business is on Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform, the important part is that you have a strategy.
There is an undeniable link between the success of an inbound marketing plan and a sound social media strategy. Using social media with intention can help you grow exponentially. It helps you gain visibility, build your reputation, and connect with prospects and industry peers.
Bottom line: When your target audience trusts and respects you, you will be more successful.
FAQs About Social Media and Inbound Marketing
What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Inbound marketing relies on creating high-quality content that builds an audience. Outbound marketing centers on outreach and includes things like cold calling. In inbound marketing, prospects find you rather than you finding them.
Is social media marketing inbound or outbound?
Social media marketing is an important part of inbound marketing. You create content that customers can find, and they choose how to interact with it.
Why is inbound marketing so important?
Inbound marketing is important because it builds brand awareness and attracts qualified leads. It is better for a company’s reputation than cold outbound marketing. It has a higher success rate as well.
Is social media part of inbound marketing?
Yes, social media is often an important part of inbound marketing strategies. Other inbound marketing efforts may include opt-in email campaigns and blog articles.
The ISG Difference
ISG’s Social Media Management services offer a highly effective way to grow your brand awareness, the number of new customers, and your website traffic — resulting in bigger, better ROI. Our team of Social Media Experts can help you build, manage and retain your strategy. Connect with us today to learn more.