Of all the inbound marketing strategies used in the digital marketing world, I believe social publishing is the most important component of the pull marketing methods.
With social media, businesses are able to:
- Connect with and reach a wide variety of their buyer personas at all times of the day. Each social media network offers a unique way for business to connect and create a relationship with their customers. This allows them to reach a wider customer base. A middle aged house wife may be more likely to use Facebook and seek out posts from her favorite apparel company than she would be to view posts or content from that same company on LinkedIn or Twitter.
As Hubspot explains in their inbound marketing certification, each platform is used by different audiences and has a unique purpose. In order to get the most out of a social media marketing plan, that business must taylor their content to each specific platform.
On the other side of that, because there are so many different networks that serve just as many purposes it is important for businesses to only use the platforms that are going to be beneficial to them. A local taxi service company may not need an Instagram or Pinterest page…. I mean, unless they want to show the beauty of their yellow cars?
- Promote relevant content they have created, which can be shared by their followers/customers. Because the inbound marketing process must be integrated in order to gain their desired traffic and final goal, social media networks may be the best platforms for this integration process. These are great spaces for business to ensure their customers are aware of content created and posted to blogs or websites. This idea of cross-promotion is key in making sure your content is easy to find.
As Moz.com explains, it is important to make sure your business’ blogs are linked to your social platforms and that all your names for each platform are cohesive. Then, it is important to make sure that each experience is unique. Give people a reason to follow you on Facebook and Twitter!
I really like this point Moz makes because when I think of the social media platforms I use personally, there are very few businesses I follow on multiple platforms. I follow Motives Cosmetics on Instagram because I love the tutorials and product reviews, but I have not found a reason to follow them on Facebook because it does not seem as beneficial for me. This could tie back into the use of specific social media outlets for unique purposes I mentioned above.
- Solve problems immediately. Solving problems or crisis management, as Moz puts it is another great feature social media offers businesses. Even though it is possible for a business to create PR problems for themselves through social media and it is also a place for customer issues to be magnified, these networks are a great place for businesses to ensure issues are solved quickly.
Since social media pages can be monitored in real time, businesses have the opportunity to respond to unsatisfied customers as soon as possible and turn them right back into satisfied customers. If done correctly, this quick response to a problem might turn a negative into a big positive for a business. When a customer is satisfied with how they have been treated they might be more likely to like, share, and repurchase in the future… and maybe even more so than they did in the past (before the crisis).
- Create conversations with their customers, which will lead to a stronger relationship. Finally, the most important feature of social media in the inbound marketing experience includes the ability for a business to create conversations and build a stronger relationship with their followers or customers.
Both Moz and Hubspot explain, just presenting content and promoting is not a best practice. Engaging in conversation and listening to what your followers or customers have to say is important. Customers may have great insight or feedback about specific products or services offered. If you do not listen or engage in this conversation, your customers may not be provided with the products or services they desire and will find it in other places. On top of satisfaction, “brand love” is formed through the positive relationship/connection a customer has with a business.
As you can see the benefits to social media in the inbound marketing space are great and the practices used for these platforms are just as important. Moz and Hubspot give some great pointers for businesses and marketers to unleash the power of their social media networks.