Social Media Has The Potential To Act As An Accelerant
A lot of inbound marketing agencies are still trying to figure out what to do with social media tactics. Heck, a lot of agencies in general are still trying to figure it out.
What do you do with it?
How do you use it to engage an audience?
How do you build an audience?
Beyond the obvious purchase of a sponsored pay-per-click ad (which does have value from a marketing perspective), what other tactics can we deploy to grab the attention of thousands of potential customers for our clients?
Good news: Some of these answers lie hidden within your content marketing strategy.
People Converse On Social Media, So Start Conversations
If you look on social media marketing sites, you see a lot of conversations. Some have value, and some don’t. Regardless, these conversations are important. So, if all you do is post content on your sites, you’re not taking advantage of the key reason why people are on social sites in the first place.
Posting your content does have value, but a more productive approach would be to use that content to start a conversation with your followers. Post a controversial question and ask for people to comment. Elicit opinions or ask users to share a story, picture or video.
When you create content, make sure you're also developing conversation starters that fulfill your social media strategy. Use these starters to get people talking, and use your content to continue the conversation.
People Love To Share, So Give Them Content That's Worth Sharing
You see it yourself: People love sharing stuff. So, if your goal is to get prospects to know, like and trust you, you need to give them content they'll find so interesting that they'll share it with their networks.
This is going to require stepping out of your comfort zone, even if just a little. If what you’re publishing looks like everything else out there, is too "safe" or isn't going to inflame anyone, the chances of it being shared are very slim.
If, however, you publish something that is controversial, gives a different opinion or stirs up the emotions of your audience, you’re going to get the attention you’re seeking. There is an old saying that any PR is good PR. You might agree or disagree, but the perspective works here. Anything that grabs the attention of your audience and gets them to notice you gives you the opportunity to use that attention to drive leads.
Now, I wouldn’t suggest publishing things that don’t support your position in your industry. But, if you’re working hard to be remarkable in your space, it’s likely that you have an opinion worth sharing.
Your Social Audience Should Be Considered A Company Asset
A lot of small and mid-sized businesses don’t place enough value on the social elements they’re working hard to create. Your audiences on these sites should be considered an asset. And an asset worth building is an asset worth nurturing and protecting.
The bigger your pool of followers, fans, connections and friends is, the easier it'll be to publish content that turns prospects into leads. We see this over and over again. Companies with solid social media practices and large social followings typically get more visitors to their website, higher conversion rates and more leads. Make growing your social networks a major marketing initiative. Set goals, work hard to hit those goals and include social in all aspects of your inbound marketing efforts.
Integrate Social Into All Aspects Of Your Company
Many companies also fail to recognize that there are social network growth opportunities right under their noses. Almost everyone has a LinkedIn profile with followers, a Facebook page with friends and a Twitter account. Yet, most company team members never share their company’s content with any of their networks.
There are some good reasons for not sharing, but most of them are easily resolved with brief discussions. For instance, take the company with 50 employees that blogs every day. Each of those 50 people has a LinkedIn account with about 100 connections. That’s 5,000 additional people who might have an interest in reading the company blog. Each day, those 50 people should be reading the company blog and sharing it with their entire LinkedIn network.
This would contribute to a huge increase in the amount of people being introduced to the company, its content and its message. Maybe only a small handful of those people actually care about the content, but if even one of them is interested enough to follow up, you've got potential for a new client.
Perhaps more important is the fact that those 5,000 people also have their own networks, so the exponential growth that lies hidden within your team is monumental. If you fail to include that in your social marketing plans, you're letting a huge, untapped, cost-free way to generate leads slip through your fingers every day.
Our obsession with social networks is NOT going way. Even if Facebook went out of business tomorrow, there would be another social platform responsible for its demise. Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Ello and Hyper are all relatively new social sites that are picking up speed. Social is here to stay, and we have to find a way to leverage it to deliver a remarkable experience to our prospects so that they know, like and trust us.
Start Today Tip – The best way to evaluate social sites is to test them. Begin by focusing on just one or two. Getting good at using one social site can have such a major impact on your business that it’s worth the attention. If you sell to consumers, start with Facebook. Get good at conversing with, servicing and helping your prospects. If you're B2B, start with LinkedIn. This medium offers some amazing publishing opportunities, and you're not limited by Google’s duplicate content rules. With focus, you learn how to be successful, and you should be able to transfer some of those key learnings to other platforms over time.
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