For marketers, social media has long been nothing more than a means to an end: a way of seeding content. They’ve been entirely mistaken. Your social media marketing has a far higher purpose than the mere distribution of content – it can actually help you to win new customers.
WHY WE’VE BEEN GOING ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA PUBLISHING ALL WRONG
If we think back to the origins of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Co., we realise that none of these platforms were created primarily for marketing purposes: they were (and still are) there to enable us to connect with friends and share content. After some time, companies recognised their networking potential and began to explore the idea of social media channels as advertising platforms. But they did so with a very conventional approach to advertising and marketing: that followers come and go, clicks rise and fall – but that such channels did not offer an opportunity way to increase customer numbers and achieve sustainable returns on investment.
HOW TO REACH THE RIGHT PEOPLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
If you want to generate new customers with social media publishing, it’s vital that you really get to know your followers. Alongside demographic data like age, gender or occupational group, you’ll also need a picture of how visitors find your channel in the first place. Are they searching for specific information, or do they just want to browse? Have they heard about your company or brand from their friends, or have they simply stumbled across it on Google? Do they want to buy something, or are they trying solve a problem? This data can be obtained both from analysing your channels yourself and by embedding tracking links in your social media posts. As you compile this data, a persona will slowly take shape – and the more you collect, the better and more refined your understanding of this persona will be.
WHO ARE THE “RIGHT” PEOPLE?
A persona is a “sketch” of the person at whom your company, your brand and ultimately each individual element of your online marketing strategy is aimed. It is obtained through research and reflection and will illustrate clearly what type of content you need to include in your social media strategy to reach the right people – namely, anyone who might have a genuine interest in what you have to say and who as a result would be willing to follow you and buy your products. If your social media strategy thus far has been aimed solely at maximising your traffic, you likely won’t have accomplished much, since traffic alone does not equal customers. This is precisely where an inbound marketing strategy comes into play. Where you have traffic, you can also generate customers – all it takes is a little know-how.
HOW CLICKS BECOME CUSTOMERS
Rather than pursuing customers aggressively, inbound marketing means waiting for customers to come to you – and this can be achieved through content that is meaningful, relevant and interesting for your persona. If you’re developing an inbound marketing strategy in which social media plays a fundamental role, you should produce content that helps that consumer: advice pieces, problem-solving, tips & tricks. Sooner or later, if you produce the right content, your potential customers will find you both on Google and on social networks. If the information you provide helps your visitors to solve a problem or satisfy their curiosity, your brand will – subconsciously or consciously – end up positively lodged in their memory.
But how exactly should a business go about tailoring content to its potential customers? To do this, it must know the phase of the buyer’s journey in which these customers are located. Do these customers have a single “symptom”, are they aware of the problem they’re facing, or do they not yet have a clue? An inbound marketing strategy provides the tools you need to address customers with tailored, highly targeted content.
HOW MARKETING AUTOMATION CAN BOOST YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA RESULTS
If a person clicks on a link to your website in a social media post, they will ideally judge the information they find to be useful. A certain percentage of these visitors will subscribe to your newsletter. This number is dependent on the content of your strategy and its tactical implementation.
Your newsletter subscribers are now “known quantities”. You can track the content they’re viewing on your website or in your newsletter and offer them even more tailored and appropriate content as a result. All these processes – from your Facebook posts and the tone you use in your email forms to the purchasing process on your website – can be automated with tools like Marketo, ExactTarget or HubSpot and are thus easy to organise in an efficient and cost-effective way.
By massively increasing the reach of your inbound marketing, enabling comprehensive marketing automation and helping to generate leads from readers or visitors, social media plays a critical role in accomplishing the above. With the right workflows and adequate lead nurturing, leads will gradually become customers – almost as if by magic.
Curious to discover how your firm measures up when it comes to inbound marketing, marketing automation and social media? We have the answer to this question:
Founder & CEO
Gerrit Grunert is the founder and CEO of Crispy Content. Always revved up, he is a goldmine of creative ideas which are infectious to everyone around him. Gerrit knows how to utilise the full potential of this explosive mixture - both at work and in his leisure activities. While he continues to work towards his childhood dream of becoming the fastest guitar player in the world and tests his endurance in cycling races, he is also instigating the content marketing revolution from the Crispy Office.Unser Team