Since the first days of Facebook and Twitter, people have rapidly adopted social media, and have invented uses that the platform wasn’t originally designed for. The platforms have grown fast, too. Twitter, for instance, was founded in 2006, and now has over 500 million tweets per day. With these kinds of numbers, you can’t afford to ignore the use of these channels to promote your business. But it’s about leads, and not selling.
New Channels Mean New Challenges
The growth of social media has given companies new marketing opportunities. You now have chance to entertain and inform your customers, but organizations sometimes put their efforts in older methods of marketing. How many times have you simply closed a pop-up ad without looking at it?
Disruptive ads like this are extremely irritating to customers, who are increasingly using ad blockers during browsing sessions. With customers annoyed by pop-up ads, yet more and more customers staying plugged in digitally, how can a small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) get the word out?
The answer is simple: Great Content + social media marketing + marketing automation
Social Media and Inbound Marketing
In 2012, 86% of users used search engines to find information that educated them. With this in mind, it makes sense for your company to increase the output of articles and blog posts that will help inform your customers. It also needs to be seen by customers, which is where social media channels come in.
Marketing campaigns can be tough for your small business since you may not have the funding to compete with larger competitors. Publishing informative articles that are relevant to your industry, then linking to them from various media channels is an inexpensive way for your SMB to gain notice. The use of “growth hacking,” using multiple channels to experiment and see what strategy works best, tells you if content is noticed more on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other media.
Spreading your company’s curated article on social media allows you to reach a wide network through your followers and their re-tweets and shares. The more informative articles readers find from your company, the more likely they are to remember the name of your company and visit your site. This is known as “inbound marketing,” and it has proven to be one of the most effective methods of social selling.
Additionally, building brand recognition means that every follower is more likely to share, further building your lead network. When shared, your company’s name now also reaches everyone who follows that user, with each share or re-tweet building your audience.
Automation: It’s your Best Friend
Managing growth hacking over multiple accounts can be complex and confusing, and keeping posts updated on a regular basis is challenging when you’re busy managing other parts of your business. Marketing automation can help by doing the work for you. Pre-written articles can be scheduled for publication at a certain date and time, saving you the trouble of having to do it yourself. Automation can also report cross-channel metrics, letting you know which media are the most effective.
For an SMB, this is invaluable, as it takes away the need for analysts to collect the information for you. All you need to do is interpret it and adjust your campaign accordingly.
It’s not About Advertising
Using inbound marketing to your advantage means using social media to generate leads, rather than sales. The use of informative, industry relevant articles is one of the best ways to get people talking about you. Companies creating blog posts one or two times per month actually see up to 70% more leads than those who don’t.
Services like 366 Degrees can help you accelerate your business by integrating sales enablement and marketing automation into one streamlined platform. Using the service allows automated campaigns to be sent through social media, email, online and mobile channels. Through the use of sales and automation tools like this, you can easily integrate with Social CRM services like Nimble and CRM platforms like Salesforce.