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Use Social Media to Strengthen Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

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With a smartphone in the pocket, social media is one-click away. Moreover, we have at least one account on popular social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and others. We love to get notified about events, learn about fundraising campaigns, discover the latest news around the world, and shop. All companies and businesses now have a social media presence especially as all platforms have their ad systems so you, as a marketer, can focus on creating customer-driven advertisements on social media. And since the word-of-mouth system has moved online, one of the best inbound marketing approaches is to use content tailored to your social media audiences. This article shows you how to get the most out of each of your social media channels.

Digital Marketing Strategies

So, what’s a digital marketing strategy? It’s a set of  actions you plan to implement to reach your  business goals. Newsletter campaigns, podcasts, webinars, giveaways, advertising on social media platforms, and quality content – all these are digital marketing strategies or battle plans in a big strategy. Each of your marketing strategies must have a purpose. Also, the message that reaches out should be addressed to an ideal audience. This means you need to outline the buyer persona profiles and send the right, relevant messages through all channels, so your readers can identify themselves.

Hubspot highlights that your digital marketing strategies need to be genuine, trendy, stable and flexible, in order to grow a company these days. “This dichotomy in business is partially what makes inbound marketing paired with a careful amount of automation so powerful for the growth of companies today.” Social media presence is an important asset for your business’s growth. It represents the way people interact with your brand, and how you communicate with them properly. According to each channel, you can use social media to raise brand awareness, advertise your products, provide quick customer care services, to entertain, inspire, or develop B2B relationships, as they are all part of the inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing

Digital marketing includes different types of instruments you use to reach your business goals such as inbound or outbound marketing. The inbound marketing approach refers to all the actions you make to create meaningful and long-lasting relationships with your audience. Through helpful, valuable content and real solutions to their issues, you’ll reach to your target readers and delight them. When readers are delighted, they tell others about your business/organization/company/brand and the solutions they’ve found & implement with your help. It’s all about delivering an amazing user experience on every social media platform.

Communication works for those who work at it

John Powell

Unquestionably, your website is the soul of your business/organization/company/brand. Reaching out to your readers via social media (through essential and well-balanced content) is a great way to connect with them outside of your website, and get them back on it. A returning visitor is a happy visitor!

So, basically, your inbound marketing efforts help the new potential customers/visitors/prospects to learn more about your business, in a natural way. An inbound strategy wants to earn the reader, while an outbound strategy is focused on selling something to him. Inbound marketing approach uses publishing quality content on a business blog, social profiles, forums, YouTube channels, online reviews, and news websites to gain the lead’s attention. While  the outbound marketing is the traditional sales focused plan like paid advertisements (on any environment, including social media) that strive to increase revenue no matter what, at any cost.

Relation Between Social Media and Quality Content

People want to discover stories about your business that solve their problems. Consider social media as a place where people reunite and find out new, valuable information. When people don’t know, they ask. And you have to answer. Nicely, polite, helpful. Even when you receive negative comments and feedback, you need to hold your horses, smile and explain everything in a positive way. The way people see you responding on social media platforms is dictating the way they interact with your business. By creating engaging content, you invite your readers to resonate and/or react to it.

All your inbound marketing efforts will bring your readers closer to you. They’ll always know where to find you and how to do it, when they’re ready to go further. If your company sells a physical product or software, you can publish relevant content, explaining the benefits,  presenting essential functionalities and answering the questions. Furthermore, you can create meaningful infographics or video tutorials that contain valuable information, so people can identify your product as the solution they were searching for.

Think about each social media profile as separate websites of your organization. With different types of audiences, and distinct landing pages. Every post or tweet you show on your wall is another idea of your brand. If you have 4 social media accounts, then, you have 4 other voices of your company, besides your website. In an article about the new rules in marketing, Hubspot notest that “In today’s business climate, your audience has the convenience of interacting with your company on their terms. […] they’re developing deeper relationships that foster targeted conversations. This ties right back into the principles of inbound marketing.”

Statista.com

The Most popular Social Media Channels and a Quick Roadmap

Facebook

According to Brandwatch, Facebook numbers 2.375 billions of monthly users worldwide, with over a billion accessing it from their mobile devices. Launched in February 2004 for students at Harvard University, then expanded to other universities, and in September 2006 Facebook was released to the whole world. During the years, Facebook changed its appearances, functionalities, and  algorithms to deliver people the piece of information that’s the most relevant to them. Facebook’s purpose is to give users control of what they see in their feeds; that’s why people’s choices to react to a post means real engagement. The way they interact with the content published on Facebook is based on multiple ranking signals about the users’ behaviour.

Facebook has a policy regarding some content categories, including fake videos, misleading health details, misinformation, stolen or offensive content, that will get your page down-ranked. On the other hand, almost every content format is supported by Facebook, so it’s a great place to use all your inbound marketing efforts. If your content incites conversations between users, your job is done.

Audience: from millennials to gen X and boomers, everyone uses Facebook

Most popular brand account: Samsung

Takeaway: Facebook algorithm continuously changes the way content gets ranked in everyone’s feed.

Twitter

Known as a popular platform, Twitter is best recognized for its short pieces of content (you can write up to 280 characters per tweet) and include an image, as well as hashtags. “Twitter is a relatively informal communications tool so don’t be afraid to embrace a personal, friendly and humorous approach to tweeting” notes the Economic and Social Research Council. Tweet short stories with images, and retweet interesting information.

Twitter was developed by four former Google Employees and released in 2006. Built upon the Ruby on Rails framework, Twitter was thought to be a SMS based software. Today, there are over 330 million monthly users. You can check out the Twitter statistics on the Business of Apps website. Twitter gives you the opportunity to create polls, ask questions, and make your audience curious to know more. This way you’re encouraging your followers to share their thoughts about a matter. If you wrote a great article on your brand’s blog, share it with your Twitter audience. Use a clear, friendly, and short line to describe it. Don’t forget to use visuals for a quick impact!

Audience: 35-65, mostly men

Most popular Twitter account: Barack Obama 

Most popular brand on Twitter: PlayStation

Takeaway: USA and Japan are the leading countries with the most significant number of users

Instagram

If your business is related to fashion, luxury, beauty, merchandise, arts, photography crafts, gastronomy, then, visuals are everything. Instagram is the best social media to publish images that catch the eye of the visitor. You can post content on your profile, upload IGTV videos, reels, publish stories and apply filters, mention collaborators, use tags and relevant hashtags, and so on. Instagram was launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and two years later the platform was bought by Facebook. So, in our opinion, Instagram easily connects brands, people, and influencers through creative and unique media content. Is about telling stories through strong visuals. Make sure to use attractive photos or videos, and choose the right hashtags (you need to mix and match them from time to time). Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users.

Audience: Gen Z and millennials

Most popular Instagram account: Cristiano Ronaldo

Takeaway: According to Hootsuite, 90% of the Instagram users follow a business account.

LinkedIn

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn is a social network that connects professionals from different businesses. “LinkedIn allows users to further their careers by searching for jobs, finding connections (even at third hand) at a particular company, and receiving recommendations from other users,” notes Britannica. According to Foundation Inc, there are over 675 million monthly users. People with accounts on LinkedIn are scrolling through their feeds to discover new valuable tips to improve their businesses approaches. Keep that in mind when you’re submitting information on behalf of your organization. LinkedIn is not the kind of social media where you’ll find memes to laugh at and adorable cat images. Here’s a trick: you cannot publish articles as a company page, but you as an individual can write a great piece of content and tag your brand’s page.

Audience: 26-55 years old, based on a Hootsuite article about LinkedIn stats

Most popular LinkedIn account: TED Conferences

Takeaway: More than 70% users are outside the USA.

Pinterest

Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a network based on sharing images and quick videos that people can pin and save into their boards. Pinterest is a great way to organize topics based on your interests. If you’re interested in architecture, you’ll search for all the pins related to this matter and create a board so you can find them anytime and get your inspiration. Since its launch in December 2009, Pinterest is used by over 300 million monthly users worldwide. This social media constantly draws retailers to create a Pinterest business page as an online storefront to attract new customers using beautiful visuals.

Audience: 18-49 years old, mostly women

Most Popular Pinterest account: Oh Joy! 

Takeaway: Over 42% of women use Pinterest as their resource, while only 15% of men access it.

YouTube

This is the largest video-streaming platform in the world, and it was created in 2005 by three former PayPal employees. In 2006, Google bought YouTube and since then, this platform has become an important search channel for users. YouTube is based on user-generated content , and you have a great opportunity to make your business discoverable. There are over 2 billion of YouTube accounts that live stream videos or publish videos of themselves & others doing crafts, giveaways, tech tutorials, music videos, and so on. People search through YouTube databases for original content they relate to.

Audience: Everyone

Most Popular YouTube account: T-Series

Takeaway: People on YouTube are watching a billion hour of videos daily. This is the second largest search engine behind Google, surpassing Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com combined.

Snapchat

Snapchat was launched in 2011 and nowadays it is used by over 210 million of active younger users. This platform is an attractive social network and a new way to reach out to another audience. Neil Patel describes Snapchat as a “highly authentic, personal, and engaging medium for digital marketing stars to connect with their customers.” It is said that content doesn’t last too much on Snapchat, but it’s a social media platform where businesses are not too many. So, it’s a market that can be exploited. Unlike Instagram where people take high-definition images and put focus on crystal clear images and mostly make-up related filters, Snapchat uses its stories to entertain, so that everyone can make jokes and use filters in the most funny ways possible.

Social Tech Junkie describes Snapchat as a way to “catch breaking news, appreciate unique works of art, and get some incredible laughs.” So, if your audience mainly concerns teenagers, you could try to market your brand in a natural, humoristic way on Snapchat too.

Audience: 13-29 year old, according to Smart Insights

Most Popular Snapchat account: Dj Khaled  

Takeaway: Influencer marketing is rising on Snapchat, as 4 out of 4 Snapchat users respond to new brands used by celebrities they follow.

Get the Most Out of Each Social Media Channel

With ever-changing marketing tactics and technology evolution, as a digital marketer you have to keep up the balance and live with the trends. People may have different levels of education, demographics, and ages according to each social media statistic, but all of them are interested in getting valuable tips to improve their lifestyle. If you keep posting quality content and respect the social media platform’s terms, your business is safe. You can find more about each social media demographic from the Sprout Social comprehensive guide. Most of the social media networks allow groups that can be private or public.

If you want to reach out to other audiences than yours, you could look out to share useful information. Consider this article as the starting point for your company to learn more about who your audience is and how to reach through which platforms. In marketing, being open-minded is a must. Social media is the best way to promote your business and make it visible to the world. You can improve your leads, increase sales, and boost conversions by using inbound strategies and amazing content. On social media you’ll reach the audience that is really interested in what your company is all about, and you’ll build long-lasting relationships with your followers.

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