Inbound Marketing with Social Media
Did you know that Internet users spend 4x more on Facebook than they do Google? Were you aware that there are currently 1,310,000,000 active monthly Facebook users? Or 277,000,000 LinkedIn users? Or 1,000,000,000 twitter users? Head spinning with commas and zeros, yet? We’ve got one more number for you…
Did you know that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close- rate than outbound marketing?
Sounds enticing, right? We think so, too. If you’re a seasoned social media marketer already participating in the basics, it’s time to dig deeper. We’re going to move beyond the same old social media marketing spiel to cover some of the larger priority points that will help you to convert your market quality leads into sales quality leads. Hoist the sales, captain – here we go!
1. You should be interacting – A LOT!
We’ve all been drilled on the fact that our participation in social media is critical to marketing success, but just how much activity are we talking, here? According to experts, your marketing team should be interacting with audiences at least 20 to 30 times per week. Keep in mind, the shelf life of social media links is approximately 3 hours, after which point – it goes stale. Keep it fresh. Post often.
2. Time matters.
Yes, social media is a 24/7 flow of information. But that doesn’t mean you should be posting at all hours of the day and night! Post wisely and publish when posts are most likely to be seen. According to Social Media Today, time frames vary according to social media channel.
Facebook: between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Twitter: between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday
LinkedIn: before and after business hours (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
Google+: between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday
3. The 10:4:1 Distribution Rule.
It’s the Fibonacci of social media. The pie of cyber space! We’re going to get a little mathematical up in here, but don’t head for the hills just yet – it’s a simple ratio to understand. According to the experts, those 20 to 30 interactions should break down into the 10:4:1 ratio rule.
50% - 3rd party linking (the 10)
40% - original content sharing (the 4)
10% - links to a company landing page (the 1)
3rd Party Linking
50% of interactions should go beyond what your company produces to deliver awesome information from other sources. Pass along industry news or interesting case studies and share fascinating content from trade magazines. Be a steward of the best resources and prove to your network that you recognize quality data. The point is to act as a one-stop-shop for all industry related information to build trust and followership. When it comes time to share your perspective on topics, your network will be more inclined to listen!
40% of your activity should be original. This is your company’s chance to share industry standards specifically from their perspective. Publish blogs and articles that showcase your expert point-of-view. Produce at least 2 blogs per week, each focusing on one industry relevant topic that is highly related to your product or service. Help your target audience form the proper expectations and preferences about a buying decision. Hint, hint – these expectations should align with what you have to offer!
Links to a Company Landing Page
Once you’ve established a network of knowledge hungry followers, it’s time to up the ante. 10% of the time, provide richer, more content heavy offerings like a guide, ebook or whitepaper. Make the information desirable and advertise the information via a link to your website, where the reader can fill out a quick form to receive the download. The form gives you a bit more information about your reader in exchange for giving them exclusive insight.
4. Not all social media channels are created equal.
A common mistake that marketers make is treating all social media channels the same. Don’t do it! Each network has a different personality and as such, will provide you with unique information about your audience. Follow the descriptions below to avoid coming off like the loud, obnoxious person in the room:
Facebook is casual. It’s ok to show character here. Get a little quirky and conversational.
LinkedIn is professional. You’ll want to maintain your game face here and treat it like it is – business.
Twitter is informal. Short, buzz-worthy quips are welcomed and encouraged (hence the character limit).
A contest or photo is likely to do better on Facebook or Twitter whereas a case study or news related article is better shared on LinkedIn. If you want to know more about a client’s professional character, monitor their activity on LinkedIn. If you want to get to know them on a personal level, Facebook and Twitter is the place to be. Tailor your posts accordingly.
5. Why are we doing this?
Amidst all the what’s and how’s of inbound marketing, we sometimes forget the most important part – why. The whole point is to establish a magical little thing we like to call ‘social proof’. Popularity equals credibility, folks. The more social proof a brand has, the more trusted that brand becomes and the power that stems from that trust is two-fold. First, all this social buzz around your brand will flag attention from search engines. Second, a robust following on social media gets your brand across to a wider audience and turns your current followers into brand advocates as they share your posts with their network.
The moral of the story – social media marketing is a strategy. Make every post work for you! Consumers are craving knowledge and entertainment, so feed your network the right information at the right time and make sure the dish is never stale! Be aware of the different approaches you should be taking with each network and break down your interactions using the 10:4:1 ratio rule to generate leads and guide them through the sales funnel. Never forget, social proof equals credibility and credibility is power! Mwahahaha…
Just kidding – this isn’t Hansel and Gretel and you aren’t a witch! Your strategy should be about honest expertise sharing and quality relationship building that results in happily ever after for all.
- The End