7 Benefits of Social Media for Inbound Marketing
Digital marketing is all about establishing an online presence and driving traffic to your brand. Once your target customer is at your website, however, how do you keep them engaged with your brand? Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to do that. Inbound marketing focuses on creating valuable experiences and attracting prospects with relevant and helpful content. It's about engaging site visitors with conversational tools and platforms with the promise of continuing value to establish your authority and credibility. Most importantly, the success of inbound marketing relies on how you engage with social media.
What was once simply viewed as a way for people to stay in touch and play games, social media has grown to become one of the most powerful marketing tools available. According to sproutsocial, Facebook has over 2 billion active users, Instagram has grown to 400 million daily active users, and Twitter boasts 326 million monthly active users who send 500 million tweets per day.
The benefits of social media for inbound marketing go far beyond the considerable volume and broad reach. Social media is a marketing tool that helps you give your audience exactly what they want: interaction, engagement, and a level of trust. From building your brand to boosting SEO, the many benefits of social media for inbound marketing can help you reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message.
Social Media Shows You Care
Building customer relationships using social media is all about delivering the value today's audience demand. If you can provide relevant, informative, and even entertaining content, your targeted audience will want to connect with you. And when you engage with your audience, whether it’s replying to comments or criticism (in a positive, problem-solving way), you’ll create an even greater connection.
Your prospects are checking you out on social media when they're considering who they want to do business with, and the more active you are, the more those prospects will trust your brand. They are looking not only for credibility and authority, but for someone they can relate to who understands their business needs.
Social Media Builds Your Brand
There's no better marketing tool than social media for getting your brand in front of the prospects you want to reach. When you use social media as a core component of your marketing strategy, you create the building blocks for brand awareness. You can share insights to inform your audience, which builds authority. You can reach your audience where they spend the most time online, which allows you to garner a reputation for being tech-savvy and up-to-date. You can, and should, entertain your audience to build a sense of trust and relatability.
Social media is a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to let your prospects learn about not only your business, but also about you and what you represent. The images you post, the topics you discuss, and your overall tone will quickly help your target audience determine if they think you will be a good fit for their needs. Meet those needs with your social media content, and your brand will become stronger as you increase your reach.
Social Media Fuels Content Creation
Showing you care about your audience and building your brand through social media is not a one-way street. One of the best perks of using social media as part of your inbound marketing is the "insider" information and feedback you get from the very customers you are trying to attract. When you're active on social media, you have access to more content ideas than you could ever use. Forums, online review sites, and other platforms your prospects frequent offer an almost endless supply of ideas for creating the kind of content your audience is craving.
When you're looking for ideas for creating relevant and trending topics, you can browse these platforms to find out what works for your audience and what doesn't. You can also gauge your competitors' interactions to learn from their successes and failures. And once you’re ready, get on these platforms and engage your target audience. There's no better way to learn what is important to your prospects than by getting direct experience and feedback. Remember, your audience wants to find the right business for their needs, and they'll be glad to fill you in.
Social Media Promotes Content to Help Establish Your Authority
When you fully adopt social media, those digital platforms can help create a cycle with content and interaction that establishes your authority. By taking the insights and feedback gained from using social media, you can create valuable content for your audience and promote that same content via social media to keep the cycle going.
Consider the potential involved with knowing exactly what type of content to create. You post engaging content, which attracts targeted prospects. Your prospects, in turn, share your content or comment on it, instantly increasing your reach to even more prospects. Keep reaching your audience this way, and you can't help but attract new customers to grow your business.
Social Media Boosts SEO Organically
While social media use isn't one of the factors that affect rankings with search engines, there is an undeniable link between an active social media presence and the impact of SEO. The more you use social media to interact and promote your content, the more exposure you create for your business. The increased exposure and valuable content, combined with your other digital marketing efforts, help expand your reach beyond just your target audience.
When your social media marketing reaches the level where you and your business are widely considered to be authoritative and credible, relevant online influencers can begin to re-purpose or link to your content. This broader reach and the increased clout from being recognized by respected online authorities positively affects your SEO across your marketing efforts. Of course, you can always pay to boost your SEO, and in some cases, this is a viable option — but for strong, long-lasting relationships with your prospects and customers, you just can't beat boosting your SEO organically.
Social Media Inspires Innovation
Social media also has some indirect benefits if you stay open to the possibilities. When you build your brand by engaging with your audience, the feedback you receive is bound to include ideas and directions you may not have considered. If you're not on the lookout for these insights, then you are missing opportunities to expand your business offerings and your appeal to a wider audience.
When you listen to your audience and ask relevant questions, the information you discover will range far and wide, positive and negative. Learn to tap into all that valuable information, and you can find new ways to market your brand, explore new additions to your services and products, and maybe even find you need to take your business in a whole different direction. If you want to keep the edge over your competition, innovation is a necessity. Listen to what your audience is telling you, and you'll have plenty of fuel for innovation.
Social Media Gets You Out of Your Comfort Zone
No, getting out of your comfort zone in itself isn't going to directly affect your reach, your SEO, or most other elements of your marketing strategy. But it does get you out of your familiar day-to-day environment in a very productive way when you do it with social media. No matter what business you're in, many of us achieve a level of comfort with our industry and our marketing expertise.
But no matter how much you know about your industry and how to market it, there is always something new and beneficial just around the corner. Customer needs and wants change just like search engine algorithms, and if you don't expand your knowledge, you can miss these critical changes and trends.
Don't underestimate the "social" aspect of social media. The power of social media, after all, is social interaction. People crave meaningful relationships, and the business of building customer relationships is no exception. Embrace the need for social interaction, and don't be afraid to reveal your personality and what makes you uniquely qualified to meet your prospects' and customers' needs. You'll find the return on investment will make your inbound marketing more effective and your bottom line more profitable.