How is social media integrated with your overall marketing strategy?
This is an important question to ask because depending on how you’re treating social, there could be a significant disconnect between the effort you’re putting forth and the results you’re getting (or not getting).
Some companies choose to focus exclusively on social media for their marketing. For others, it’s a mere afterthought. Both extremes are detrimental to your digital strategy.
So, let’s talk about how marketing and social media go hand in hand, and why that’s important.
Lead Nurturing Through Multiple Channels
How many channels are you using to talk to your leads and customers?
Although email is one of the most effective and valuable channels for many organizations, your subscribers may experience “email fatigue” given enough time. They’ll stop engaging at the same level of regularity.
But when you’re communicating with your audience with blog posts and social media channels in addition to email, you can keep interest levels high, and continue to nurture your leads by leveraging different platforms.
Staying relevant and keeping top-of-mind can be a challenge when you aren’t using multiple channels for your marketing. This is where social media can be the perfect complement to your email campaigns and blog posts.
Being Where Your Target Audience Already Is
This is marketing 101 – knowing who your audience is, where they like to hang out online, what blogs they read, what podcasts they listen to, what magazines they subscribe to, and so on. Consistently showing up in these places can help you generate new leads and customers, and keep you in the consciousness of those who are already aware of you.
Naturally, your audience hangs out on social networks too. Most businesses find that their largest audiences are on Facebook and Twitter, but depending on the exact nature of your product or service, there may be other sites worth creating a presence on. The key is only to take on what you can sustain over the long haul.
But showing up in these places builds a lot of credibility with your target audience. It shows them that they can trust you, that you have something valuable to say (as long as you’re sharing relevant information), and that you’re there to interact and connect with them.
Lead and Customer Interaction
It used to be that you could handle customer support with catch-all FAQ pages. This just isn’t the case anymore.
According to Jay Baer at Convince & Convert, 42% of consumers complaining in social media expect a 60-minute response time. Are you keeping up with customer interactions on social media?
The reality is that customers expect fast response times. They expect detail-rich tutorials and how-to posts on your blog. They’ll be expecting support lines and live chat. They expect you to hold their hand when they have a question.
But this presents a significant opportunity for businesses on social media. Answering questions can quickly lead to sales. Pointing people to the right resources at the right time can build trust, turn visitors into leads, and leads into paying customers.
Social media is where conversations happen. Are you part of the conversation?
Is the intersection between marketing and social media becoming clearer?
To ignore social is to abandon a valuable lead nurturing system. When you treat social media as an afterthought is to appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. To focus entirely on social is to leave other relevant channels (plus, you don’t own your social media following).
But the other extreme is also bad – spamming your followers with too many posts and promotional links. This is a surefire way to get ignored and un-followed.
If you don’t have a documented strategy, start there. Determine how social media fits into your overall marketing plan, and assign the right people and resources to ensure the best results possible.
How are you using social media to nurture leads and connect with your audience?
Let us know in the comments below.