As the company’s messaging machine, marketers communicate to current and potential buyers and ultimately generate sales leads in two high-level ways. Traditional marketing measures (direct and HTML mail, advertising, telemarketing, etc.) are considered a push where information about the company and its services and products is pushed directly to customers and prospects. But as spam-filled inboxes go ignored and buyers better-trust information researched, marketers have adapted and adopted social media marketing to generate leads with an inbound marketingpull, where online educational content and discussions live and become the information researched.But, social media is no field of dreams. The content has to be pull-worthy. If every message shared through your social media channels are a typical push messages, you’ll fail to build credibility and visitors will dwindle. Don’t think of social media outlets as websites numbers 2, 3, and 4, but rather use them to provide research, create company spokespeople to blog and vlog, and generate meaningful conversations about industry news and trends. This doesn’t mean your social media channels should be devoid of push messages, but they shouldn’t be dominated by them if you’d like fans (READ: sales prospects) to participate, share information – both yours and theirs – return and build a direct relationship with your company. Part of the appeal of social media outlets are (ironically) their humanizing aspects.
With that said, there are a few elements that make for more successful inbound marketing techniques:
Push SEO. If it’s on the web, it needs to be searchable. Be sure to pepper blog copy; Facebook descriptions; and image, video and page titles with your company’s keywords. Link to relevant and popular sites. When tweeting, the @ and # keys will keep you searchable and present in others’ feeds.
Pull Metrics. Monitor traffic, leverage Google analytics and Facebook Insights and adjust your content accordingly. Understand who your followers and their behaviors. Give your audience what they crave when visiting your sites and content they enjoy sharing.
Push Participation. A little encouragement goes a long way. Create corporate social media policies that ask employees to ask responsibility and with common sense, but that also empower them to take stock in posting content, monitoring sites and followers, and positively reacting to conversations.
Pull Sales Leads. Once sales members begin effectively monitoring social media sites, they can leverage LinkedIn special interest groups, your Facebook page and Twitter feeds to serve as industry experts, start conversations, build relationships with potential prospects for targeted lead nurturing. And don’t underestimate the power of search – build contact lists within companies on LinkedIn and use hashtags to find interest on Twitter. Remember social is the keyword here, and connections made are why these channels are so valuable.