Is Social Media a good use of my time and money?
Before we discuss social media, let’s be sure we understand how inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing.
According to Wikipedia “Inbound marketing provides information, an improved customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms.” It is also known as permission marketing in the sense that the customer makes a choice to view your information and/or engage.
Follow this link for more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbound_marketing
In contrast, outbound marketing reverses the relationship between company and customer by pushing your product or service through various channels (i.e. direct mail, radio, tv, print media). We could call it “in your face” marketing. And, this is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, a successful marketing strategy often includes both methods.
Now, is social media worth the effort? The answer is, in most cases, yes! It is a great way to:
- Expand marketing efforts
- Build brand awareness
- Bring brand content to customers
- Drive word of mouth marketing
71% of people who had a good experience are likely to recommend a product or service. These recommendations are often communicated in various ways via social media. Let’s use the example of a new restaurant. People seem to love sharing the fact that they had a great (or terrible) meal. If the experience was good, this is wonderful, free advertising! If the restaurant has a social media strategy, the folks hearing this news can connect/engage with the restaurant immediately! It is now on their radar!
What is a “Social Media Strategy”? It is an inbound marketing plan, and, like any other plan it will have several components
- Knowing who your customer is (target markets)
- Aligning it with your business objectives
- Using the SMART method (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely)
- Incorporating the social media channels that make sense for your business
- Evaluating the impact of social listening and engagement
- Developing a content strategy
- Identifying metrics for success
- Integrating with other inbound and outbound marketing efforts