Coined by HubSpot, the term “inbound marketing” describes a proven method of creating and sharing content that turns strangers into customers and promoters of your business. Below is a graphic HubSpot created to illustrate how inbound marketing works. “Attract, convert, close, and delight” are all actions inbound marketers must do in order to obtain visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. Along the bottom are tactics that can be executed to achieve these actions.
A channel that has proven to be a great friend of inbound marketing is social media. If you’re not sure why social media is important to inbound marketing, keep on reading.
Here are 5 reasons why social media is important to inbound marketing
Reason #1: Social media helps inbound marketing with content promotion
Social media helps attract new readers and returning visitors, which is a vital part to your inbound marketing strategy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: creating great content is just the first step, creating a great content promotion plan is the key to gaining traction to attracting readers to your content.
Your content promotion plan should include paid, owned, and earned social media tactics. This includes, but not limited to: using your own social media channels, paying for social media ads, and fostering social media relationships with other users. Using social media will allow you to promote the content you’re creating and achieve your inbound marketing strategy goals.
Reason #2: Content ideas can be found through social media
The graphic above highlights the different types of social media that you can use to gather content ideas. My favorite form of social media to use in gathering content ideas are discussion forums. Quora and Reddit are great sites to visit when wanting to learn more about what kind of content people are sharing and talking about. Social media monitoring tools provide you the outlet to listen to what is being shared the most and what is resonating on social media. This will, in turn, guide you to creating content that people actually want to read. Which leads me to my next point….
Reason #3: Social media insights provide a greater understanding of your audience
Social media houses a significant amount of data that can help you in understanding your audience. To create content that will garner the visitors you deserve, you need to make sure that you are effectively writing for your audience. You can use social media analytics tools to gather insight into the demographic and geographic breakdown of your audience, as well as gain insight into what kind of content your audience engages with the most. Doing this will also allow you to create content that is search engine-friendly, because Google will praise content creators who create great content that answers their audience’s search queries.
Reason #4: Social media helps with SEO
Continuing from the last point, social media data is great for learning about your audience so you can create more search engine optimized content. Social media also helps you in creating relationships with bloggers, social media influencers, and brand advocates who can help promote your content through their social channels, blog, and network. These relationships you create via social media is a good form of link building, which is an important part of ranking in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages). And when you rank high in the SERPs, you have a higher chance of gaining more visitors to your content.
Reason #5: You can find new opportunities through social media
Your brand (and every other brand) has a specific audience and geographic location it is targeting. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new opportunities worth looking into. Social media provides you the insight into new territories and groups of people who are likely interested in your products and services that you may not have necessarily thought of. You can use social media to listen to the types of people who are using a relevant hashtag to your product or brand.
Something I do in Hootsuite is create a listening tab that has search streams of blog content URLs I have published. Doing this allows me to see who exactly is sharing my content. If you see that the use of a specific hashtag or the shareability of a piece content by a certain segment is rising, you can take this signal as a growth opportunity for your business and something you should jump on before your competitor does. Differentiating your inbound marketing content from competitors is important to delivering content that will beat out your competitors, and when you go after unconventional territories, you might surprise yourself at how rewarding it can be.