By Scott Mikus and Sheryl Roehl
Marketers may be overwhelmed or intimidated by social media – or maybe they can’t convince management to set up a Twitter page or start a blog. Whatever the case, the hesitation and fear of the unknown are understandable. Social marketing is new and it’s moving fast. It can be hard to figure out how to get started.
A few years ago, participation in social media was optional for B2B companies and even some B2C brands. Not anymore. Here are 6 reasons why companies and brands must embrace social media:
1. Thought Leadership.
Social media gives you and your brand a platform upon which can assert its leadership position. Your thought leadership becomes a differentiator that lifts you above the competition. But you can’t just say you’re a leader; you have to earn it by sharing your views and visions of the future. That means participating in the marketplace of ideas via social media.
A recent study indicates that before B2B buyers ever talk to a sales rep, they are already 57 percent of the way to a buying decision based on information they learn from peers, web searches, online forums or social media. Make sure your web content supports every step in the sales cycle. Your blogs and other content should speak to your buyers’ business pains and address the industry trends and topics that will get them to consider your company’s products and services.
3. Search Engine Optimization.
SEO isn’t just about keywords anymore. Your blog posts, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn status updates are just as important now to your search rankings. To stay ahead of your competition, you will need to participate in social media or your rankings may drop.
4. Internal and External Digital Cross-Linkage.
Social media builds cross-linkage with existing customers, prospects and internal brand ambassadors, among other audiences. The more that you’re engaging in social media, the more you’re visible to key audiences, both internal and external. In today’s social media era, who you know matters more than ever.
5. Inbound and Outbound Marketing.
When you integrate social media into your inbound and outbound marketing mix, it can dramatically increase inbound traffic to your trade show booth, your website and your blog. According to Hubspot, companies with an active blog get 55 percent more website visitors.
6. Qualitative Lead Generation.
Why have a blog on your site? Take a look at this eye-opening Hubspot stat: 72 percent of companies that post an average of one blog per week have acquired new customers from a blog-generated lead. Then, you can use email and web analytics to see who’s coming to your site, how long they are staying, where they are going and which white papers and eBooks they are downloading. This data can arm your sales team with the information it needs to focus on the most qualified leads and ultimately close more deals.
Social Marketing can help lift your company above the competition, build thought leadership, drive more leads and help you close more deals. What other reasons can you think of for diving into social marketing? How has social media helped your marketing team deliver better results?
Scott Mikus is a managing partner of Crawford/Mikus Creative Marketing & Design in Atlanta. Follow Crawford/Mikus on Twitter @CrawfordMikus or subscribe to our blog at www.crawfordmikus.net/blog. Sheryl Roehl is president of Avenue L Marketing (@AvenueLMktg) in Atlanta.
Tagged with: B2B marketing • B2C marketing • brand identity • brand positioning • Branding • buyer personas • content marketing • customer-centric marketing • design • external communications • Inbound marketing • internal communications • lead generation • lead generation campaign • marketing and sales alignment • marketing communications • marketing linkage • marketing research • messaging • outbound marketing • public relations • social media • value proposition • visual voice • web optimization
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