We ran our own social experiments in Q3 2016 and thought we would share some of our findings and advice on inbound marketing social media planning to make sure your campaigns are a success. If you are starting your own inbound marketing campaign in the near future, read this blog post to get your social plan in order and then download our inbound starter pack.
Following the State Of Social 2016 report which, was released in November 2016 by Buffer and inbound.org, we have been putting together a few social media related posts. This is because it's an enormously cost effective means of getting people to see your content.
The use of groups, hashtags, circles and communities offers a potential gold mine of waiting traffic and future leads. Make sure to find where your Buyer Persona hangs out online and put your competition-beating content in front of them on those said platforms.
Social media should also be used for positioning yourself as an authority in your niche or industry. Provide your followers with well curated content from reliable sources, that compliments your own educational content, and your voice of authority will grow and grow.
Hopefully, you will plan your inbound marketing campaign in great detail. Sharpening and revising your Buyer Persona and Buyer's Journey documents at the outset. Getting the latest keyword knowledge. Seeing what gaps there are in the content market for you to target in terms of deciding the topic of your premium, download content...
Why would you leave social media to be an after-thought? It needs just as much care and attention as the other parts of the inbound structure in order to make the whole campaign a huge success.
You should remember that your social media persona needs to compliment the wider inbound methodology that you will be following. Your content is there to be helpful and entice people to trust you enough to become a contact and be able to turn to you when it comes to paying for services you happen to offer.
We tried an exercise, not long after we blogged everyday for a month and saw great results, we changed how we posted on social media completely.
Prior to (and following) the experiment, we followed a strict sharing pattern for automated posting. We post new content on the blog three times a week and share it, to various degrees of frequency, up to three months in advance on social media.
The experiment went completely the other way, with only one social post being automated per day (and that was the most recent blog post). The rest of the posting was allocated to different members of the team who would post about: what they were working on, an old blog post (of ours) that they liked and share anything of note they had read in their own particular specialism (inbound strategy, content, PPC or SEO).
The results were poor. Shockingly poor. In fact, I still can't look Rikki in the eye when it gets mentioned. But it was a deliberate experiment to see what would happen.
What we saw was a massive drop in traffic and, more crucially, contacts and customers. Given the success of our increased blogging frequency experiment, which doubled the amounts of customers we gained, it's fair to say this one won't be being repeated.
It did show us, however, what doesn't work for our persona and that we are in fact doing something right with our regular social sharing. We were soon back on track for the next campaign.
But we are always looking to shape, analyse and improve our social media planning for future inbound campaigns. And this is vital because, as our experiment showed, social media can produce little to no results if left to fester, but also because it's an ever changing landscape. To stay at the forefront means being able to stay on top of user habits and ways of using the various platforms, then making sure your plan is adapted accordingly.
If you are researching social media plans to form part of your own inbound marketing campaign, you might find these starter pack documents and templates useful. You can use them, free of charge, to make your inbound plan a success. Just let us know how you get on.