Once upon a time, the term “social media” referred to a phenomenon that largely consisted of bedazzled MySpace profiles and college spring break photos on Facebook (which later had to be taken down and burned before a job interview). No more.
Now, social media is a powerful lead generation tool, and a critical component in any inbound marketing strategy. More and more businesses are using social media channels to promote their content and engage with their social audience.
And they’re right to do so. It turns out that 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. But there many marketers still have some lingering questions about using social media in their business strategy, and they’re questions that we hear from our customers all the time.
So in the spirit of sharing, here are the top six questions that HubSpot customers ask us about social media, and the six answers that we generally give.
1. What are the best social media channels to use for my business?
Different channels work best based on the buyer persona you're targeting. For example, if you’re a B2B business, you might want to focus your efforts on LinkedIn. In fact, 65% of B2B companies report they found a customer through LinkedIn. Taking advantage of LinkedIn Company Pages and Groups will help spread your content to your B2B audience.
If you’re a B2C Company, you might start with Facebook. Customer are 51% more likely to make a purchase after “liking” a brand on Facebook, so if you know consumers are hanging out on Facebook, do what you can to find them there.
But no matter who your target audience is -- consumers, small businesses, or multinational corporations -- you should absolutely be using Twitter. Twitter is a great tool for your business to promote your content and make announcements, and to monitor what people are saying about your brand and products so that you can respond accordingly accordingly. Still not convinced? It turns out that companies that use Twitter average 2x more leads per month than those that do not. Twitter (and social media as a whole) is an essential channel for any company that uses inbound marketing.
2. What types of offers convert best on social media?
Before you think about “what” content to use, you’ll need to think about the “who.” Because you are likely targeting multiple buyer personas, you will need the context of your offers to be dynamic based on the viewer.
Think about it: if someone is visiting your webpage for the first time, you won’t want them to see the same CTAs as a person who has been to your website and downloaded your content several times before. The context in which people are viewing your offers must drive the experience that you deliver. To accomplish this, you might use HubSpot’s smart CTAs to adapt your calls-to-action to the person that is viewing them. Tailor your CTAs around the next logical step for the viewer (for instance, a first time viewer may want a free ebook, whereas a repeat viewer may want a sales demo). Get started with Smart CTAs.
Once you have figured out the “who,” you can start focusing on the “what.” And the truth is, there is no exact science for “what” types of offers convert best on social media. Different social media channels have different audiences, and the target personas for each business vary greatly, so there is no one magic offer that works best. To figure “what” kinds of offers convert the best, you will have to experiment and see what works. Promote different kinds of offers then see which ones perform the best. Look at:
Audience engagement (Likes, shares, retweets, +1s, etc.)
Use the information that you find to determine the type of offer that converts best for your business. Take a swing.
3. How do I know if social media is generating leads for my business?
You can tell how well social media is generating leads by looking at the Sources Report in yur HubSpot, which gives you great data on where your prospects are coming from when they land on your webpages. Regularly checking this report during a marketing campaign can let you know which channels are bringing in the most leads, so you can better focus your efforts on that channel to get the most out of your social media marketing. Go to Sources.
4. How can I convince my sales leaders that social media is important?
You can start by giving them some concrete evidence that the time you’re spending on social media is creating value for them. Create customized streams for them in a tool like Social Inbox so they can see the the leads and prospects that are engaged with you on social media. Even better: Start assigning them tweets you see in Social Inbox from their prospects, leads or customers so they can start engaging with someone they already have a relationship with.
From there, head back to your Sources Report. Sales leaders love to see quantifiable evidence of how particular channels and initiatives are performing. Show them how many leads social media has generated for you in the past month, as well as the number of leads that ended up becoming customers. If you can prove that your time on social media has translated to leads, customers, and ultimately, marketing ROI, you will have no problem convincing your sales leaders that social media is important. Go to Sources.
5. How are HubSpot social media tools better than what I’m already using?
There are a lot of really useful social media tools out there. But why is using HubSpot worth the effort of switching? I like to answer this question with a question of my own: Why is having a smartphone better than carrying around a cell phone, camera, camcorder, mp3 player, eReader and lap top? That's right: convenience.
HubSpot’s all-in-one platform is the place where all of your marketing tools already live. It doesn’t make sense to use tool A to create a blog post, tool B to promote the post on social media, tool C to measure the click-throughs of that social media message, and tool D to monitor what people are saying about it.
By using HubSpot, you save yourself time and effort by having all your tools in one place. Create your blog posts with the Blogging tool. Promote them with the Social Publishing tool. Track your social media success with the Sources tool. Monitor what people are saying about you with the Social Monitoring tool. HubSpot has all of the tools you need to master social media, and by using them together you can cash in on the convenience and time savings. Get started.
6. How does social media integrate with other HubSpot apps that I use?
One of the greatest benefits that you get to enjoy as a HubSpot customer is the all-in-one integration of your marketing tools. Here are some simple ways that you can integrate the HubSpot social media tools with the other apps that you are using:
Keywords: You can create streams in Social Inbox to track the keywords that matter most to your business - and see who in your Contacts database is talking about them. Try it now.
Lists: With Social Inbox, you can also create custom Twitter streams based on your HubSpot contacts lists. For instance, you could create a stream to monitor the activity of your customers or top prospects. Set it up now.
Blog: Easily promote your blog posts with the Social Publishing tool. It’s easy! Just click the “Attach a Blog Post” button at the top of the “Compose Message” screen. Try it now.
Landing Pages: Landing Pages can be promoted with the Social Publishing tool just as easily as Blog Posts. Just click the “Attach a Landing Page” button at the top of the “Compose Message” screen. Give it a try.
Contacts: Your Contacts database comes into play when you are using the Social Monitoring tool - the Tweets in your social streams are color-coded to let you know who is a lead, customer, and more. We also offer Contacts match that lets you match Twitter accounts to the contacts in your database. Check it out.