Social Media: Inbound Marketer’s Best Friend or Mortal Enemy?

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Social-media-addict illustration Even though social media is hailed as the inbound marketer’s dream medium for getting to know prospects and increasing conversions and closes – even the Inbound Marketing Summit is concentrating on and stressing the importance of social media as an extremely useful tool – there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Adding social media marketing, social TV and social CRM to the inbound marketing toolbox has many advantages, and some pitfalls that inbound marketers have experienced.

One of the biggest problems inbound marketers have with social media is the overwhelming amount of work required to stay active on multiple social networks. MyLife recently conducted a national survey on social media behaviour and found 52% of people considered a “vacation” from social networks. The solution is not walking away from social media, instead you should make a plan and utilise inbound marketing software.

Social Media Plan

The job of inbound marketers is to stay engaged with customers and you can’t do that when you’re on a social network “vacation”. However, you also can represent your brand properly when you’re overwhelmed by a constant barrage of status updates, content creation, and email. BoldThink wrote a post with some great suggestions for creating a social media plan. They suggested focusing on consistency, relevancy, using the rule of third for content creation, and developing an editorial calendar. However, they skipped over a very important part of developing a social media plan.

You should approach your social media plan as you would any other part of your business and create a business plan. In addition to the things listed above, you should set goals and objectives for your social media marketing efforts. These should be measurable metrics that can go into an ROI calculation. This data will help you to objectively decide where you can free up some time on social media. Anything you’re doing that is not contributing to your goals and objectives is a waste of time. In business terms, these tasks are having a negative impact on your social media ROI and they need to be phased out.

Inbound Marketing Software

One of the great things we can do with computers is to automate repetitive tasks. This is something we tend to overlook in social media. Sure, live posts may, or may not, rank better for SEO. However, if you’re considering a social media “vacation”, it would be much better to automate your posts than to back out of a social network entirely. There are many programs available to help you schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Rather than spending your day watching the clock to post your updates in real-time, you can use these tools to automate that process. This will allow you to focus on other, more profitable, aspects of your social media plan. For example, you could dig into the analytics tracking your posts to figure out which type of content resonates most with your target audience. Then you can use that information to create better posts tailored to this audience and schedule them to go out automatically.

Social Media Burn Out Protection Plan

As you can see, the best way to avoid social media burn out is to plan ahead and use the tool available. This includes creating a business plan for your social media efforts, identifying your goals, selecting quantifiable measures for these objectives, and calculating your social media ROI. Anything that is not contributing to your ROI needs to be phased out in favour of more profitable ways to spend your time. Combine this with inbound marketing software that helps you to automate repetitive tasks and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. In fact, you’ll likely find that you’ve been spending a lot of time on social media projects that are not helping your company. Once you focus on the tasks that are contributing the most to your social media ROI, you will find inbound marketing becomes much more enjoyable.

Now it’s your turn

Do you currently calculate social media ROI? If not, are you overwhelmed by social media?

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