You often hear it said, “You only need two things in life: Duct Tape and WD-40. If it moves and shouldn’t, use Duct Tape, if it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40.”
WD-40 is a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray. Developed in 1953, it was originally designed to repel water and prevent corrosion, and later was found to have numerous household uses. It is most popularly known for helping get things unstuck and moving again.
While WD-40 is best known for getting rusted mechanical parts unstuck, its effectiveness has not been limited to just that. According to the manufacturer, police officers once used WD-40 to remove a naked burglar trapped in an air conditioning vent.
So what does WD-40 have to do with inbound marketing?
First, a brief explanation of inbound marketing:
Inbound marketing is about getting found online, converting a visitor to a lead, nurturing that lead toward a purchase and then delighting that customer. Throughout the process everything is measured, analyzed, iterated and refined to improve the results.
One inbound marketing software company, HubSpot, explains the inbound marketing process via four parts: 1) Attract 2) Convert 3) Close 4) Delight. To view a series of short videos of me explaining the inbound marketing methodology, click here.
That’s where WD-40 comes in. Except in the case of inbound marketing, it’s social media.
Social media is to inbound marketing what WD-40 is to a mechanism that is not moving. Or not moving well.
Social media is the one tool that is helpful at keeping every stage of the inbound methodology moving. From attracting visitors, to converting leads, to closing sales, and delighting customers.
Here are four ways social media can grease the wheels of your inbound marketing efforts and really get them spinning:
1. Social media can attract more visitors to your site. In the case of Facebook, for instance, Internet users spend 4x more time on Facebook than on Google.
And the total numbers of the more popular social media platforms can’t be ignored: Facebook: 1.3 billion, Twitter: 645 million, LinkedIn: 300 million, Google+: 300 million. Your prospects are on social media.
When done right, social media can become one of the largest sources of first-time visitors to your site. According to Social Media Examiner, 84% of marketers saw an increase in traffic after spending just six hours per week on social media.
2. Social media can help generate leads. The same way you attract visitors to your site, you can attract them directly to your conversion pages with offers. Here’s an example (go ahead, click on it):
Want more customers? Free eBook: How to Attract Customers with Twitter. Download here ☞ http://t.co/FaHtMltaL8— Douglas Burdett (@ArtilleryMarket) October 14, 2014
3. Social media can help engage leads and convert them into customers. Nurturing leads is not just for email anymore.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, 52% of marketers said they had acquired a customer from Facebook, while 43% said they acquired a customer from LinkedIn.
4. Social media can help turn your customers into raving fans. One of the biggest unforced errors of marketing is ignoring your customers after a sale. Or worse, irritating customers and ignoring them. Use social media to let them know how much you appreciate their business.
Social media can be used to help foster the connections you already have as well as build new connections. This is true for customers and for prospects. It allows for real-time one-on-one interaction in a way that is visible to your customers and their networks.
Do you like happy customers? Sure you do. Social media is a great way to keep your customers happy. Customers can act as evangelists and brand promoters to help grow your business. Show some love: respond to positive mentions of your company, retweet customer tweets and show appreciation for the kind words your customers are sharing with their networks. Side benefit: these public displays of customer affection are going to appeal to your prospects as well.
Deep down inside, customers care less about a company’s mistakes and more about how the company responds. Increasingly, customers are taking to social media to complain. That’s where social media can help your company shine - by reacting quickly and visibly.
Would you rather do business with a faceless, soul-crushing company (e.g. Initech from the movie “Office Space”) or a company with personality and happy employees? Social media can help put a human face on your organization and remind your customers that they are doing business with real people. Don’t be afraid to show some personality and convey that your company has a unique culture and is a pleasure to work with.