NON-SOCIAL INDUSTRIES - "MY CUSTOMERS AREN'T THERE... SO WHAT DO I GET OUT OF IT?"
As marketers selling Inbound marketing services especially to older industries we hear a pretty common objection when we include social media as part of our overall strategy proposal and that objection is "We don't see the the need as our customers and potential customers aren't on social media so we don't think we'll get much out of it".
We hear it a lot, and while they may be partially right in that their industry isn't particularly 'social' as in they aren't super active on social media, they are wrong about the fact that they won't get much out of it. I'm here to tell you no matter how non-social your industry is social media it's still very important to your Inbound marketing strategy, and something that should not go overlooked. Your company should be active on social media!
The importance of social media
Here are 3 big reasons you still need to invest in social media even if you're in an industry that is traditionally non-social!
1. Reason #1 generates traffic - helps with seo (organic)
One of the absolute biggest reasons to never forgo using social media platforms despite your industry is it's ability to help with SEO. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn all have one big thing in common - they are all easily found on search engines. When you use keywords and hashtags, Google indexes those things and they show up on search. So the more you use social media, the more visible to search you're making your brand and your social media accounts.
On top of being indexed and search-able, social media is a great way to generate traffic in general. Even if you don't believe you industry is active on social media, you're probably wrong. On top of that, chances are your customers and potential customers (also visitors to your website) most likely are active on social media. Using social media to distribute content, updates, share other interesting industry trends and promoting your current customers is a great way to generate traffic.
The more traffic you generate the larger the boost to your search rankings on major search engines (most notably Google). So you see, in a non-social industry you may not think you'll benefit from social media - but if being more visible on the web is part of your marketing strategy (and it is!) you're greatly mistaken.
2. Reason #2 distribution, distribution
I mentioned it briefly above but I'll take it a little more in depth here. One key to any good Inbound marketing plan is great content. Most likely, you and your Inbound agency have spent a ton of time and effort into creating engaging content designed to engage your current and potential customers. That's awesome and it's a great step to success with Inbound, but how are you getting your content out there and noticed? Is it simply sitting in a landing page on your website?
That's where social media comes in. It's not enough to simply have CTA's (Calls to Action) on your website that link to your landing pages where content can be accessed. While this is essential, you want to distribute your content in multiple ways across multiple channels to increase your chance of conversion. Remember, converting the right visitors in to leads is an essential part of the Inbound process and to a large extent is a numbers game. The more visitors to your website/landing pages will lead to more conversions and more customers.
Social media is a great way to distribute your content. By following and engaging your target markets on social media you can generate traffic to your site and landing pages effectively. Because social media allows you to engage where you want, you can make sure the traffic your getting is relevant to what you're trying to achieve. Social media is a fantastic distribution method.
3. Reason #3 great way to promote your current clients
Beyond the benefits to your own company that I outlined above, there is a great way to use social media to benefit your current customers. Did you just complete a big project for one of your clients? Tweet about it! Did one of your clients just win a big award? Write a Facebook post about it congratulating them!
A major key element to using social media successfully is not making it all about you and your company. No one wants to follow and engage with a company or social media account that only talks about themselves. Trust me, we definitely follow some accounts like this and to be honest we probably engage with them the least. It just goes to show that being selfish about your social media doesn't necessarily pay off.
So as a rule, share stuff about your clients at least 1 time every month. You'd be surprised the cool stuff that is going on with your customers and equally surprised about how far it will go with your clients. It will not only help your own social media efforts, but at the same time serve to underscore the relationship between you and your current clients. You're not just in this for yourself, but you're in this for your customers and are always looking out for their well being.
KEY TAKE AWAY
No matter how big or small, active or inactive your industry is - you can and should be on social media. It always has it uses and can be an effective channel even if your buyer personas aren't super duper active on it.