Inbound social media marketing in Uganda is gaining ground at a good speed. Discussions around content marketing in particular has become popular. (Please note that content marketing though a apart of inbound marketing is not the same as inbound marketing.)
Inbound social media marketing however is just a buzzword until you clearly understand the process and are able run a campaign. I want to be honest; I have come to realise that all the things I knew about inbound digital marketing 24 months ago were wrong.
Lots of people ask me what inbound marketing is and every time they do the thing that comes to my mind is this statement;
"people will first get to know you, then like you, then trust you, then do business with you, then tell others good things about you."
I will make another confession. Among the things that I have come to understand is the fact that inbound marketing is not cheaper than outbound marketing. However, the return on investment in inbound marketing is unarguably higher.
To know if you are headed in the right direction with your inbound social media marketing take look at the checklist below (and mark yourself).
What are your business goals?
What is your business out to achieve in the next 50 years, 5 years or 24 months?
If you are to run a successful social media campaign you need to have a clear business objective and goal. Why because whatever you are trying to achieve with social media is for the business.
Getting 1 million post likes is good, getting half a million comments is nice but what does your business want to achieve? Fame? Love? Loyalty? Sales?
"Getting 1 million post likes is good, getting half a million comments is nice but what does your business want to achieve? Fame?"
If you are a telecom company whose main business goal at the moment is to get known by 120 million people around East Africa in the next 2 years, so be it. If you are a social media agency that wants to be a leader in their industry in their district or region or country in the next 12 months... so be it.
At this point you have not yet chosen to use traditional advertising or any other method of marketing to apply but so long as you have a business objective, you are ready to get to the next level.
What is your business strategy?
What are you going to do to get where you want to get to? Freebies? Do you want to give out free sim-cards to university students? Do you want to want to give out free Mifi’s (modem) to business people in key towns?
Are you planning to teach people about a major challenge in their communities that relates to what your business deals in as a way of earning their trust as a credible service provider for further help? Or Are you planning to just advertise your way to people’s hearts?
What business strategy do you think will give you the highest return on investment and which one can you afford?
Again, it does not matter which strategy you choose; village crusades, twitter chats or Facebook events; so long as you have a business strategy, you are on the right course, business-wise and marketing-wise.
What are your social media goals?
Has social media got a place in the business strategy you have chosen? If it hasn't please stop reading this article, it won't help you! Simply go back to Facebook or twitter or Instagram or Pinterest or wherever you have social media profiles for your business and click on the 'delete my account button'.
One of the temptations every business person should avoid is rushing into social media. It is not a must for every business to be on social media.
You need realistic and clear social media goals because as you know; there are things social media can do and things social media cannot do.
"there are things social media can do and things social media cannot do."
For example social media can help you create awareness about a community event that you are going to hold. Facebook can help you get all university students to know about your brand within 3 months but social media cannot satisfy your customers. There are things you can do on social media, with social media and others that you can only achieve if you incorporate in other techniques.
Do you have inbound social media strategy?
Unless you are building a business to last for six months or less, you need an inbound social media strategy. Why? Because long term business is built on strong customer relationships and inbound social is designed just for that
To meet your social media goals you need to create, or hire someone qualified to make for you an inbound social media strategy. Unlike other strategies; inbound strategies pay closer attention to your customer profiles and personas, and their buying journeys.
Inbound social media strategies have content strategies that suit customers in the different stages of the buyers' journey embedded in them.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article; people first get to know you, then like you then trust you then do business with you then tell everyone they know about you. You can break it down as awareness to consideration to decision and ambassadorship.
Inbound marketing appreciates the fact that potential customers who are at the different stages should be addressed differently if they are to successfully move through and turn into valuable relationships for a business, customers or promoters or both.
Are you able to implement an inbound social media campaign?
The only thing better than having honest intentions and great plans is great execution. You need to have a team that understands customers’ online behaviour and can design messages that rhyme with it.
"The only thing better than having honest intentions and great plans is great execution"
In-house teams are great especially because they usually have very good understanding of your offering (products and services) and are cheaper to work with but if the technicalities of the game are do not favour them then specialist social media personnel or agencies should do better.
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