Many of these clients are B2B clients spanning manufacturing, healthcare, technology, software and education among other products or services.
In the 2014 State of Inbound study over 80% of the participants have listed social media for a lead source as becoming more important over the last 6 months.
This was only topped by SEO, clearly showing the importance of using social media as part of the inbound marketing strategy as Hubspot has always directed.
But, many agencies still struggle with social media, for a number of reasons.
Why Do Inbound Marketing Agencies Struggle With Social Media?
Lack of current strategy
Lack of measuring for ROI – your agency doesn’t have to worry about this, as you use Hubspot and there is great tracking there for social media efforts.
Not enough time or expertise to implement
Unsure which activities will make the biggest impact
Regardless of what might be holding you back, the following strategy will assist your agency in using social media effectively for yourself and your clients, resulting in an opportunity to sell social media services, increase monthly revenue for your agency, and more importantly deliver results your clients will love.
Competitors who are active in social media- specifically Twitter and Linkedin, then subscribe to their blogs
News sources for the industry- again record their Twitter accounts, and subscribe to their RSS feeds in an industry folder in Feedly
Associations, Influencers & Hashtags- record accounts, write down hashtags (you’ll use these later) and subscribe to blogs
Browse Linkedin for groups your client should participate in, or that are about your client’s industry, or where their target clients participate.
You can include this information in your presentations to potential clients to show them how social media is used in their industry and to begin pre-selling the service. You’ll be using this info when implementing the social media strategy, too, so keep it handy.
Redesign & Brand All Social Properties
Across the internet all of the client’s assets should match the branding message and design. Start with usernames by using Knowem.com to make sure your fanpage URL, Linkedin company page and Twitter username all match.
Ideally you’ll include G+ as well, since it doesn’t take too much more time to add another platform and it is owned by Google, they are said to give preference to those using the platform.
*Note- Know’em shows a Facebook profile not the fanpage, you’ll have to check this by visiting the site and searching.
*Note- Keep in mind that while the company may want their logos used as profile images, on Twitter people are more likely to respond to a person’s image than a company logo.
Aggregate Content- Aggregation means sharing content the potential follower will enjoy. Use the subscriptions in Feedly to find what to share, you can use Hubspot, Hootsuite or BufferApp to make this easy.
I recommend Buffer because of the queue option, posts will go out the same time everyday, as you set up the schedule. I recommend 1-2 posts on Linkedin profiles and 4-5 on Twitter. You can do this in an hour a week for each client.
Aggregating content shows the followers that you want to provide them with value, not just try to get them to visit the client’s site. They trust you when you provide for them first, then ask for something.
Automate Owned Content Sharing- Old & New- Old blog posts, landing pages and product pages can be shared again to get even more traffic to them. In the first weeks after they are published share them more often, after that, share them automatically.
For those using inbound software- Hubspot, you’ll need to use Hootsuite, TweetAdder or Buffer to do this.
The cheapest option is Bulk Hootsuite Upload, plan out a month’s worth of content by filing through the best performing pages and posts and then upload to have sharing automated. This will take another 2 hours a month- not bad. If you use WordPress this can be automated for Twitter with Revive Old Post.
Dlvr.it will automatically share your new posts to all social media profiles as soon as it is published, it costs $10 a month for multiple clients.
Manually Share Content- New content needs to be shared multiple times on Twitter, once on Linkedin profiles, on Google+ and on the company Facebook page. Where applicable, use an image in the post for better exposure.
On Twitter use multiple quotes from the new post or page to share it over time. Guy Kawasaki suggests 4 times over 32 hours on Twitter. This will take up to 20 minutes per piece of content, since you’ll want to include other bookmarking sites as well. Do not skip this activity, it is the main activity that will help get pages indexed faster.
Pinterest- pin those pictures, Pinterest does bring in B2B traffic, especially for agencies
Manage Accounts- Set up each of the accounts in Hootsuite to easily see mentions, new followers, and retweets. You’ll need to visit Facebook each day to see if there are comments, posts or messages that need to be addressed.
This takes minutes per day as most people already login to FB once a day for personal reasons. Linkedin will send notifications, but in most cases you don’t need to do anything here.
Follower Growth- Tools such as ManageFlitter can help you quickly and easily follow and unfollow people on Twitter. You can follow up to 1,000 new people a day as long as you don’t get flagged for spam, I recommend 300 a day for clients, and 400 a day for agencies. Start by following the followers of the accounts you saved in Buyer Persona research. You can follow and unfollow on G+ as well, and should encourage your clients to make new connections on Linkedin regularly.
Optional Tool- Influencers who share content, help spread content much further than you can on just one account. By joining Triberr and participating on your client’s or agency’s behalf, you’ll get others to share your content with their growing fanbases.
A colleague of mine that is the owner of a Hubspot partner agency started using Triberr to get more traffic and has even gotten others on his team to particpate as well. In a short conversation he told me: it works as he gets more traffic from Twitter and sees his content being retweeted by others.
Put Your Social Media Strategy For Inbound Marketing To Work
Your first step in putting this strategy to work is to get buy-in from clients, or even your boss for your own agency. Follow in the footsteps of other agenices already using social media to generate leads, have a look at some of their profiles:
Who Can Handle Social Media For Yourself & Clients
If you don’t currently have enough staff to handle social media, there are a few options:
Hire an intern- I don’t recommend this, but it might be an option. You can read about my thoughts on interns in one of my recent posts. Basically I worry about mistakes they might make while learning how to best use social media, and how these mistakes reflect on you and your client.
Hire a social media manager– This is a good option if you have the time to go through the hiring process right now. They should be able to handle multiple accounts across all platforms, and they’ll have the knowledge to make changes when necessary.
Outsource social media– Several social media managers understand inbound marketing and social media and can quickly come on board to start handling the set up and management of your accounts. This option gets social media up and running fast, doesn’t take forever for hiring and puts your accounts in good hands while you focus on the other services and areas where you excel.
It’s time for your agency to start being more social. Get started by following this short 6 hour per week inbound marketing social media strategy and selling more services to your clients. They’ll be particularly happy to see their new blog posts getting immediate traffic, an increase in generating leads, and a higher ROI for their inbound marketing investment.
If you need help explaining your objective or getting buy-in from clients or others in your agency, feel free to contact me, I’m glad to help.