Toronto played host to this year’s mesh 12 conference on May 23 – 24, 2012 and, as usual, offered a plethora of seminars and networking opportunities. While a good deal of material was covered, two areas that were of particular interest are UNDERSTANDING YOUR WHOLE SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE and INBOUND: THE FUTURE OF MARKETING.
In discussing “Your WHOLE Social Media Audience” a key term that was bantered around was “lurkers.” In essence, these individuals are your “invisible online audience,” people who may visit your site but who are not tweeting, liking or sharing your content. Lurkers may also use Facebook but don’t post, like, or share, even though they may log on to FB several times a week.
A comprehensive survey by Andrew Reid and Alexandra Samuel explains what is different about lurkers, and what you need to now about reaching them. And, this information is important, because their study showed that 68% of Canadian Facebook users are lurkers, and that for Twitter 61% log but are not posting.
Interestingly enough, lurkers do not behave the same way, nor want the same things, as sharers. As a result, most of the data available on social media audiences does not apply to the majority of the audience. Insights into this group reveal that:
- Lurkers tend to be less influential in terms of their workplace purchasing or hiring decisions.
- Attitudes: Lurkers care less about being fashionable; Lurkers are more reluctant to engage in shopping.
Information alone is not enough – it is imperative that we are able to draw some marketing implications from this data. One of the main suggestions is that you might want to change the way you structure social media initiatives. For example, if you are an office supply store you may want to create two different feeds: one targeting workplace influencers (made for sharing) and another for the silent majority who might be focused on deals for home use.
Another thought is that you might also change your key metrics. Rather than shares or likes, you might want to increase your emphasis on measuring clicks and actual online transactions that are driven by social media.
In summation, the silent social media audience is value-oriented rather than being driven by trends or being ahead of the technology and/or fashion curve. They are more likely to quietly click and buy if the deal is right.
In regard to INBOUND MARKETING, Brian Halligan, founder of Hub Spot, shared that INBOUND MARKETING is just the opposite of traditional OUTBOUND MARKETING - advertising, cold calls, etc. Since most of us recognize that INBOUND MARKETING is the wave of the future, it is most important that we understand how to master it as soon as possible.
According to Halligan, the key to INBOUND MARKETING is remarkable content. The reason? GOOGLE has gotten smart enough to weed out the lousy stuff! To be successful, you should:
- Create good quality that people want to engage with, publishing frequently.
- Have calls to action to get your readers to become leads
- Do lead nurturing to get those leads to become customers
- A/B Test everything to increase conversion rates. By continuously improving, you can increase conversions by 200% to 300%
- Remember the Power Laws of Inbound Marketing: Top 20% of your content will generate 80% of your traffic and leads
Halligan also said that your content needs to be relevant to your business, and it needs to not to oversell your product or service. Focus on creating value for your readers, not on selling, and use targeted calls to action to move people through your marketing funnel.
Obviously, this is a lot to digest and, if your realm of expertise is not Internet Marketing, it might even be a little overwhelming. A solution might be to contact an Internet Marketing Firm, such as PATHMAKER MARKETING LLC. Headed by founder and CEO Randall Mains, they stand ready to help you with not only these two issues, but the whole of Internet Marketing.