Traditional Outbound vs. The New Inbound Social Media Marketing

Many marketers today are trying to figure out a way to leverage the boom in social media technologies to create leads. But before an effective strategy can be developed, it’s critical to understand some key differences in how inbound social media marketing differs from traditional outbound marketing. 

Inbound marketing through social media sites requires building a community of followers (prospects) by providing content of interest. The key concept here is that inbound marketing prospects proactively seek out and discover a company because of the value they place in the content offered and the interactive relationship the company is able to form with their prospects, vs. being on the receiving end of an unwanted, sales-focused message through print or email advertising, for example. It’s about delivering exactly what the prospect wants, when they want it vs. disrupting their day with unwanted communication. 

Social media sites like YouTube, Twitter™, Facebook™, LinkedIn™ and others are perfect resources for those who leverage their networks to get the information they want, when they need it.  For savvy inbound marketers who know how to engage people and produce the right content for them, social media sites can be valuable tools to drive new prospects into the sales funnel. This blog is an example of inbound marketing.  

If the content is valuable and relevant, an inbound marketer has an opportunity to use it to drive awareness of his/her company and increase the likelihood that prospects will buy his/her products when and if there is need and budget to do so. It is important to note here that if all you do as an inbound marketer is use social media sites to publish messages to sell your products, you will fail. The key is to help educate, inform or even entertain potential buyers via social media in order to earn the right to be considered when a need develops for the products your company sells. 

Below is a short list of some of the ways inbound or social media marketing differs from traditional outbound marketing. What other differences do you see and how have you changed your mind set in approaching inbound marketing?

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