The new word on the online street is “hub”. What does this mean? The dictionary states a center around which other thingsrevolve or from which they radiate; a focus of activity.
It gives sound and practical advice on how to turn your website into a hub whilst reducing the traditional “interruption” marketing approach (for example emails and mailshots). The key is to have an inbound marketing strategy using social media tools – look at what social media did for Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign.
So what are we at Barclay Jones doing?
We are currently having our website redesigned and have adopted the inbound strategy.
We tweet regularly (@LisaMariJones and @WayneABarclay). We don’t use it to push messages about our services; we follow one of the main commandments of social media: give, don’t sell. (We are even generating leads for our colleagues when we spot opportunities…)
LinkedIn is a very important platform for us: we update our status weekly to keep our contacts in the loop about what we are doing, and we start and engage in discussions, polls and take part in answering questions.
We are blogging. This gives us a fantastic platform to start discussions on our approach to IT Strategy, our values and how we work with our clients. We study other blogs and engage with other bloggers.
We still send a monthly email newsletter to reinforce our approach and to keep our contacts informed of what we do and that gets us great results too! (So, please forgive us for just one little interruption!)
Our website traffic has increased by 400% since we started adopting an Inbound approach!
We are using our online presence strategically to get across our services – we are not a traditional IT company. We are unique in our approach to strategy (a client called us technology coaches the other day…), so we need to reinforce our benefits and engage with our audience to start discussions about our sector and the business world. We believe passionately about the appropriate use of IT and how strategically it can be adopted to grow business. Sending out flyers and brochures will not get our message across as effectively as engaging with followers online. (Social Media is fun too!)
We have made comment in a previous article about Social Media Strategy and assure you that it is not the time-consuming minefield you may have been lead to believe it is.
By the way – I cannot recommend the Inbound Marketing book highly enough – very accessible.
What is your approach to marketing and the social business world we now find ourselves in? What works for you?