Social media and pull marketing have been around for some time but there is still a great deal of skepticism about their effectiveness. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say, “Social media may be the hot new thing, but it hasn’t generated any business for us.”
When I founded Fusion Marketing Partners, my objective was to generate our clients strictly through pull marketing methods. We are vocal proponents for the power of pull marketing so we had best practice what we preach. When I speak of pull marketing, I am referring to inbound marketing activities such as social media, article publishing, content creation and search engine optimization. The idea with pull marketing is to build your personal (and/or company) circle of influence so that prospects will come to you when they need what you have to offer. To put it another way, with pull marketing, you are not pushing your goods or services on people but rather putting yourself in position to service needs as they arise.
After doing this for the past year plus, I can report that my instincts were correct. We have been able to fill our dance card with great clients that have all been generated either through personal contacts (circle of influence) or through social media. Although I tweet and blog regularly, and have a presence on Facebook, our most effective source of inbound business has been LinkedIn. People contact me because they are a connection or because of one of my postings to the LinkedIn groups.
By the way, I almost never advocate that a client abandon its push marketing efforts to jump head-first into the push marketing pool. If push marketing is currently generating leads then we need to protect those lead sources. Our motto is always: “First, do no harm.” We usually start pull marketing as a parallel effort and as results warrant over time, shift some of the marketing activities (and budget) to pull marketing.
There are hundreds (thousands) of articles about social media and pull marketing. Perhaps my latest book: Creating an Unstoppable Marketing and Sales Machine could help jumpstart your thinking. But if you just follow these three critical strategies, you will probably stay ahead of most of your competitors:
- Have something to say. Seriously – you need to produce content that is in line with your organization’s unique selling proposition (brand promise). Otherwise, don’t bother.
- Be consistent. No blogging every other month. No signing up for Twitter or LinkedIn and ignoring these media because you got busy with other things.
- Pick your spots carefully. There are dozens of social media to choose from. Select no more than three and persistently work with them to build your circle of influence. If you are a B2B marketer, consider blogging, Twitter and LinkedIn as your three chosen weapons.