For maximum effect in social media marketing – a combination of inbound and outbound marketing can be used. Inbound marketing refers to building and sustaining relationships by providing value. Providing tips on car ownership is an example of inbound marketing. Outbound marketing refers to promoting products and services offered. Communicating services offered such as free inspections or special prices are examples of outbound marketing. Care must be taken in the mix and structure of the messages as an overemphasis on outbound messaging can diminish the effectiveness of the inbound messages. A relationship is always more valuable than a sale. Following are ways that inbound and outbound marketing can be used:
- Separating Inbound and Outbound Messages – The simplest method of incorporating inbound marketing into a social media strategy is to keep the inbound and outbound messages separate. This is simpler for the business and also for the customer.
- Stimulating Interest in Outbound offerings with Inbound Content – Inbound messaging can be coordinated with outbound to enhance the effectiveness of outbound marketing. For example an inbound posting on the benefits of preparing a vehicle for a seasonal change followed by a promotional offering on the same preparation would use the inbound message to stimulate interest and the outbound message as a call to action.
- Combining Inbound and Outbound Messages – Using both methods in the same message can be effective however care must be taken in the use of this technique. If every inbound posting includes an outbound promotion then it really won’t be viewed as providing value by the customer.