When social media marketing first presented itself as an ingredient in the marketing mix, many B2B marketers were asking: why? Why do we need to be using sites that are tailored for personal networking, to help grow our business? The answer is: because that’s where your leads are.
Lead generation has become one of the primary concerns of B2B marketing, organizations trying to measure the success of their social media campaigns. While your brilliant content may classify you as a social media guru, it is useless if you don’t have the tools to integrate it with your other marketing and sales efforts. It’s like making a ton of money, but literally have no idea how to spend it (not a problem I would run into).
The reality of it is, you can’t let your leads stack up in a vacuum-tight space, losing their value as every day passes. You need to allocate this information to your sales and marketing teams and work with them to truly identify the ROI of all of your social campaigns.
It’s called a marketing mix for a reason, and no ingredient (especially social media marketing) should be set aside. Finding the perfect fit for your social efforts in the broad spectrum of your business can be difficult, but the connections quickly surface after some good thought. Here are some ideas on how you should be integrating social media to boost the effectiveness of all areas of your marketing.
It’s easy in social media marketing to get too caught up in the flashy campaigns to increase followers. But, these initiatives will all go to waste if you can’t back it up with genuine, positive experience. In marketing, this experience is nurtured through emails, unique landing pages, social selling campaigns, and other nurturing programs.
Syncing your social media with a marketing automation tool like Marketo, Act-On or Eloqua is the best way to nurture your new leads in a personal, scalable way. You can generate demand for your product/service, build personalized relationships with your prospects, drive sales by triggering sales calls/offers at the perfect time, and ultimately measure and optimize how your campaigns and channels impact pipeline and revenue.
Marketing automation is a great way to nurture leads gained from social media and help convert those leads into customers, but it can also be used to improve your social media and lead generation campaigns in general. By integrating your marketing automation tool you can easily segment your social leads into smart lists, add personalized landing pages and calls-to-action to your social media pages and measure the effectiveness of specific social campaigns. If that doesn’t excite you, quit your marketing job.
Sales and Customer Relationship Management
To make the leads you are generating on social media worthwhile, your sales team should be able to leverage the information on the posts you are sharing and the people you are connecting with. By understanding which social messages and content your leads found most engaging, your sales team has the opportunity to personalize each and every call.
A customer relationship management (CRM) solution is vital for your sales team to keep track of the communications you have with leads, and this includes social media communications. By integrating your social media platform with a CRM platform like Salesforce, you can identify the origin of your leads, making it easier to personalize the overall journey your customer takes when communicating with your sales team. It is important that you provide your sales team with an easy to read database that highlights every interaction your leads have with your brand’s social content.
Every single lead you generate from social media marketing matters, and it’s important that you have the ability to recognize which social messages and content they find most engaging. Utilizing this information can make your sales team look like mind readers in the eyes of your prospective customers. This style of client relationship management adds value by engaging clients in personalized, interactive relationships based on the leads your social media generates.
You may be thinking: what about that study by B2B Marketing Community that identified web traffic as the number one metric marketers are using to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns? Well, my friend, the right social media platform will allow you to see how each social campaign impacts your web traffic.
Your social media strategy should be heading somewhere, like your website. Having a website with useful content and analytics in place to track the effectiveness of your social media is key. If you can identify which of your campaigns are most attractive to your potential leads, you can better optimize your social media to your target market.
By integrating Oktopost with analytics tools like Google Analytics, you can extract detailed information that shows how your social campaigns impact website traffic. For links in your social media posts – which will drive a good deal of your web traffic and lead generation – you can customize a range of UTM parameters.
The importance of categorizing your leads, identifying their origins, and using them to personalize your prospect’s experience is undeniable, but one thing remains prominent: content is king. While much of the content you use to generate leads – such as eBooks, blogs and landing pages – will be owned by your company, that shouldn’t be the only way you grow your audience. By curating content from other trusted sources in your industry you can become a source of information to your audience that will make the content created for lead generation much more effective.
Content curation means sifting through the flood of miscellaneous articles, videos, and infographics and sharing the best stuff across your social channels. If surfing the internet for publications relevant to your desired brand image seems like a daunting task, that’s because it is. But once again, with the right tools, you can drastically simplify this process.
Oktopost’s Content Curation Engine, for instance, will automatically pre-select content to share with your audience in a contextual manner – that is, based on how well previous content has performed in terms of basic conversion metrics. No need to spend hours searching and scanning the web for relevant material—and no need to spend time determining whether the content will be effective. The best part? It can all be shared from a single dashboard.
Likewise, integrating social media management platforms with an RSS reader like Feedly allows you to easily access content from all of your favorite publications in one place, and share it with your social audiences within seconds.
If you can generate interest through your social campaigns, you’re already a step ahead in the game. But it is what you do with that interest that truly matters. Social media is a powerful tool, but it is far more powerful when you integrate its benefits with the other aspects of your sales and marketing. Allowing social media and your other marketing efforts to interconnect will give your leads a complete experience and will give your teams enough data to truly optimize those experiences.