by Diana Berryman
Published on 25 July 2014
Social Media Marketing is great fun right? The trouble is too many of us get engrossed in the making connections/sharing great content side but fall down when it comes to creating tangible leads and closing a sale. What can you do to find real leads and how do you turn those leads into customers? I have trawled the websites of some of our favorite marketing and sales apps and made a list of the most frequently asked questions. Let's find out some of the answers to the most important questions YOU are asking.
Use a platform for your marketing, sales and customer relationships all rolled into one. Which social networks do you use for business? Use a marketing automation tool which delivers consistent, branded content across all your platforms at once. Not all platforms cover all networks so find one that can post to your most frequently used social media outlets and use and abuse it! Also stop flogging a dead horse! If a social network isn't doing anything for you then don't bother with it.
Of course building your networks is important, it is no use if you are talking only to yourself is it? The problem is that too many get obsessed with gaining fans and followers they forget the aim of social media marketing: to make sales! Listening to your competition is just as important as getting your stuff out there. What are they up to? Are they doing it better than you? Measuring your marketing efforts and engagement rates is crucial, don't keep making the same mistakes.
Listening technology used in marketing automation tools, will allow you to discover the kind of content your customers are interested in. Using social media analytics will help you to learn which posts create the most engagement, website visits, sales etc. Follow the numbers and use this information to your advantage. Check out what everyone else is doing, look at posts which create tons of engagement across different networks and try to emulate what they do.
We partly covered this answer in question one. Finding one tool that covers all of your social networks is half the battle. Depending on what YOU need or YOUR business needs, you also have to look at tools that include a CRM, email marketing service, lead generation, business analytics, content scheduling capabilities, plus many other options. Look around to find the service that covers your requirements.
Communication is key and if you have two employees or 100 you need to get it right. Using a platform to communicate with your team is the way to go. Using team collaboration apps can make your life a million times easier. Give each team member a role, assign tasks, monitor their performance, it's all so much easier with great software to manage it all for you. If you don't already use it, is it time to start?
There is no shortage of opinions being shared on social media. From good to bad, listen to what your customers are saying and take advantage of those opinions. Did someone just trash your competition? Jump right in and say how you could do it better! Is someone asking questions about your niche that you can answer? Start talking and let them know you are an expert in your field. Clever tools can search for keywords used in social media and alert you when these words are being used.
This is what it all comes down to, the crux of the matter, the raison d'etre. You could be the worlds best social networker but if you don't make those sales then it's all a bit of a waste of time. A combination of all of the above will help you to boost your revenue. Listen to what your customers are saying, tailor your online behavior to match their needs. Offer advice in the form of a tweet, an article, a video, whatever. Stand out from your competition and be known as an expert in your field. Be there for people in real-time, they will be impressed by your tenacity. Use analytics to measure your success and failure. There is no one answer to this question, it is a magic recipe and the ingredients are exclusive to you.
You need to find the platform that works for you and has everything you need. If you look around you will find the ONE that's right for you, that will do everything you need and make your life easier. Here are some great suggestions for you:
Oracle Social Cloud combines social media management, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more, with a great customer relationship manager and marketing department. With social listening and real-time analytics it allows you to be on top of your game where your customers are concerned. Their post automation and scheduling is a real time-saver.
Oktopost is a socially driven content marketing platform, specifically for B2B marketing. They focus on social sharing in LinkedIn groups as well as the usual social networks. A unified social inbox allows you to engage with potential leads and they also have a post scheduling service.
Pardot has a great lead nurturing feature, real-time sales alerts and fabulous email marketing tools. Their reporting and analytics tools are top notch and they have a unique prospect tracking system. Pardot allows you to manage your campaigns all in one handy platform. You can measure your successes and keep up to date with your social networks.
Finding the right fit for you and your business is down to you I'm afraid. I am sure you will have so much fun trying out all these great tools. If you can't decide you can make comparisons between two apps, it may become clearer when you see them side-by-side. We have a huge choice of marketing software for you to browse though so go nuts!