Many people jump into social media without having an integrated plan, and they quickly find themselves questioning the efficacy. The problem is that over the past 2 years social media has grown into something bigger than we all could have imagined. Essentially it is the glue that holds the internet together.
The role of a social media specialist has broad reach across many online marketing tactics, so if they are legit, they are effective in many other tactics besides community management. If you were to look at an online marketing funnel, social media has an influence on every portion. Smart marketers are realizing this.
Let’s take a look at how you can bridge the gap between your social media activity and other online marketing tactics:
1. Your website has to be designed to convert
When people say that they aren’t getting any sales from social media, it’s not that social media can’t drive sales. It’s more of a fact that their websites aren’t designed to convert visitors into leads and sales. To get any traction in your leads and sales activities, there needs to be a point where you acquire contact information from visitors coming from social media.
Once you do that, you can now start connecting the dots and driving people further into your online sales funnel. Social networks are great for spreading your content, creating relationships with new people, and retaining relationships with your customers. There has to be a mechanism in place to deepen relationships…via contact information gathering on your website. What you do after your collect the information, will be the true question you need to ask.
Once people supply their contact information, make sure that there is sharing capabilities on your website. At the least, embed social networking widgets on your site, so that you can connect their contact information to social network profiles within your CRM software. How to make that connection is a blog post in itself, so I will reserve that for a future piece.
2. E-Mail is the channel to serve sales oriented and lead nurturing content
E-mail is the channel you use to deepen the relationship with your leads, no matter how long your sales cycle is. For B2B companies selling complex products, you might be looking at 6 months to 1 year before a lead is sales ready. For B2C, more specifically e-commerce products with less scrutiny, this sales cycle might be a couple of weeks to one month.
I will point out that you have to be very strategic with the content development of your e-mails. No one likes to be spammed when they’re in the information gathering stage.
First, figure out the typical roadmap of prospect’s buying process.
Second, start sending relevant content via e-mail according to a prospect’s place with their buying process.
Third, gather data to back up your buying process roadmap so you can make changes as the program moves along.
Lastly, make sure you have sharing capabilities within your e-mails. Like Social networks, your e-mails should not be in isolation.
3. Social Media isn’t just influenced by Marketing
Every department in your business will be affected by social media, so you will need to gather the appropriate people. Get their input, and they will not only appreciate that you value their opinions, but your strategy will be more comprehensive than just pushing marketing initiatives. Once you get consensus from the appropriate parties, you will need to create a training program to teach new hires about your social media program and to keep current staff updated on the latest updates.
Is there anything that I missed? These are the major bridges that I’ve seen hold companies back from achieving social media greatness. If you have anything to add, please leave your comments below!