2SocialTipsYour strongest asset as a marketer is your database of contacts: email and blog subscribers, leads and customers, and now your social media followers that impact your success essentially as well.

Your social media database consists of followers and fans who want to engage with your brand online. They’re re-tweeting, re-sharing, and re-pinning your posts, if they have interest in the things that you are saying and the product/service you have to offer.

By using one unified marketing database, you can add a layer of social media insights to your existing contacts, thus gaining valuable information to target messages, nurture leads and attract new contacts to your business.

Content is the key to increase the pace at which you attract new social media followers, as well as finding the right type of information to post and the right people to share it with.

The following tips could be useful to overcome the challenges:

  • Influencer interaction - one key ingredient in amplifying the rate of follower growth is the people sharing your content. Spend time researching who your influencers are and find ways to mention them in order to incorporate their Twitter handle or Facebook page in your message. That gives them a reason to re-share or re-tweet your content and broadcast your brand name to their following.
  • Filter messages - failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate. The problem is: who actually has the time to respond to every social message? Luckily, there are tools, such as e.g. Hubspot, which allow you to create filters based on user types, letting you create a feed of people using certain keywords, thus enabling you to cut through the clutter and respond to the right people.
  • Visual - 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. So you need to think about visuals on every social level. Invest time in ensuring your images are as great as your messages.
  • Educational - even though people are browsing to understand something quickly, they love re-tweeting or re-sharing content that makes them look smart. That, in turn, will extend the reach of your content.
  • Employee networks –make use of them to grow. Social media users are following your employees purely because of the content they share, industry they’re in, or company they work at. Send your employees “lazy tweets,” pre-crafted tweets that they can simply copy and paste into their own streams. If they’re handed the message, they’ll be more willing to share, which will result in a more streamlined effort and help new followers discover the original curator of the message: you.
  • Fun - people are often looking for something that will simply give them a good laugh. Regardless of what your brand tone is, ensure that your fans are actually enjoying the content you share.

Segmenting existing social contacts

After you’ve built your following and social database by targeting social influencers, you have to segment them. A unified marketing database makes the job much easier here, allowing segmentation of those who are already interacting with you and/or represent your persona. And there are even other options to target the right people from your contacts database adapted from their social media activity, so take a look at the following:

Take advantage of users with big networks: If you have a large announcement approaching, try sending an email before the launch to a select group of social influencers. Acknowledge the fact that you’re reaching out to these users because of their large networks and that you’re looking for their help to spread a message. You’ll make the person feel empowered and by including social sharing links, you’ll start generating buzz around your new announcement with people who can actually help spread the word!

Request feedback: The great thing about social media is that it opens up a tremendous feedback mechanism and you now have the opportunity to take advantage of it. Do you want to collect thoughts about your marketing content? Just ask the people who consume it! They’ll feel appreciated and respected when they get the chance to provide you with feedback -- and they might have some awesome suggestions!

Nurturing leads with social

You can nurture your social contacts based on their interactions with your brand and general interests:

  • The problem with followers on social media is that you cannot measure the extent to which these fans are actually engaging with your brand. So look at who is interacting with your updates: Who is re-tweeting and commenting on your content, and cross-reference that with your contacts database. It means, instead of sending mass email blasts, contact those leads that are actually interacting with your brand.
  • When it comes to email marketing, your boss most likely wants you to send communication about your product or service. Meanwhile, as a marketer, you likely want to email broader lead generation content in order to boost engagement. There is balance between the two, and it comes down to segmentation. When you monitor the people who engage with your social media content, separate them into groups and allow those interested in your product/service to receive more communication about your special deals.
  • In the world of social media marketing, there are two business metrics that you need to be constantly monitoring: the rate at which you grow your following and the rate at which that following gets further involved with your organization.

The key to moving the first metric, the expansion of your social media following, is all about exposing your brand to the extended reach of your existing customers. This will help you grow your social media database and provide you with social information to manage that database. The second metric, however, the conversion of social media followers into engaged contacts, is social lead nurturing - any interaction between a company and a lead that is informed by or channelled through social media. Not only do these two complement each other, but they are both essential for your success with social media marketing.

Obviously, social media marketing success depends on the intelligent management of your social leads: the ability to recognize influencers, segment groups of users based on their social activity and interests as well as the timing of appropriate follow-up communication.

So, go for it!

By Daniela La Marca