Marketing is expensive. Even the free social media channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others come with a cost. Experienced marketing pros know that if their campaigns don’t ultimately yield quality results for new leads, new customers, or new business, their marketing efforts aren’t working.
The ability to execute, track, measure, and take action for real marketing ROI is necessary for social marketing campaigns as well. Here are two of the four essential steps we recommend organizations take to get the best results possible from their social campaigns.
Build on a top-down, bottom-up strategy
This is basic, but we have to restate it: Start with clear, quantitative social marketing goals related to business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business-to-consumer lead management processes across multiple channels. Listen to all ideas, including skepticism and objections, and be practical about what goals are reasonable and achievable by your team. Your organization’s leaders should be able to buy into the vision and ensure that all staff understand the strategies and objectives, as well as being able to execute and follow up on the strategy. This means implementing all tactics to get to the vision, measuring interactions and traffic, and analyzing the results to ensure that you’re on the right track to a successful social campaign.
Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool
According to a study by Computer Economics, Current Trends in CRM Adoption and Customer Experience, there has been a steady rise of CRM adoption over the past several years; more than 50 percent of organizations now report having a CRM system in place. See Computer Economics’ chart below and a story online that explains this trend.
Regardless of which CRM tool best suits your organization, just use one—and use it actively. Your marketing and sales teams are at a distinct advantage if they work in a centralized database with shared views, information, and collaboration. The database shows who has done what with a lead, prospect, or client, as well as all the related opportunities, customer service issues, and built-up knowledge about that person or company. Use CRM to keep everyone up to speed.
For social marketers, CRM should be considered a shared location for any valuable information about the people and companies you are trying to attract. Demographics like revenue, employee count, industry and specific data points applicable to the products and services you are marketing are all available. It’s amazing what you can easily find out about someone today via simple Bing or Google searches, or from social media and plug-in solutions like InsideView. As you gather this information, either through traditional conversations, web research or opt-in social campaigns, harness its value by getting it into your CRM solution.
Measuring social marketing campaign results in CRM is not completely out-of-the-box and it requires some integration finesse, either by a team member who understands how to customize the solution or your CRM consulting partner. You can easily do this by creating custom fields for the lead, contact, and account record, then developing automated workflow to fire off sensible business processes. For example, as the digital marketing lead score (the points a lead or contact gains from opening an email, clicking on a link, visiting your website or downloading gated content) rises, it triggers that someone in sales gets notified to take action—those steps can be automatically generated and assigned to users.
Once your CRM data starts to have some “meat” to it, your team can take action through marketing lists, campaigns, measured campaign responses, and closed-loop marketing-to-sales reporting and dashboards.
Stay tuned later this week for part two, which will discuss the last two steps toward a successful social marketing campaign and how to bring the silos of CRM data and social media data together through integrated marketing automation tools.
By Andree Dolan of Sikich, a national CRM and ERP Gold Competency partner and full-suite provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL