Enhance Marketing Effectiveness with Actionable Social Media
Filed under: corporate communications | Tags: B2B marketing, B2C marketing, branding, corporate communications, CRM, customer intelligence, integrated marketing communications, SAS, social media |
We’ve all seen the statistics about the incredible rise in use of social media as a marketing tactic. To be used effectively, social media must not only engage customers in two-way conversations, it must provide actionable information that helps build relationships and drives forward the selling process.
Social media marketing has captured the attention of publishers and an army of business writers. Read the publication headlines or check your email for any of the dozens of webinars in praise of social media, and it’s easy to come to the conclusion that all B2B and B2C marketing efforts are now social. That’s not entirely true. For most organizations, the largest percentage of the overall marketing budget is still dedicated to traditional (think outbound) marketing activities.
Today’s marketers are increasingly being asked to manage a growing number of marketing communication activities. Each should play a specific role in meeting marketing objectives. When done seamlessly, a marketer develops a number of touch points with both prospects and customers. This is where social media fits in, as an enabler to enhance marketing engagement. As a tactic, social media should be thought of along with other technologies that have social elements: wikis, social tagging/bookmarking, web feeds, and blogs.
A recent study from King Fish Media, Hubspot, and Junta 42 reports that nearly three-quarters (72%) of surveyed companies have social media marketing strategies. As organizations embrace the use of social media, the amount of data available for gaining true marketing insight grows. According to a Gartner Special Report, “There are millions of terabytes of data on the web (5 petabytes added each day) that reflect the attitudes, intentions and venues within which both business and consumer buyers are expressing their opinions and influencing the actions of their peers.” It’s this wealth of resource that needs to be harnessed by marketers for social media to transform conversations into market opportunity.
With implementation of social media still in its early stages, organizations are seeking ways to track conversations and better gage their impact on brand perception and sales. Organizations are measuring page views, the numbers of followers (fans), and the amount of traffic delivered to the corporate website. It’s a start, but organizations need to do more. Actionable information from social media channels requires a greater understanding of overall customer brand sentiment and the ability to proactively monitor social conversations on channels like YouTube and Twitter.
The Gartner Special Report points out the need for organizations to harness the power of social media to facilitate engagement with customers, business partners, and employees – to effectively capitalize on their investments in social media marketing. “Over time, the boundaries between social and collaborative applications (such as, e-mail, instant messaging and “texting”) and business applications (such as, finance or sales) will blur, and transactional activities will be augmented by socially-enabled capabilities.” This investment is largely one of human capital. Many social media channels are available free of charge. Its employees who listen to the voice of the customer that creates opportunity for engagement.
A growing number of software solutions are available to help organizations capture data and glean insights that can grow the business. Such solutions help organizations monitor online conversations, understand customer sentiment, and react more quickly to customer needs and market opportunities. As social media takes an increasingly prominent role within an overall marketing program, market leaders will turn increasingly to business analytics to convert social media data into strategic, actionable, information.