Social media has historically been a great conversational tool for businesses. It has enabled engagement and interaction between the brand and the consumer -- but as marketers, we crave more. We want to impact the bottom line, enable our sales team to be successful, and be an integral part of achieving the overall company goals.
Thankfully, we've learned that there's a layer of science behind social media marketing, and we can actually extract highly valuable data that can inform our overall inbound marketing strategy.
The key to getting the science of social right is in realizing all of the data that is actually available to us, and utilizing it in a meaningful way. Digital marketing is, after all, about not having to guess anymore because the data informs the strategy.
Social data takes that insight to a whole other level. Richer and more connected, here's how we can use social data.
1) Segment Based on Sales Cycle Stage
With so much conversation online, it's hard to know what we should be paying attention to, or at least, what to prioritize. Segmenting your social contacts based on where they're at in the sales cycle is something that few companies are aware they can do. The data is available, all you need is a system in place to filter for it.
HubSpot's Social Inbox tool helps to sort through the clutter to bring you the important data -- color-coded -- to make it really easy to spot important social conversations from your prospects, leads, and customers, and use that data to inform your strategy.
Once you have the information at your fingertips, you can start to use it in your inbound marketing strategy and send your sales team some really engaged and highly qualified leads.
A really cool example of using this data in a meaningful way is in setting up social monitoring streams. You can create a stream for each of your sales reps with a list of their leads and quickly get notified if one of those leads mentions your company name, or any variety of keywords that would indicate interest or intent to hear more from you.
2) Find Out What's Working for Your Competitors
Social Crawlytics is a free tool that allows you to see what platforms your competitors' content is getting shared on most. You can export that data into an Excel spreadsheet and sort by the different networks to see what content resonated best on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can then take that information to:
Identify your competitors' most successful content
Identify the influencers who promoted and amplified their content
Identify their most successful authors
This process really helps you build out your content strategy because most likely, what's working for them will work for you, as well. Here's an example of what it might look like:
Another way to track what's going on with your competitors is through HubSpot's Social Inbox, which can help identify pain points from people who are using your products, but purchased from competitors. You can do this by setting up a stream to monitor Twitter for your product names as well as your competitor's name, then set it up to receive a daily email notification that sums up what conversations people are having online about them. If there are some negative comments, you can always jump in and offer some help -- maybe even a free trial -- to cheer them up!
3) Find Influencers and High-Performing Content
BuzzSumo is another free tool that helps you find influencers and content that's performing really well under different keywords and phrases. You can find good people, brands, and companies to carry out co-marketing campaigns with, as well as content topics that are performing well at any given time.
If you are a HubSpot customer, you can also use the Social Inbox monitoring functionality to find influencers by creating a stream for people mentioning a particular keyword or keywords.
4) Spot the Trends
Bottlenose can inform your content strategy by allowing you to spot and visualize emerging trends and threats to your business across social media, and track what instigated them, how long they will last, as well as what drives them. Using Bottlenose, we can create some real-time marketing that's relevant to what people are interested in consuming at any given time.
5) Find Your Most Engaged Audience
Monitoring social enables us to see how people interact with our content and can tell us a lot about where we should be focusing our efforts -- topics to write about, formats to deliver it in, and where to promote it.
Look at your page analytics to see where your social traffic is coming from. If you get more Twitter traffic on a certain topic or format of content, for instance, it may be worthwhile looking at investing in some paid distribution on that network to get even more traction.
Using HubSpot's Analytics, you can clearly identify which platforms worked better for a particular piece of content -- this is what it might look like:
With this tool, you can clearly see the ROI of your social media efforts and see what efforts are generating interactions, visits, leads, and most importantly -- customers. This is a big step forward in social media monitoring as, shockingly, 53% of social media marketers don't even measure their success. (Source: Awareness, Inc.)
6) Integrate Social Data With Your CRM or Contacts Database
Now that you know you have access to all of this information, integrating it into your CRM or contact database will finally allow you to make it even more meaningful to your strategy. Having social data as well as a complete history of your leads' and customers' activity in one place is invaluable to your company, because it means you can finally stop wasting time on what doesn't work, as well as equipping your sales team with the information to help them close more deals.
With HubSpot's lead management tool, you can clearly see all of the historic activity for any contact, including emails sent, conversations on social media, web pages visited, etc. so you can tailor every conversation to be a more personalized experience for the contact.
For a deeper insight into what's possible with social media marketing, join our webinar on March 27th with UK marketing agencies, Distilled, and Zazzle Media.
Originally published Mar 26, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017