Dear Socially Stephanie,
I feel like I'm all over the place when it comes to my social media and web marketing. Currently I am using a little of this and a little of that but I'm feeling overwhelmed. Do you have any recommendations that will make my life easier?
Distracted in Dallas
Dear Distracted in Dallas,
I totally feel ya. Social media can be overwhelming and time consuming. Without the right tools it can feel as if social media has taken over your life. And as a small business owner, your time is one of your most valuable assets. In fact, once it's gone, it's one of the only things you can't get back. Well, today, we're going to take a stand and we're going to get your life back, one social media tool at a time!
Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, you really need to define your goals before doing anything else. While I am not quite sure what your exact goals are, I know that, for most small business owners, your goals should be generating more traffic, generating more leads, generating more sales and finally, turning those sales into lifetime customers. Right?
First, let's talk about the good stuff—Tracking leads and sales. My absolute favorite tool is Infusionsoft. If you aren't familiar with Infusionsoft, it's essentially an all-in-one power tool. It's a CRM, email marketing system, e-commerce platform for processing credit cards, and my favorite aspect—a lead tracker. For someone on the social media side, tracking your leads is extremely valuable because you need to know where your customers are coming from, and which lead sources bring you the Benjamins. With this type of data, you can really dig in, get educated on who your best leads are, and find out where they came from. While Facebook might drive the most traffic, LinkedIn's traffic might actually benefit your bottom line more by brining in the bacon. Knowing this allows you to spend your time where it matters, creating a social media strategy designed to bring in more money. Of course, you wouldn't be able to tell from your Google Analytics alone, so, for me, Infusionsoft is a win!
Next, let's talk about all-encompassing social media tools. With the data you've gathered from Infusionsoft, you should have a pretty good idea of which networks to focus on. But how are you going to manage those? A well-rounded social media scheduling and monitoring tool should be in your arsenal. Yes, there are a lot to choose from, and each have their own pros and cons—but fear not! Socially Stephanie is here to save your time and has tried, demoed and tested many different platforms. So let's jump right in. Like food, water, and shelter, your basic needs for a social media platform are monitoring, scheduling and follow-up. At the very least, your platform should have these functions. Luckily, most of them do. Vocus is a powerful tool that might be a good fit for your business. You can perform all the basic functions, but you can also monitor buying signals, which means the tool feeds you people who might want to buy your product or a product similar to yours. All you have to do is contact them with relevant information and a sale could be yours. Another feature I like on Vocus is the lead generation tool. You can create forms for your social media followers and other users to fill out in exchange for a coupon or a download. Anyone who signs up will be placed into your leads area, scored through their lead scoring tool, and synced to your CRM system. Vocus has full salesforce integration and API. Furthermore, your leads can be nurtured through their new workflow management tool. Pretty solid. Interested? Talk to my girl Jennifer, she'll treat you well.
If you aren't interested in such a robust tool, something like Hootsuite will also do you right. As long as you monitor keywords, search for influencers, and schedule the right content at the right time you'll be on your way.
Lastly, finding content to share is the backbone of social media. So, you need an efficient tool to make your life easier. You can check out BundlePost, which aggregates content for you based on keywords and allows you to bulk upload to your scheduling platform. Klout & Buffer both have content curation tools built within that allow you to quickly identify content that is trending and shareable. Or you could try Scoop.it, which is the content curation tool or all content curation. The more value-driven the content you share is, the more your followers are going to like, respect and engage with you.
Well, I think I might have just saved you 10 hours of research time. Congratulations on getting your time back! Good luck.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email SociallyStephanie@socialmediatoday.com and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells