We know the facts like the back of our hands. Over 72% of all online adults are now on social media. In response, marketers across the board are upping their efforts and resources towards social media marketing both in B2B and B2C scenarios. Users turn to social media to connect with, congratulate and criticize brands they use. In short, marketing without social media in 2015 is well-nigh unimaginable.
As we acknowledge all of these, another glaring fact that we need to admit to ourselves as marketers. And that is the fact that we have yet to truly tame this multi-headed beast. Even though we all strongly believe that social media must affect our brands in some concrete way, a stunning chunk of marketers agree that tying in social media to measurable results is often easier said than done.
However, that's a fact that will hopefully be obsolete pretty soon thanks to some awesome tools which bring in accountability and measurement to social media marketing.
Note: I mention a few tools below. Please note that I or my company have no affiliation whatsoever with these companies and I am not attempting to promote any of these.
1. Lead Generation
We often view social media as a top of the funnel activity. We do not expect much besides awareness generation and user engagement as a by-product of all the millions of dollars that get collectively pumped into social media marketing. Here's a tool that hope to change that mindset.
Needls is a tool that leverages the semantic web and zeroes in on leads from within your social networks. It understands and interprets unstructured data like tweets or timeline updates on Facebook to come up with relevant results that you can action right away. Users define the specific keywords that work for their industry or brand, geographical locations where they expect to find leads and Needls does the rest for them. Currently the tool offers support for lead gen via Facebook and Twitter.
For example, when I tweet that I'm looking to redesign my website, Needls picks up the fact that I'm probably an extremely qualified and hot lead for a web design agency. It will send my details straight into the inbox of a web design or development firm, who can then reach out to me on a one to one basis. It even digs into historical data and pulls out customers who have tweeted or commented about a particular service or product in the past and lets you contact them directly to convert them into real leads.
2. Audience / Segment Expansion
Why be satisfied with just the fans that you attract organically or via your paid campaigns on social media? What if there was a way to find qualified fans on social media -ones that mimic your most profitable user segments? That is now a definite option with Affinity Answers.
AffinityAnswers follows a very simple logic to unearth potential fans / users for your brand. Mutual Affinity is the mantra that it uses to derive relationships between your existing users and a potential new user. This tool dives deep into your social media audience's online activities and figures out the brands that your most valuable users like, the activities that they like to engage in (in the real world), the locations that they are from and so on.
Let's say your most valuable customers are also huge Disney fans. The tool then investigates the entire universe of Disney fans on social media and hunts for specific markers among them that will qualify them to like or use your brand.
By matching your users' preferences with preferences of other brands' fans; the tool discovers new audiences who match the interests and overall profile information of your existing segments. You can exponentially increase your chances of conversion with this completely fresh set of customers by sending targeted communication that matches their interests. This is a great tool for business owners looking to expand their reach among a specific customer segment.
3. Custom Calls to Action
We create and curate elaborate engaging content for our social networks, post them online and then pray hard that users will click on the content and take the action that you hope they will. By creating a direct call to action in your posts, you leave nothing to chance.
Snip.ly is the perfect answer for conversion problems related to curated content. With Snip.ly, you can now attach a call to action on a third-party web page that you've shared with your social audience.
Turning this on its head, Snip.ly allows you to embed third party content - like the latest viral video - into your website. So the next time you refer to it on social media, you can use a link to your own webpage on which the viral content is embedded. This way users click through to your site and not some unrelated third party site.
Besides all this, you can even grow your email subscriber list by attaching a neat little email sign up form to your tweets or posts. Currently, Snip.ly works on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, and integrates with services like MailChimp, Klout, HootSuite, HubSpot and more.
With a platform as expansive and versatile as social media, it's criminal to leave its contribution to your bottom line to simply branding or user engagement. Go beyond mass market social media management tools and dig out those little gems that will help you go that extra mile. Which tools have helped your social media marketing become more accountable? Tell me please; I'd love to know!
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