Marketing tactics in the B2B world have come a long way from the old "spray and pray" approach. The rising importance of a company's social presence has presented new opportunities to broaden customer bases and zero-in on personal preferences. But who has time for all the minutiae that comes with a successful social strategy?
The key is using marketing automation software that will allow you to easily access personal insight at scale in a fraction of the time. The result will be a consistent social presence, with a more manageable workload. When managed correctly, purposeful content and personal connections can be retained through an automated approach as long as you choose your tools wisely and keep your end goal in sight.
Appropriate timing is crucial
No matter how great your content may be, if you post at inopportune times you are wasting your effort. Marketing automation tools can help your business determine when, where, and how to reach your target audience. More human effort can then go into producing the quality content that you'll need to attract clients to your campaign. Automation tools, such as pre-scheduling posts, ensure that potential clients aren't bombarded with too many messages and make it easier to retain a consistent voice.
Complementing automation with supplemental posts is also important. Taking time to respond to Facebook comments or Tweets adds a personal touch that clients will appreciate. Impromptu posts about current events or real-time company news is a great way to attract attention in unexpected ways. Be mindful of posting amid sensitive situations, like natural disasters or political tension, or even consider pausing automated posts until a more appropriate time.
Connect the dots (data) to see the big picture
Marketing automation offers a plethora of data, but your success depends on sharing that information across your channels. Automation tools that close the feedback loop let you use data more efficiently and allow for additional evaluations later on. Integrating your social dashboard with your automation tools will allow you to match specific users to engagement data in order to optimize your investment.
Not all social channels are worth your time, so it's smart to test out different options before focusing your efforts. Which channels have the highest conversion rates? What specific posts are producing the most leads? Keeping the big picture in mind, the data from automation tools will uncover new prospects and reassure dormant leads to take action. Down the road, it will be easier to nurture and grow those relationships because you'll know the specific insights that brought them to you.
Be consistent and personal
Remember that the reasoning behind a social presence is to build and nurture relationships in a more personal manner. Many customers no longer trust email and can't stand to be called on the phone. Social channels enable a more organic approach to relationship building. Building trust and maintaining authority as an expert in your field are attainable through social media because prospects are exposed to your brand in manageable doses in an environment they can control.
While automation provides important data that will help you close more business, it can also lead to laziness or inauthentic strategies that can damage your reputation. Prioritizing the need for a consistent, personal image on social channels should be a continuous goal. Maintaining a respectable brand will make it easier to accurately segment and evaluate your leads, which in turn makes leveraging that data more profitable.
Ultimately, the benefits of marketing automation within social strategies are infinite. When automated systems are working on your behalf, the time and resources savings are compounded in terms of conversions as well as the overall volume of business you can handle.
Image courtesy: Kyle Turco/TechnologyAdvice