It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.
Social Media marketing is more than just posting once in a while…Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy.
Whether your a big or a SMB company, a celebrity or some kind of a famous personality with a large amount external public exposure, chances are you may have to deal with some kind of social media crisis sooner or later. A crisis can occur at random (insensitive tweet), or it can occur with a product misstep or even a social media account hacked. In this digital world, speed of these harmful conversations can implode on you or your company in mere seconds.
While there is no “one size fits all” approach, the below basic social media action plan will help you quickly identify the crisis (issue) and resolve it before it goes viral and turns into disaster.
The first stage of social media crisis planning is to identify the problem or issue in real-time before it gets out of control and goes viral. There are many tools out there that can help you keep tabs and monitor the majority of social media platforms. Most of these social tracking tools depend on keywords important to you or your company. Keywords such as “Company” or “product name” “name of person” “events” “competitors” “social media accounts” etc.
A short list below:
- Social Mention. A great social real-time listening tool for your brand. It measures your influence within four key categories: passion, sentiment, strength, and reach.
- Google Alerts. Track your brand mentions across web and news sites.
- Mention.net. Track your brand across blogs, news sites and forums.
- Talkwalker. Track your brand across across mostly blogs.
- HowSociable. Measure and track what your competition is doing in Social Media.
- Sprout Social. Great tool for monitoring and measuring your brands.
- Radian6. A salesforce product. It allows you to quickly and efficiently track, monitor, and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen on most all social media platforms.
Here are five basic steps to include in your social media crisis plan:
1. Act quickly. Speeds kills, but speed also resolves! Explain the issue or problem FIRST and what your going to do to address it ASAP before it takes hold on Social Media. Be very transparent. You need to do this before it destroys your brand or major lawsuit.
2. Take charge. Step up and take charge of the issue and move fast (even if its at 2am).
3. Be transparent. If its bad and your company screwed up. Take ownership. Own up to the problem or issue!
4. Engage. Engage all the nay-sayers. Engage all the Social Media Trolls and critics.
5. Spread the word. Post your PR response on your website, company blog, social media pages and media releases.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until the threat to your company’s reputation becomes visible. Identify the crisis and get out in front of it before it takes hold.
As of 2018, nearly 97 percent of all Fortune 500 enterprises use at least one social media platform to promote their initiatives and foster positive communication with stakeholders. This statistic was back in 2017-2018. I’m guessing in 2021, the % change is almost 100%. Its clear that using at least one social media network, such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, in order to establish a good communication line with stakeholders, customers and advocates is crucial in 2021.
Determine which social platform serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product Fortune 500 retail marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.
Pro Tip: Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy. Picking and prioritizing your social networks based on your audience location. Repurpose content so your not always trying to reinvent the wheel. Build your presence and following on those accounts as much as possible. If you do not have Fortune 500 type social media resources, just pick and focus on 1 platform. Once you get the hang of it (content creation, scheduling) branch out and add another platform. You can also outsource the work to a contractor. When you outsource anything, one of the greatest outcomes is gaining expertise that isn’t currently available to you. This is especially true when you’re considering outsourcing social media management.
Don’t post the same EXACT content or same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. W
If you post the same content on each platform, you run the risk of customers “unfollowing” you on one if not all of your platforms. Customers (or audience) will grow tired of the duplicate posts/content. Posts can be similar, but not exactly the same.A majority of Instagram users are under 30, and many are in their teens. Instagram users are primarily looking at images and/or videos as posts or as Instagram Stories.
Forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a more “social” approach to break down old communication barriers such as Cold Calls, and Email = Social Media. Social selling allows salespeople to laser-target prospects, establish rapport and with their networks, and possibly even ditch the dreaded practice of cold calling.
While determining the best way to connect with prospects and help coax a consumer down your sales funnel, buyers are consistently going to social networks and the Internet to research products they have an interest in purchasing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, potential buyers are looking on these social media platforms for product information. As smartphones are getting bigger form factors and faster processors, consumers are apt to looking, researching with these larger handheld mobile screens.
Here is a brief breakdown of Social Media as related to the Enterprise:
Business to Consumer = Facebook
Business-to-Business products (or services) = LinkedIn (if you have a first-level connection in common with the executive or buyer who will sign off on a PO)
All types of sales = Twitter
*Twitter is the best for “all kinds of sales” as it’s a very popular network (across all demographics) that doesn’t have privacy settings that keep you from high volume searches and actions.
Social Media Sales strategies
Twitter. Make sure you “add” to the conversation a little before directly engaging in customers:
- Like (heart) a few Tweets
- ReTweet one or two Tweets
- Follow them
Friend, Follow, Follow Back or Connect with individuals with profiles that match you or your clients. Its VERY Important to build relationships on any Social Media platform. Not only can it help to generate leads, it can also help foster relationships with current customers.
Be in expert in your space. Provide solutions or tips and feedback to your customers or potential customers if they post a question or gripe on Twitter/Facebook. Prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function.
Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find useful insights but also see what is being said about your competitors.
Never cold pitch on Social Media platforms. It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.
Social media is “networking” more than it is “advertising”. The goal is to get them to call you (or vice versa), have an open mind about your product or service, and then make your sales pitch.
When its time to engage or pitch, follow these steps:
- Ask for their email so that you can send them some info on your services.
- Find them on LinkedIn and add “connect” with them.
- Send a polite email and mention a conversation you had with them on Twitter or Facebook. You can also mention a tweet or Post that you “favorite” or “liked” from them.
Good Social Sales tools in this space that keeps track of conversations and engagement include:
Hootsuite. More for individuals and small business.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Enterprise grade and scalable.
Its apparent that Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not fads anymore. These platforms are now mature options to generate leads and sales online. By experimenting with different Social Media sales strategies, you can find the best way to convert them into real quantifiable results on all levels. There are no participation medals in social selling: if you’re going to do it, you have to do it right. That means providing valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time.
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SEO is especially important in the inbound marketing world, which relies on potential customers finding you through their own research process — a process that often involves organic search. Social platforms have built-in search functions, and search engines like Google + Bing are starting to take your social presence (use of “social signals”) into account when delivering results
Adding a social media presence to your SEO / traffic strategy is key now. However, the relationship between Social Media and SEO is complicated. As a general rule, the more social media signals you generate, the “better” your prospects of ranking higher. Make sure your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and a LinkedIn page. Be consistent with all of them when posting content. Use the same announcements, content, pictures, branding, description, etc. Also, make sure your website is more shareable. Rock-on!
When creating a company business Twitter account, make sure you cover the “basics” first. A great Twitter profile design will help set you apart from your competitors and make your brand look unique.
Before starting any Social Media effort you must DEFINE your goals and targets (KPIs). A lot of these KPIs you can track from a CRM like HootSuite, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Sprout Social.
Basic Social Media Campaign KPI’s (Tangible) measurements:
- Product sales or qualified leads. New customers acquired. Not included: “converted leads” which are the responsibility of the sales organization or account manager.
- Increased revenue, and/or market share.
- Content Post CTR (Click-through rate) through Social Media platform.
- Site traffic (clicks back to website from a Social platform) or “sessions” by Social Media source
These are just a few basic metrics that you can use to measure your Social Media campaigns. So how do you measure the ever important “non-tangible” Social Media ROI?
- The quality of “buzz” or change in sentiment. Think Twitter buzz or the quality/quantity of blog feedback/comments. Develop an in-house engagement metric.
- Amount of relevant people handling digital content.
- Amount of “followers” or new members after a social media campaign. Not everyone’s social media goals is to sell product. Could be a branding goal or a service type goal.
In the end, Social Media campaign goals must lead to increased revenue, SEO rankings (Google, and Bing are using “social signals” to help them rank), leads, branding/loyalty, or better service. It’s easy to present the tangible information to your boss or client. Make sure the non-tangible information is measured as well.