Best practices for social media marketing

How to Use Social Selling and Marketing Automation

 How to Use Social Selling and Marketing AutomationIn a modern landscape of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, social selling is a vital skill to integrate into any marketing strategy. However, concurrently managing different social networks and sticking to a consistent message can be daunting. Marketing automation tools such as Lead Liaison have many different functions that can help your marketing team keep everything organized. Read on to learn how your company can use social selling and marketing automation to maximize exposure of your promotional materials and convert leads into customers.

Obstacles to Social Selling

There are a couple important obstacles that can limit your marketing team’s social selling efforts. One of the most basic is that while nearly everyone in the modern business world interacts with social networking, the way that your consumers interact with these platforms is constantly changing. Different leads use different social networking platforms, individual platforms are used in different ways, and different consumers use different devices to interact with those networks. Even if you’ve crafted an effective social selling strategy, a large part of your potential leads or new leads may not respond to your content – simply because they aren’t noticing it.

How can your marketing team cover all of the different social networks, constantly updating and double checking and interacting with customers, all while developing and implementing a coherent and compelling marketing strategy? Do you need to hire a whole new social media department?

Not if you take advantage of marketing automation software. Below are some of the ways you can use social selling and marketing automation to streamline and improve your company’s social media presence.

Scheduling

One of the biggest advantages that software automation technology can deliver to your marketing team and your company is the ability to schedule social media posts. This means that you can plan and implement a long-term social media campaign that will be unveiled over several weeks or even months across multiple platforms. This takes a lot of the day-to-day pressure off your marketing team, who no longer have to babysit every tweet, and is an invaluable tool to help make sure that your message stays consistent across all social media platforms. You can even help improve your company’s social media profile by clustering relevant posts around industry events such as a trade show, giving you maximum exposure at the perfect time.

Social Intelligence

Another great feature that can help you use social selling and marketing automation together is the social intelligence function built into Lead Liaison’s marketing automation tools. Social intelligence can help you gather demographic data about your leads by analyzing social media profiles. This can help you further refine your social media campaigns, open up exciting opportunities for targeted marketing, and help your marketing analyze the effectiveness of current campaigns with A/B testing.

Visit Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog to learn more about how you can use social selling and marketing automation to improve your marketing campaigns and many more great marketing automation strategies.

Keep Your Social Media Current With Real-Time Event Integration

Keep Your Social Media Current With Real-Time Event IntegrationKeep your social media current with real-time event integration and you’ll start impressing your prospects. Using Lead Liaison’s powerful tools, you can quickly set up an automated schedule to maintain multiple healthy and vibrant social media profiles, greatly increasing the visibility of your company to potential leads. However, to get the most out of your social media presence it should include not only relevant details about your company, but be responsive to events and news that involves your field. Real-time event integration is a key strategy in today’s fast paced world of social media communication, and should be an essential component of your social media strategy.

If your marketing has already set up an automated schedule using Lead Liaison, then that’s good – they’ve laid the framework for a healthy social media presence. Your customers are informed of what is happening with your company, and that’s important. Real-time event integration isn’t something that exists beside a long term social media automation strategy, the two are intimately related and equals parts of one singular goal, becoming part of an active, engaged community. Let’s use the example of a trade show related to your company to see how real-time integration can reach a broader audience and stimulate new leads.

Reactive Real-Time Event Integration

If there’s an important trade show approaching in your industry, hopefully it is already being planned for as a part of your marketing team’s social media automation strategy. Announcements leading up to are a great way to demonstrate activity on various social media platforms. Once the event begins, make sure you are participating in the conversation. If you have a marketing representative attending, have them take pictures, and never forget the importance of hashtags to become part of a larger conversation. If a big announcement happens, be a part of it. Even if the announcement isn’t directly related to your company, it never hurts to be a part of the buzz.

Predictive Real-Time Event Integration

Not all real-time even integration has to be reactive, however. Your marketing team should also design posts that will go up at times when they will be seen by the largest number of potential leads and customers. By creating posts that encourage participation, such as a question about attendees’ favorite moments, a poll, or even a contest related to the show, you can engage lot of new contacts and increase your social media profile very effectively.

At the end of the day, your marketing team should be working on a real-time event integration social media strategy that is both predictive and reactive, and all of this should fall under the umbrella of your larger social media automation strategy. And make sure that all of your social media posts are landing on the appropriate platform, a 40 word tweet accompanied by a hashtag looks a lot more at home on Twitter than it does on LinkedIn.

With a little planning and an effective utilization of the social media automation tools that Lead Liaison places at your disposal, you’ll quickly see the benefits of an active social media presence. Visit our marketing automation blog to learn more about how you can get the most from your social media accounts.

Scheduling Your Social Posts Makes All The Difference

Scheduling Your Social Posts Makes All The DifferenceScheduling your social posts makes a ton of difference. In today’s landscape of digital communication, an active social media presence is essential for communicating with potential and existing customers. In order to create an active presence, however, your marketing team needs to be able to deliver quality social media content on a consistent schedule that is in line with everything else that is going on within your company. This can be difficult to do on the fly, and trying to do so can make it difficult for a marketing team to adhere to their overall strategy. In order to maximize the impact of your social media presence, you should consider scheduling your social media posts, and Lead Liaison’s social media automation tools make this a simple and straightforward process.

A Consistent Schedule Of Social Media Posts Yields Tangible Benefits

What kinds of benefits will you see after pursuing a social media post scheduling strategy? An active social media presence helps establish a connection with potential customers, and reassures your existing customers that your company is actively engaged with the services you provide. In addition, regular social media updates build an online presence by connecting not only with other users but also other businesses, giving your company a wider profile and making it visible to more potential customers. However, achieving these sorts of connections and a large presence takes time and continued engagement, all of which can be easily controlled by an automated posting schedule.

Lead Liaison provides tools that connect to all the major social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and allows you to connect multiple accounts from each service. Our intuitive software lets you quickly decide on which platform every post your marketing department creates will be shown, helping you control the voice of each account while ensuring that crucial messages are delivered at the same time across all relevant social media services. In addition, our social media post queue, called the buffer, not only lets you post essentially on auto-pilot, but will let your team know when the buffer is low, helping you ensure an uninterrupted flow of social media activity.

Make Sure Your Team Remains Engaged

While posting on a consistent schedule on various social media platforms is an important part of an effective social media strategy, don’t think it’s the whole game. A crucial part of an engaging Twitter or Facebook account is the conversation that can occur between your customers. Make sure your team is making time to respond to activity on your various social media accounts, and make sure they stay aware of what is happening in your field and the world to make sure that automated posts don’t conflict with any important events or news.

By remembering these basic tenants of social media engagement and developing a coherent, automated schedule for social media postings, you’ll quickly see increased activity on social media and awareness from your customers and community. Remember to start scheduling your social posts! Visit Lead Liaison to find out more about how we can help engage your company on social media and the many other ways we can help automate your marketing capabilities.

Social Monitoring: Do You Need It?

Social Monitoring: Do You Need It?Many businesses implement complex marketing automation systems with a goldmine of data coming in – yet never seem to think about social monitoring. Taking a look at how customers behave when they use your website or view your marketing materials can give you a ton of great information, but you’re not always going to get the full picture of a user’s behavior scope.

While you’re confronted with raw data that can inform your marketing plan and increase branding or even sales, you may be missing out on valuable information that puts you in the loop about what customers are actually looking for. By monitoring conversations surrounding your brand and relevant keywords, you can get a better idea of how to craft customized content and engage with your audiences at a higher level.

Social Monitoring: What is It?

In a nutshell, social monitoring is about watching what your customers are tuning into online in order to make decisions about the types of content you put out there and how you represent your brand.

For instance, if you own a tire company and communicate with customers directly on your Facebook page, you may find that a decent amount of customers ask questions about flats – repairing tires, when to buy new tires and how to avoid driving on a tire that is in dangerously bad shape. You see social media conversations on your Facebook as well as web searches asking questions about tires.

However, major news stories are out there highlighting the dangers of driving in various weather conditions without the appropriate tire. Your competitors are engaging in dialogue with potential customers on their own Facebook pages and within various news stories about tire conditions in bad weather.  If you’re not having these conversations, you’re missing out on putting yourself and your expertise in front of customers in a way that would result in brand recognition and sales.

Engaging Socially

The above is a simplistic example, but you can apply it to just about any industry. There are plenty of ways to figure out the kinds of things your customers want to talk about. Check hashtags on Twitter, set up an alert for your core business keywords using http://alerts.google.com, or incentivize customers to complete online surveys that gauge what types of topics they’re interested in talking about. You can also look to click through and open rate in your email marketing efforts to determine what content best engages customers.

Marketing automation is a must for your business, but the more data you can collect from other channels, the more reliably you can determine the best direction for your marketing. You deserve a marketing automation dashboard that gives you everything in a package – from article writing to social monitoring to robust reports and engagement suggestions. Check out Lead Liaison’s dashboard to find out more about how a well-rounded marketing automation tool can take your business to the next level!

Social Media Planning and the Super Bowl

Social media planning could be the key to truly getting your brand out there and making a post viral – especially during a big game or event like the Super Bowl. Did you tune in last weekend? If so, you might have been there for the big Bowl, for the halftime show or even just for the commercials. Super Bowl organizers know how to do it right – they throw in a little something for everyone to pile on as many extra viewers as possible.

Social media is no different – now it’s standard to live tweet big events like Bowl games, so of course big brands are getting on board. JC Penney’s ‘mitten’ tweets are now famous –

JCPenney Super Bowl Ad

People seriously thought someone in JCPenney’s social media department was partying a little too hard during the big bowl game and might not have a job come Monday. Then this happened:

JCPenney Super Bowl Ad

At the time of this writing, the last JCPenney mittens tweet received 3718 retweets and 1985 favorites. Not bad!

Careful Social Media Planning

Utilizing social networks to broadcast messages like these is a great idea. On Superbowl Sunday, your audience is going to be in front of the TV, but will also have laptops and smartphones out live tweeting and Facebooking about the event. This means that your brand should definitely be at the party – but with conscious content that’s relevant to the event at hand.

Sure, you can sell your services – but events like these are a time to figure out how you can present them in a way that’s fun and relates to the Super Bowl. You also don’t have to be stuck in front of your computer during the big event – you can use Lead Liaison and other tools to create great content and schedule it before you leave the house. This will allow you to ensure the right social media is posted and gets out there during the big game.

Answering Back

Even if you’re busy during major events, ensure you spend some time the next day responding to Tweets and Facebook questions about your posts. Being there for your audience is a big part of not only being recognized as an interactive brand – tweeting back can increase the visibility of your posts and your marketing message.

You can automate everything. Good social media planning allows you to take the time you need to enjoy your Sunday while your marketing is still doing its work. The Lead Liaison team would love to help engage your social media planning into something that ends up in tremendous results. Let’s talk today!

Why Social Media Content Should Include Text

Why Social Media Content Should Include TextSocial media content is what drives engagement for your brand. Whether you’re posting just a few times a week or interacting daily with your customers, it’s important to create and maintain a social media presence over time.

Part of creating a social media content strategy is knowing what your customers want to see. For many businesses, the only way to truly find this out is to test various forms of content over time. Many people respond better to images, some to news stories, some to blogs from your own site. And of course, there are infographics.

The Power of the Infographic

Infographics are awesome, but splitting up your content into different types will really determine how your audience wishes to engage with you. You can never really be sure what will go over best. It’s a good idea not to make the assumption that every person in your audience is a visual person and enjoys seeing their social media content in picture form. Images don’t appeal to everyone – in part because they don’t always load quickly on certain connections.

Facebook is Not Instagram

Instagram is a great way to share image content. You can even use that content to showcase your products or services. As long as you’re interacting with other Instagram users, they’ll follow you and you’ll have an opportunity to put what you’re selling right in front of them. It can truly be a powerful platform.

Because Facebook is capable of hosting various types of multimedia content, why not set up your company Instagram to send images straight to your Facebook? That way you can save your Facebook postings for social media content relevant to information from your site, news posts, blogs or other text-ready updates.

Social Media Content is Necessary

If you’re posting a few times a week, you may not have enough content out there to drive engagement. This is particularly the case if you’re only posting images and not sharing multiple forms of content. It’s a good rule of thumb to mix up your content and test it using all the capabilities Instagram has to offer.

Some folks stick to images because they simply don’t have the wordsmithing abilities to create blogs and content for their site, much less social media content updates. We can help! Lead Liaison offers social media content services right within your dashboard. Simply send out your request and our writers will take care of your needs within a specific timeframe – whether you’re looking for social media content updates, blogs or other pieces of writing. Let’s talk about your content needs today!

SEO is Dead, Content Lives

SEO is Dead, Content LivesSEO is Dead, Content LivesIt’s possible you’ve heard the headlines throughout 2013: “Is SEO Dead?” Search engine marketing experts are still working to figure out how Google’s algorithm changes this year affect websites on the whole. Out of all the research that’s been done and the rankings that were tallied, the truth is emerging: content is king and SEO is dead.

It’s Time To Beef Up Your Content

The “Is SEO Dead” question has little to do with whether or not people will still use search engines to find what they need. They absolutely will. It’s evident that with sites tanking, more and more small businesses will rely on PPC to get their websites and products out there to users. Traditional SEO isn’t dead – but the “tricks” advertisers have used over the years to game the search engines aren’t going to apply anymore. Old-fashioned, keyword optimized onsite content is going to be the only true way to rank up through the search engines and make your site indexable.

The more content and the more relevance to your audience, the better. It’s not just about putting as much content out there as possible – it’s about making sure your content is engaging and your audience wants to see it. The more eyes on your content, the more comments and the more general engagement from social media, the more you will find yourself ranking.

Is SEO Dead?

As long as it’s possible to be on the search engines, and as long as people are typing in their chosen keywords, SEO isn’t dead. It’s very much alive and kicking – and not just because our advertising partners are still doing well for their clients, but because people are still using Google – and because it’s still possible to get your site to the top of the search engines.

If you’re not creating good content for your site right now, there’s no better time. Websites who have been upset or penalized by Hummingbird are trying to rebuild their sites to catch up with the latest updates, so you have just as much of a window to create content as they do. Don’t wait – get started creating keyword-rich content that your audience will love today and watch your website excel.

If you’re looking for content resources to help SEO your website, we have what you need! Our Lead Liaison dashboard provides an opt-in content resource that allows you to receive the postings you need. Our writers are a trusted, proven resource for clients who can provide content that comes right in through your Lead Liaison marketing automation dashboard. Talk to us about our content resources today!

Do You Have Time for Your Social Media Marketing?

Do you have time for social media marketing?Your social media marketing commitment has to be one you can handle. There’s really no alternative – regardless of whether you’re hiring someone to do your social media or making time weekly to do it yourself, keeping an eye on your social media and how it affects your overall marketing campaigns is critical to success.

Hiring

Some people alleviate their social media management issues by hiring a team to take care of their Facebook, G+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media marketing pages. This is always a great idea if you can afford it- but what about supervision? How will you know your social media marketing team has your best interests in mind and is posting engaging content that’s relevant to your business?

Ask any team you’re considering working with if they have a strategic way of targeting your audience. You should also ask how and when they plan on reporting back to you. If you or someone on you team isn’t monitoring an advertising team you outsource to, you won’t have any control over what’s posted about you.

Making Time for Social Media Marketing

Time constraint is a huge factor in how social media marketing is handled. You can schedule time weekly to check out engagement, use a social media aggregator and make any necessary updates to your profiles. However, many folks are going a step beyond that. Some small business owners vow to check into social media daily and answer questions, but simply don’t have the time to do it.

If you’re doing your own social media marketing, methodology is important. Have a set schedule that includes what tasks need to be done for the week along with a time frame. If you can’t make time to do these tasks week after week, or someone on your team isn’t doing them efficiently, it’s time to look at other options like outsourcing.

Tracking Social Media

Engagement is about more than getting people to notice you, come to your website and buy from you.  It’s about building trust between you and your customers. Analytics and tracking allow you to see how effective your social media marketing campaigns truly are. If you’re not checking metrics such as brand mentions, clicks to your website from social media or new followers, you could be missing a good opportunity to leverage more interaction for your brand.

Most analytics tracking systems don’t give you the data you need to single out and nurture individual customers who come from your social media marketing efforts. Lead Liaison can! Talk to us today about upping your social media game and tracking customers from entrance to exit.

7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing CampaignMarketers have been flooding social media channels for over three years now. Some brand leaders have effectively embedded social campaigns into their marketing strategies. But many companies are still struggling with making social effective. Why? After several days of research, we’ve uncovered several common mistakes companies are making in their social marketing practices. Here are some thoughts on how to deploy your social media marketing effectively.

Maintain a dialogue – Don’t simply post links to blogs or company web pages. Social media sites are for being “social” (conversing and sharing) so balance informative posts with conversation generators. Pose a thought-provoking question every now and then to get followers to truly engage with your brand.

Uncover what your social circles/followers are doing – find out what interests them, what they are talking about, or what they are sharing. As with any marketing campaign, success starts with knowing your audience well. Take the time to learn about what is important to your followers before posting, tweeting, or “liking”.

Follow others and connect on their social pages – Gaining followers is not a one-way proposition. Buyers, brand advocates, and other stakeholders want to feel they are important to you. If someone elects to connect with your social channel, connect with their channel.

Visit your competitors’ social pages – What better way to find out what your competitors are up to than by monitoring their social pages. Posts on their social pages may reveal common problems your market is having or provide opportunities to address their shortcomings on your social channels. More importantly, you may be able to uncover their strategies.

Join a conversation – Hashtags and other tags allow you to connect with leads that are interested in specific topics. By embedding a hashtag, you join a conversation about common issues, challenges, attitudes, and more. Doing so not only provides an opportunity to link to a specific audience but can signify that certain topics share importance to you and your followers and that you wish to provide more information to your leads.

Use the appropriate strategy for the appropriate social site – Not all social media sites are created equal. For example, Pinterest is for photo-sharing – use images that will generate sharing. Select your photos carefully. Shots of employees or someone using your product may be of interest to your company but won’t likely pick up many followers. Choose images that are funny, cute, awe-inspiring, or memorable in some other way and connect the image to your brand. Facebook has yet to develop hashtags effectively, so deploy hashtags on Twitter or Tumblr instead.

Share responsibly – Things have kind of gotten out of hand with the hashtag craze. Now any phrase under 140 characters can be a hashtag. Make sure to deploy hashtags that are useful to your social circles; they should be relevant to your audience, common enough to be part of a larger conversation, and connect your prospects’ minds with your brand.

Our automated posting feature can be a great way to connect with your audience – if used properly. For more information on integrating social media with marketing automation, connect with Lead Liaison!

Social Posting for Lead Management Success

Social Posting for Lead Management SuccessThese days, B2B marketers are using social posting for lead management success and lead management purposes. Social media engagement is still a fairly new tactic but there are a few rules that have been established that should be followed in order to achieve success at managing leads through this channel.

Post Frequently – But Not Too Frequently

While there is no magic formula for exactly how often to post on social sites, most marketers consider 3-6 daily posts as sufficient to generate views. Keep in mind that posting will likely not be effective if overused. It’s extremely important not to post simply for the sake of putting something out there. Viewers want substance so, unless there is something meaningful to post, avoid filling up your leads’ post feeds.

Social media managers are constantly concerned with the best time of day to post. The answer often varies depending on the channel. Professional sites like LinkedIn are most often viewed before and after work hours, while Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are more heavily visited at different times throughout the day. Most SM experts agree that posting at night is very ineffective.

Which days are most effective? That depends on the site but most SM visits occur early in the week (Monday – Thursday). Image/video sites like Pinterest or Instagram are frequently visited on the weekend while LinkedIn has more traffic at the beginning of the week.

Use Hashtags to Join or Create Conversations

Hashtags (phrases starting with “#”) are used to group comments around specific topics, such as #marketing automation or #generate quality leads. By embedding a hashtag in your post, you connect a post to a conversation about that topic. This tactic helps to gain exposure and provides a way to establish a knowledge authority or thought leadership position.

Microblogging sites like Twitter, Tumblr,  Flickr, and Google+ are channels where you can deploy hashtags. They can be placed anywhere within the post and posters can embed multiple hashtags in one post. If enough site members promote a hashtag by retweeting or sharing, that hashtag will “trend”, which means the term will appear in trending topics for that site.

Provide Answers

Use social posting as a means to help your markets overcome issues or challenges. SM is an effective way to display your expertise and willingness to provide solutions. Post links to content that shows how to troubleshoot a problem or optimize your solutions. Social posts are a great way to build links back to site pages that address customer concerns or provide FAQs.

Linking to reputable knowledge authorities in your industry can be effective at supporting your online presence. Connect your account with popular figures that can help provide credibility and confidence in your company.

Don’t use social media to broadcast features or benefits of your solutions. While buyers may include SM as part of their purchasing research, they don’t often use this channel to discover new products. Prospects will likely turn to SM to see what others are saying about available solutions (in the same vein as review sites), so avoid making claims or promoting your solutions. (However, social sites may be appropriate to post upcoming event announcements or other one-time experiences.)

When used wisely, automated social media posting can drive website traffic, engage your leads, and provide an effective public image for your B2B company.