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Yesterday, we shared tips on how you could make your social media efforts more measurable. Today, let's cover the last few steps from Nichole Kelly, CEO of Social Media Explorer/SME Digital and author of How to Measure Social Media.

 

5. Consider content carefully. The right content strategy is key to your social success, and a personalized approach is best. LinkedIn Contacts can help you flag and organize the connections you most want to monitor, enabling you to track status updates like job changes, profile revisions, and similar shifts that give you a good place to start a conversation. Monitoring Google Alerts, forums, blogs, and groups can reveal prospects’ hot buttons, which you can use to develop highly targeted, straightforward content that answers their questions.


“When you’re reaching out to build relationships online, if you can share engaging and relevant content that doesn’t talk about your products and services, you actually can deepen those relationships a lot faster,” Kelly says. Pay attention to where people are in the sales cycle—if they express interest in your product or service, definitely follow up in kind. But for those who merely engage with you or your content, you can actually kill the sale by putting them into direct response campaigns prematurely. Purchasing intent is a key differentiator to identify in social; it’s the trigger where relationship building turns into prospect nurturing.

 

6. Analyze traffic to measure results. While the gold standard for social measurement is to push social data into your CRM system, web analytics is an easy first step to help you do some analysis. (For a good overview of the value web analytics deliver, go to http://www.google.com/analytics/why.) Let’s say you sent out 300 tagged links and want to know 1) how many site visits resulted, 2) how long people stayed, and 3) did they convert? You can use the behavioral information from site analytics to inform your assessments. If you can’t measure revenue right away, start by looking at cost metrics such as cost per impression, cost per engagement, and cost per conversion.


7. Optimize your website for conversions. “It’s crazy in B2B how hard we make it for people to buy,” Kelly says. Instead, optimize your website for conversion by developing multiple user experiences according to where your prospects are in the sales funnel. Kelly recommends having two to three points of conversion on every page by including:

    • Downloadable content for basic nurturing, creating a “soft conversion”
    • Higher-level decision-making downloads that indicate purchasing intent
    • Easy ways for users to raise their hand if they want to make contact or meet with sales

Automated marketing such as email or newsletter campaigns can also be tailored to prospects’ changing interest levels as they move toward conversion. It looks personalized, but is based on the social signals that people are sending.

 

8. Scale into big data technology. When you’re able to integrate social data into CRM, you can start to analyze social-tagged customers vs. control groups of non-social customers according to various metrics. For example, do they generate more revenue? Do they generate more sales? Do they close faster? Kelly has discovered that social is indeed different, having

    • A lower cost per lead and per acquisition
    • A longer sales cycle, not because social slows the sale, but because it catches prospects earlier in the process—well before the competition
    • A dramatically higher conversion rate to sales

Using advanced software like Marketo’s suite of automation tools and SME Digital’s TRKS.IT to track third-party links, you can integrate actionable social media signals into Salesforce, SAP, or other CRM systems to help you trigger appropriate actions, deepen relationships, and cross-sell to existing customers. Once you start scaling up your efforts, response rates skyrocket along with volume.

 

Find Out More

If you haven’t been measuring social media’s impact on your company’s bottom line, it’s time to start. For further details, tips, and ideas, watch the full session on the Ariba Slideshare site.

 

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