As social media becomes a growing part of everyone’s daily lives, businesses will need to explore the gold mine of opportunities from platforms like Facebook and Twitter by opening a line of communication with customers.
According to a report sponsored by Social Media Examiner in 2012, 94 percent of businesses with a marketing department use social media as part of their platform.
In the same report, more than half of marketers dedicate the equivalent of a full workday attempting to engage customers through popular social media platforms.
This has created an environment of fierce competition in which brands and organizations look for new ways to streamline their workflows. The end goal is to improve customer engagement without losing productivity in attempting to keep everyone happy.
Engaging Your Audience Through Automation
So, how do we engage a worldwide audience and still maintain our sanity? This question is born from the fact that not everyone has the time or resources to be able to respond to each and every prospect. There is one magic keyword here, and it’s “automation.”
Automation is often seen as a dirty word, but it can actually be the one saving grace for companies seeking to provide an image of an agile social butterfly. However, using automation doesn’t have to be synonymous to having cold and impersonal conversations with your prospects. There are platforms aimed at personalizing the engagement process, even if it is automated. The trick is in custom-tailoring messages in such a way that prospects will feel that these interactions were built for them specifically.
Here are some of the ways in which social media marketing automation can help fortify the conversation funnel between businesses and their customers:
1. Targeted Messaging
Instead of looking willy-nilly for leads, good social media lead generation platforms can find the right audience at a time that is most relevant. By improving the relevance of your messages on social media and targeting your audience based on their interests, you waste much less time looking for leads and reach out to the market that is most likely to respond positively to whatever it is you have to share.
Socedo automates the lead generation process, and the platform also enables you to fill in your sales funnel in a matter of days. This is done by matching potential customers with criteria that you have set, in order to better target the campaign. Using a customizable workflow, the platform then engages users automatically, helping you gain traction and brand equity throughout your target market.
Studies show that 68 percent of e-commerce buyers abandon their online shopping cart at some point. Sometimes, it takes a little more of a push to convert a lead into an actual customer. Retargeting involves nurturing the incomplete interaction – such as an abandoned shopping cart – you have had with a lead in the hopes of achieving a conversion.
Marketing automation can assist with retargeting so that you do not have to keep track of every single lead yourself, converting leads into purchases and retaining the customers you already have.
Fanplayr is a real-time targeting platform that engages an audience to improve their likelihood to close the deal and make a purchase. The platform employs real-time analytics, segmentation and retargeting in order to optimize the content and messaging. This results in a more compelling offer that is more likely to convert.
Once you get a positive reply from a lead, you can take the helm from that point and keep the conversation flowing so that your brand can achieve better equity. By engaging with leads that are actually interested in interacting with you, you gain rapport with the person you have reached. This makes it more likely for your brand to be viewed in a positive manner, increasing the likelihood that you’ll transform this interaction into an eventual purchase.
For more effective engagement, Marketo provides a platform that automates the engagement process with the aim of converting prospects into customers and advocates of the brand. Social applications include referral campaigns, shareable videos, social polls and Facebook tab publishing. The platform also provides social analytics, which lets you see how social activity drives conversions and revenue.
4. Workflow Optimization
A proper social media marketing automation platform will not only interact with your customers on your behalf and find you a number of leads; it will also show you the ways in which you can refine your workflow by analyzing the general sentiment of the people who you reach. Through trial and error, you can develop a strategy that “fits” your target audience more readily.
For instance, Microsoft Dynamics is a platform that provides enterprise resource planning and business intelligence for companies across the size spectrum. Through effective analytics and visibility, the platform empowers you to optimize and adjust your workflow in order to achieve better efficiency.
A Word of Caution
Before you dive into social media marketing through an automated platform, just be careful not to send too many messages. The line between “sociable” and “annoying” is very thin, and if you cross it, you will increase the probability that you will get a negative reply. Try to be helpful and actionable with the messages you send, and do not pester your leads.
The sum of all these benefits produces tangible results. According to the above-mentioned Social Media Examiner report mentioned, 58 percent of businesses that use social media over a three-year period have experienced an increase in sales. Just shy of half of people in their 20s use social media frequently enough to fill 10 hours of their week, making it a strong potential “lead pool” for those who adopt a streamlined method for marketing to these individuals.
While having a good product helps, becoming more social as a brand is now more essential than ever!