Do you have a creeping feeling that you will never get an adequate return on your Social Media investment? If so, you’re probably right. To improve Social ROI requires three key ingredients: the first reduces costs, and the second and third improve return.
- Improve program efficiency: Swap out experimentation and opportunism with goals, persona-based editorial calendars, monitoring, measurement, and time accountability. Strategy and structure help reduce the size of the investment.
- Marketing automation: This is the family of initiatives that convert an unidentified community member into an identified prospect. Example Marketing Automation initiatives:
- A long-term drip-marketing sequence of emails that continue a conversation after an event
- A mini how-to course (two examples: Six Steps to Strategic Blogging and Five Quick Reads: An Executive Social Media Briefing)
- A whitepaper download form that tags the user with a number of attributes, sends the PDF, and later asks if there are any questions. (Example whitepaper for using Social Media to organize events.)
The critical requirement for Marketing Automation is that each interaction adds value in the eyes of the prospect. The goal is not about selling, it is about building trust.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management): Once trust is built, the prospect will either self-identify a need (“Can you help us with…”) or will be asked about a need (“Had you considered…”). CRM tracks a specific opportunity through each sales stage, until they ultimately transact. Even not-for-profits and associations have sales stages: one track for prospective members, and another for prospective sponsors.
Unfortunately, many organizations mistake the installation of technology with the thinking that is required to get Marketing Automation and CRM actually working by themselves. Or the thinking that is required to wire Social Media, Marketing Automation, and CRM together.
This week’s action plan: Lower costs and higher returns equals improved Social ROI. This week, explore the connection beyond SM: what is your first step beyond the development of community? And is there something missing from your strategy?
Marketing Insight: One of the most powerful marketing tools is knowledge. Connecting the data behind the web, Social Media, Marketing Automation and CRM provides a 360 degree view of a particular prospect as their relationship grows. And looking at the data across all prospects provides critical insights that can be used to improve the overall marketing process.
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