“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
– Albert Einstein
The value of social media marketing is a combination of tangible and intangible benefits, both of which are maximized with the right CRM solution.
Tangible benefits, like revenue and lead conversions, are what generate the hard ROI numbers for management. However, effective marketing professionals understand the value of social goes beyond that. Less tangible benefits, like brand awareness and market intelligence are also generated from social media engagement.
Managing social media with CRM helps you gain the most from all the benefits of social media marketing by pairing your social insights with the tools you use to strategize marketing, create campaigns, and analyze your business.
Once you build your foundation for social media, you will quickly realize the analytical benefits you’ve been missing in your content strategy. In fact, that journey is what led me to writing this article.
Unfortunately, there is no magic algorithm for automatically tracking sales revenue or lead conversions directly generated from social media, but with the help of a CRM solution, the process becomes simpler and easier to measure.
Sales revenue can be tracked in CRM by creating a campaign list for each of your social platforms, like Twitter or Facebook, and adding new leads to them as they are identified on social media. As the leads are converted into opportunities, CRM connects the originating lead and campaign list to the opportunity record, providing a way to segment your won opportunities by social platform. All you have to do is create the lead and add it to the proper campaign list.
Lead conversions can be generated through social media by gating high-value content behind digital forms and posting social updates that link to your landing page. Using marketing automation or a click-tracking tool, like ClickDimensions, leads can be automatically created and nurtured in your CRM after they fill out a form.
Achieving a value-based ROI?
In addition to generating leads or revenue, social media should be used as a platform to inform, educate and converse with your audience. It builds brand awareness, loyalty and sentiment, while providing you with valuable market intelligence. These are standard, routine aspects of marketing that every business should participate in. Social media is currently one of the best, most affordable ways to fuel these less tangible benefits.
Having a social CRM solution, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, brings more value to your social insights.
Learn about your customers and engage
Social media opens the door to authentic conversations with customers, a B2B marketer’s dream. By interacting with your audience you can learn their specific needs, pains, preferences and opinions. This arms you with free market intelligence from the most accurate source available: the customer.
Furthermore, a customer who has positively engaged with your brand is a huge step closer to buying from you.
Dynamics CRM 2015 now includes Social Engagement, a social center where users can create end-to-end customer engagements, as well as schedule posts and visualize their social data. The time you save and the synergy you gain by bringing all your social media platforms under one roof helps significantly. This benefit is huge, and is sometimes overlooked.
Use it for Business Intelligence (BI)
Social media engagements generate data that can be analyzed for quality Business Intelligence (BI). Dynamics CRM delivers meaningful insights and dashboards right alongside where you build campaigns and messaging by integrating with your social media accounts.
You should use this social BI to direct and refine your content strategies and campaigns. You can track which types of content resonate the most with your audience based on likes, shares, sentiment and reach. Pursue content that generates these types of engagements, and drop content that doesn’t.
Responsive Customer Service and Quick Support
In the B2B world, products and services typically serve specific industries and can get a bit complicated. This results in confused prospects with high-level questions, many of whom aren’t yet ready to start the buying process. In this case, use social media to deliver quick answers to your prospects’ questions and inform them of your business.
If possible, within your organization’s limits, use social media to deliver support for simple questions from your current customers that don’t necessarily justify a billing. They will love you for it.
Having your social feed built into your customer service tools creates a line of fast, efficient communication between company and customer, enabling more responsive customer service. This also opens the door to proactive service, where you can provide solutions to customer problems before they even contact you, simply by observing.
The truth is, social media is where your customers communicate. In fact, it’s where we all communicate. Your business needs to be there.
Depending on your approach, your social media efforts may or may not earn you a pay raise, but at the very least, it will help you understand your customers and help build loyalty for your brand.
Learn how Dynamics CRM helps you leverage social media marketing to the fullest! Contact us to schedule an informal 30-minute needs assessment with our industry experts.