Most B2B companies have similar marketing goals – grow and drive top market position while maintaining excellence in client service. With that being said, social media, as a business tool, when utilized correctly, can actually serve all of these needs: marketing, sales, and customer service. The irony is, as your B2B organization grows, so do the needs of supporting and nurturing your social media programs.
If you are a marketer for a mid- or enterprise-level B2B organization, you are responsible not just for traditional marketing, but now , more and more, for results-driven social media marketing. You need to know the best ways to keep your social media programs aligned with your overall marketing efforts going as you support the growth of your organization. Here are a few ways you can take action to do just that.
1. Do a Quarterly Internal Social Media Tools Checkup
Social media trends and technologies move fast. You cannot afford to let your social media programs lie stagnant for even a moment. The best way to stay on top of using social media as a marketing tool is to perform frequent social media tools checkups. In these, you will want to assess your social tools from top to bottom. Look at how everything is in use, performing, and supporting your bottom-line KPIs. Review your content marketing tools, your social media monitoring tools, your social media dashboard or management tools, social analytics or intelligence tools, marketing automation tools, and visual marketing tools. Get a good review on installed tools and new tools in the marketplace. As I discussed in a recent ClickZ article, new tools are providing more marketing efficiencies than ever in this space. You need to know which tools work best for your marketing programs now and in the future.
2. Have Weekly Marketing-Sales Meetings
As stated previously, social media marketing has an effect throughout the marketing operation. To keep your team in the game, it is critical to align social selling activities with social marketing ones. Social media marketing should be an agenda item on the sales team’s weekly meeting. I suggest that your organization appoint a social lead from marketing to sit in on the sales meetings and update the team on KPIs from the previous week of social media marketing. At this time, the sales director should also provide the marketing lead with the sales funnel approach for the next week. In this way, social marketing activities can align with sales. In my experience, social sales management tools like the mini CRM that LinkedIn provides or SAAS products like Nimble.com are slowly replacing standard CRM products. And, these newer social selling tools support market automation. This gives a clear indication that social marketing and social sales require a true connection, and further, a true collaboration inside the B2B organization. Beyond the weekly joint meeting, the online marketing calendar of campaigns should be shared with sales so that there is a clear understanding of what is happening in social media that sales can leverage to develop new business relationships.
3. Keep Your Chief Executive Aware of Top-Line KPIs
As your marketing organization grows, it is important that you get executive-level buy-in at all levels of social media marketing investments, whether that is software, people, time , travel, in-house app development, and so on. Have a plan to garner and present high-level social results to your executive team on a monthly basis. Make social media marketing results as important as sharing sales results. This will keep your CEO and other company executives excited about their investment in this marketing strategy. Sharing what campaigns you have tested and the results, how direct consumers have interacted with the company brand in social, and where the brand has had the most positive influence in the social ecosystem. And these are just some of the points that should be in your monthly social media presentation.
Spending on social media marketing is on the rise, so as spend increases, so does attention at the top level for results. It is critical then moving forward that B2B marketers keep up with opportunities in social media to drive higher market share, support their sales organizations to enable more new business, and deploy the right tools and support to provide excellence in customer service at the social brand level.
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