The use of social media as a key marketing strategy is definitively on the top of the agenda for many business executives nowadays. Today we are presenting a high-level look of the key takeaways presented in the eBook presented by Awareness Networks, Inc (please note, Awareness is an Other Side Group client), The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing (available upon sign-up), to help companies to focus staff, resources, and expertise on creating business value from all the social media data they’re gathering.
They propose a strategic “Social Funnel” framework with associated metrics, above the traditional marketing funnel, as a marketing process to effectively identify demand and manage brand reputation. With 100 million users of LinkedIn, 175 million users in Twitter, 750 million users of Facebook and 5 billion images in Flickr, it’s worth taking a good look to this report.
The Awareness team presents the concept of Social Funnel, its benefits to the business and some recommended steps to build and manage your own Social Funnel. These steps include:
- Measure and Grow Social Reach: After calculating your initial total number of individuals you engage with across all social platforms who actively follow your company, you calculate your Social Reach Growth month-over-month. What’s important here is how consistent you are with engaging in a social media channel. You can’t be there one day and gone the next!
- Monitor Social Conversations: Monitoring social conversations involves knowing what people are saying about your product and brand, both good and bad. As part of a 2010 Awareness survey of 300+ brands, 78% of respondents identify and respond to customer service issues; 64% identify individuals looking for their product or services; 38% identify individuals who influence sales of their product/service; 17% identify behaviors associated with people who are likely to buy their product or service.
- Manage Social Content: Social content is the powerful catalyst for engaging your social profiles in the Social Funnel. Jason Falls, Principal Social Media Explorer says “To understand how to produce valuable content, talk to 20 or 30 of your best customers. Understand what they need and how your organization is meeting their needs today, then focus your content strategy around what’s important to your buyers, not you. Develop a center of excellence.”
- Practice SEO, The Social Glue of the Social Funnel: According to David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, “the most important measure of social media success is how well a company ranks in search engine results. Smart companies understand what their potential customers are searching on.” Effective search engine optimization involves tying strategic keywords and social conversations to specific website pages, and increasingly to targeted landing pages or corporate blogs.
- Measure and Analyze Social Activity: In this step, they propose a social marketing structure to gauge the return on social marketing efforts, while keeping in mind that there are different types of metrics associated with your industry, stage of social media maturity, and role within the organization.
There is no doubt that social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have changed the ways businesses interact with their constituents. This eBook is a good place to go to understand your social marketing program as a strategic business investment – treat it with the same rigor, dedication and governance you treat your other strategic investments.