We have already identified some best practices for social media marketing, and now that your merchandising company has established itself in the world of social media it is time to turn this position into a source of quality leads that your outside sales teams close. As consumers make a point of avoiding traditional marketing mediums, taking alternate approaches is especially relevant to a successful field marketing strategy. Potential customers often conduct product research through social media communication, and an effective social media monitoring strategy can greatly improve ROI in lead generation efforts, improving both quantity and quality of new leads in a few different ways.
Social media monitoring is a useful tool inidentifying potential customers. By monitoring the conversations surrounding your product and area of expertise, field marketing managers can easily identify populations that are interested in their product. After discovering a forum related to your retail merchandising company's area of expertise, it is important not to come on too strong. Simply observe and "listen in" to the conversation for a while, taking note of the mood and the needs of the consumers. Then, ease into the conversation by providing educational links, resources, and professional expertise. This is the time to build relationships, not push your product.
When finding relevant conversations, it can be overwhelming to sort through hundreds of search results from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Try adding "buying words" to your search, along with brand or product names. Buying words include "recommend," "suggest," "buy," and "shortlist," among other words that indicate the conversation involves people looking to make a purchase.
After identifying pools of interested consumers, field marketing teams can further use social media monitoring tocreate customer profiles. Social media is unique in that it allows marketers to see into consumers' minds more than traditional customer connections. Through the sentiment and tone of the conversations surrounding your product or retail area you can learn a lot about your customers. The customer profiles your marketing team creates may include the size and scope of the market, as well as psychographic elements such as the culture and philosophy of potential customers or demographic information based on age, location, or gender. Social media provides a depth of customer information that cannot be found anywhere else, much of which can be utilized by your retail merchandising company's marketing team.
Having identified both a group of potential customers and an accurate profile of those who may be interested in your services or products in the future, your outside sales team will have to makefewer cold calls.Rather than approaching consumers who may have been unfamiliar with your product or were not necessarily interested in making a purchase, your "scouting operation" through social media monitoring has identified those who are likely to purchase. Replacing cold leads with warm or hot leads can drastically improve marketing efficacy and turn calls to sales more quickly, contributing to your agile field sales strategy. It is important to remember, however, that everyone will be at different points in the buying process, even if they have already been exposed to your company through your social media visibility efforts. It is therefore important to prepare content for customers at every level of the buying process. Adding value to conversations on social media by posting professional expertise and education is the best way to generate warm leads, as valuable posts will be shared the most, leading to site clicks and generation of warm leads from cold ones.
All of these lead harvesting efforts on social medianaturally increase SEO. Search engines pick up social media activity, and as valuable content is shared from person to person online it builds SEO organically, as search engines regard shared information highly. The gain from social media involvement is more easily measured than the effect of Adwords, because you are already part of the conversation and can evaluate the situation directly.
In the view of the bigger picture, using social media monitoring for lead generation spurs close sales and marketing integration. If sales and field marketing teams work together in social media networking, their efforts will become intertwined. As field marketing managers produce the material and the website content used to engage potential customers, members of the outside sales team follow through by interacting with them by sharing knowledge and building relationships. This way, the two departments accomplish their shared goal, increasing sales, through team collaboration.
Frank Brogie is the Product Marketing Manager at Repsly. When he’s not thinking about how to position and sell Repsly’s products, Frank loves to explore Boston by bike and hunt for vintage cars through a camera lens. On weekends you can count on Frank to organize a pickup basketball game or play disc golf. An avid podcast listener, Frank recommends Philosophize This, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab.