Overwhelmed by social media management and monitoring? Don’t be. A little practice is all it takes to learn how to use social media analytics to increase sales and build customer relationships.
Below are four tips to help get you started on the right social media track.
1. Jump on in.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are the social media sites that get the most traffic. Start your social media initiative by joining those. You don’t have to use them all equally. Create a profile on each of them, and when you determine which ones are paying off the most for your company (i.e., which sites are yielding the most click-throughs and generating the most interest), focus more of your efforts on those. If your business is already getting a number of reviews on other sites, such as Yelp, you’ll also want to have a presence on those sites right away. As time goes on and you become more comfortable with social media, you can branch out and expand your social media reach.
2. Choose an analytics provider.
Most social media sites provide basic, free analytics that can help you measure your progress, monitor comments, and track visitors. However, if you want to get higher-level data and reports from one place, there are companies and tools out there that are dedicated to high-level social media tracking that can help, including: Radian6, Visible, Webtrends, Collective Intellect, IceRocket, Lithium, BuzzLogic, and many more.
Many social media analytics providers are specialized. If you’re in a niche market, consider using an analytics provider that specializes in your field. FreemanGroup, a service solutions firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, provides its customers with FG Pulse, an online social media monitoring and reporting tool that not only monitors social media sites, but allows hotels, casinos, and other service-oriented organizations to view and compare their social media results with those of their competitors. It also allows customers to track reviews on social media sites specific to the hospitality industry, such as TripAdvisor.
3. Use your time wisely.
A lot of smaller and mid-size companies, in particular, don’t engage in social media simply because they don’t think it will be worth the time they will have to put into it. In reality, social media doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time to manage. If you schedule your status updates to post on future dates, you can set aside time each week or month to do the initial work and then sit back and watch your updates roll out. Of course, you’ll still want to respond to comments and requests to connect and to gather information on potential leads along the way.
4. Collect your leads.
Don’t just engage in social media for the sake of having a presence on social networking sites. Use your social media pages to collect leads the same way you would use sales and marketing tools like direct mail, e-mail marketing, and sales events to collect leads. Communicating with prospects and current clients via social media is just another way of talking to people that have an interest in what it is you’re offering. For some companies, engaging in social media is as important to their business as picking up the phone and making sales calls.
And just like a sales call, social media is only as powerful as your sales team makes it. You’ve got to be able to collect the leads you gather from social media, qualify and score them, nurture the ones that need nurturing, and push valid social media leads through your sales funnel the same way you would leads gathered from other sources. Unfortunately, these processes, as any sales professional knows, can be extremely time-consuming.
The good news is that Vendere Partners can help. If you’re starting a new social media initiative, contact Vendere to learn how we can help turn your social media and other leads into immediate and ongoing returns.