Whether it’s partly fad and hype or indeed a useful and important business marketing tool, social media is “hot” and growing.
While many (most?) small business owners, go directly to Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or other social platforms, others are using social tools such as GroSocial to help manage and PROMOTE their social marketing.
Some services such as Postling, TweetDeck, Hootsuite and NutshellMail, let you mainly post and view your social world, other tools help you build social campaigns. These tools include Constant Contact’s Social Campaigns, WildFire App (by Google), PunchTab (to reward action) and other tools.
GroSocial helps you create social marketing campaigns and more, it does three things:
- Design your social presence (such as a nice Twitter profile background)
- Build social campaign promotions (with a drag and drop builder)
- Analyze an measure the success of your campaign
For the past 10 years Infusionsoft, my employer, has provided CRM software to small businesses, however, has not yet offered a service for social media engagement, until today, and this comes on the heels of it’s $54 Million investment by Goldman Sachs.
While social media is so important, many business owners are frustrated as even if they see a gain of “Twitter followers” they don’t see more money being made through social media. One of the reasons for this frustration is that they are not working to bring their social followers into a sales funnel to convert them to customers. This blend of CRM and social media is key.
Of course another iteration of Social CRM is what some vendors are doing, such as Nimble and Batchbook, who support viewing your customer’s (or contact) social activity within their customer record.
Going back to my earlier point about social media and the sales funnel – there is HIGH value in simply engaging your customers and joining in the social conversation with them and not trying to focus only on driving these conversations through a sales funnel. In fact there is a DANGER to trying to SELL, SELL, SELL on social media – it often does not work to well – if you do it wrong.
Being able to simply engage in the social media conversations you are interested in has many benefits three of which are:
- The speed with which you can gain real time intelligence on your market place (social media is one of the best media for this). UFC’s Dana White spoke about this at Blogworld.
- The ability to participate in organic conversations, not sales, but just a conversation about your industry, for example, being able to spot trends and opportunities
- Finally you can build a powerful online brand through social media. The more you are active in social media, the more people will know you (likes and followers) and the more what you sell will be known and sales will increase as you become TRUSTED.