Guest post by Tony Lael.
B2B social media marketing has its doubters, but I hope after reading this outline for a simple and proven strategy to use Socedo for Twitter and LinkedIn, you will feel confident and ready to build a community of your own from which sales will naturally flow.
You should know I believe social media showcases an extension of our own personalities. For B2B companies, social media pages should show off your brand’s personality to effectively develop relationships with a community of your choosing. It should actually be called ‘relationship marketing’, because that is what you are (or should be) doing when using Twitter and LinkedIn – developing relationships.
Over the past 12 years I have been in a variety of marketing and sales roles for product and service companies. I’ve learned that the key element to growth is the people you make relationships with. I’ve learned specifically to build relationships, not pipelines. Build a community, not just a customer base.
Social Media Usage
Before diving into helping you put together a strategy for using Twitter and LinkedIn, let’s take a look at a few statistics for those platforms.
‘By The Numbers: 150+ Amazing Twitter Statistics’ reports there are over 1 Billion users on Twitter and it is adding about 135K new users every day! By The Numbers also reports there are 316 Million active users on Twitter each month. With those numbers, your chances of connecting with a specific community of active Twitter users are fairly large. In the past year Twitter has focused on attracting business users, and more individual accounts are connecting with company accounts of their own companies as well as others in their industry.
For example, my personal Twitter handle is @smallbizkid, but I have two companies, @fannitup and @marketingmngr. Each company has its own handle because each entity has their own voice, their own brand, and their own target market. Even @socedoapp has a different Twitter handle than its CEO, @aseemb.
In contrast, from its inception, LinkedIn has always been about connecting business people and developing relationships around groups and finding ideal profiles to network with. By The Numbers reports there are 380 Million active users on LinkedIn and 28% of them (107 Million) are in the US. If that’s not enough users for you, just wait till tomorrow because two new users are being added every second!
LinkedIn enables you to see a variety of interesting and helpful facts about your personal network and provide endorsements and recommendations for those you are connected with. This all makes connecting with the right people much easier.
I travel the US to various industry events and meet a wide variety of business owners and it always surprises me how many of them think ROI (Return on Investment) is just about lead or revenue results they are trying to achieve. Those are both great metrics to be paying attention to, but to truly understand ROI you need to account for the expense side of the equation.
If you have an experienced company generating sales it will be easier to use achieved revenue and actual expenses in your ROI calculation. The simple way to calculate ROI is as follows. First, figure out your Net Return on your marketing activities. For example, we spent $8,000 on our marketing and earned $35,000 in revenues – a net return of $27,000. Then divide the expense by the net return – $27,000 divided by $8,000 = 3.38 ROI
$27,000 / $8,000 = 3.38 ROI
If you are a start-up or launching a new service you may not have revenue returns yet, so ROI might be negative – don’t get discouraged. In this case, figure out the average value of each lead and an average sales close percentage. It doesn’t matter if these numbers are validated yet, just start somewhere.
For example, each lead might have a Lifetime Value (LTV) of $3,000 and if you were able to obtain 10 qualified leads they would be worth $30,000 in total. However, your sales close rate is 40%. This means that you are likely able to land 4 new customers worth $12,000. This would be the figure you would use in the ROI calculation described above.
The last and most important thing to remember when measuring ROI is … it’s not a one-time event. You will need to build a historical view of ROI, otherwise you may not be able to discern the difference between what is a good return or a poor return on your marketing and sales investments over time. It is this fact that drives the philosophy behind MarketingManager.
The MarketingManager software is about maintaining a watchful eye on marketing ROI, but also engaging in the validation of sales and revenues generated from marketing activities.
5 Step Guide to Use Socedo and LinkedIn to Achieve Higher ROI
In a recent guest post I wrote for CallRail, I explained that having metrics at your fingertips does not improve performance in and of itself. You need someone who understands and can deliver on the business processes in order to create real improvement.
The same is true with social media marketing.
You need to perform relevant actions that you can measure. Only then will the analytics tell you anything. So, here you go – a quick guide to using Socedo and LinkedIn.
- First, you need to have a web site that communicates your value, brand and helps connect your audience to your company quickly and efficiently. This is a critical step because if your web site looks good, but does not communicate effectively or engage visitors, your social media marketing efforts will be made in vain. If your website doesn’t work, you’ll know it through your conversion rate. If people are coming to your site and not becoming customers, something is wrong.
- The goal in social media marketing should be to build your community (in this case, on Twitter and LinkedIn). Instead of building a customer base who mindlessly buys your product or service, you want to cultivate a community of people who are passionate about your offering(s) and are willing to share it with the world.
- In Socedo, define your target Twitter bios and conversation topics to ensure you are building your community with the right people and companies.
- Download your contacts from Socedo to gather key lead information from Twitter Bios (name, email, LinkedIn profile, company name). Even if your subscription with Socedo limits the amount of email addresses you receive per month, you can still get LinkedIn profile information.
- Review your LinkedIn profiles and visit the ones you think will be most likely to connect with you. This is the fun part because you may learn via LinkedIn that you are already only one or two connections away from your target audience.
- Send personal messages (InMail) via LinkedIn that introduce yourself and why you think it would be great to connect. You should not be selling at this point. I highly recommend purchasing the gold package for $59 per month; it enables you to send far more InMail messages, which allows you to cast a much wider net.
- Once you have made a connection via LinkedIn, you can start to send emails from your company account to further expose your contacts to your brand. These emails should be very simple, with one call to action and not a sales pitch.
- Execute an outbound calling campaign to those who have connected with you on LinkedIn. Hubspot has a free CRM you can use to keep track of your activities if you do not already have a CRM system. These calls should go something like, “Hello, John! We connected on Twitter and LinkedIn and I wanted to call and talk to you about [service a] or [product b]. It seemed like you showed some interest?” Get the conversation started.
- Have discussions to build relationships, not make sales – sales will follow. Following the process outlined in this post, we are learning a lot about what our audience of CMOs and marketing managers care about when it comes to overseeing their ROI. As we become more familiar with our community of followers and contacts, we continuously gain valuable feedback to improve our process as well as our product.
In fact (and this is so meta), this guest blog post for Socedo is also part of our social media campaign. The last guest post I wrote has received 15 RT, 6 FB Likes and 110 shares on LinkedIn (in just 45 days). We hope this post will blow that one out of the water. We love great technology that returns value and we love partnering with great companies.
Socedo Case Study – MarketingManager
MarketingManager launched our first social media marketing campaign using the steps listed above. Our goal was, and is, to grow a social following of potential early adopters of our software and our philosophy that if you are a business who spends over $50,000 on marketing annually, it is worth 3% of that cost to monitor marketing and sales ROI. In fact, it would be foolish not to examine ROI on your marketing and sales activities.
The following outlines some of the early results we are seeing at MarketingManager in working with Socedo. I have to tell you that I am very pleased with the results thus far after only 45 days.
Follow Back Rate
Email Open Rate
Email Click Through Rate
LinkedIn Message Answer Rate
New Qualified Leads
Below is a screen shot of Socedo activity for the first 45 days of our social media campaign. Our number of followers are trending upward, but most importantly, the traffic to our site is increasing and the number of qualified leads we are receiving is on the rise. We know this because Socedo provides us with a tracking pixel to place on our web site and other analytics surrounding our Twitter activities.
As a company whose product is still pre-launch, our highest priority is to build social interest and gather feedback. If we are to put metrics to it, here is what our ROI looks like through efforts with Socedo:
Avg. LTV of Customer
Net Return on Socedo Leads
ROI using Socedo
We especially enjoy working with Socedo’s account executives to review our A/B DM strategies as well as targeting the correct Twitter bios. With occasional tweaking and optimization, our results have shown great promise.
I hope you found this post educational and inspiring. Good luck with your social media marketing campaigns.
A heart inspired, metric driven business leader, Tony Lael is the Founder and CEO of MarketingManager – a B2B marketing and sales ROI dashboard designed especially for marketing managers and marketing agencies. You can connect with him on Twitter @smallbizkid or on LinkedIn