Editor’s Note: This blog post is an excerpt from our new e-book developed in collaboration with Simply Measured on “How to Make Full Funnel Impact with Social Media”. You can download the entire e-book here.
It’s time for marketers to look at social media in a new way – as a source of intent data.
Traditionally when marketers think about social media marketing, we think about using social networks to get our message out there. We focus on creating appealing content and getting that content in front of the right people who can amplify our voice on social. We think about reaching our target audience through social advertising.
For the last decade, marketers have thought of social as a top-of-the funnel play within an inbound marketing methodology. We believed that by posting the right content on social consistently and building a community of followers, we will attract prospects’ attention and some of them will eventually become leads and customers.
We measured success by using awareness and engagement metrics like share of voice, sentiment, number of shares, replies, clicks, and traffic to our website. We did not connect social media activities to the lead information in our marketing automation or CRM databases and thus, we didn’t know how social media is contributing to deeper funnel metrics such as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Opportunities and revenue.
The other perspective to look at social media is think of it as a giant database of user intent that can help us get a holistic understanding of our buyers.
An an age where there’s more and more marketing messages and content competing for your busy and distracted buyers’ limited attention, listening before you engage is essential.
To paint a picture of what’s happening to buyers’ attention span, consider the following stats:
- 51% of professionals say that they are almost at the breaking point with information overload.
- The average office worker receives 121 emails a day.
- The top reason people subscribe from emails is because they “receive too many email in general”.
- 11 minutes is how long the average office worker gets between interruptions.
At the same time, marketers are getting louder, thanks to the rise of technologies like marketing automation and advertising platforms. However, each message is becoming less valuable. To illustrate what marketers are up against, here are a few notable stats:
- The average click through rate for promoted Tweets on Twitter is 0.35% (source LookBookHQ)
- The average CTR for display ads across all formats and placements in the US is 0.08% (source LookBookHQ)
- 79% of marketing executives say it’s a challenge to get and hold the attention of target customers (source LookBookHQ)
At a time when buyers are much busier and more information overloaded than at any point in history, the only way for brands to be relevant is to listen, really truly listen, before we engage.
How to do effective social listening
To listen effectively, we need data. User-published content and user activities on social networks can provide us a wealth of information about our potential buyers.
In a quick sweep through someone’s social media profiles, you can see their professional interests, whom they’re connected to, the influencers they follow, the brands they follow, the topics they are interested in and more. B2B buyers go to social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora to post articles, interact with brands, influencers, and tweet about the events and conferences they attend.
In addition, as people are sharing your content on social media with their community, clicking on your links, they are giving clues on where they are in the buying journey.
What makes social different from other channels is that social is the only place where people are willing share your branded content with others.
This doesn’t happen with other types of marketing assets. For example, your audience doesn’t show display ads to each other, or send branded email blasts or bid on search terms to tell your friend about your product.
At this point, there is technology to process this unstructured data from social media to help us figure out what our prospects and customers care about, what their interests are and whether they are in an active buying cycle.
By tracking what people are talking about on social networks more broadly in your space and how people are engaging with your owned content on social, you can get a much broader understanding of your target audience – even at the individual contact level.
You can use these contact-level insights to create the right messaging and content to move your buyers through each stage of the buying journey.
At this point, Socedo has partnered with Simply Measured to create a new e-book to teach marketers How to Make Full Funnel Impact with Social Media.
This ebook breaks down how to use social media to impact the entire funnel, addressing these topics:
I. What is intent data from the social web?
II. How to do effective social listening
III. Social intent data use cases
- Brand Awareness
- Discover new prospects
- Lead scoring
- Sales Intelligence
- Interest based segmentation
- Content planning
- Account-based Marketing
IV. Measuring success – Full Funnel Analytics
I. What is intent data from the social web?
Intent data from the social web is the collection of actions people take on social networks that provide insights into topics and products they are interested in.
Now that social media has become essential to our daily lives, we are generating a mind-boggling amount of data through our interactions on social media.
In every 60 seconds, 350,000 Tweets are posted on Twitter, 120 new users sign up on LinkedIn, 4+ million likes happen on Facebook, and 2+ million Instagram hearts turn red (LookBook HQ).
According to recent survey of marketing leaders by Gartner, almost 50% of marketers see social networks as a critical source of consumer and business insights.
At this point, social data has been used to detect earthquakes faster than traditional methods, to predict stock market fluctuations with surprising accuracy. But you can also use social data, in the form of listening, to sense the shifts, seismic and otherwise, in your own industry.
Social listening is the methodology of using social media data to understand what your target audience cares about, so that you can communicate with them in the most relevant way and as a result, attract, occupy, and hold their attention.
With sophisticated social media analytics tools, you can quantify the kind of impression your brand has made on your target audience by mention, sentiment and reach on social media.
Listening helps you discover which topics, media types, people, and demographic segments are having the greatest impact on brand awareness. It is your secret weapon for:
- Discovering new audience segments
- Analyzing emerging conversations
- Identifying influencers
- Determining what content to create next
Social listening can also empower you to engage your potential buyers more effectively throughout the buying journey – after they’ve become aware of your brand.
Leading B2B marketers have begun to use social media data to understand buyer intentions at the individual user level, identify in-market buyers for their product category, target their sales prospects with greater precision, and as a result, achieve meaningful lifts in conversion rates, opportunity creation rates and revenue.
Want to see more details on how to use social data to drive brand awareness and demand for your business? Download the e-book to find out (click on the image to download).