We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s WHO you know, not WHAT you know, that matters”, right? Well, that can apply truthfully to your business, at least when you’re talking about building your brand awareness and the leads that follow.
Any company has a database of existing, past and prospective clients who represent the bottom line sales potential for that business. Those that use a CRM system, like Microsoft CRM, also know that the key to utilizing those lists of names, addresses, numbers and emails effectively falls to the potential that a strong CRM process offers.
When a company maintains their CRM database regularly and with great attention to detail, the marketing staff have at their disposal an unmatched resource of How, Who and When to build their next marketing campaign to drive leads to their sales team. The only question that is not necessarily answered by CRM database criteria is the Where of that marketing plan. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at one specific marketing tool that continues to grow in its complexity and utility for building sales leads.
The Not-So New Kid on the Block
Social Media Marketing is not a new medium nor is its use in the B2B or even B2C set a revelation at this point. However, despite ongoing increases in investments to this particular marketing resource, businesses are seeing mixed results ranging from great success to little change in their lead generation efforts. Why? It’s very simple really.
Like any other marketing tool, Social Media offers a different portal through which businesses can connect with their target market. It is not, despite the rumors to the contrary, a fast, one-stop-shop for any company’s marketing efforts. Like print advertising or more traditional online marketing methods like PPC campaigns or even email marketing, success with Social Media is led by a detailed and targeted marketing strategy built of editorial and metrics management calendars. There has to be a clear message for each campaign and there needs to be a timeline and specific target so measurements can be made to assess real success or a need to adjust focus for increased response rates.
That being said, let’s look again at the CRM database that drives many company’s marketing efforts and apply it to the Social Media model.
CRM + Social Media = Targeted Lead Generation
Due to the highly interactive nature of Social Media, the application of CRM database criteria to this medium could easily have a very dependable success rate. The key? Drilling down into your CRM database data and spending time researching who of your chosen target market spends time within the Social Media space and where they spend it before beginning your campaign.
If your target market is split between LinkedIn and Facebook, for example, then your Social Media campaign should focus its effort on those sites most heavily, but also dabble in other sites like Twitter or YouTube if you have suitable video resources. This is where Social Media differentiates itself in the marketing arena. Unlike traditional marketing where you need to pick and choose the papers, magazines or venues where your ads will appear, Social Media sites allow for interactivity between all sites for enhanced brand outreach, even beyond that of your CRM database.
Using your CRM target market criteria as a model, you can further your message by locating similar businesses within the Social Media space with a highly targeted message focused on their needs. Building your targeted followers, your friends, fans and viewers not only increases your brand awareness within your market, but allows for enhanced lead generation over time.
~ Brad Tornberg, E3 Consulting Partners, Inc.