Social media is not a siloed function within your company. Even if the social media team or social media person sits in marketing, PR or corporate communications, they should not sit there alone. As social media grows throughout an organization, it’s important to have the right champion in place to sell the change that needs to take place, writes Amber Naslund, formerly of Radian6 and now of SideraWorks.
One of the ways to ensure this type of business transformation is to align social media activities with other company activities. A clear place to start is marketing. Don’t focus social efforts solely on growing a fan base or driving page views, support marketing campaigns and activities that drive top of the funnel awareness.
Here are some specific things you can do to support company marketing objectives:
1. Create content that targets marketing personas
Social media content should be targeted. Avoid the spray and pray method of content distribution by working with marketing to speak to their key personas. What are their key business problems? What are their other interests? Where are they having these conversations online? Talking to the correct targets on social media can enhance company efforts to reach this audience. And don’t forget to include an information source and share what you are learning about targets on social networks.
2. Generate awareness by providing value
Top of the funnel social media content does not sell. It provides education on how to solve business problems. It provides entertainment to make people laugh with a purpose. It provides data to make prospects smarter. All of these things offer value to those reading, watching or looking at what you create.
3. Report on metrics that others care about
This one is key to supporting marketing activities, demonstrating the value of social media marketing within an organization (no matter the size) and making a company more social. What metrics are the marketing team tracking as their success metrics? Traffic to landing pages? Conversion rate? Leads generated? Deals closed? Whatever they are reporting on needs to be aligned with how you report your success. It’s great to know how many people liked a Facebook post, but marketing needs to generate leads. How successful was that? Increasing reach, in general or for a specific post through social ads, can help support your metrics, but they are not what you should report to the larger team.
4. Build a social loyalty loop with advocacy
A simple funnel as a metaphor for the sales cycle, or more correctly the buying process, no longer seems applicable in a social era where there are multitudes of paths towards a sale, but one thing is certain. No matter how you draw the process, if you can build advocacy among your existing customers, there is a role they can play using social media to draw more prospects to the top of the funnel. Nurturing your best customers on social media makes them more likely to serve as your advocate by sharing your content, answering questions and even providing recommendations to others online.
This post originally appeared on the Salesforce.com blog.