Archive | August, 2012

Vacation Finally! See you next week!

27 Aug

I’ve decided to take a much needed break after a year of working very hard at Sala Social Marketing!  After 365 days of 10 hour days, our offices will be closed from Monday, August 27th to Wednesday, August 29th!  We will be returning to the office on Thursday, August 30th at 9:00 AM.  We’re also taking a week off for writing a blog (hey!  I think after 49 weeks of blog posting, I deserve a break!), but for your viewing pleasure we have some lovely photos and information about where we will be spending our 3 day mini-vaca, the lovely, quaint island community of Block Island, RI!

Breaking Down Social Scoring

20 Aug

One of the biggest questions I hear from my clients is in regards to the potential of social media to help nurture relationships with prospects. Social media being my life and career and being a self-proclaimed “over-analyzer”, every time I consult with a client about the above, I always find myself consumed by thoughts about the impact of social media on lead scoring, which is a mathematical system for ranking leads.

Most marketers are using social media at some level now, but combining social media with lead scoring is relatively new. How does that work?

Here are a few of my thoughts.

Quick Review — What’s a Lead Score?

Your qualified leads have varying degrees of value. Some result in sales, and others do not. That’s why marketing automation (MA) platforms allow you to score leads, which simply means a method of ranking leads according to their sales-readiness and/or potential value.

Lead scores are based on pre-programed criteria that are unique to each company. These criteria add up to a total score that fluctuates dynamically as a contact’s behavior evolves. A high score identifies a prospect that’s ready to be contacted by Sales.

One of the primary benefits of a lead score is that it allows both Sales and Marketing to focus their efforts on the potential “winners” who are most likely to generate revenue.

The Traditional Criteria for Lead Scoring

Marketo does an outstanding job of explaining scoring criteria in their “Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring.” Here’s how they break it down:

Explicit — based on observable information, often shared by the customer directly. Includes: demographic facts like company name and size, job title and industry, along with BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline).

Implicit: based on information inferred from your prospect’s behavior or from data available to you, or from third-party sources. Includes: trackable digital behavior like opening emails, downloading information, visiting web pages.

How Social Media Activities Can Be Used for Lead Scoring

Social media has now given marketers access to new types of data that can be added to scoring criteria. The list below isn’t exhaustive, but should be enough to pique your imagination.

Explicit – Social criteria include Twitter handles, quantity of social media connections, Klout scores, social sites a prospect has joined, plus “likes,” “shares,” tweets, subscriptions and other activities voluntarily made public.

Implicit – Many MA platforms now integrate social media with emails and landing pages. This allows marketers to track digital body language such as social sharing of emails and referrals from social sites. Other options include visits to blogs and subscriptions to RSS feeds.

Why Social Scoring Improves Your Revenue and Budget

Marketers have known for a long time that email click-throughs, asset downloads and website visits don’t tell the whole story of a prospect’s journey from awareness to purchase. Adding social media activities to your lead-scoring criteria could help you in the following ways:

Identify more “hot leads.” Some prospects may be showing you their level of sales-readiness through social behavior you weren’t tracking before. (Ex: reading your blog every week.) Now your scoring will find them, and route them to Sales.

Boost your content marketing budget. Social engagement requires people who can produce interesting content and monitor social sites. If you can prove that some of your “hot leads” are nurtured by social media, your budget to hire those people may increase.

What’s Working for You?

Social scoring is a new area where we’re all learning. How are you adding social media criteria to your lead scoring, and what insights are you gaining?

Sala Social’s One Year Anniversary!!! Big Thanks!!!

13 Aug

This week at Sala Social Marketing we are happily celebrating our one year anniversary of being in business!  We’d like to thank each and every one of our clients for making this business venture possible!  You are what has kept us going and socially motivated for the past 365 days.  It’s been a joy to provide quality, effective, and budget conscious social media marketing and content writing services to companies with lofty goals and aspirations.

A personal thanks to my business mentors, Michael Mazzone, Brian Berg, and Jaime Diorio.  Your insight through this entire process has proved priceless.  Each of you have your own unique viewpoints that you bring to the table and your help, humor, and belief in me is appreciated more than you can understand.

Also, to my amazing fiance, Chris Bonin.  Thank you for constantly pushing me to do my best and believing in me and points over the past year when I didn’t even believe in myself.  From the tedious tasks on your days off to working harder yourself, so my dreams could become a reality.  None of it has gone unnoticed and I love you for all you do for me and all you make me!

And my IT department! We can never forget about you 🙂  Thank you for constantly keeping me company, demotivating me when needed, and filing my TPS reports in a timely manner!

We look forward to another year of providing our clients with a quality product at  low pricing!  Our individual social media marketing plans are customized with each businesses unique marketing goals and needs in mind.  We go the extra mile to provide our years of social media knowledge with our clients while performing effective campaigns that boost sales and ROI.  To partner with Sala Social Marketing for your next campaign contact Jessica at (860) 984-3440 or jessica@salasocialmarketing.com.

Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Engaging!

6 Aug

Do you think that your brand is getting the most engagement out of your social media accounts? If you have to think about the answer then you’re not. It’s easy to post content on Facebook and tweet to customers on Twitter but not each piece of content deserves to be put out there. Taking steps to ensure that each post or tweet or blog will have the best engagement with customers is necessary. It can take lots of time but take into consideration what can save you time and boost your engagement levels.

For a small business starting out Facebook can be all the marketing they need. Placing an ad in a newspaper or television spot costs lots of money but with a Facebook page businesses have total control of the content they post. It’s easier to keep track of how people are reacting to your product as well as updating fans on news.

USE YOUR VOICESocial media can increase your market presence but it all depends on how much your audience grows to love your brand. The Facebook page is the most important social account that has potential for growth. So post content in your own voice, this isn’t a business meeting. This is what Diamond Candles, a small candle shop in North Carolina, does with their Facebook. Their posts are varied with some asking questions like “Name your favorite childhood game…and GO!” and others like “Burn, baby, burn that ring RIGHT outta there!” stand out. Fans know that there’s a person posting these that likes the candles as much as they do which is why the page has over 100,000 likes.

It’s cost effective marketing to be on Facebook. Posting content is free and you can see the feedback people give you without paying to get data. People will be honest in comments and it’s important to always interact with them. Take Naples Botanical Garden from Naples, Florida for example. They have daily conversations with their 3,000 fans. They’ll mention fans in comments like “I like the way Marti Willis thinks!” and “Thank you for all the ideas!” adding a more personal voice to their brand.

Each audience is unique so consider the way you interact with content. Build off of negative comments and improve, don’t just ignore them. Add on to the personal voice route by having a blog where the people behind the brand can share opinions. Setting one up is easy with sites like WordPress and you can offer more insight into the products they like. Don’t turn off readers by overly promoting but instead make your experience and opinion show. So make use of your voice and connect to appeal to new customers so they know your expertise and can distinguish you from the pack.

ENGAGE WITH FACEBOOK TABS AND INCENTIVE

Business can build their Facebook page up so customers can spend more time on it. You can add tabs that connect fans to an online shop, offers, photos and videos. It can help a niche audience grow in fan base that would be harder to market to. Remember Veggietales? Well, creator Phil Vischer has a new DVD series called “What’s in the Bible” that has accumulated a strong fan base through Facebook. His target audience is Bible readers so it can be hard to mass market it, but audiences can connect with it easier through Facebook. The tabs offer email signup for news, a shop and videos that can keep fans busy on the page and keep them without having to go to partner sites for information. The page currently has over 100,000 likes that have added to the success of the products.

Incentives are a way small businesses can introduce new customers to their products. Since a small businesses are new to the market offering lots of coupons and giveaways can help customers learn about the products. Diamond Candles has weekly giveaways for one of their candles where they ask for fans to tweet them with a specific quote. They have grown their loyal fan base so fans do this because they have an affinity with the brand. It takes time to build up to this loyalty but the more customers know your product, the more loyal they will be.

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR BRAND

A small business team can be constantly busy but making time to update Facebook should be a priority. Just like a business answers every phone call, they should answer to every post. It’s important to know how your company is being perceived and identify new customers. Read what people are talking about and fix issues that are keeping customers away. Going through each post and managing your page can take away time from other tasks so looking to an SMM tool for help is an option. Programs like Alerti and Infinigraph  can provide social data analysis with graphs and reports as well as monitor the brand on the Internet. The prices for the programs vary but the information you get and efficiency of using social media can assist your business to stand out among competitors.