It’s been a little over a month since the biggest game of the year in the NFL. It’s not just the biggest day of the year for football, it’s also the biggest day of the year for marketers and advertisers alike. We’ve all heard the stories, gossip and rumors that TV is dead and that social media runs the marketing world. We’re firm believers that social media is the future of marketing and sales but also wanted to challenge these assumptions to see how a fully integrated world worked.
We recognize that the world we live in is a world where users have multiple devices. We’re creatures who embrace multi-screens and consume a variety of different forms of entertainment and engagement at a time. As you read this, you’re probably reading it on either a laptop or tablet and have a cell phone device either next to you or in your pocket. In fact, you might even have a television screen in the same room as streaming the latest drama on Netflix or an inspiration TedTalk on Youtube.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Marketers spend millions and millions of dollars in both their production costs and media buys just to have their message placed in front of the millions of people who tune in for the big game. As we found in our recent report on the Super Bowl, a lot of people in the market for a new car actually tune in for the Super Bowl. Our study showed that 24.9% of the people who have sent tweets indicating that they want a car are actually in the same audience that will tune in for the big game. From this insight, we thought we’d dive a bit deeper to understand the role that these ads play in the automotive industry and how they impact consumers awareness of their products and their actual purchase intent.
Check out the infographic below for some insight and stats on what we found:
Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with a wide range of companies in the Tourism space. Whether we’re talking about Bed & Breakfasts or DMOs with millions of dollars in budget; I’ve seen it all. It’s an industry that is both complex but sophisticated. It’s one that has wide range of challenges but also filled with opportunity to drive meaningful and measurable results.
One specific vertical in Tourism that has always interested me, is the role of a DMO (Destination Marketing Organization). A DMO is typically a government funded agency that is responsible for developing and selling the brand for a specific destination. It’s their job to promote and highlight the activities, operators, landmarks and stories that make their destination attractive to new visitors.
Since the birth of social media, there’s been some great success stories in the Tourism space. Destinations from all over the globe have done a great job in building their brand on a high level through compelling advertising and communications tactics. But has it truly resulted in new visitors? More bums in seats and heads in beds? That’s still to be determined but here’s a few approaches that can surely help:
1. Tourist Identification
It’s not easy to create or measure a positive ROI on social media, but it is possible. The first thing DMO’s need to do is identify who it is they’re looking to bring to their destination. From there, it’s time to implement tactics that start to build their funnel as it relates to potential visitors.
Studies show that the web is the primary source of information for people planning their holidays and vacations. It’s the internet that leads them to sites like TripAdvisor to scan thousands of user generated reviews or social media to get a third party opinion from one of their friends or followers. This is where ROI is hidden.
As more and more people send out messages asking if they should visit Italy or Greece; there’s an increasing opportunity for DMO’s to get involved. It’s an opportunity for destinations to take one of three approaches:
- Aggressive Sale: In this approach, the DMO responds to the user by expressing how they’d love to have them. Additionally, the DMO could express that they would be happy to help ensure the trip is a memorable one. It’s the ideal approach and it’s one that can quickly lead to results.
- Passive Engagement: In this approach, the DMO favourites a users tweet letting them know they’re listening and on Twitter. This approach is more subtle but still effective. It gets the DMO on their radar but it doesn’t involve the direct sale.
- Accept Status Quo: In this approach, a DMO does what the majority of DMO’s are currently doing. They don’t respond, they don’t engage and they watch a potential tourist make their decision without any involvement. It’s a sure-fire way to leave dollars on the table and throw an opportunity out the door.
Before you start any of your tourist identification campaign, you should identify a process in which you will manage the various opportunities. The reason you want to identify a process is because some users will want additional support through the phone or email while others will simply communicate through social.
Once you start seeing the results from your tourist identification campaigns, you can start investing in long-term processes that will truly change the way you do business. You will start to share these insights with various operators in your destination so they too can benefit from the power of social selling.
2. Tourist Delight
Bringing the Wow to customers has always been one of the greatest benefits of using social media. In tourism, delivering that “wow moment” is easier than most industries because people are frequently frustrated with delays and cancellations. As such, there’s a huge opportunity for DMO’s to communicate with Tourists while they’re at their destination to further enhance their experience.
One way of delivering a sense of delight is to monitor the various conversations related to their destination and look out for people sharing pictures, vines or anything relevant that further tells a destinations story. Upon seeing this content, a DMO should engage with the user in authentic tone expressing that they’re grateful that they’ve visited and that they hope their trip is amazing. Furthermore, a DMO looking to make a biggest splash could even give users special perks or additional information that makes their trip memorable.
3. Tourist Satisfaction
If you ask anyone who has recently gone on vacation, how was it, they will typically light up with excitement at the chance to share with you the details of their vacation. A vacation is one of those experiences that people never forget and that they love to talk about and share. But all sharing isn’t created equal.
Some people go above and beyond the typical “Back from Vacation – OMG, looking forward to going back!” In fact, some people create blogs to showcase their experience and even document their travels with photo albums shared online. It’s the impact of technology and a driving factor of what other tourists will consume to make their choices on where they’ll visit and what they’ll do.
DMO’s should be on the look out for people who are leaving or just arrived home after visiting their destination. It’s these folks who are still salivating about their awesome experience and are stuck in vacation mode.That means destinations still have a window of opportunity to further build that brand affinity and relationship with the user.
Striking up a post-vacation conversation to ask someone what they liked they most or if they’d mind writing a review on Trip Advisor is an easy sell during the first few days after a vacation. It’s these little things that will influence the decisions of others considering your destination and ultimately drive an increase in visits.
What are some other ways that DMOs can use social media to drive success?
We have been talking about it for a while, almost under the assumption that the knowledge of how to create leads on Social Networks is engrained in every new-age, or old-school yet adaptive, businesses professional. Perhaps that was a bit hasty… and after taking a step back and looking at the big picture, we figured that it wouldn’t hurt to share our take on the almighty Social Media Lead Generation techniques everyone is seeking to master. So, without further delay, this is how we at LeadSift like generate Leads and create connections in the space, that frankly, is our Bread n’ butter. It’s as delicious as it sounds.
It’s time to be an SME
The first and important thing your social media marketing has to do is establish you or your business as an Subject Matter Expert. So, if you are the foremost authority on say, chickens, well your social media marketing better Cluck. Likewise, if you consider yourself an authority in say, Lead Generation, then you should have at least one blog post on that subject (see what we did there?)
Commit to Social
When it comes to Social Media, and most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. So, if you want your Social Media presence to grow and the leads to continue pouring in from that avenue then you have to commit to your social media presence even when you are offline. You can do this by:
- Going to Events organised by active Twitter followers
- Promote your social media presence in your other forms of marketing (ie. A radio ad that mentions to like your business on Facebook)
- Incorporate social media into your networking, like by handing out Social Media Business Cards
Be a Generous Promoter
Remember it’s not all about you! Make sure your social media marketing is a dialogue and doesn’t become a monologue. Promoting others can be just as important as promoting yourself, so pay it forward by sharing the content of others. Not only will this help to further establish your community but it will also give you the opportunity to connect with a whole new community of people.
Stay Community Oriented
So you have a blog, and a twitter account, and a Facebook fan page etc etc. But do your Twitter followers know about your latest blog post? Do your Facebook fans know you are on Twitter? Cross promotion is a great way to generate leads. So do it. We like to view all of our social accounts as pieces of a bigger community, as opposed to separate entities. Treat your accounts as such and you will maximize your lead generation potential.
There are endless approaches your business can take to developing your own social strategy, especially considering all of the content options you have, the places you can market and deliver content, and inorganic/organic marketing options. With the knowledge that no two businesses are the same, it should come as no surprise that experimenting with your marketing mix is the only way to ensure your strategy is maximizing your Social Lead generation.
So that’s how we recommend you doing it, but how about you? Have any tips that you would like to share that have allowed you to generate some solid leads? We would love to hear them, so comment below!
One of the things we truly love about sales and social media in general is your ability to integrate the two to find meaningful measurable results. There’s no fluff, there’s no magic tricks, it’s business as usual with a slight twist.
Many organizations are still trying to get a grasp on how they can take that first step into using social media to generate sales. Well, look no further, here are four easy steps that any sales team can take to developing an excellent sales strategy for social media:
Establish Sales Goals & Objectives
Before you dive into developing a sales strategy for social media you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Immediately you’re going to think that you’re trying to simply achieve an increase in sales. Incorrect. You need to understand the difference between leads, opportunities, visitors and actual customers.
Once you understand the business mechanics of a social media program such as the different types of conversions highlighted above you can start focusing on sales. To do this, start with the bottom line and make your way back to get to your goals. As you do this, integrate your understanding of the objectives and funnels to develop the KPI’s that will demonstrate if you’re on the right track.
Develop Soft Conversion Channels
Developing soft conversion channels is built around the idea of capturing a users attention before they make a buying decision. It’s a great tactic as many prospects may not be ready to make a purchase; however, with soft conversions you have an opportunity to convert relevant leads over time.
Soft leads are people who are willing to provide personal information like an email address or Facebook account in exchange for highly relevant and valued content. This content they see as valuable and relevant could range from an eBook to a Webinar that’s offered for the first 60 people who subscribe. These users are valuable leads who have demonstrated some form of interest in your content; but haven’t necessarily said they want to spend cash on your product.
Upon developing a compelling and relevant email marketing campaign, you will start to push these users through the sales funnel more effectively. As a result you will have a better opportunity to convert what was once a soft lead into a buyer and potential brand advocate.
Identify where leads are talking
Think about who it is you’re trying to target with your advertising. If you’re startup that sells velvet track-suits, you’re going to need to develop the persona for someone who would want this product. Start to think about the channels they use, start to think about how they interact with these channels and what type of content they would find valuable. From there, also understand your potential leads from a real world perspective – What are their general interests? Where do they live? What’s their name?
If you’re able to define your potential buyers it will allow you to be more strategic with your thinking and marketing approach. Defining their persona will help you in identifying your target customer and understand how they will actually search for your business online. This process seems quite simple and a bit silly but it’s one that can play a huge role in increasing your conversions.
Measure, Analyze and Report Stuff
Finally, you have to do something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. It’s sort of like one of the rules from Fight Club except online marketing club. MARS. Measure – Analyze – Report Stuff.
It’s very important that you understand how you’re doing along the process to ensure you’re able to maximize your dollars spent. The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media is by utilizing tools like Google analytics or Hootsuite Pro. The combination of these two tools will make your life a whole lot easier by demonstrating the number of click-throughs on various links.
Once you have received all the data and measured your results it’s time to analyze. During this phase you want to study cost per impressions, engagements, etc.. You also want to run a mini-SWOT analysis to show your team what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are present. If you can do this, you will find success. It’s much more difficult to go somewhere without knowing where you’ve already been.
Have you been using Social Media for developing and generating leads? What have been some learnings from your approach? We’d love to hear your ideas and any learnings you’ve found in your career.
You are already deep in understanding the importance of follow-ups, rebuttals and how to negotiate, right? But I bet you haven’t exactly put your finger on how you can start using social media as a part of your sales strategy.
I know you’ve heard of the big name CRMs and social media monitoring companies but do you really get it? If you do, great – you’re officially the 1%. Ok, maybe not the 1% but you’re not like most people because the majority of folks working with Social Media still have a hard time finding a return on their investment.
The biggest challenge with social media is that as a business, you want to cut down the lumber and make money, not water the forest and grow trees! But it takes time and you get impatient, so here are a few key reasons why Social Media is not something you want to leave out when it comes to your sales strategy:
Social Media presents your business with an opportunity to be exposed to more eyeballs.
The ability to get in front of the right people has never been easier. Whether you’re looking to engage the niche networks to generate leads or use the more popular social networks to build relationships; the opportunity for an increase in brand awareness can be found right here.
It’s important to get your name out there as much as possible as it will make more people feel as if they have a connection with you. People like to do business with people they like and know. By generating awareness on social media you’re half way there. In fact, research shows that 50% of fans or followers on social media say they are more likely to buy or recommend a company they are engaged with than one they are not.
Deep Information on Customers & Prospects
One of the greatest advantages with social media is that consumers share some of their most personal information here – whether it’s about their favourite football team or what they have planned for vacation. This information, over a period of time, gives you great insight into your customers.
Remember. Coffee is for closers.
More Relationships, More Potential
We place a lot of value on measuring and ensuring you have a clear idea what the Return on Your Investment is when you’re using social media. We also believe it’s important to recognize the other type of return you can have when you use social media for identifying potential leads. It’s what Ted Rubin calls the Return on Relationships.
Simply put, Ted describes it as the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and ¢’s. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations and sharing. With social media you have an opportunity to take this value to the next level through consistent relationship management and just letting them know you care!
Earlier I mentioned that people like to do business with people they know and like. Well this is where you start to establish the latter of the two attributes. In doing that you can build stronger relationships and stronger relationships will result in a stronger sales force. It’s that simple.
What other ways do you see social media improving your sales strategy?