How Social Marketing Automation Can Find Customers Who Want You to Find Them
According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, there are 1.5 billion social network users around the globe. Eighty percent of these online users interact with social networks regularly — one in five hours is spent on social networks, increasingly on mobile devices. Social users present an enormous opportunity for marketers to identify prospects and learn about their preferences by capturing and storing their publicly available social profiles and preferences (e.g., brand "Likes") and their specific social activities such as posts, shares and retweets. For the first time in the history of marketing, brands have the potential to not only identify but target new prospects at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising means by using profile and activity information.
Flip the traditional marketing funnel on its head: Enter the social marketing and sales funnel
Traditionally, marketing departments have focused on generating prospects and leads so they push down the sales and marketing funnel and convert into customers. This process starts with top-of-the-funnel activities designed to bring, for example, new site visitors to a brand's websites. Traditional top-of-the-funnel tactics include advertising (online and offline) and list purchases — a disruptive "push" model that's no longer working.
With only 14 percent of consumers saying they trust advertising messages, marketers need a new way to think about building awareness and interest in their offerings — one that's value-based, open and collaborative with the millions of prospects now choosing to spend their time on social networks. Enter the social marketing and sales funnel.
The social marketing and sales funnel is a framework designed to help marketers manage prospects to drive business results in the new age of social marketing. Using the principles of marketing automation, defined as the business processes and supporting technology that help companies segment and target prospects, marketers can now use social marketing automation to tap into the growing social user base.