Today's best marketers are factoring social interactions into their lead scoring methodology. Why? Because these online conversations often indicate signs of sales-ready behavior, allowing marketers to get the right leads to sales, and potentially beating out competition that's relying on traditional lead scoring—or no lead scoring at all.
So what is sales-ready behavior? It could be a tweet about your product, a comment on a blog, a question on LinkedIn, or any other conversation happening online but outside of the product pages on your website. The key is to have a system in place that can see this data and put the appropriate score to this important buyer information.
In order to score social media interactions properly, you must implement some data capture processes:
- Use a social media monitoring tool—there are free tools like Salesforce for Twitter, or more comprehensive options like Visible Technologies or Radian6. Another option is to manually capture data—yup, that means typing it in—for your marketing automation or CRM system.
- Pass data from the social media monitoring tool into the CRM or marketing automation system so the comments or activity can be used in lead scoring (or email campaigns and sales alerts).
- Understand how interactions in social media affect the buying process and customer life cycle. Create the proper scores to reflect these activities.
Like other behaviors, all social media interactions should not be scored equally. Make sure your scoring isn't the same for every conversation you capture. Actions that likely need higher scores are those that mention your company, those that mention your competition, or those that mention they are looking to buy. Ones that need lower scores are actions such as retweets or posts without much content.
Now, I know what you're thinking: How can you email these people if all you have is their Twitter IDs or links to their Facebook pages? The simple answer is, you can't. However, many of the people talking about your company are probably already opted in to your programs. So those you can email. If they're not, when the lead score reaches the appropriate number, you can create an alert so the sales rep knows to reach out via social media or a phone call.
All of this doesn't have to take a lot of manual work. Social media lead scoring can be triggered to happen automatically on sentiment, topic or general keywords used, automating the scoring program. In the picture at right, you can see that we are adding points to any tweet that comes in that says "Marketo" or "marketing automation."
See? It's much easier than you thought! So get out there and start prioritizing your leads—not just by company or behavior, but by the more than 99 percent who look for information directly in search engines and participate on the social Web.
Maria Pergolino is director of marketing for marketing automation solutions provider Marketo, Inc. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, via twitter @inboundmarketer or @marketo, or at www.linkedin.com/in/mariapergolino.