Oktopost is the first solution to establish the ROI of social media, bridging the gap between social media and lead generation. Oktopost delivers the true business value of social media, generating new sales and integrating marketing and sales in today's social-centric marketplace. With Oktopost, companies can say for the first time: "This new customer came from this LinkedIn post!" or "This Tweet brought us $XXX in sales!" Oktopost enables users to track closed sales back to the originating social media interaction - whether this is a Tweet, LinkedIn post or Facebook update.
Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
In my post last year covering social media strategy suggestions for 2014, I stressed tactics such as creating a social media marketing plan and sticking to it, going above and beyond in social media customer service, embracing mishaps, and so on. Let me assure you, these strategies are all still critical, but with the New Year upon us I have some new and improved tips up my sleeve to add to your social media marketing plan for 2015.
Marketers target influential people on social media who are recognised as being opinion leaders and opinion-formers to send messages to their target audiences and amplify the impact of their message. A social media post by an opinion leader can have a much greater impact (via the forwarding of the post or "liking" of the post) than a social media post by a regular user. Marketers have come to the understanding that "consumers are more prone to believe in other individuals" who they trust (Sepp, Liljander, & Gummerus, 2011). OL's and OF's can also send their own messages about products and services they choose (Fill, Hughes, & De Francesco, 2013, p. 216). The reason the opinion leader or formers have such a strong following base is because their opinion is valued or trusted (Clement, Proppe, & Rott, 2007). They can review products and services for their followings, which can be positive or negative towards the brand. OL's and OF's are people who have a social status and because of their personality, beliefs, values etc. have the potential to influence other people (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). They usually have a large number of followers otherwise known as their reference, membership or aspirational group (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189. By having an OL or OF support a brands product by posting a photo, video or written recommendation on a blog, the following may be influenced and because they trust the OL/OF a high chance of the brand selling more products or creating a following base. Having an OL/OF helps spread word of mouth talk amongst reference groups and/or memberships groups e.g. family, friends, work-friends etc. (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). The adjusted communication model shows the use of using opinion leaders and opinion formers. The sender/source gives the message to many, many OL's/OF's who pass the message on along with their personal opinion, the receiver (followers/groups) form their own opinion and send their personal message to their group (friends, family etc.) (Dahlen, Lange, & Smith, 2010, p. 39).
Many brands mistakenly assume they need to post their content anywhere and everywhere to maximize its potential reach. But plastering your brand’s content across every social network, trendy news site, and video platform that comes along is not a channel plan. That social media approach attempts to go as far and wide as possible, but it holds no regard for whom it reaches, how they might be impacted, or how that impact might reflect on the business.
Competitive analysis will play a big role in your program so make sure the tools you choose can perform here. It's also important that your tool has good social listening ability, too. In other words, make sure it can pick up and deliver any mentions, conversations, hashtags, tweets, and other chatter about your company. Of the products covered in this review roundup, Crimson Hexagon, Synthesio, Sysomos, and Talkwalker stand out as frontrunners in enterprise-scale listening capabilities for global brands, including providing detailed sentiment analysis and data visualizations.
Like objectives, campaigns have a result or goal that you are shooting for. For example, say one of your business objectives for the year is to generate 100 new customers. You could then plan out four specific campaigns over the year with each campaign goal to generate 25 new customers. That way, each campaign would serve its purpose of building toward your yearly goal.
The most complete solutions in this tier are Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors' Choices for enterprises. They both give the most extensive deep-dive analytics using the most engaging data visualizations and reporting. Each listening metric Synthesio measures, be it mentions, engagement, sentiment, or influencer reach, has drill-down capabilities to generate a custom dashboard with post lists and graphs from any point in the UI. Crimson Hexagon offers a similarly robust experience, with the capacity for live social stream monitoring and the best interactive visualizations for keyword and hashtag data. Sysomos offers deep social listening power plus an added publishing and social marketing campaign management product called Sysomos Expeon. It's a significant added expense on top of the main Sysomos platform, but the ad campaign-specific ROI data and reporting it provides is unmatched.
A good place to begin discovering what kind of data you need is by checking out your competition online. The various social networks (with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter being the core four) will give you a good picture of what data your rivals are getting and how they're getting it. Now look at deltas in their data that you can see because you're in their industry. What's missing?
How many posts to schedule? This question is more specific to your current social following and industry because your social following and industry benchmarks will dictate how many posts you’ll be required to share and the return you can expect. Let’s say that for every 1 post, our heavy machinery company generates 500 impressions and our industry standard for CTR is 10% and our industry standard for conversions is 1%. We’ll define a conversion action as filling out a form. So, for every 500 impressions, we generate 10 clicks and 1 conversion and 1 out of every 10 conversions end up purchasing. We will need to schedule 10 posts to generate 1 purchase then. Over the course of our 3-month campaign, we will need to publish 250 posts to generate 25 sales. That’s a lot of posting! Better get a tool like SEMrush or Hootsuite.