Where Social Media Ends And The Sales Process Begins
I want to explain something to you about social media marketing that you may have not heard or even considered before. Social Media Marketing can only do so much. There is a point where even the most effective social media program must pass off to a highly defined sales process in order to drive revenue.
Every business is different. Certainly every product and service is different also. Whether B2B or B2C, every social media marketing program should be different as well. Furthermore, every holistic marketing program must understand the role of social media in the overall effort and where marketing ends and sales begin.
The best social media programs have a holistic approach to the end game. Not just a social media presence, but an integrated sales and marketing strategy. This strategy must effectively understand and handle the traffic, inquiries and offers that are posted, discussed and clicked within the social space. In short, where are we sending someone when they click? What is the message that is being displayed and does it even work?
Converting traffic is really an art form. When coupled with social media and other marketing efforts, it is called "Holistic Inbound Marketing." I can assure you that I am extremely well versed in social media marketing, but holistic inbound marketing takes the game to an entirely different level. There is only so much that social media marketing can do. Knowing when and where to connect it to professional inbound marketing strategies that work is key.
A few of the things that are incorporated in holistic inbound marketing are:
1) Landing pages
2) Website Optimization
3) Email campaigns
4) "Drip" campaigns
The entire focus of an holistic inbound marketing program is to convert traffic from all sources into leads that convert into sales. You must be realistic about understanding the role of social media marketing in this entire process and where the other holistic components must take over. This is true for retail, but especially so for business to business (B2B) brands, as they sell to other businesses and therefore often have a more complex sales cycle than say the local restaurant. The local restaurant can often take conversion much further within social media and have a less complex holistic inbound requirement outside.
The bottom line is this; knowing the limits that social media marketing has for your particular industry and where to connect to your prospects outside the social graph is imperative. Understanding the intricacies of messaging, offers, landing pages and calls to action is the difference between having clicks and having customers.
Guest Post via: Robert M. Caruso
Connect with Robert on twitter ~ @fondalo
Robert M. Caruso is a long time social media professional and founder of http://BundlePost.com the first social content management system. His company develops social media technologies that increase social media agencies and marketers efficiency, effectiveness and profitability. Robert also writes at http://BundlePost.wordpress.com and consults brands internationally on their social media programs.