Not just anyone can monitor your social media channels and engage with customers. Listening and engaging requires a special skill set – a blend of marketing, customer service, and business acumen along with the gentle persuasion of sales and the clarity of a communications major.
Often times, it’s tough to find one person that can handle it all. For a small business, assigning one person to a responsibility of this size can prove difficult (at least without it impacting that person’s other responsibilities). Having the right people monitoring social media is crucial part of supporting your overall digital marketing strategy.
We recommend creating a team. No, not hiring a team, but building one using much of the team you already have.
Not every small business has the luxury of having a different person in each of these roles. But you might have 2 or 3 people covering these responsibilities. They are also probably the people you trust to face customers and handle issues that impact your business. By spreading the responsibility across several people, they might not find the additional task burdensome.
Marketing, as a regular function of their role, should work on generating visits, leads, and customers on a daily basis. Growing the top of the funnel and bringing in a new audience on social media month over month helps to hit key numbers throughout the entire funnel.
In addition to marketing, the team should “always be listening” to your audience, focusing on collecting information from social channels that helps create better marketing campaigns and close more deals.
Marketing should monitor:
- actions of leads based on product or service interest
- activity of thought leaders in your industry when they mention specific keywords
- conversations around the words and phrases relevant to your brand.
Social-savvy sales reps research, connect, and interact with prospects and customers on multiple social channels. They create relationships with buyers by commenting, liking, and even sharing posts.
72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues. But instead of a hard-closing tactic, social selling more closely resembles lead nurturing. Because hard-core selling doesn’t generally work well on social media, social selling isn’t for reps seeking quick wins. Salespeople have to be willing to put in the time and effort to engage with their target buyers on an ongoing basis, and even then, there’s no guarantee that their efforts will pay off.
Sales should monitor:
- conversations of prospects and open leads
- “closed lost” leads’ mentions of certain terms
- “closed won” leads to for post-sale nurturing.
Company leaders should not only embody the brands they represent, they should be visible and accessible on social media. Social media is an added platform for communication, but also an unfiltered news source. Being able to see and hear conversations happening in real time is invaluable.
Business leaders should monitor:
- conversations about you and your leadership team
- dialogue about your products or services vs. competitors’ products or services
- activity of other executives in the industry.
Service & Support
72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within one hour. Having your customer support team monitoring and responding quickly to online complaints is a surefire way to nip trouble in the bud and keep customers and prospects happy.
Service reps should monitor:
- customers’ questions or concerns
- prospect and customer conversations
- positive and negative feedback about your products, services, or brand.
Select the few people you trust to handle this responsibility and hold a team meeting. Explain the new initiative. Let them know how important it is to have the right people monitoring social media to listen to customers, engage with them, and be consistent in their efforts.
Assign a team lead to manage any bottlenecks and make sure expectations are met and team members stay on top of their individual roles.
How on earth can you get all those people to form and function like a well-oiled machine? By providing clear direction and the right tools.
List what you want to achieve before you start shopping for the right tool(s). It’s also a good idea to even roughly map out your workflow.
A tool like HubSpot (what we use) can do a lot of the work for you. Create keyword monitoring streams for everyone on your team to surface the specific interactions each team member cares about (and trigger email alerts when they need to take action).
The added (and probably the biggest) benefit of using HubSpot social tools is that social interactions are linked to real people in your CRM database. Since HubSpot integrates sales, CRM, and marketing, you can quickly see the number of visits, leads, and customers social media is generating for your company.
Try to find a tool to match your needs rather than reform your workflow to make a tool work. Here are several tools we’ve researched for you. If you have multiple people helping with social media engagement, it’s best to find a tool that accommodates teams to make sure no one falls through the cracks and customers aren’t left feeling unloved.
Decide what is important to you and the business. What is the main reason for changing the way you manage social media and monitoring customers? Is it to improve customer service? Is it to build loyalty? Determine what those reasons are so you know which metrics you want to track over time. If you’re not tracking anything, how will you know whether or not your team’s efforts are benefiting the business?
Start by documenting a few benchmarks. Involve your team so they all know where you’re starting and where you hope to be in a few months. If you don’t have benchmarks, use data from your first month or two with the new team. Then track improvements over time. If you don’t see improvements, try changing up your workflows or work on coaching team members. Here are a few metrics you could consider monitoring to make sure your efforts are paying off:
- time to respond
- issues resolved
- engagement rate
- number of visits, leads, and customers from social media.
Monitoring social media regularly can be a time investment up front, but there are ways this can be done efficiently with the right team of people in place. To learn more, download our free ebook below! For more information about how this can work in your business, call us for a free 30-minute consultation — no strings.