Increasing Social Value Through Intent Monitoring

In the early days of social media marketing, gaining more followers was the name of the game. Then, we realized that pumping up our follower count wasn’t enough to generate real business results. We needed to engage the people fitting the profile of our ideal customers. So, we started filling our social channels with content which was optimized to inspire shares and click-throughs; — in other words, optimized to increase our social value.

As we stare down the challenge of growing social value in today’s overcrowded, deafeningly noisy social marketplace, the older, tried-and-true approaches just don’t work like they used to. We need a new strategy, a new weapon for a new social media world. And with intent monitoring, we have one.

B2B Sales #1What is Social Value, Anyway?

If you’ve ever attempted to measure the effectiveness of your activity on Facebook, and on other social networks, in terms of website visits, conversions, and other KPIs, you’ve looked at social value.

Your overall social value is made up of all of the “next actions” users take when they see a social post which resonates with them. If, for example, a prospective customer sees a post promoting your next webinar, and clicks the link to your landing page, that adds to your social value. If the person signs up for the webinar, that adds even more to your social value.

All this was fairly simple when there were just a few thousand brands on Facebook. Today, there are millions of brands competing for attention, and whatever actions we take seem to be like drops of water added to an ocean. But they don’t have to be.

The secret to building social value on today’s overcrowded social channels lies in elevating our approach to the users we want to engage.

B2B Sales #1Increasing Social Value: The Old-School Approach

The idea of engineering social media activity to increase social value is nothing new. Maybe you’ve looked at Facebook Insights to find out when most of your followers are online and scheduled your posts accordingly. Or maybe you reviewed your current customer base and discovered a large population of millennials, so you used that intel as a springboard for exploring Snapchat, or for posting about topics that “conventional wisdom” tells us will interest millennial audiences.

Marketers have been using this approach for years, mainly because they had nothing better to go on. But guesswork can only take you so far, and today we have a far better tool for boosting our social value: intent monitoring.

B2B Sales #1Finding the “Holy Grail” of User Intent

“Wouldn’t it be great,” marketers used to muse back in the day, “if we could find out what those prospective customers were actually doing online, rather than making guesses based on the limited information we have?”

Fast-forward to the present day, and that dream is now a reality. Through intent monitoring technology, we can discover in real time:

  • Which topics prospective customers are researching that relate to your product or service
  • Which keywords they use to search for that information
  • Which channels are most likely to drive engagement
  • Where they go to get it
  • Which types of content resonate with them at each stage of the buyer’s journey (for example, a high-level blog post may be more likely to engage during the early stages of the process, while more detailed white papers may prove more effective as they move closer to making a decision)
  • What they do after they find the information they need (e.g. download a resource, sign up for a webinar, schedule a consultation)
  • The insights we obtain from intent monitoring give us a powerful arsenal in developing a strategic approach for attracting and engaging prospective customers, based on actual online activity.

    B2B Sales #1Using Intent Signals to Drive Social Value

    Armed with insights from intent monitoring, we can now add a layer of deep personalization to our social media activity. To cite just a few examples, we can:

  • Create content on topics that are proven to resonate with our target contacts.
  • Boost SEO by strategically using the keywords they use in online searches.
  • Make content formatting choices (e.g., longer text, shorter text, images, video, etc.) based on content that actually engages them.
  • Schedule our posts for times when we know they’re most likely to engage.
  • B2B Sales #1How Intent Monitoring Increases Social ROAS

    Most of us have realized that our social media content won’t get very far if we just put it out there. The occasional boosted post or promoted tweet has worked its way into the toolbox of any marketer hoping to make an impression in today’s overcrowded social-media environment.

    This means that we’re not only spending time and effort on building social value. We’re spending actual budget dollars, which means we need to demonstrate return on advertising spend (ROAS). Would you rather be spending your social advertising budget to boost content based on guesswork… or content based on actual intel about what resonates with your potential clients online?

    B2B Sales #1Breaking Through Social Congestion

    In today’s noisy, crowded social channels, the competition for attention and engagement is more intense than ever before. If we are to grow our social value, we can no longer rely on guesses about what will engage our potential customers. By leveraging the power of intent monitoring, we can get a glimpse into what those users are actually doing online: how they search, what they click on, how long they stay, and what they do next.

    Intent monitoring lets us can stop guessing and start creating content that cuts through the clutter and speaks directly to the people we want to reach, in the way that resonates with their preferences. So no matter how much noisier and more crowded the social web becomes, we can rest assured that our content will build our social value and deliver the results we’re looking for.

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