Social nurturing is gaining importance because customers are smarter and more educated than ever before. They do their research before they buy, and seek out subject matter experts and thought leaders, especially with enterprise solutions that have long sales cycles. Today, customers know who you are and what you have to offer long before that first person-to-person sales conversation, so if your marketing efforts focus on the quick win, you will miss these buyers.
Social nurturing helps customers make purchase decisions based on informative content increasingly delivered through social media relationships. When you communicate regularly with a mix of original and curated articles and information, you become a valuable resource to your customers, delivering the best and most relevant content from industry experts, analysts, etc.
Social nurturing benefits:
- Generates more engagement and conversations between customers, prospects, channel partners and salespeople
- Helps businesses be remembered when it comes time to purchase
- Builds relationships with sales teams by giving them valuable information they can share and empowering them to sell more
Here are 3 of the top trends we are seeing with social nurturing.
1. Marketing automation drives social nurturing
When social nurturing is enabled by marketing automation it helps you:
- Enter the sales process earlier
- Have real-time visibility into what buyers are looking at and downloading
- Provide the right content at the right time
- Keep the conversation going
- Use scoring and other metrics to gauge intent to buy
We often recommend that clients center their social nurturing program around an interactive, mobile-friendly, socially enabled client branded newsletter that combines the best of social interactions and promotions to generate more business. It’s easy to use and to measure results in real-time.
2. Get Hooked Up With LinkedIn
If you haven’t used LinkedIn to connect with potential customers, now is the time to start. The fact is, LinkedIn is the most accurate, current source of contact data available. It’s also the perfect vehicle for social nurturing: Octopost reports that 80% of social media leads come from LinkedIn.
Participating in groups that focus on subjects of interest to your target audience is a natural way to connect and share information, and a great way to nurture the relationship without “selling”. Marketing can provide content to assist you in these interactions, but the conversations you have should always be personal, relevant, and genuine.
3. Telemarketing is Dead
A recent study concluded that 97% of telemarketing calls result in a gatekeeper and a voicemail system. It’s not unusual to hear of a telemarketer making 500 calls to have two to five substantive conversations.
What to do?
- Embrace voicemail
- Pair personal emails with personal voicemail messages
- Send simultaneously
- Use telemarketing selectively to follow up on the good leads
By sending email and voicemail at the same time, you simulate a personal call and follow up. This results in a 300% productivity increase and up to an 80% improvement in appointment setting, event registration, and qualification responses as compared with traditional telemarketing campaigns.
Social nurturing is a marathon, not a sprint, but it’s well worth the time it takes to engage customers (especially enterprise customers) in a meaningful and genuine way.
For more information on how BumbleBee can help you create more buzz through social nurturing, contact: