Social Marketing Automation Connects Businesses with Buyers above the Sales Funnel

Updated: February 12, 2010

Social Marketing Automation combines the power of social networking with marketing automation to extend marketing's reach beyond the top of the traditional sales funnel, cultivate those prospects through automated lead nurturing efforts and then connect them - at the right time - with Sales, an inherently social process that builds upon the connection marketing initiates.

Today B2B marketers can take advantage of social media and to extend awareness and influence purchasing decisions. Using URL shorteners like Genius URLs (gURLs) that are specifically designed to track both traditional marketing campaigns and ad-hoc social media conversations, any member of the organization can seed any online conversation, including Google Adwords, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog content, Facebook, or any other social media activity. The most interesting part, however, is what happens beyond the click. That's where "social" and "marketing automation" come together to drive a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship between business and buyer.

How does a business determine who has done more than just respond (showing inbound interest)? Which inbound prospects are truly engaged? "Social Marketing" (sometimes known as "Inbound Marketing") by itself isn't enough in a complex selling environment (i.e. where the sale is handled by humans rather than a shopping cart). A sales connection needs to be made, but up to 70% of inbound leads aren't "sales ready". After inbound interest, Marketing Automation enables delivery of appropriate messages, CRM updates, emails, website personalization - all designed to drive a "right-time" interaction with sales.

With the 3 R's of Social Marketing Automation (Reach, Response, Relationship), Marketing helps Sales recognize the most important R - Revenue! The URL shortener extends corporate reach, enabling anyone in the organization to easily create a trackable social marketing campaign. Marketing automation efficiently enables the company to respond and cultivate a relationship with prospects through lead nurturing efforts, extending the conversation. When the prospect is deemed sales ready (often via lead scoring or by recording and triggering off of their online behavior) a right-time hand off is made to Sales to continue the relationship and drive to revenue.

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