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The Social Media Management of Tomorrow

As an enterprise, are you extracting meaningful data (as in additional revenue or market insights) from your social efforts? Are you aggregating this data and using it to drive lead-generation and conversions? If not, then your social has fallen into soft market speak (i.e. social builds “relationships,” it makes customers feel “heard”). This post will examine enterprise social media management as it is. Then, it will move to the social media management of tomorrow and show enterprises how they can turn social into a proactive, revenue-generating pipeline.

The Social of Yesterday

Most major brands are on Facebook, some are on Pinterest, while others are on Instagram. Depending on your market and product/service, you may be on all three plus Twitter, G+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The first problem enterprises run into is managing these different accounts. Social media management (SMM) software promised enterprises that they would be able to login, publish, and engage from a single platform. This is old news–as in 2009.

Then, SMM promised “real-time” monitoring, which sounds fancy, doesn’t it? What it means, though, is that enterprises are able to access relevant status updates, likes, comments, posts, Tweets–the list goes on and on–as they happen. But what does it deliver? Does it make marketers more informed of their respective market/verticals? Can marketers use this data to drive sales? Maybe, but probably not.

Then came analytics. SMM marketing pitches included flashy headlines, such as “get real-time analytics on your audiences.” There’s that “real-time” again. It’s responsive, reactionary. It’s not alone proactive. Besides, Facebook has its own analytics dashboard and you can search the Twitter fire hose everyday if you wanted to and respond to negative or positive tweets that way. Enterprises don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a solution that they can get for free.

Considering SMM has been around for about five years, are we satisfied? Has it reached its peak? These are the lenses through which enterprises have understood and managed their social media: primarily, as a monitoring tool.

The Social of Tomorrow

So what’s left, besides monitoring, analytics, publishing, and engagement? Say hello to my lil’ friend, predictive social behavior (sorry, couldn’t help it). Before you go off and dial your SMM representative, let’s understand what it actually means and what tangible results predictive social behavior can yield.

First, predictive social behavior is precisely predictive. It is based on user behavior and trends to anticipate buyer intent. For example, a Facebook user posts “#imengaged” or “#isaidyes.” Predictive social behavior picks up on that using natural language processing technology. It then files the post as a potential lead. The person has not entered personal information into a form. The person has not even reached out directly to an enterprise expressing interest in a product. Yet, predictive social behavior, via analytics, is able to tag leads before they go stale. Stale, you ask? Yes, you have a few moments to respond before that prospect has lost purchase intent (i.e. he/she has gone with a competitor and no longer requires your product/service). You just missed out on an opportunity to increase revenue.

After the lead has been tagged and imported into the sales pipeline, a representative can reach out and offer your product/service. This happens in seconds. To be clear, this isn’t real-time. A prospect hasn’t said he/she is dissatisfied with a product or that he/she is in need of a new refrigerator, for example. No, this is converting user frustrations, joys, and passions into tangible social ROI and data that can be tracked and pinned down: these are the number of leads we secured via predictive social behavior, and we have experienced an increase of XX percentage in conversion rate.

In closing, if you’re ready to demand more from SMM, if you want tangible, quantifiable, measureable social ROI results, check out Viralheat.


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