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Marketing Automation in Social Media

In the fast changing space of social media it’s vital you are able manage time efficiently when engaging with the C-Level on a daily basis.

It can become very easy to spend your whole working day (and beyond) researching, writing, posting and following up on your social media content, in the hopes that it attracts the right eyes.  Although boardroom scepticism is decreasing around social media we still need to justify the time and spend.

As a result, marketers are looking for cost saving strategies when engaging in social media and marketing automation is one avenue often explored.  It allows you to decrease the amount of time your staff spends on Social Media and also integrates into other marketing channels: increasing the impact of your message.

There has been some (understandable) hesitancy around the use of Marketing Automation in Social Media delivery.  The word ‘automation’ naturally flies in the face of being ‘social’ and runs the risk of removing your campaign's authenticity.  A case in point would be the automated ‘follow’ messages on Twitter that ignore the pivotal ‘engagement’ element of Social Media, can be insincere and leave the follower feeling like another number. 

Having said that, there is a side to Social Media that does lend itself to automation: the update.  It is always important you are kept in your audience’s mind and that they are well informed about any pertinent information, be it about your company or your industry as a whole. 

Practically, third party apps are very useful in the automation of posts across all your social media accounts.  Scheduling updates and automating their multi-channel output saves you time and money that can be put towards the one social media activity that should never be automated: responding.

A few years ago social media software was developed to speed up the monitoring and measuring capabilities of marketers.  It was all about "the quickest way to find conversations".   In 2011 this has now moved on to "the quickest way to action conversations".

The Social CRM is now one of the fastest growing examples of Social Media Marketing Automation.  It allows marketers to not only monitor conversations on social sites but to use that information in lead nurturing, segmentation and scoring along with triggering email marketing campaigns.

Automated Social CRM software can track Twitter conversations, give them a lead score and augment them into a profile that can be delivered straight to your sales/marketing team for use in a lead nurturing campaign.  What’s more, you can also pass disqualified leads into a nurture programme, something email marketers will be very familiar with.  This enables you to link the campaign into your social media activity and produce the same results.

The ability to track Social Media interest in the early stages of inbound marketing allows lead segmentation and scoring to be streamlined. These can then be automated into both your social and email output strategies. With Salesforce’s acquisition of Radian6, the integration of Automated Marketing and Social Media measuring tools looks set to grow yet further in 2011. 

We could say "watch this space" but "action this space" may be more apt.