Friday, 7 August 2015

Marketing Automation for Social Media – Bad or Good idea?

Marketing automation good or bad ideaWhen you put automation and social media together in the same sentence, you get a mixed response.
“I love automation, let’s automate everything!”
“I love authentic communication, so let’s automate nothing!”
The correct answer lies somewhere in between.
I just hate tools that try to automate engagement.  For example, automatically liking something without anyone reading it. These tools should be banned.
There is room for plenty for other forms of automation.
In this article, we explore the integration of social media with marketing-automation tools.
We are not focussing on automation within social media (e.g. automate likes, shares etc).  We are focussing on bring people from social media into your sales funnel through a marketing automation tool.

What is Marketing Automation?

According to Wikipedia, it’s the following…
“Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks”
When we talk about marketing-automation platforms, we’re talking about tools that support multiple channels.  They create a management system to help manage, track and automate marketing activity across many platforms.
When you build a large presence online, it’s impossible to communicate with everyone.  It’s also very difficult to to pick out all the potential buyers unless you have a filtering system in place.
This is one of the great areas for marketing automation.

So… what about marketing automation and social media?

It’s great to build relationships on social media and this is super valuable. But what about taking a follower on Twitter, Facebook etc and bringing them through various stages of a marketing automation funnel to generate a sale…?
Is this possible? And trackable…?  Yes, absolutely!
And you should be doing it.
You need to consider, when someone hears about you on social media, what the process will be for guiding them through a series of steps that will qualify them as a potential buyer of your products and services.
The only issue with social media is that you can’t use brute force!
Brute force is doing something like the following…
Someone follows you on Twitter and you send them an automated DM with a link to buy your product!
Most people will think that is spammy, so you can’t really go with that approach.

How do you bring social media connections into your marketing automation funnel?

The answer is the same as with any other channel: you direct everyone to your website.
People may come from Google, from ads or from other websites, or they may arrive by typing in your URL, etc., and you want to route them to your website.
When someone hears about you on Twitter for the first time and clicks on a link to arrive on a blog post, are they really going to buy your product or service straight away?
Highly unlikely… at this stage…
sales funnel
Sales Funnel
They may decide that they like your content enough to become an email subscriber so they start to move down your funnel.
Maybe they have heard about you numerous times on social media and they’ve read a few of your blog posts.  At this stage, they are convinced you have some value to offer, so they take the next step.
That is another way they may join your funnel.
But what about other ways?

3 ways to entice social media fans/followers into your funnel

1. Your Profile

Are you taking advantage of your profile that people see every day?
Donna Moritz does a good job at bringing people into her funnel from Twitter.
Donna encourage her Twitter followers to sign up for her free training.  That’s a great way of getting your followers to take the next step!
social media profile
Donna Twitter profile
On the Hubspot Facebook Page, they encourage you to sign up for their CRM tool for free.
They give you information in the profile banner and they they have a ‘pinned’ post, which provides a link.
The pinning of a post means it always stays on top of your feed.
Facebook profile update
Get people to sign up for something free
You can see that above the link is a ‘’ link.
Within this link there is some tracking codes so HubSpot can track how many people signed up from this.
Use tools such as Cavna to create these profile images.

2. Use An App

What about running a regular competition on Facebook that encourages fans to become email subscribers?
You don’t sell much to fans but the fans who take the next step… well, that’s different.
Don’t run a competition for an iPad.
Everyone want iPads but not everyone is your target customer!
You need to come up with a prize/incentive that’s only relevant to your customers and then implement a competition that collects the entrants’ name/email address.
You also need to create a competition that encourages viral sharing so you get more people to enter the competition.
Here’s an example from Rafflecopter, the tool that helps brands to run competitions on social media.
When you set up a competition, you can give people extra entries for taking certain actions.
For example, for joining your mailing list and/or tweeting about the giveaway.
This gets more people to join your email list and also gets more entrants to your competition through social sharing.

3. Outreach to your social media followers

Do you ask your social media followers to become an email subscriber?
Wow… there’s a novel idea!!
You provide great content and they like what you share, so they may want to take it to the next level.
Why don’t you ask them?!
Try the following:
On a regular basis, share details of your newsletter with a clear call to action for people to sign up.  Work hard and deliver great content and you’ll get rewards.
It’s like shopping in a supermarket and the person at the checkout counter asking you if you’d like to sign up for their super-saver club.  With this club you get more rewards.  More people will sign up!
Have a look at Kim Garst’s tweet where she encourages people to sign up for her inner circle.  This tweet is pinned to the top of her feed.
Kim Garst
A Pinned Tweet
There’s a big benefit when your fans and followers take the next step and become an email subscriber, so encourage them to do this.
Once they click on the link they should be brought to a landing page which is specific to this post.  Create a landing page using a tool such as Leadpages or Unbounce.

From a Landing Page to a Sale

When someone arrives from Twitter, for example, and goes to a landing page you need to make sure that they are not surprised by what they see.
You enticed them to this page with the words and image you use so when they land on the page you should have similar words and images.
The goal of this landing page is either to get an initial sale or sign people up as an email subscriber.
You may have a sequence created through your marketing automation tool that brings people from the landing page to the sale of your core product (initial sale could be a lower price product).
You can spend a lot of time on social media channels building up your following and engagement but you also need to put in the time on the backend by building out a process for conversion.
This is where your marketing automation tool will come in handy.  You can start off with a basic email tool with some automation (e.g. Aweber, Mailchimp) and then over time upgrade to a more comprehensive tool such as Ontraport or Infusionsoft.


Sometimes, we’re not successful on social media because we don’t put a process in place to make us successful.
We don’t have a plan for taking social media followers into our sales funnel.
So, how do you bring people from social media into your marketing sales funnel?
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