For most companies, social media is the ultimate multi-purpose tool. It amplifies news and original content, acts as a customer service channel, and provides an opportunity for customer engagement. It encompasses all stages of the buyer and customer journey, allowing for hundreds of touchpoints in our daily life. According to Sprout Social, 74% of B2B buyers use social networking to influence their decisions. Optimizing your social media marketing strategy requires rethinking social media’s role within the buyer journey. It has become essential to understand your target audience and cater to their online behavior to build and promote the right content at the right time.
Join Francisco Lacayo, VP of Partnerships at White Shark Media, and Courtney Kehl, President & Advisor at Expert Marketing Advisors where you’ll learn:
Talking about awareness, but in reality, that’s changed a bit and social. A stronger relevance in other stages of the funnel as well. So we’re gonna be covering some of that. And like I mentioned, we’re gonna be covering some LinkedIn, some tips the, the core and power of LinkedIn in case you’re not leveraging it.
And in currently, and I were having an, an off webinar conversation about this as well, and about how we use it personally for our agencies. So, so we’re gonna be covering some of that. So to start, and in regards to awareness again, we were used to the fact that social has been really an awareness machine.
We’ve always been used to measure social, you [00:03:00] know, through impressions and reach a couple years ago, we really started the conversions conversation, but in reality, that’s kind of in the mindset around social and that’s great. And that is true. It is one of the most powerful channels for awareness. But nowadays the, the quality of the content that you put out there has a completely different relevance in regards to how far you get.
And here at white shop, we, we had a perfect example through COVID and, and the type of content that we we put out there is we change our content strategy significantly because of the changes in the market. And part of the philosophy that we followed is is what you can see on the screen, which is really dividing your content into three main pillars before, and in all honesty and transparency, we were very focused on putting content out there that would generate leads for us.
It was very salesy. It was very to the point, a lot of call to action, trying to get people to do something and eventually become a prospect. But with time we learned that there were other avenues that would probably get to not only more leads, but also more loyalty and engagement. So we started splitting our content and we kind of followed this one third rule that you see on [00:04:00] the screen.
This one third rule talks about how you can. Kinda leverage different types of content to generate more leads, starting with, you know, the basic content that you do put out there to promote sales and, and that we all do. You know, we put that, that, that little white paper, or we put that little blog post that is really sales driven, and that’s still great to do.
That’ll still get you subtraction. Then there are two other components as well that you should keep in mind. The second bracket that we’ve been pushing a lot ourselves is engaging more with other people’s content and then putting it out there as well. One thing that we’ve done is we’ve established a lot of partnerships with other agencies, or we follow a lot of industry leaders, whether it’s the individuals or, you know, search engine, journal, PPC hero, and things like that.
And then we share a lot of their content and then we also bring our own opinion into it. So we started sharing articles, but also giving our point of view. And what we started seeing with this was that it was helping us position ourselves in different scales of the map that we weren’t before, because now people, you know, they were seeing what we thought about other content.
Delivered there in the network. And also [00:05:00] we were engaging with these new partnerships. So we were having more interaction with surgeon journal, with PPC hero and things like that. So, so that worked out pretty well for us. And then the other bracket that we started leveraging fully is what we would call usually your personal content or personal interaction.
But this is really more about you as an agency and who you are and what you wanna put out there. This has a lot to do with sharing your own struggles, with sharing your own problems at home, especially if your clients can relate with what you’re doing, and also voicing out a lot of things that you’re seeing in regards to all the topics that you wanna be known for this industry leader concept as well.
And with COVID ourselves, for instance, when we start seeing that all of our customers were struggling with keeping clients. So if we were working with agencies and their clients were passing campaigns or canceling we figured, you know, we can’t really help you out managing campaigns if clients are passing.
And so what can we do to help you provide out a value? We started putting out a lot of content. For customers and for agencies. So, you know, if you are a lawyer, what can you do through COVID? How can you keep your, your law firm afloat? What should you do in regards to marketing? And that gave us a huge boost [00:06:00] and it was just content focus and adding value rather than generating leads.
And that shift in mindset completely change our own positioning in, in social media. So we’ve seen it like that. Courtney, I know you guys have done a lot of social media work because I follow you guys and I’ve been following for a while. How have you seen this change on your end? I know with COVID we all kind of went through a lot of things.
But in terms of content strategy, what are you guys seeing? Have you guys changed anything? Have you been doing this for a while? What does it look like on your end?
Yeah, we we’ve seen the, the massive uptick as well. Same, same as what you’ve. Just hand over foot the acceleration of social media and the results of it, the conversions and all of the above.
I think the, the slide is really valuable in that kind of showing folks to have a balance between their original content they’re curated. And then also don’t leave out the opportunity to interact with the folks that are engaged with your brand as a, as a whole. Originally we used to think about inserting the 80 20 rule, which was 80% original, 20% curated or [00:07:00] vice versa, trying to kind of, I shouldn’t say vice versa, but trying to make things about the industry and.
Thought leadership and what the audience cares about and then bring it back to the, to the actual company and the brand. But we did find that it’s really kind of hard to keep to that rule. Working with, we work with B2B tech companies in various stages of growth and There’s just a lot of momentum when these companies are going through these, you know, constant points of acceleration.
So when we were kind of auditing each month and each quarter as to how we’re doing with keeping these sort of, you know, rather lose rules of 80, 20, 70, 30, or to what you’re pointing out here, the, the one third rule. It, we did find a lot of folks were what we call Naval gazing and making their channels very much about themselves.
And it, it, it really is important to bring it back to what’s important for the actual audience. And then that last piece there with interacting with your actual audience and having those personal interactions, tagging folks calling people out and [00:08:00] such that really gets that extra bit of engagement and that boost like you were talking about.
So I think this is a really great takeaway. Just always kind of keep in the back of your mind, make it about the industry, and then folks will follow from there and start converting. But yeah, we’re seeing absolutely just hand over foot massive huge numbers, you know, in the, in the you know, hundred percent, 200% week over week growth and changes on, on social channels which we never saw before COVID.
Yeah, no. And, and I mean, I think a lot of us used a lot of social channels, even on a professional level to vent out on a lot of things. Because one thing I started seeing during COVID was a lot of personal posts about, you know, how are we all dealing with this? Not only on the, the work level, but at the personal level.
But also seeing and sharing a lot of the struggles and seeing all the roadblocks, you know, it helps to make you feel better a bit, but it’s also a great opportunity to understand what’s happening with the market because you’re starting to see what’s happening with your customers. And you’re also seeing what’s happening with similar agencies.
So you can all share the same roadblocks and you can probably [00:09:00] come together with solutions. So, so we’ve seen a lot of that as well. One key component that we started seeing as well is a lot more agencies and end customers start working more in their brand identity and using these channels for that.
And it’s kind of what you were talking about in regards to sure. You’ve always been doing this content and most of it has been about you and about putting who you are, et cetera. But now by diversifying the content, you’re also telling a story about who you are about what you like and you’re humanizing yourself and how you interact with your customers.
And this engagement that you mentioned and keeping communication with customers is, is so it is always been really important, but it’s so much more important now because. Again, five or six years ago, the buyers funnel was pretty clear. We had a pretty good idea of what people thought and how they behaved.
But after 2020, it’s, it’s completely crazy. The there’s a lot of irrational thinking and a lot of irrational behavior in the funnel. So if you’re not talking to your potential customers and you’re not talking to your peers in these social networks and social channels you’re likely gonna miss out on understanding [00:10:00] what’s happening.
And this is closely tied to brand identity. And, and, you know, once you go out there and start having these, these conversations, then you gotta build yourself and who you are. So what tone are you using? What are you coming out? As, you know, as an authority of what are you using in terms of tech language?
Are you savvy? How are you engaging with customers? Are you more focused on enabling or informing or are you trying to just engage? Are you more entertaining for instance, which has been a big trend on LinkedIn as well, putting a lot more humor there to be able to get some engagement. This is extremely important because nowadays we see that consumers care a lot more about brand identity compared to what they were doing five or six years ago before you were seeing a lot of loyalty to, to one brand.
Nike’s a perfect example. You know, people would just buy Nike shoes because they’re Nike. But now we’re seeing customers switch to other brands, maybe smaller brands for that matter because they relate more with their identity. They’re starting to see that these brands are family owned, minority owned, they’re local.
Or they’re just telling a story that connects much more with the average users or this loyalty that you had for bigger [00:11:00] brands now is a bit different. Now it’s not a given as it used to be before. We do Microsoft ads and, and Microsoft does a lot of this. They have a an extension for their ads where you can actually tell a bit about who you are as a company.
It’s kind of weird if you think about it, but if you’re an advertiser and let’s say you are. A plumber. And you wanna advertise your plumbing service for, for, you know, local campaign. There is an extension to Microsoft where you can highlight if you are family owned, or if you’re a minority owned or, or a lot of things related to your values and who you are.
And, and that’s important now, people now actually pay attention to that and it resonates and they actually make decisions based on that. And the more relatable you are. The more likely you are to generate engagement and hopefully to get customers as well. So if you’re not working on your brand identity through these social channels, maybe you were doing it before, but if you’re not really working on it right now, then this is the time because this is what’s gonna determine how persisted you are, how relatable you are and kind of how you’re perceived in terms of rad value.
I can tell you here at [00:12:00] Y shark, we we’ve done a lot of work as well. Anna who’s in the webinar as well. She’s in charge of leading that strategy and, and putting us in the map in terms of what our core service is before. We’re kind of all over the place as digital agency. Now we focus on one thing and that’s the story that we want to tell, and that that’s how we wanna convey the added value.
And and we’ve worked towards that, you know, and it’s not necessarily. Rebranding or changing your logo or changing the colors, but just the way you interact with, with customers, we try to be, you know, as time sensitive as possible, we try to open conversations. What have you seen on your end, in regards to just engaging with customers and really getting customers to engage with you?
Because in our case, it’s, it’s, it’s been kind of a 50, 50. Sometimes we put a lot of content out there. We get a lot of conversation going. Sometimes we put things, we get a couple of likes and nothing else moves. What do you guys do to, to just push that conversation forward and make sure that you’re getting something coming out of it in terms of engagement with your own strategy for your agency
for that matter?
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think you make a really good point. So it is strategy is the key part here. Brand identity is, [00:13:00] is different from just having a brand guide. You know, the, the brand guide is the look and feel and the colors, et cetera, but now the brand identity is really bringing together the, the tone as you see here and, and the actual way you relate to your audience and the way you come across as a company and those things are really important.
So one of the things that we’re seeing, you know, with ho it’s social media is not just as, as simple as waving a magic wand. You there’s a lot of components that go into it with things like holidays. We need to stay very much in front of ’em Juneteenth as a good example, just this last week, you know, updating your logos to represent and show that you’re part of.
A part of the bigger picture and the diversity it’s and all the different other holidays that come up, we wanna make sure we, we extend that across all of the, just not, not the parent company, but the child companies and all of the other channels that you have represented. So all of that goes into your brand identity and not just the brand guide itself, but being able to kind of reach outside [00:14:00] of the.
The, the constraints of, of the normal colors and look and feel, but also extend your voice and, and show show that representation as a company. So we’re seeing a lot of that. And I think it’s very important as well. So folks can, as your audience can see that the company does care about the bigger
Yes, no, I completely agree. And, and it really makes it more about the audience than yourself. So you’re putting your bread out there, but it it’s really for the audience to understand who you are. And it ties perfectly, I think, with this concept of storytelling and, and you really are telling a story, you’re not just putting information out there, but you really want to tell everything about your story as an agency or as a marketing service provider, whatever you do, consultant, et cetera, because people now engage with the story and not just the picture as well.
They wanna know what’s behind the picture. And this ties really with, with, again, with this core concept of how can you. Get the benefit out of the audience that you’re targeting and, and how can you really take social to the next level? Because, and just like we said, at the beginning, we’re [00:15:00] used to thinking in terms of social, not only paint, but the networks in organic, that’s just the thing you can do to get some reach, you know, you, more people will see it, more people will read it and that’s okay.
But in reality, there is so much more to it outside of awareness that if you capitalize on, you’re really covering a good chunk of the funnel engagement is obviously a clear one and that’s what we’ve been talking about. But also the opportunity you have to get the loyalty from existing customers to grow as well.
If you’re working on being relatable, if you’re working on being top of mind, if. Your content is out there, making sure that you establish credibility. This is gonna help you get leads, but this is also gonna help you retain existing customers because they’re constantly getting added value from you outside of the service that you provide.
So you’re constantly painting this picture that will help you go beyond a couple likes, a couple shares, or yes, I saw your post, but rather, no, I actually took your post and made a decision based on the content that you shared. Or I actually sent this to a friend that I know that will benefit from the content that you’re putting out there.
And that’s extremely important. You know, we keep thinking of these networks as a, as [00:16:00] tools to get more traffic to the website. And they’re great for that. But you have to look beyond that and understand that there’s a bigger and more powerful opportunity that you have at hand, especially if you focus on engagement, the storytelling and enhancing your brand image.
And when you tie that to your marketing strategy, you realize that there are so many components again, that you can work on. We all know that social media is huge. It’s kind of weird to say this, but social media’s growing because it’s kind weird to say it because we’ve been saying it for 15 years since Facebook was launched, I think, but we’re seeing more and more out there.
You know, before we were talking about Facebook only then came Instagram. Then we were talking about Pinterest and things like that. Now you have Snapchat. Now you have TikTok. Now you have so many things out there. And so many channels that you can leverage, that you have many more opportunities to branch out your strategy.
So if you have a very niche audience, Social allows you to branch out and try to get to that niche audience through different channels. So if you’re targeting, you know people under 21 years old, now you have Snapchat and you have TikTok as well. For some [00:17:00] things, if you’re targeting more niche audience you have, or B2B audience, you have LinkedIn, you have more opportunities now that if you’re not leveraging as a whole, in terms of the social concept you’re gonna miss out because they can, they can directly push your marketing efforts forward.
Obviously social can help you build direct connections. That’s a different story. If you’re talking about paid ads especially the search networks, because if. If someone’s looking for you in a search at work, you can show an ad and they’ll click on the ad, but you’re not having a communication. You’re just presenting something with social.
You’re having these conversation so you can control your brand. You can control your image, you can control the message, the tone, and this all helps eliminate a lot of the roadblocks decision makers have when they want to interact with your brand. Sometimes when you put an ad out there there’s a conception about your brand that you can tackle through the ad, or there’s this idea that you can tackle that your customer might have, or in a version that your customer might have.
But if through social, you can actually engage in conversation. So you can constantly see if potential customers have, you know concerns or questions about what you do or how you do it. And you can [00:18:00] tackle that before they even try to engage with more content. And that usually helps eliminate a lot of the roadblocks as well.
And one key component about social as well. Is feedback, which is something that you can almost only get through social networks, right? And you can only get through these channels where you can interact with people. And feedback has also grown so much in importance, particularly in the past two or three years, that it’s almost a make it or breaking component for a lot of the clients that we manage.
So and we’re not only talking about five star ratings on Google, my business, or, you know, on your Facebook page, but the live feedback that you’re getting from customers, when someone writes a review and they’re, you know, posting a problem to you, how you’re react to that, how you’re reacting to, to feedback that might not be constructive.
What does that say about you? What does it say about your clients and your brands and how you leverage that? You know, we have a couple of agency partners that they heavily rely on the feedback that clients give them. They’re obsessed about feedback and they put it out there to [00:19:00] enhance their brand. And we went through a similar process as well, about four or five years ago.
We started seeing that we were having some issues internally in how we were servicing clients and communication, but we didn’t really know what was going on. You know, we were, we were kind of seeing it on the surface, but we didn’t really know what was happening. We became obsessed about customer feedback.
We rolled out CSAT, we engaged more in conversation. We started basically calling all of our clients. We were asking the same questions over and over again. And after three or four months, we discovered so many things that we weren’t seeing because we decided to push this engagement forward. And when we did some research on this, we realized that a lot of it was already in our social networks.
You know, we were getting these comments in Yelp. We were getting these comments on Facebook. We were getting them on all these listings that we weren’t checking. But we understood the importance of that and we move forward. Now we’re very, very picky on, on, on everything. You know what? We’ve worked on a local listing to the point where if it’s 150 local listings that we show up on, we check all of them on a daily basis.
You know, we find one comment that we need to reply to. We go ahead and reply it. And it’s a message that we try to convey [00:20:00] strongly to our clients. If you have reviews, if you can get test testimonials, if you have feedback, use it because the social channels are probably the strongest networks you have to push that forward.
And, and I’m pretty sure you guys, on your end, this is something that you talk to your customers about. We all know in the industry, that feedback and referrals are golden or, or, or the nuggets that we call, because we know we can get a lot out of it, but do you see your customers really getting the most out of these reviews, these feedback?
How are they leveraging it? Are they really working on it or are you still seeing that. You know, the industry hasn’t cut off because we have a lot of clients that come to us and they have a lot of things that they haven’t done. So are you seeing that on your end or, or is this something that you’re seeing more across the board that’s already happening in, particularly in the tech industry that you work with in the B2B environment?
Yeah. No, without a doubt, we’re seeing it across the board. I mean, we see it for ourselves. It’s just the, the agency side, but we also see it for our clients, which are the, you know, B2B tech companies. At all stages. So when they’re early stage all the way through, you know, across the finish line, post acquisition [00:21:00] their, their audience is reaching out and and folks are converting almost immediately.
And a lot of that comes from, and my background is demand gen, but so just kind of, I have appreciation for that conversion point. So capturing the testimonial, capturing those references, but being able to, you know, have this social conversation or this conversation on social channels allows folks to, you know, see visually.
That a company is either at an event or, you know, doing something in the industry that appeals to either a previous client or a previous customer or a current customer. And that customer more often than not does push up, put a referral in front of in front of that company or, or the likes of ourselves as well.
And it converts almost immediately it’s the fastest fastest track to what we’ve seen in years for on the social front. I, I definitely would put social right up there at the top for one of your demand gen
Yeah. And what we’ve seen [00:22:00] as well, when, when we have some customers that say, you know, we wanna scale revenue, we want to grow.
Right. And we want to go after new revenue. The first conversation we have is. Have you fully, you know, squeezed your existing revenue. Have you talked to your customers because half of your customers probably want something more that you offer, right? They’re not getting it. And they’ve probably talked about this.
They’ve given you some feedback about this, right? But you haven’t gone and capitalized on it. Spend more time talking to your customers and you’ll see a quick scalability opportunity there. And in most cases that happens. I mean, it’s happened for us as well. When we started calling our customers saying, Hey, now we do this.
Would you be interested? You know, 75% said yes. And we didn’t think about it. We were focused on generating new leads and generating new customers, which is much more expensive and harder to do. So this is something we also discussed with, with our partners and with our customers to make sure that they’re leveraging this.
And they use social as a key component in getting that message across and obviously finding and, and identifying the signals as well. And this also ties in with the. [00:23:00] With the journey that we were talking about the buyer journey. Because again, we, we are, we we’ve usually been tied to this concept of brand awareness and social being something for a higher level of the funnel.
But when you think now the importance of brand and, and brand story and storytelling brand awareness really becomes part of the entire funnel. Now it’s not just about exposing and putting your brand out there, but now what you do through social channels for brand awareness has a strong impact on the influence stage.
And it’s obviously a strong player in the engagement stage. So social now should be seen as a whole network that can really help you target different levels of the funnel rather than primarily the top, which has been the traditional notion with social. Especially if you’re talking about Facebook and Facebook audiences and things like that.
Because social now you can use a lot more at the lower levels to push more action forward. Now, remarketing is completely different even with the limitations that we were discussing before that Facebook now has because of iOS changes and because of basically privacy guidelines [00:24:00] and everything that’s changing in the background, social’s still evolving across the board to make sure that you have different ways to target people at different levels of the funnel.
Brand exposure is one of them, but engagement and storytelling of the brand is also part of different levels of the funnel. And you’re gonna start to see that more and more often as you start putting more content out there. And if you wanna talk about the lowest level of the funnel, you talk about existing customers.
Social is also extremely important. Like we mentioned to work on your loyalty from your existing customers. So now this isn’t even about acquiring new customers or trying to get leads, but rather, how am I using these channels and how am I using this concept of brand awareness to engage and keep my customers loyal?
And how do I increase the lifetime value of these customers? You know, we, we know that for the discovery stages, the evaluation stages, we know what we do. We know the channels we have, we know what we can do. We kind of know our own funnel to get those leads, but once they’re there, how are we leveraging social?
In terms of advocacy? Are we getting them [00:25:00] to, you know, to give us more reviews? Are we using promotions? Do we have a referral program out there in our social channels to make sure that we keep our customers loyal? And this is extremely important now, because as we mentioned, brand loyalty, Is not that much of a thing as it used to be.
You know, customers are not that loyal anymore. They’re not tied or married to a particular brand. We’re seeing more and more smaller, newer brands capitalize and take a good chunk of the market from the bigger players or the ones that we’re used to. And I use Nike as an example, but it it’s all over the place.
It’s all over the place in tech, it’s all over the place in the legal industry as well. And it is extremely important if you’re telling the right story. If you’re actually painting the right picture, you have the right brand voice, you can get the customers, but once you get the customers, you have to leverage your networks to make sure that you work on that loyalty.
Because now it’s gonna be harder to retain these customers, cuz everyone out there is trying to do the same. And everyone out there is trying to be relatable as well. So [00:26:00] this is a huge component that people tend to miss when they think of their social strategy. They think that once you get the customer on board, That’s it, you know, you got to the goal, you did what you needed to do.
Your funnel is done, but keeping customers with you, you know, pushing that loyalty forward and making sure you’re putting in the work for these existing customers is also a key component. And social is one big network that you can leverage. How do you guys see this on your end, Nia, are you guys using social for, you know, advocacy?
Do you have, how do you work on your referral programs? Do you have loyalty promotions or, or, you know, all, all these loyalty programs for clients, do you leverage social for this, with your customers?
Yeah, no, that’s a great question. We’re actually just now launching a referral program for expert marketing advisors for our clients.
We’ve also seen them successful in the advocacy part of this buyer journey. I think it’s really important to note that it comes full circle, you know, from the discovery all the way through to post post sales and bringing that all the way around customer marketing [00:27:00] is, is just so critical. It, it you’ve, as you’ve already pointed out in the previous slide is just how much value can be found in your existing customers and looking to expand upon you know, potential.
Engagements within your own base as opposed to bringing in net new, but obviously, you know, hitting from both sides, you can see here, the, it goes all the way around from discovery back to, to advocacy. Social media is throughout the the entire journey. And it’s, it’s just goes to state once again, that, you know, social media is not a nice to have.
It’s a must have, and it, it plays a role throughout throughout the, the referral programs are fantastic. Folks like to know that, you know, you give love, you get love. That kind of thing is, is, is just kind of built in and it builds on that loyalty the rewards program, some of our I think for our, our customers, it, it depends on how folks can build that in, but it’s you know, typically sits in the, sort of the decision of the, the sales.
Team and they’re, they’re, you know, they’re [00:28:00] more enterprise sales but it is great to recognize loyal customers. So we do more personalized sort of outreach when we do get those the advocacy sort of mentions which would be, you know, sending out sugar wishes is one that we really like where we’re sending out dog treats or personalized, you know, snack packs or wine boxes, but something that we know will be, feel a bit more like it was hand selected for the individual.
The, it just kind of goes from there, brings you a full circle. And of course, anytime you do get that referral, we, we wanna make sure we recognize it. For, for beyond the value that, of course it brings the next referral in.
Yeah, no. And if you work in sales, you know, that referrals are the hottest leads you can get.
And , and the closing rate on those is, is extremely high because usually the people that come to you refer by somebody else, especially if they trust that somebody else they’re basically close, you know, it’s, you are almost getting this customer already on board without having to do much. So it’s so important that, that you keep that in mind and that you [00:29:00] understand the power of social to make sure that you push that forward and that you’re engaging.
With your right, with your existing customers in the right way. So you can push this referral forward. And this is also all tied as well with again, making this funnel profitable. So where can you get revenue out of this funnel? If you’re leveraging social, if you’re really powerful and you’ve done the work and you’re, you know, you’re doing everything that you should do, how can you make sure that this is profitable?
We’re gonna go into some of the KPIs that we usually move around for social, but this is also so we have a pretty great idea of the funnel. What we were saying before in regards to, you know, social is no longer just exposure and brand awareness. You can really tackle every single level of the funnel.
Through different networks. And a lot of them are tied to these social channels. We know Facebook ads and Google ads works for exposure. But building credibility is also extremely important. If you wanna get to the influence part of the funnel and obviously social media profiles are key in our fundamental there.
Staying top of mind, LinkedIn is a huge place. If you wanna stay on top of mind, especially if you’re part of a big community. And then obviously if you wanna push [00:30:00] engagement, you have all the networks out there. And this is where you can put your offers. You can start conversations. You. Publish things that resonate with your customer audience.
So you can actually start the conversation there as well. And these are also the places where you can strengthen the relationship. So engagement is also a core component of these social networks. And then when you want to get to the action, we were talking about the referrals, but we’re also talking about testimonials and also LinkedIn.
And, and I’m glad that LinkedIn is gonna be the topic that we’re gonna wrap this up because I think anything is the perfect network to re showcase everything that we’re saying right now in regards to engagement in regards to how precise you can be, but also the full funnel. For me personally, LinkedIn is actually my favorite social network at the personal level as well, because this is where I get the content.
That, you know, it helps us sail and it helps us connect with customers, but also at a personal level, this is where I find most of the things that I need on my day to day. And this is where I connect with most people. So seeing this connection with the networks and, and consuming that content is also helping me get through my [00:31:00] own funnel when I’m consuming this content.
And when, you know, when we’re actually connecting with our agencies like yourself, well, we’re gonna buy a product, you know, a tech service or a third party app that we use as well. So, so this is important to keep in mind and this concept of the full funnel and the importance of social there. One thing that we always want to be careful of is how we’re measuring this.
Because again with social, we tend to fully rely. We used to rely on, you know, vanity metrics or I like to call them vanity metrics, but they’re not, you know, it’s reach awareness, impressions, how many people are seeing your ads, but that’s also the same metrics that you would use. If you put out a billboard on the street, you know, how many people are looking at the billboard, you know, that, that doesn’t really tell you the full story.
So you can have that. But if you really wanna measure awareness, then you have to start thinking in terms of number of shares and number of followers and that extra step apart from viewing you at and what’s happening there. Obviously engagement, you can measure it pretty straightforward because you have the likes, you have the comments and that’s where you start the conversation.
If you want to get to the revenue side of the measurement and you wanna see is this generating profit, then you [00:32:00] can also do that as well through social channels, because you can measure the website visits and you can also attribute leads and converter leads and even revenue to your social work. And then when you’re talking about retention and then what we were talking about, advocacy and loyalty as well, you also have a lot of metrics that people don’t take into account, which is maybe the number of testimonials.
You can measure yourself internally, how fast you’re replying to the comments that you’re getting. You can measure your own level of support as well. So. We want to go from the reach and the impressions and how many people are seeing and, and how viral we got to, you know, these testimonials are, are 30% more than what we got last month.
And now we actually got five more leads. And now we got 350 likes and out of those likes, we can actually tell that 20 of those downloaded an X, Y, Z document. And now we contact the three and they converted. Now we have the ability to follow the full funnel through social. So now we can actually attribute the right revenue, the right value and really understand what it’s doing for us.
There is one [00:33:00] particular aspect to take into account here, which is the trickier side of this equation, which is attribution with social is not that straightforward. And it’s not that simple. So I want to put that out there as well. We can measure a lot of things. With the latest changes that we’ve seen in the past year, year and a half.
It’s not necessarily black and white. You know, if, if you’ll ever manage an account when you’re tracking revenue and you have Google analytics and you have Facebook, you can check the revenue generated by Facebook and you’re gonna see two completely different metrics there. And you can talk to whoever you want to talk to.
You can read whatever you wanna read. You’re probably never gonna understand why there is a difference. People are gonna tell you that Facebook has different attribution models. And we all know that that is tricky. So it’s not a hundred percent accurate. And these metrics are not a full reflection of what’s going on, but they paint a pretty good picture of what’s happening and they give you a pretty good idea of customer behavior and how things work with these networks.
But yeah, that is a challenge. So I do wanna put that out there and I actually want to hear from you Courtney on this, because we know that with social, there are things you can measure that appreciate forward, but when you [00:34:00] wanna measure certain things in regards to conversions and value. It’s not always that easy attribution can get a bit messy.
How do you guys tackle that? And, and what do you see on your end when you’re talking to customers? And they say, yeah, Facebook says we did this, but in reality, I’m not seeing this on my end and my analytics and my PPC guys says that it’s coming from them as well. How do you do, how do you deal with that with your customers on your end?
Yeah, no, that’s a great point. So we use different tools, every, you know, just layer tools on top of tools, depends on which, which account and which client we’re working with. But for us personally, as a agency, when we’re managing multiple social accounts and clients, we, we use sprout social, which is essentially HootSuite on steroids.
And it does allow us to bring together the full picture of you know, Twitter and Facebook and, and LinkedIn. However, to your point, if you look into the individual tool, if you, or into the individual platform like LinkedIn, and you look into the individual you know, marketing attribution where it all flows in say it’s pulling into HubSpot or pulling into [00:35:00] Marketo, and we start kind of following the breadcrumbs.
That’s where you kind of find the attribution. Doesn’t always reflect the same from one platform to the other. It, it’s, it’s kind of one of those that takes a little bit of explaining as you go. We’ve we of course use UTMs. And sometimes those UTMs fall off as folks are reposting or, you know, sharing and way to it.
It changes this, this, you know, it’s just social media is not it, it’s not for the fan of heart. It is, it does take a, a lot of detail. It’s, it’s just a lot that goes into it, but as a whole you can get a very good picture. The conversion point is really the point that we find. Everybody cares the most about the followers piece here, as you’re, as you point out at the top, where we can always kind of tell which stage a company is at, based off of how many followers they have.
And this is particularly on LinkedIn working with the B2B companies If they’re less than a thousand, we know that they’re really still in that growth stage. If they’re over that thousand mark, [00:36:00] we’ve got some meat to really work with and, and start getting to those, those engagements and getting those consistent consistent interactions.
And when we, when we start really, and that’s when we can really start putting that sort of acceleration point up until the right with you know, putting some, some campaigns in place and some squeeze ads and such, and that’s where we can get those conversions through. And we can really kind of put some, some timelines in place as far as when folks will reach these different points in, in, and that I think helps a lot.
But again, from the attribution point, it’s more, the bigger picture than it is just the individual until they hit that conversion. And then we can of course, map that into their CR hopefully map that through to their CRM and, and get that actual The holistic picture of how that, how that fire is behaving with them and interacting
hope that helps.
Yeah. And this is a conversation, you know, we, we always like to have with customers from day one because we always preach, you know, digital marketing world. [00:37:00] One thing we preach is that we’re measurable. So you know, where your money’s going, you know, what works and what doesn’t. But we do like to talk about that small writing below that sentence and say, but you have to understand how this measuring thing works.
Right. And attribution is obviously a very important discussion. One thing we also like to leverage in the conversation as well, is there are things that we’re gonna be able to measure in terms of KPI numbers, but there’s other things within social that you need to keep in mind that will give you added value that you’re not necessarily gonna measure, because if you are working hard on your social strategy and you’re engaging a lot more with customers You might not necessarily fully measure all the conversions all come from that, but the information that you’re getting from those conversations and the decisions that you’re making based on the feedback that you’re getting from those social networks is something you’re not gonna measure on, on, on paper.
You know, you’re not gonna put it in a sheet, but it’s gonna be such an important factor in how you drive your company’s strategy that it has, you know, it’s almost invaluable. You can’t really put a number to it, you know, if, if you’re really getting the right conversations with customers. So that’s something that we also bring up as well.
We also have tried a lot of, of softwares out there. We, we [00:38:00] just acquire a customer. They’re using rocket box. I think it is the first time I use it. And, and, and I see that they measure things differently as well. They have other methods of attribution where we’re like, okay, let’s give this a try and let’s see if this paints the right picture.
But either way, when we talk about somebody say, listen, Just as, when you’re gonna buy a product, you’re not necessarily rational about the, the path. And instead of just looking at one website, now you look at 10, 15 or 20. That’s how every single customer you have will behave and keeping track of all that is not necessarily gonna be that easy.
So if you understand the humans behave like that, and we’re not fully rational at times, you’re still gonna be able to get a lot of value from the data, because you’re gonna have that notion of how they behave in mind before making decisions. And that should help out. So, but Since you were mentioning LinkedIn and the connections there.
I think it’s a good moment to jump to that, which is gonna be your final topic. I’m really excited about this one, because, and I’ll say it on a personal level. I’ve tried to use LinkedIn personally, myself to push forward in terms of getting more leads, interacting, engaging. I haven’t done the best work yet.
Anna and the team have [00:39:00] done great work, helping me out and why shark has great LinkedIn presence. But me personally, I haven’t been able to leverage much. I’ve put our content. I do engage with some people. I’ve had some interactions. I do some good stuff, but I feel that I’m, I’m not there yet. So I know you guys have vast experience.
I know this is one of you. I’m not gonna say this is bread and butter, but this is one of your core products and this is something I know you guys do very well. So. I want to hear from you what you think we should really keep in mind when we talk about LinkedIn as a social network. If you have any tips and obviously the importance of leveraging the, the channel for basically any marketing strategy out there, and particularly obvious if your B2B and, and, and you wanna have a laser focus on your target in your niche.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, LinkedIn is definitely a sweet spot for us. It’s so much so that it’s, it, it is probably our number one demand gen channel. And I, I, you know, I’m dating myself like going back 10 years. Plus social media was not. It was sort of, again, that nice to have. It was something that I was [00:40:00] not leaning into and then just realized this is going to be something going forward that you just need to embrace.
And so from a personal point of view you know, keeping it very professional, but also not being afraid of, of having those extra conversations and connecting with people and growing that reach. It’s your own brand. It’s your own? A chance to grow on a digital footprint. So, I mean, there’s, there’s times where you’ve thought about that.
The LinkedIn presence is, is 10 X, what your real estate or your physical real estate is. And it, it truly is. It, I don’t actually maintain my LinkedIn anymore. It’s it’s gotten to, to be just too overwhelming. But with that noted, I do check it every single day to make sure I’ve got things cleared out.
But I do actually have somebody else monitoring it because it has gotten to be just such a channel for us as an individual and for the company as a whole. Now for companies. And for our accounts [00:41:00] and growing them their own corporate presence goes back to the brand and the brand identity and the tone and getting that sort of customer and prospect to feel relatable with the with the, with the product and the, and the company as a whole.
And this is also hiring as well, comes in here and getting, you know, that overall impression that you want the, the company to have out there in the world. And that of course offers more opportunities too.
And do you guys, when you talk about how the, the, the importance of LinkedIn for you specifically as an agency and you getting most of probably your leads and your customers there is this coming from your content strategy?
Are you doing call outreach? Are you doing paid? Are you. Everything really out there, or, or there is one source within LinkedIn that’s generating most of the things for you.
Well, so the, the great thing about LinkedIn obviously is you can target your audience with based off of their job titles or keywords that they have in their headlines.
And then of course, geo so from that, we’re [00:42:00] able to do very specific outreach and that’s where the LinkedIn messages go and the connections and, and requesting to connect. So that’s from the personal point of view, that’s where my messages start generating. And I do have that running on a, on a bot and very candid about, about that, but that does get that initial connection.
And from there it just goes into a meeting. It, it, and we’re finding those shared like likeness conversations and things to, you know similarities for folks to, to, you know, talk shop and it opens up that opportunity. Most the other part of your question, Frank, sorry. I got distracted by. Yeah, no, I mean, it
was, this is all great content as well.
It was really to understand. Because within LinkedIn, you have so many, so many options, right? I, I know that people fully, I know some people that fully rely on content, they put content out there and that content is what really gets them customers. Right. I know people that fully rely on ads. They don’t put out too much content, but they go in and they do paid.
Then I know people that do a lot of cold outreach. We’ve tried that ourselves as well. We’ve used some tools and we’ll talk about that. Do you have any suggestion on what works best? [00:43:00] Should you do a combination if you only have limited resources and time, which one would you focus on and what gets you fastest to the goal?
Yeah, the, so that the individual reach out is probably, you know, 40% and then the paid, we really only put about 20% toward paid and that would the same suggestion with our accounts. We, we treat our accounts the same as we would treat ourselves and vice versa. They, the. The paid side is the reason why we only suggest about 20% focus.
There is because people do know when they’re being advertised to. Yeah. And the organic is really where we’re gonna get those. We see that more natural conversion in the upticks. And the organic performs really shows us what’s working. What’s not the keywords are important using those as hashtags. One thing that really does well where we see massive upticks and almost immediate conversions on my end as well, I can speak from personal experience, but the physical events and piggybacking and getting air cover on those.
Now that [00:44:00] they’re coming back even stronger this year is great to see getting the air cover from the social side, as folks are attending those, or even just, you know, from a virtual event, point of view, to just having a voice in those audiences that are important to each individual company. Those.
People love seeing that they were on site or they love seeing the pictures. And then they love seeing like that, that you are also a part of that conversation. And almost immediately folks will reach out, oh, you were there. Oh, oh, that’s great. Or, oh, Hey, you know, I saw that you and those, those threads immediately become the next swim lane for you to take it into a, a more personal message.
Yeah, no. And now that you mentioned events one thing we tried this year that we weren’t trying before is now that events are back, we went to I think it was international builder summit in Orlando. It’s huge, much bigger than what we thought it was gonna be. They, they, you know, they always say, yeah, it’s about 80,000 people.
And we, when they say that you usually think it’s about 10,000, it was about 80,000 people. So we showed up there and it was, it was crazy. Yeah. The one thing [00:45:00] we did was we. We try to get lists of, of previous attendees and previous years. And we had a LinkedIn cadence reaching out to all of ’em saying, Hey, we’re gonna be there.
And then we did the same with, with people that actually showed up and we knew that showed up and we followed up and say, yep, Hey, good to see you there. Even if we didn’t have a conversation, Hey, I noticed you were there. And that was tremend. It was pretty effective. Like it got us much more traction that we thought it would, we weren’t doing that before.
So it’s good that you bring this up with people listening. It does work because that connection and now that there is more of a physical connection as well, in a way, even if you never met that’s pretty important. That’s worked out pretty well. Another question I have is, and, and based on this slide that we have here is in regards to the strategy itself, do you see more success when people use their personal profiles to put things out there or when they use the company profile, how does it work?
Make I will take personal more interaction because it’s, but you know, companies put in, right? I mean, we put it on. There’s a lot of things that happen there. [00:46:00] Do you see most success? Do you really think that the personal profile and having guys will get you more? Or should you have a very strong company strategy and the company page really lead most of the, of the
Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. The co company page is going to sort of be the guiding light as far as what’s happening, what, you know, current, where. You know, the product releases and what’s, you know, where’s the finger on the pulse for what’s happening as the, as a whole with the corporate message.
But the individual personal page is that opportunity for the, the conversions and from a sales point of view, that is huge folks that are not leveraging their social channels. When it comes to sales are missing out big time. And it is, it’s just, it’s just a, a, a simple fact. And we all work for sales at the end of the day.
I mean, every marketer out there knows this sort of song and dance, and we need to bridge that gap between marketing and sales. So I absolutely encourage folks to kind of insert best practices [00:47:00] with their sales team around social selling and how to follow up there. And what’s, you know, what’s the right approach.
We often find a lot of. People certainly on the C level side are not as comfortable on even channels like LinkedIn. It’s a little surprising at times, but we coach them through what’s the best way to kind of present themselves and lean in and have those conversations because they do, they do absolutely perform.
And one thing you were mentioning currently, you know, right before the webinar was the importance of when you talk about LinkedIn, also the sense of community and. And, and belonging to certain groups. And, and I noticed in the presentation as well, you there’s some mention of, of LinkedIn groups and LinkedIn communities.
How do you guys do that? I’m part of a couple of communities, you know, digital market communities, things like that. Are you seeing value in those? Yeah. Are, are you getting, how do you work on that? And, and, and, and what do you get out of it as well out of those.
Yeah. Yeah. So this is kind of where you have those industry thought leadership [00:48:00] conversations, and that’s where you post something like this webinar.
That’s where we would post it across like social media and marketing communities. The groups are all different sizes. We see groups that are as small as, you know, a couple thousand up to a couple million. And there’s no you know, there’s benefits to both the smaller groups. You’re gonna be much more hyper focused, the bigger groups you, you know, you’re only gonna have 20 seconds, 30 seconds of eyeballs, but.
Potentially a lot more, obviously. So it it’s a, it’s something we always encourage folks to lean in, but it is, you have to lean in from a personal channel. You can’t, we can’t post through those groups on, from a corporate page. It has to be done one to one. At this point in time, LinkedIn, of course is always changing our rules, but trying to stay on top of those things, it is, we do absolutely.
See I gave up on the groups, I dunno, about five years ago. And then I picked it back up again about three years ago. And immediately, as soon as you start posting through those groups that are relevant for the topic, we [00:49:00] immediately saw uptick within 24 hours. So it is absolutely. I, you know, tried and tested.
Yeah, no. And, and one, one aspect of these groups that I found extremely important, especially during COVID was. I used to be part of a lot of these groups for awareness and, and to see if we could get something out of there, I wasn’t participating in the communication much, but then I started seeing these groups that were more specific in regards to it.
They were basically venting groups, but it was really about problems that we were all having. So within digital marketing, what problems are you having as an agency? You know, there were conversations about attrition. There were conversations about Facebook and iOS changes. There were conversation about performance issues and things like that.
And apart from being some sort of therapy for all of us I started finding a lot of important information there and we’ve worked with other agencies. So for me, it’s okay, this is where I can see what their problems are. Now. I understand what I can actually bring to the table if I can help them solve, if I can help them solve them.
And if not, I can also see if they’re having the same problems I am and what other [00:50:00] people suggest that works for them. So in terms of engagement and the importance of the communication, you can use them, at least an architect. You can use them, but only to generate interaction leads and revenue. But also to hear people out and understand if you, especially, if you’re talking to other agency owners and understand if you’re sharing the same problems, you might also be able to share the same solutions as well.
And that that’s really why LinkedIn is one of my favorite solution networks, because I get to see a lot of people celebrate the same wins, but also complain about the same things. And, and, and it’s very relatable as well on a professional level. So but we have, I’m gonna do a time check because I think we have four minutes left and we do have some questions before we get to the conclusion.
So I want to tackle some of those. Some of them, I think we covered and let me see. I have first of all, I noticed while that you asked in. Chat if this is gonna be available afterwards, because you wanna watch it. Yes. What we do is we send an email so you can have the recording available and you can have the deck available.
If not, feel free to reach out to Courtney or myself, if you wanna continue the conversation. But yes, we will make this available, both the recording and the deck in case you wanna review it, you wanna take notes [00:51:00] and you wanna get some of the great content that we we’ve put here and, and take it home and, and use it on your own.
So that will be available there, but just to run through some questions before we wrap up, I have, should I focus my LinkedIn effort and organic content? Or should I just jump? Should I just jump to paid ads? I think that one we cover current. And you mentioned about the balance the 80, 20 rule, and now that being a bit different, but I think that one we covered I put out a lot of content on LinkedIn, but I don’t get much engagement.
Do you have any tips? That’s a great one because I I’ve, I’ve gone through that. So currently I want to hear you out on this one.
So it’s, you know, it’s about. It it’s quality and quantity balance. So, you know, you’ve got the quantity thing down, but we wanna make sure the quality is there as well. So you might wanna kind of dial back the consistency and frequency, but well, keep the consistency and frequency, but might dial it back to more about the quality of what you’re set, putting out.
And, and, you know, keep, take, keep your buyer and keep your audience in mind. From the outside point of view, always looking at it from outside in [00:52:00] that would be kind of, I’d have to take a closer look at what we’re posting and such, but you
yeah. In my case care. Yeah. Yeah, no, I mean, I mean, it’s, it’s a tricky one.
I I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried being very technical. I’ve tried being, not that technical. I’ve tried focusing on certain topics. What usually works for me the most is when I post things about. Like real things about yeah. Day to day life, you know, it’s it’s yeah. Personal things like small wins team things.
We put out a lot of product content and that’s great. And we get some conversation going, but where I see engagement is, is with personal, you know, people see that you’re human and, and tag
folks. Yeah. Tag, tag others, cuz they’ll get those alerts too and they’ll wanna interact. There’s also the type of content.
So heavy stuff is usually, you know, probably best left off of the social channels versus the lighter stuff. Videos perform really well. The type of content is really important too.
Perfect. Then I think we can cover, let me check the time. I think we can [00:53:00] cover one more question. Which tools do you use to improve your LinkedIn presence?
That’s a good one as well. What do you guys do? Do you guys have your own tool? Do you use third party?
Yeah, so I mean it’s, it’s about tool as well as individual. Manual hyper-focused process. It’s, you know, there’s too many channels right now and that you can POS you can’t possibly just sum it up with one tool.
But as I mentioned earlier, we, you sprout social which is a great way to just know what’s the best time to post what’s getting the biggest engagements and just knowing how to tweak things to fit the right audience at the right time. That’s a good one for us, for my individual. LinkedIn, I’m running a bot on, on that, which is sales connector, which allows me to behind the scenes, no the positive responses and, and when to jump in and take the conversation from.
One that I can tell you. We started using on our end. This is more for the sales side and this is for our just called Dify. And this is if [00:54:00] you’ve ever used outreach for email, it’s an equivalent that allows you to connect with people, engage with them in an automated way of bulk and then send messages.
And then based on that interaction, break it down and eventually have conversations. So if, if you wanna give it a try, it’s a pretty good tool. I think it’s also not that expensive as well. So if, if you’re, even if you’re a small agency, you can try it out and it helps. And if you connect that with sales navigator and you connect that with a LinkedIn premium profile and the capabilities you have to filter the industry and filter the, and things like that, then, then that would be that would be a good tool.
Okay. I think we are just in time. We’re one minute over. So I think we’re gonna be wrapping it up. Trish, Courtney mentioned that she uses a bot for LinkedIn. Which one was it? Sales connector? Yes, that’s correct. Right.
Yeah. Yeah. And we’re happy to send out you know, referral link. So you can have that one to one demo and get you set up and kind of walk you through a trial.
That would be our pleasure. You also mentioned just real quick on the SEO side engagements on your social channels, do impact individual SEO ranking for [00:55:00] page one. Google started taking that into account about two years ago, a year and a half ago. And it, it makes a big difference. So social plays into the bigger picture.
When folks show up on page one rankings.
Yes. That’s a great answer to a question we had that I didn’t read, which was how do you yeah, no, it’s okay.
I just plays into the whole big
thing. yes, there was one question here. How do you upsell LinkedIn to an SEO or PPC client? Well, there you go. That’s the perfect connection.
So if you it’s actually also the other way around, if you’re doing SEO. Talk to your SEO team about social, the capabilities, if they have the capabilities, if not to a social team, because they go hand in hand and like Courtney mentioned it obviously has an impact as well on your organic ranking. So the better you connect the networks and the more work you do on one, you’ll get better results on the other one as well.
So okay. So time is up. Thank you very much, everyone. We’re gonna be sharing the deck with you. We’re gonna be sharing the recording. Courtney, thank you so much for sharing the stage with us. Thank you for your time and sharing that great content, please, everyone, especially if you’re interested in more LinkedIn content, if you wanna continue the [00:56:00] conversation, feel free to reach out to currently in the email, I think we’re gonna share the contact information.
If you guys wanna learn more about why shark media also please feel free to reach out as well. We can help out if not, you can find us on LinkedIn and we can continue the conversation there, and I’m sure we’re gonna have a great time. So that’s it. Thank you for joining us and thank you everyone for your time.
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