2012 social media trends report indicates that social media marketing nets 61 percent more sales leads than traditional marketing.
Increasingly salespeople who want to increase the leads in their pipelines are getting off the phone and getting social. If you think socializing is a waste of time, current research proves otherwise–that is, if the socializing takes place online. More and more companies are turning away from traditional sales techniques and placing greater emphasis on social marketing strategies.
According to the “2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” from socialmediaexaminer.com 61 percent of companies who employ social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and online forums and blogs get more sales leads. The results come from dedicating at least six hours a week on such a internet marketing plan, the report said.
Including an integrated media marketing effort into a business’ marketing campaign allows for a broader reach into where their target audience starts its buying research – online. A strategic integrated online marketing program for businesses offers increased exposure, increased website traffic, more leads, more loyal fans, improved sales and increased marketplace insight, according to Social Media Examiner.
To make the most of lead gathering efforts, businesses need to have all the necessary advertising and social tools in their toolbox. Developing a marketing strategy that fully integrates all the advertising opportunities – from Internet search engines to social markets and smartphone applications with e-mail marketing, print advertising and public relations – is essential.
“For businesses it is 100 percent necessary (to engage in internet marketing and commerce). If you are not a part of the discourse then you are losing customers to a competitor who is,” said Alisa Piotrowski, Social Marketing Consultant and former Social Marketing Coordinator at Jos. A Bank Clothiers.
The Social Media Marketing Industry Report goes on to reveal that a large segment of retailers’ target audiences spend much of their time in the online social sphere giving businesses prime opportunity to position themselves. The report said that 43 percent of people aged 20 to 29 and 35 percent of people aged 30 to 39 spend more than 11 hours a week using social networks. Focusing lead generation activities in this social space can be effective in garnering much more targeted and qualified leads.
Still, many companies have yet to turn away from traditional lead generation activities and focus on the online space. New social business technologies are essential to building a company, a brand and a product, but many companies are not tapping into the potential customer and profit pools available with social network marketing and need to increase their integrated internet marketing. But it has to be done strategically.
“Having a well thought out integrated marketing plan, that includes social marketing, will give a company a tremendous advantage,” said Carolyn Akel, founder of Akel Ventures, a company that identifies emerging trends and positions clients to capitalize on them. “But just blindly creating Twitter and Facebook profiles and sending out e-mail messages to unqualified leads gathered from social network sites can be disastrous. There needs to be a strategy and the marketing pieces must be used correctly, and understood, by all company employees. All social content must be integrated and consistent with a company’s overall marketing message, then social marketing can be used to augment the traditional marketing approaches and can be extremely powerful.”
When a company combines online marketing efforts with direct mail and e-mail, offline media, events, telephone and even business to business campaigns with a consistent message the leads will come just as with more traditional lead generation activities. Marketers are increasingly using community sites and putting internet marketing commerce tools in place to reach a wider customer base faster than cold-calling and physical mailers have ever been successful in generating.