Every hour, 1 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn. 4 million comments are made on Instagram. 167 million views are generated on YouTube. 21 million tweets are posted on Twitter. And 8 million photos are uploaded to Facebook.
With breathtaking stats like these, it’s no wonder that most forward-thinking business executives want to use social media to attract new clients. And for tech-savvy businesses in the data center, cloud services, and mission-critical industries, the business growth potential is even more pronounced.
So what can sales and marketing professionals do to use social media to grow data center sales results?
Set SMART Goals
No company should start using social media just for the sake of being there -- unless that company owner is just chasing celebrity and vanity metrics -- which most data center and cloud services providers don't have the luxury to do.
Instead, set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, "my team plans to use social media to grow our monthly website qualified leads from 10 to 50 by December 31st (of this year)."
There's a number to work towards. By collecting website leads, you have something to measure. Although it would be a huge percentage increase, it seems attainable because small numbers are involved. Because qualified leads fill the sales funnel, it's relevant to the business' growth plans. And there's a deadline - it's time-bound.
Know Your Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of one of your ideal clients based on actual research and some educated speculation. Before you decide which social media channels to prioritize -- for example, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, SlideShare, Medium, Quora, etc. -- you must identify your primary and secondary buyer persona.
This way, you can ensure that you're focusing on the channels most important to your company's primary economic buyers. (Also, social media can be a great way to research your buyer personas and what's most relevant to them.)
Invest in Content Creation That's Worthy of Sharing on Social Media
Too many data center providers share nothing but self-serving, overly promotional posts that don't appeal to what people are most starved for: great content.
Today your prospects and clients are doing tons of research on search engines and social media to try to solve their problems before they're willing to talk to a human being. People use search engines, social media, and apps on mobile devices as a substitute for human contact. If you don't embrace this reality, your company is at severe risk of becoming disrupted.
Integrate Your Social Media Publishing with Your Marketing and Sales Tools
In order to measure a company's return on investment (ROI) from social media, it's critical that you're able to track how many website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers/clients (and associated revenue) come from each social media campaign.
This means that your CRM, accounting software or e-commerce software must support closed-loop reporting so you know exactly which marketing activities led to which sales outcomes.
How are you using social media to bring in more data center-related revenue growth? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.