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Social Influencing is the way we indirectly affect sales.

It affects the bottom line. It affects establishing authority on the social web and it ties right back to content marketing, assuming you’re doing it well! Influencing is a skill. Consumers, costumers, and clients alike are influenced when they seek out or engage in content that is relevant to them. Poor social influencing will make a potential client feel crowded or pushed.image one

So, what does good social influencing look like?

You put out good, authoritative content and people amplify it for you – distribute it around the web. Consumers have all become immune and apathetic to over promotion. Powerful influencing leads to engagement: other individuals and social media sources amplify your content.

Influencing leads to traffic. The more thorough your social media influencing program is, the more easily you can influence to mind share. But what does this mean?

  • Mind share = using the social web to brand yourself in the minds of the people to whom you are connected on the web.
  • Others understand what your organization does and what products/solutions do you offer.
  • You occupy people’s minds, showing up over and over with content about what your company does.

Now that you understand the importance and function of Social Influencing, we can break it up into four influencing goals. But, before you start to incorporate these goals, make sure you’re read up on the Social Media Success Cycle and the four steps to monetize social media. It’s important that you build on each quadrant one at a time.

SETTING SOCIAL INFLUENCING GOALS

Goals:

  • Increase engagement
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase offer awareness
  • Grow retargeting lists

Increasing engagement can be seen as indirectly educating market about a problem for which you have a solution or partial solution. What is so effective about activating engagement from the social media community, is it provides an opportunity for business or brand to reply — like a call and response.

Example: Someone posts on FB or TW: “hey – learning a new language!” and tags Rosetta Stone.

  • Engagement dialogue:
    • What language?
    • What motivated you to learn German?

Sometimes answers may need to go to Content or Product team which can offer insights into the needs of the customer base.

  • What information the customer really wanted to learn.
  • New ways to improve the product.
  • How much more likely is this customer to buy additional products from Rosetta Stone and refer it to his friends?

Increasing traffic is really the same as increasing engagement. Triggering engagement and response leads to more website traffic.

– Same as Engagement:

Increasing offer awareness relates to almost anything we do at the influencing level. Creating content and distributing it through the social web is designed to raise offer awareness. Content not only entertains and creates value for customers and prospects, but it also informs people that you offer these services and products!

Lastly, it’s important to grow retargeting lists. You can do this by creating lists of people who visited a webpage and retarget them with relevant advertising (content segments) in order to move forward in marketing and sales funnel. You can pull traffic from anywhere (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Email, or Google search), but it’s what you do once the masses arrive that is important!

TOOLS FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL BOX

These are just some of our recommended tools to help you with mastering Social Listening:

  • Hootsuite:
  • Manages multiple social media channels: FB, LI, TW
  • Sets all channels up as streams so is easy to see what’s happening.
  • Listen, distribute content, and reply.
  • Good publishing tool.
  • Edgar:
  • DM uses this to distribute content, especially on Twitter.
  • Set up a library of rotated content to push out over time.
  • Schedule tweets.
  • BUT! Be aware:
  • Take old content out of rotation.
  • Pause distribution during national disasters (is insensitive).
  • Pause a prescheduled joke or story if it tags a disaster or catastrophe.
  • WordPress:
  • Publishes content to influence prospects and customers.
  • Content is stored in one place.

MEASURING YOUR SOCIAL INFLUENCE

Let’s start by offering you a break from reading. Check out friends at Digital Marketer and their informative video on Social Listening metrics.

For those of you unable to do some listening right now, here’s a basic run down of metrics:

  • Site engagement rates
  • Traffic by channel
  • Offer awareness
  • Retargeting list growth

Site engagement rates help measure and accomplish the following:

  • Increase site visits.
  • Reduce bounce rate.
  • Lengthen sessions.
  • Increase pages/visit.
  • Increase # of comments.
  • # of social shares.

You can use basic reports provided in metrics programs such as:  Google Analytics, Omniture, Core Metrics.

Metrics also help you understand what and how much traffic is going to what sort of channel: email, social media, organic search.

When people are more aware of your offer (offer awareness), you should see an increase the frequency of name or offer being put into search engines. To track, you can use:

  • Webmaster Tools from Google (free).
  • Use Search Query Tool.
  • Look for increased impressions and clicks of the product name.

Lastly, metrics can help you measure and also retarget list growth.

An example of this is creating content about YouTube advertising and then tagging people as interested in YouTube advertising. By compiling lists of varying audience you can reach out with your advertisements or content.

GROW OUT AND BUILD-OUT YOUR SOCIAL PROFILES

Growing social media profiles is obvious but necessary to influence! Afterall, how can you influence if you have no one to connect to. Procuring more fans, friends, and connections follow universal principles that can be broken down into 4 methods:

  1. Plug-ins
  2. Profile optimization
  3. Indoctrination email series
  4. Bouncing

PLUG-INS

Content management systems have this capability, like WordPress. You would place a custom-coded plug-ins on your sites wherever you would want social sharing. This optimizes social sharing!

Profile Optimization.

Some basic tips and DOs and DON’Ts

  • Use proper image sizes (covers, profiles).
  • Complete every relevant field to help in search functionality.
  • Use keywords but make it readable:
  • Add links where appropriate.
  • Look approachable (see Social Media Audit).
  • Are there conversations with others?
  • If no comments or dialogue, you appear unapproachable.

Indoctrination Emails

These emails welcome email to new subscriber in order to connect them to social channels. It not only creates a good experience for new customers, but it also opens up a loop and opportunity to continue leading them to good, quality content that makes you appear as knowledge and “in the know.”

Social Media Bouncing

Bouncing can be used on and offline and uses one media asset to grow another.

Use one media asset to grow another. Bouncing increases your reach and frequency. It also helps create intimacy quickly. Most importantly, this is a method that you can incorporate without spending lots of money.

So think:  how can you take someone who’s already following you in Twitter and bounce them to Facebook (or wherever) and then to your blog that maybe has a content PDF. But be weary:

DON’T create a leaky bucket where you’re trying to get specific conversions:

Example: sell directly from your blog post (to ascend them to be a lead or customer)

DON’T bounce them out of the blog post.

but.. DO bounce them intentionally to places where you want them to buy a low-dollar product.

DO Think outside of the confines of our current products/services. What you’re talking about on social media does not have to map back exactly to what you sell.

Content and social media strategies are interlinked because we go out to social media with our valuable content and distribute it to build authority and trust with prospects and customers.

DEFEATING THE SOCIAL FIRE HOSE

It’s a crowded competitive world. You have to find a way to stand out. So, to get attention in this very crowded world:

  • Use visuals
  • Write better headlines
  • Pay for exposure

There are psychological principles behind why people click, take action, and read stuff.  Use our friends at Digital Marketer’s swipe file and keep adding to it. This is a very useful way to enact a more effective Social Listening program.

So, as we close out this article, just remember to take these following goals along with you as you work your way onto the next quadrant of the Social Media Success Cycle.

  • Increase engagement
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase offer awareness
  • Grow retargeting lists
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