social marketing automation

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If you give a man a fish, he will eat today.If you teach a man to fish, he will eat forever. If you teach a Community Manager to fish,she will get a promotion and a raise.

— Ancient Chinese Proverb

— Adapted by Eric Boggs, CEO, Argyle Social

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There are two types of social business specialists: oceanographers &fishermen.‡

‡ ( or fisherwomen )

Largely, social business practitioners think like oceanographers. They monitor and measure the

flowing currents, roaring waves, and ever-changing

tides across the endless oceans of social chatter.

An oceanographic social practice is important: it

illuminates the public zeitgeist, it reveals the strength

of your brand, and, when done well, in can provide

prescriptive strategic insight.

Very few social business practitioners think like fishermen. The

allure of monitoring ocean trends and social sentiment distracts most

social media professionals from meticulously tracking the fish they’re

charged with reeling in ( or retaining! ) as customers. A fisherman-like

social practice cultivates individual relationships at a massive scale and

uses social to move these relationships down the consideration funnel.

We believe that fishing-focused practitioners will drive the next wave of social business innovation.

“Mentions are up off to port!Hoist the sails, we need to get more followers!”

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The CRMThe CRM sits at the middle of the enterprise marketing universe.

A Description of the Problem

Social Business Spans the Enterprise

Community management stands out as a business practice because

it spans functional areas. From activating customer conversations

to routing leads to the sales team to serving as a first-touch support

contact to cultivating product feedback, the Community Manager’s

social programs touch all parts of the business. When done well,

strategic social programs should be a part of a business’ core strategic

framework, tracking prospect and customer interactions at all stages

of their life cycle.

Enter the CRM — The CRM is the “system of record” for the customer

— it is tasked with tracking the entire history of a customer’s interaction

with the business and driving all customer-related processes. Your CRM

contains all of the fish that your organization has caught in the past and

those that it hopes to catch in the future.

Regardless of company size or technology implementation, the goal

of CRM remains the same: a single view of the customer that spans

from the first interaction of the consideration cycle to the most recent

retention interaction.

Website Email Af liate/CPA

Banner/Display Ads Organic Search

Paid Search



ic S




id Social


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Fishermen vs. Oceanographers

With this CRM-centric framework in mind, let’s revisit the oceanographer

vs. fishermen thesis and consider some important contrasts.

Many social professionals should be oceanographers. If you sell

low-cost products to high volumes of customers, it may not make

sense to attempt to track every individual fish. Consumer products

companies like Coke or large retailers like Whole Foods need to operate

in aggregate, because they have too many customers and each

customer is of (relatively) low value.

Companies like Coke and Whole Foods track broad ocean trends to

anticipate where the schools of fish are today and where they might be

headed tomorrow. They manage very large brand advertising budgets

to drive high-volume, anonymous transactions from fairly small fish.

Other social professionals must learn to think like fishermen. For

organizations that sell higher-cost products to individual buyers and

maintain one-to-one relationships — namely B2B companies with

sales teams — CRM is the business. The B2B Community Manager

must think like a fisherman because B2B organizations build their entire

operation around the fish.

Fisherman organizations look at the world fundamentally different

than the aforementioned oceanographic organizations. They build

relationships with each individual fish so that they can reel them in one

at a time, as quickly as possible.

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Different methods require different tools. Oceanographers use

Van Dorn bottles, Soft-Bottom Modified Peterson grabs, and plankton

collectors to sample parts of the marine ecosystem and track trends

over time. Radian6 ( now Salesforce Radian6 ) is the overwhelming tool

of choice for the oceanographer social professional that needs to track

macro trends and monitor broad-based chatter.

Fishermen, depending on the scale of their operation, use fish finders

and some combination of rods, reels, nets, and lures to haul in their

catch. No social marketing software provider has fully addressed the

social fishing problem very well yet...

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The Social BusinessBlind SpotB2B marketers do a good job tracking prospect activity on their

websites and in their email campaigns and then mapping this activity

to the individual. This enables targeted email marketing, efficient

sales teams, and insightful revenue performance management.

On the other hand, B2B marketers do a poor job of tracking prospect activity on social media and mapping this activity to the individual. As more of the B2B buying cycle

occurs in social channels, more of the fish are

starting to swim out of view of traditional fish

finders. B2B marketers are left casting in the dark.

How quickly is this blind spot spreading?

According to the data, pretty darn quickly.

• People spend an overwhelming amount of their day on social sites. ‡

• 60% of the B2B purchase decision happens before they talk to a salesperson. §

If you put 1 and 1 together, it is pretty obvious that social media plays an increasingly important role in the B2B buying cycle. Prospects no longer contact your sales team for product

information — they seek it out themselves from the web and from

their colleagues via social media sites.

‡ ComScore,

§ Corporate Executive Board,

The multi-billion dollar marketing automation industry exists solely to solve this problem. Companies like Unica, Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, and InfusionSoft ( & plenty of others ) are the fish finders that B2B fishermen use every day. And only a very small piece of the overall B2B market uses these products, so this trend is only beginning.

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Businesses miss opportunities to drive prospects down the funnel.

Social interactions such as retweets, mentions, comments, and likes all

create excellent prompts to re-start paused sales conversations. But organizations don’t connect the dots between social interactions and CRM records.

At most socially active companies, an attentive community manager

will receive and respond to social interactions. But this community manager, being the steward of many thousands (or millions) of social connections, is unable to know the context of any individual prospect. Is @jthandy a new lead or an opportunity that is

scheduled to close next week? Is this the first time I’ve talked to him or the

37th? Obviously, this information would be extremely actionable in the

hands of a community manager.

It would be even more useful in the hands of a prospect’s assigned

sales rep. Marketing automation tools built around the email stack do

an excellent job of connecting marketing interactions (email clicks,

collateral downloads) with the assigned sales rep. This alerts the sales

rep of an opportunity to restart a stalled sales conversation. No such

connections exist within the world of social media.

Fishing In A Blind SpotHow well are B2B organizations integrating social into their sales and

marketing processes? By and large, not very effectively.

Leakage occurs at the top of the funnel.

Social is an amazing sales enabler. Prospective customers seek out referrals

and reviews from their social networks

as a part of their evaluation process, and

are immediately able to connect with a

representative from the company. The

personal recommendation combined with

the low barrier to direct communication

would, in an ideal world, be an extremely

effective way to initiate a sales conversation.

In reality, nearly all organizations drop the ball somewhere during

this process. There are the obvious pitfalls of a) not listening or b) not

empowering employees to respond, but companies are learning to do

better on both of these fronts. The real problems are c) the community

manager fielding the inquiry has no effective way to feed the lead into

the established sales pipeline, and d) if the sales person is notified of

the lead, he/she doesn’t have any context for an ensuing conversation.

What should have been a speedy introduction leading to a friendly

interaction with a sales guy has instead turned into nothing at worst

and a ham-fisted exchange at best.

Anyone know a greatsmm product out there?

I’m looking for one, too...

Have you checked [email protected]?

Let me know if I can behelpful! Happy to showyou what we’ve got

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Platforms will not provide the fish-finding data that marketers need.

Social networks aggregate massive amounts of data to enable targeted advertising — the Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter ad

platforms all provide unique examples. Many networks also provide

platform analytics like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics that

surface aggregated insights.

But for two reasons, it is unlikely that social networks will ever provide user-specific data to their marketer partners:

• Privacy concerns and associated public outcry creates a PR and government regulatory roadblock. Releasing person-level

social data by social platforms is already illegal in Europe and could

potentially become so in other areas of the world in the future.

• All major social platforms currently base their business models around aggregation and monetization of data, primarily via ads. While they are happy to provide this data

in aggregate format to oceanographic marketers, giving away

individual data points ( the fish ) would erode their market position.

So marketers cannot rely on the platforms to provide them with the

insight into prospect activity that they need. And as an increasing percentage of the purchase decision continues to move outside of the website and onto social networks, businesses will continue to lose visibility into core marketing data and buying signals. The

prospect remains anonymous for longer and marketing interactions —

sales conversations, targeted email marketing programs, on-site offers,

etc. — suffer as a result. Marketers need to bridge this gap without help

from each social platform.

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Envisioning the Solution

Email marketing automation changed email marketing from a

standalone activity into one that is deeply integrated in the day-to-

day operation of sales and marketing teams. In the same way, social

business automation will transform social media from a sideline

marketing activity into one with connective tissue through the entire

selling organization. And it will do this by focusing on the individual fish.

Social Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is an incredibly valuable tool to judge

how engaged a user is with your brand. A lead

score is a proxy for activity level, and is an effective

indicator of sales readiness. In fact, lead scoring

has been shown to nearly double the ROI of lead

generation programs. ‡

Let’s try a simple example. Compare these two prospects and make

a determination which prospect is most likely to welcome a sales call:

Prospect A Prospect B

Downloaded a white paper from a landing page.

Exited your website.

Downloaded a white paper from a landing page.

Clicked through to your website and spent a few minutes browsing, including viewing your pricing page and your product description.

Prospect A has a passing interest in your content. Prospect B is curious

about your product and is likely somewhere in the buying consideration

cycle. If your sales reps call more Prospect Bs and less Prospect As,

they will become more productive. Lead scoring tools reflect this by

assigning a higher score to Prospect B, thereby allowing reps to easily

prioritize their activities.

77% improvement in lead generation ROI from lead scoring

‡ Search Engine Watch,

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Current lead scoring technologies account for actions taken on

your website: forms filled out, pages viewed, content downloaded,

etc. Social signals such as comments, likes, retweets, and replies are

completely left out of this equation. Let’s see what the world looks

like when you include these signals, revisiting our example.

Prospect A Prospect B

Downloaded a white paper from a landing page.

Exited your website.Then sent a Tweet to @YourBrand:

“Hey! I just read your whitepaper. Great stuff! I’d love to take a look at what you folks are up to...”

Downloaded a white paper from a landing page

Clicked through to your website and spent a few minutes browsing, including viewing your pricing page and your product description.

This interaction happens all the time in the world of the new B2B buyer. And current technologies would have you believe that

Prospect A is disinterested while Prospect B is engaged. In reality,

Prospect A has shown far more interest and engagement than

Prospect B and should be contacted as soon as possible. If your

company used social lead scoring technology, Prospect A would be

assigned a higher score than Prospect B, ensuring that a rep would

reach out to them sooner.

Social lead scoring is a powerful augmentation to your existing lead scoring methodologies. Social signals round out the prospect activity profile and empowers sales teams to more effectively organize and prioritize their time. All of which boosts your revenue performance, of course.

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Social Sales Enablement

Community Managers are paid to be plugged into The Matrix. Epic volumes of social data flow around and through them all day long.

The good ones develop extremely sophisticated filtering mechanisms

to absorb and respond to as much relevant information as possible.

But the rest of your organization doesn’t reap benefits from this


Community managers simply don’t have the bandwidth to keep the rest of us in the loop when they’re responsible for listening to

and participating in hundreds if not thousands of conversations every

single day.

As a result, significant information disconnects emerge between the community manager and the rest of the organization. One

of the most significant is that community managers often have

conversations with in-process sales prospects and the assigned sales

rep never even knows about it.

This is obviously less than ideal. It creates the potential for confusion

and mixed messages, and hides valuable information from the rep that

could be used to push the deal forwards.

Social sales enablement closes this communication gap. With

a fishing-based community strategy and some social data trickery,

Community Managers can build programs that automatically notify

sales reps when their prospects are engaging in social activity related

to your brand (e.g. retweets, replies, comments, and likes) and assists

them in taking corresponding actions. This type of information can

restart stalled sales conversations or push active ones further down

the funnel.

Community ManagersResponsible for setting out delicious bait and getting nibbles from prospects.

Uncharted TerritoryInformation from community managers never makes it across the vast expanse between marketing and sales.

ProspectsSwim around all day looking for tasty morsels. Suspicious of anything with a string attached.

Sales RepsOperate in complete isolation from all of the activity between prospects and community managers.

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Imagine the following notifications as received by a sales rep paired

with these follow-up activities:

Notification Follow-up Activity

Your lead Lead A mentioned @YourBrand yesterday at 2:15pm: “Hey @YourBrand, what’s your pricing? I can’t find it on your website...”

Sales rep hops on Twitter to craft a personalized reply and follows up with a phone call to ask if the lead is interested in more information.

Your lead Lead C liked your recent Facebook post called

“How to Fix your Golf Swing and Your Inbound Marketing at the Same Time”

Sales rep uses the opportunity as a conversation starter and sends a brief email saying “Thanks for sharing our blog post! We haven’t spoken in a while; I hope all is well.”

Sales reps are always looking for reasons to stay in touch with high value leads, and social sales enablement gives them the tools they need to do so efciently. The Community Manager does

the hard work to create the interaction; a social sales enablement

program captures that value by connecting the dots.

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Be careful when setting the boundaries between these two organizations. There are several pitfalls that companies sometimes

fall into.

• Don’t dump your entire social stream into your case management tool. Most social messages don’t require a

response, and crowding up your case management tool will just

lead to inefficiency within Customer Service.

• Don’t push off all questions to Customer Service. Community

Managers are better suited to deal with social messages, as they

are native to the medium. Allow them to respond to questions

to the extent possible, and then provide a seamless escalation

pathway to Customer Service.

• Don’t respond to a Tweet with an email. Most case

management platforms are email-based, and most customer

service organizations are used to sending emails. But if a

customer messaged you via a social channel, their expectation

is that they will receive a response via the same channel. We call

this “symmetry of response”.

Customer service reps use the tools that facilitate their workflow.

Community managers use the tools that facilitate their workflow.

Social Customer Support Enablement integrates these tools together

so that community managers can selectively escalate conversations

into support cases, and service reps can easily follow up.

Social Customer Service Enablement

Social media is an increasingly important channel for customers to voice customer service inquiries. A recent study conducted in

the UK showed a doubling of inquiry volume over 8 months to 18

million total inquiries. This same study showed a wide demographic

breakdown for those who used social channels for customer service,

indicating that this volume isn’t just driven by millennials. ‡

But despite the volume of social inquiries, most companies don’t have their customer service organizations tuned for social. The main problem, as we saw earlier with sales, is an informational


Case management tools are the center of the customer service world.

Reps aren’t sitting on Twitter or Facebook during work hours, they’re

glued to their case management screens. If a customer inquiry

doesn’t show up in their queue, a customer service rep doesn’t know

or care about it.

If an organization wants to effectively serve their customers — who are now reaching out to them via social channels more than ever — it needs to integrate its community management function with its customer service case management tool. Community managers need to be able to answer basic questions

but escalate true customer support inquiries. And this entire process

needs to be seamless; the entire escalation pathway needs to occur

within the tools that each department is most comfortable using.

‡ The Next Web,

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Social Marketing Automation

So far all of the capabilities that we’ve discussed have been centered

around a theme: equipping staff with additional hyper-relevant social

data to improve their effectiveness. Social marketing automation

sails further into uncharted waters. Instead of attempting to claim

that we can see that far out into the future, we’re going to explore

this topic with a set of questions. Visible with a Spyglass

• If you could identify all of your biggest influencers — people

who, when they share your content, generate the most

awareness — and send them targeted messages and offers

within your marketing automation tool, would you be able to create more value out of these relationships?

• If you could identify your “lurkers” — people who love to read

your content but never interact with you — and proactively

start conversations with them, would they be more likely to interact with you in the future?

• If you could send drip campaigns from your marketing

automation platform based on a prospect’s socially-sourced

communication preferences and interest data, would response rates increase?

These types of capabilities will be available to community managers

in the not-too-distant future. Be on the lookout for intelligent

automation tools that will use data from your CRM and marketing

automation platforms to deliver targeted, valuable content to your

social audience.

Visible with the Naked Eye

• If you could automatically follow every lead that submitted a

form on your website, how many of them would the follow you back?

• If you could automatically tweet everyone downloading your

white paper on gluten-free cat food “@catlady329, thanks for

downloading our white paper! Let us know if you ever have any

questions about the benefits of gluten-free cat food!”, how many of them would respond and start a real conversation?

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Currently, community managers are reporting on leading indicators ( follower counts, number of retweets, etc. ) rather than business outcomes. But they want, and need, to report

on actionable business metrics. Social campaign reports for B2B

companies need to have the following metrics:

• Audience Size ( # of fans or followers )

• Penetration rate ( # of interactions / audience size )

— think of this as email open rate

• Leads generated• Opportunities generated• Opportunities won• New Revenue

This is a social campaign report. If you don’t have this data, you’re not

conducting sound, results-oriented marketing campaigns. You can’t get

this data without mapping social actions to underlying prospects.

Social Pipeline Reporting

Measurement is the core of effective digital marketing. Finding

out what works and what doesn’t and iterating messaging, targeting,

and channels is the critical iterative process that leads to strong

program returns.

One of the key data points needed to feed this process is the return on investment for a given marketing campaign. Campaign

ROI is the key data point required to feed this measurement process.

A marketing programs’ efficacy is measured in business returns —

leads generated, website purchases, opportunities won. Marketers

are used to reports like this within most major channels that they use

every day. Email, paid search, affiliate, and display advertising all have

ROI baked in to their standard reporting. Social does not.

The reason for this is simple: the technologies are only now being developed to allow marketers to associate social actions with individual prospects and their individual purchase decisions. And it is only when you can map marketing activities to purchase

decisions that you’re able to come up with a meaningful ROI.

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The CommunityManager Gets A RaiseWe made a silly claim at the top of the document —

“Teach a community manager to fish, and she will get a raise and a promotion.”

The delivery is obviously a joke, but we’re absolutely serious about the sentiment. Community Managers play a pivotal role

in the evolving social business. They have the most public-facing

position of anyone in their organizations — they must be, at the

same time, a brand ambassador, a customer support rep, a sales rep,

a product strategist. And they need to do all of this while seeming

like a normal human being that your audience can relate to.

Up until this point, the community manager has been an unsung hero. This manifesto is, more than anything, about taking

the work that the community manager does day-in, day-out, and

elevating it throughout the business. Putting sales insights in the

hands of sales reps. Surfacing customer support cases. And giving

the CMO real insight into social’s impact as a marketing channel.

We want to make these things happen. And if you are a community

manager, you should want these things too. It’s time for social media

to take its seat at the table. And it’s time for you to ask for that raise.

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The Argyle Social Solution

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with us and thanks for

reading. We entitled this document a manifesto for a reason.

We think that the stuff we’ve been preaching for the past 30

pages is important. Social media can be transformative for B2B businesses, but only when Community Managers have a tool that connects them directly to the individual fish, and connects their activities with the rest of the enterprise.

As of June 1st, 2012, that tool didn’t yet exist. As of June 1st, 2012, you

couldn’t connect community managers’ activities with prospects’

social interactions with your CRM, help desk, and ecommerce data,

even if you wanted to. Today you can.

Companies have two ways to get this functionality:

• The Argyle Social Signals API allows companies to take this

social data and feed it into any of their core enterprise systems.

• And Argyle for is a plug-and-play integration

that makes this data available within your

instance. —

Transparency is a core value at Argyle, so we figured we might as well

give notice to our customers, our competitors, and our partners what

we’ve been up to and where we’re headed. If you’re a Community

Manager and you’re interested in these ideas, give us a shout — we’d

love to take you on a fishing trip.

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