As the leaders in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), it’s only natural that our approach extends to social media. Over the years, we’ve continued to develop and evolve our social media strategy into an Account-Based Social approach, where we use social media to reach our target accounts and influence the sales cycle.
Below are five key steps to consider when building an Account-Based Social strategy.
As with any ABM strategy, the foundational building blocks of an Account-Based Social strategy begins with your target accounts. While the ABM team builds the target account list, the social team takes these target accounts and monitors their activity across social media channels. This allows you to get a better sense of what your accounts are interested in, what their challenges are and how you can reach them.
You can then take this information and share it across the ABM organization with both marketing and sales. Incorporate this intel into your integrated marketing campaigns across multiple touchpoints and throughout the buyer’s journey. For instance, if you see someone from one of your target accounts share an interesting article about your industry, you can pass this information along to a sales rep, who can then follow up with a unique perspective or additional resources.
What you post on social should provide value to your customers and prospects. It’s not about broadcasting how great your product is; instead, it’s about delivering content your target accounts are interested in. A good way to determine this is to ask: what content are your target accounts engaging with? What content is being liked, shared, commented on? What content plays a role in driving pipeline? Notice what trends emerge and then tailor your content accordingly. Is video content most engaging? Do your target accounts respond to tips and how-tos? Or are they most interested in seeing funny pictures and gifs?
Another way to reach your target accounts on social is to leverage paid social media. With paid social media, you can specify certain parameters to align with your target account list. For instance, you can segment your paid social reach by searching for attributes of professionals you want to reach or you can even upload your own list to reach known contacts and accounts. This is where you leverage an ABM Platform, CRM Data or other Target Account List uploads. Then, take advantage of an always-on paid social strategy to ensure you continually get your content in front of the right people. Using an Analytics Solution and proper UTM parameters, you can see the breakdown of your traffic, engagement and conversions from sponsored content.
Beyond monitoring account activity, social media can also be used to answer questions, respond to comments and start a dialogue with target accounts. Look for new ways to engage with your target accounts, whether it’s through contests, polls or starting a debate. By creating this two-way channel you are effectively enhancing your social channels and making it easier for your target accounts to solicit information on-demand.
Another thing to consider is building out an influencer network, which includes industry thought leaders, customers, prospects, analysts and press. This will help amplify both parties’ content, attract your target accounts and help you build credibility in the market.
Social doesn’t stop at your corporate channels. Your brand voice extends much further when shared by employees. Your employee’s networks are likely filled with contacts from your target accounts, which can be a gold mine for your Account-Based Social strategy. Be sure to arm your employees with social media tools to enhance your account-based social efforts. You can do this through email, an employee advocacy technology or central intranet. Enable your employees with social assets like suggested copy, images, videos, etc. at the ready to ensure that you make the most of your messages and reach the right accounts.
Account-Based Social measurement doesn’t require an overhaul of your metrics. The beauty about most metrics is that they can easily be filtered with an account-based lens. The most important metrics to consider in Account-Based Social are engagement and traffic from your target accounts, and then, of course, pipeline. While it’s still important to look at your broader social metrics depending on what goals you have in place (i.e. awareness, growth,
conversions), in an account-based world, we are focused on our target accounts. Engagement and traffic from your target accounts tell you that your messages are reaching the right people and they are interested in that content. Pipeline influence mapped through an attribution tool will give you a strong signal of what content truly resonates and plays a hand in closing deals. All these metrics can then loop back to further inform your social content strategy.
Develop a regular cadence to look at both of these metrics to guide you.
It’s an exciting time for Account-Based Social. In reality, it isn’t that much different from a regular social media strategy, but the difference is that you’re doing everything with an eye toward your target accounts. I’m excited to see how Account-Based Social progresses, especially as new technologies become available and social media platforms evolve. If you have any questions or additional thoughts on Account-Based Social, I’d love to get in touch. Find me on Twitter at @ABMarketeer.