This is possibly the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. “What are our top tools?” Sounds a simple one to respond to, but when you take into account the amount of time that’s gone into researching and testing, I feel a little like I’m giving away my crown jewels. But here it is anyway. (btw, if you missed my post on strategy basics that’s over HERE). Oh, and before I start, I’ll keep the summary and descriptions short, so if you want to ask me any questions, please hit me up on Twitter. (Disclaimer: these are in no particular order)
1. Buffer. Social media marketing can be if not a volume play, certainly an always on one. Buffer allows you to drop all your posts into a bucket, and pre-programme when you want them to go out. It’s an essential tool. (BONUS TIP: If you don’t know when to post, I use a great tool called FollowerWonk, drop in your account and it’ll analyse your followers for you, and tell you when they are online. There is even a nice little ‘send to buffer’ button to sync your posts when your audience is online).
2. Feedly. You’ll need to read through a lot of content to have things to talk about and share. I use Feedly to aggregate all my RSS feeds from popular sites, so I can read everything in one place, and with a nice Buffer integration, again, you can just ‘send to buffer’.
3. Planning your campaign. I used to plot all my customer journeys in PowerPoint (serious!). I have some icons and arrows and it could take me a good 4 hours to plan one effectively with my channels, routes, expected outcomes etc. Then the guys at IBM came up with a brilliant tool to do exactly that, but in a much quicker time. It has data connectors for results and you can share and collaborate on customer journey designs all in the tool. If you are quick you can get a free 12-month trial while it’s in testing, but don’t wait too long as it’ll be chargeable soon. Sign up HERE.
4. Twitter Lists. A lot of people use twitter, but I’m constantly surprised how many people don’t use twitter lists. I even hear people say that they don’t want to follow any more people, as they don’t want their timeline to be too noisy. Well, problem solved. Just drop everyone into pre-defined list, you don’t even need to follow them if you don’t want (useful for monitoring the competition). The video behind the link gives you a full walk though. (Please note that if you create a ‘public’ list, people get notified that you’ve added them.)
5. Find Engagement Prospects by Geo. Crowdfire is one of the best tools and most affordable for social selling technologies. It has many features and functions but from a sales perspective, it is great for building a targeted audience. The functionality allows sales to target geographically as well if you are selling in territories. The tool can be used for Twitter and Instagram currently.
6. Widen your reach with Influencer Marketing. But do any kind of influencer marketing, you have to know who the influencers are, where they are and what drives them. The best tool we’ve found for this is called Get Little Bird. It’s brilliant. You can use keywords, hashtags, accounts and more, and it analyses the community and gives you real insight into the influencer groups, the content they like and it covers Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and more – where most tools just look at twitter and your Klout/Kred/PeerIndex score.
7. Deepen your knowledge on a prospect. Okay, so now you’ve found them, but you want to learn more. How about this great little chrome extension called Riffle by Crowdriff. Let’s say that you’ve found your buyer(s) on Twitter. Now what? What’s the next best step you should take to engage and move the deal forward? This is where Riffle by Crowdriff comes into play. Riffle is a Google Chrome Extension that allows you to analyze EVERYTHING and ANYTHING on any Twitter user. This extension will help you analyse and decide the “what” and the “how” you should approach your buyer.
8. Engage Prospects and Customers with video email. Once you’ve peaked someones interest, of course you want to follow up with an email. The guys at BombBomb have released a brilliant system for sending personlised videos embedded in email. The desktop app is brilliant, with loads of templates to edit, and you can even record and send straight from your phone. Works great with Gmail, Outlook and Salesforce and the analytics provide real insight as to what’s happening with your email, including when they play the video – what a great time to place a follow up call.
9. Reporting on everything. Hands down the best tool for the job is Watson Analytics. And it’s free. You can upload your xls’s and dynamically build reports and share. It also includes social listening, and the ability to build predictive models. For example, with enough campaign data, you can start to predict what asset would generate the most leads, depending on the data set (and of course other variables). Seriously powerful stuff. Go grab a free account here (signup form at the bottom of the page)