11 Tips & Tactics for Expert-Level Social Selling

Social media has provided brands and businesses with a platform to engage with their customers. But rather than just nurturing your relationships with existing customers, you can also use social media to find and convert valuable leads.

In this post, you’re going to get an extensive list of 11 tips and tactics that you can use to execute social selling like an expert.

1. Look Your Best

Your image is just as important in the digital world as it is in the real world. Online, your profile image is the first thing prospective clients will see. Make a good impression with a professional image that isn’t too stuffy, but still makes you look trustworthy and friendly.

The copy in your bio on any social network has to accomplish everything a greeting, handshake and an elevator pitch would do in person. Write every word with your prospect in mind and write in the first person, not the third. And be sure to be very clear about sharing your contact info. Share multiple avenues if there is room.

On a site like LinkedIn, where you have more real estate to expand upon in your summary section, tell a story about who you are, why you do what you do and how you can help. Remember, LinkedIn is different from a resume. Use your headline not just for your title but for a short phrase explaining how you help your clients.

paul simon linkedin

In this case, you can see the profile of Paul H. Simon, who has described himself as a Professional Editor and OLLI Manager. Important details like his location and education history are clearly highlighted. As you expand his bio, there’s a detailed description of what he does and how he helps his clients.

linkedin bio example

Make sure you also highlight your abilities and expertise by getting your colleagues, clients and employees to endorse you for all the skills you have. These skills will be featured prominently in your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin-endorsements

2. Build Your Credibility

Your company might have a solid reputation, but do you? Social networks can help you build your personal brand. With every Tweet, LinkedIn comment or Facebook post, you can grow your reputation and establish a solid foundation.

It’s a great record of your authenticity and a great place to demonstrate your understanding of your industry and potential clients. This can be achieved by sharing relevant articles about your industry, adding thoughtful insights to conversations and solving problems your prospects may have. It’s all in the name of establishing trust. When you share interesting thoughts, others will re-share them, tag you or start a conversation with you.

You can even use LinkedIn’s publishing platform to write original articles relevant to your industry. In fact, this is one of the tactics Neil Patel uses to share his marketing expertise and funnel traffic back to his website.

linkedin pulse article

Another way to build credibility and social proof on LinkedIn is to ask for recommendations or endorse others in hopes that they’ll endorse you back. Lastly, encourage your network to share and comment and get the conversation started around you.

3. Track Results of Your Existing Social Selling Efforts

The best way to get better at social selling is by learning from your existing efforts. Collect insights from your current efforts and see what’s effective as well as what isn’t. Based on this data, ask yourself what you should be doing differently and what you can do better. This can help you gain a clearer direction of how you should change and adapt your efforts to deliver even better results.

For example, maybe you’re tracking the activity of your social media referrals and you found that a majority of them leave within seconds. This might be a sign that there’s something wrong with your landing page, and you should take a closer look to see how you can improve it.

Or maybe you find that a particular segment of visitors are spending a long time on a specific service page. This will help you gain some insights into how you can frame your messaging and offering if you’re going to reach out to them. You’ll be able to know which features and benefits you should focus on in your outreach.

Although it can be challenging to understand how social media referrals are behaving on your site, tools like Leadfeeder can make a huge difference. You can use it to keep an eye on which pages your visitors from social media are viewing. It will also give you insights into the organizations those visitors belong to.

leadfeeder

This data can help you identify your warmest sales leads and which of your content interests them the most. And with this information, you’ll enhance your messaging so that it appeals to them and delivers better results.

4. Monitor Relevant Conversations to Find Prospects

The most effective tactic to understand what your prospects want and need is to listen to them. You can then customize your messaging and/or offering based on this knowledge. All you need to do is pay attention to what your prospective and current customers are saying.

Monitor relevant conversations about your brand to see what issues existing customers are experiencing. Maybe they’re venting their frustrations about your service on social media. Or they could be raving about you, but mentioning some possible areas that need improvement.

You can make use of all of this information to provide solutions to your existing customers and address their issues. So you’ll be nurturing your relationship with them to enhance their loyalty.

Social media monitoring also enables you to keep track of other relevant conversations you can use to enhance your social selling strategy. Find out what your target audience is saying about your competitors or the industry in general. Try to discover their pain points, and address them in your marketing material.

You can use all the data you’ve collected from social monitoring to customize your communication with prospects. Maybe they shared a blog post that’s relevant to you and you found it really enjoyable. Or maybe you have a shared interest. Either way, you can use all this information to create personalized messages that will set you apart from other brands or businesses.

You should also try to look for any mutual connections you might have with your prospects. And instead of reaching out to them on your own, you could get the shared contact to introduce you to the prospect.

You can use Sprout’s social media monitoring tools to track relevant conversations about your brand, your competitors, and your industry. You can even use Sprout’s engagement features to respond to or engage with the conversations that you’re interested in.

sprout social smart inbox

5. Participate & Engage in Relevant LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are an excellent source of prospects for B2B companies. All you need to do is find relevant groups, submit a request to join, and start conversing with members once you get accepted.

You can share your valuable expertise and content, ask relevant questions or engage with group members to build a relationship.

This relationship that you’ve formed with relevant prospects through LinkedIn Groups can be crucial for nurturing them as leads. You can inform them of new product launches or recommend relevant services that they seem to need based on their conversations.

You can easily search for relevant LinkedIn Groups using the right keywords. Make a list of some of the keywords relevant to your industry, service, or product. Enter these keywords in the search window and then filter the results to only show groups.

For example, if you offer services or products that would be of help to startup businesses you can use keywords like “startups” to find relevant LinkedIn Groups you can participate in.

linkedin group search

6. Find Your Prospects

Social networks are a great place to learn more about your potential clients. Pay attention: where do your potential clients turn to seek more information about problems they may have? Is it a LinkedIn group? A weekly Twitter chat? A private Facebook Group? Plant yourself there, listen to their conversations and get involved.

While LinkedIn is the place to turn for business connections, Twitter has a much better search function and has a lower barrier to entry. You can follow anyone you want, from a CEO to a celebrity, and they don’t have to accept your request as they do on LinkedIn or Facebook. They might even follow you back.

You can also use the Twitter Chat Schedule on Tweet Reports to discover upcoming and/or trending Twitter chats. Look through conversations relevant to your industry, join in on the chat, and start following the best prospects.

Check out #SproutChat, for example. The chat focuses on topics relevant to social media marketers. And you’ll be able to find industry experts in the social media community actively participating in the chat.

On Twitter, search certain industry-specific hashtags to see what your potential clients are talking about and what’s important to them. Once you’ve found some prospects, they may be able to lead you to others. For example, see who they are following and start following those people as well. On LinkedIn, some of the best conversations happen in industry-specific groups. Check the profiles of your prospects and see which groups they are a part of, and then join them.

Once you’ve found your prospects, stay organized. You can use Twitter Lists to create personalized public or private feeds, which maximize your time. Create a private Twitter List with your top 25 prospects, or create additional lists for competitors, influencers and current customers. Each time you visit the network, visit the list and you’ll get a quick snapshot into the minds of those who matter most, and you can more easily start conversations.

7. Consistently Provide Value

Don’t be like actor Christian Bale, who managed to post just two tweets in six years.

christian bale twitter

Social networks are a time commitment and this is exactly why. Once you’ve started following the right people, you must continuously provide valuable contributions. So choose your network wisely and don’t spread yourself too thin. Every Tweet, comment and post matters and you don’t want to disappear for weeks at a time. An abandoned network looks careless.

There are plenty of ways to stay active on social media:

  • Share your expertise.
  • Offer up solutions.
  • Always stay focused on the potential buyer.
  • Use relevant hashtags on Twitter to target your content more appropriately.
  • Follow industry influencers so you stay relevant and up to date.

If you don’t offer consistent value, there are repercussions. People will unfollow you, block you or hide your notifications. You don’t want to be ignored.

8. Nurture Your Prospects

You don’t necessarily have to create your own content or fill your feed with generalized tips that appeal to everyone. A crucial aspect to any social etiquette—and especially that of social selling—is to pay attention to and respond to what others are sharing and saying.

When starting a conversation or participating in a pre-existing one on a social network (like a Twitter chat) remember that it’s just that, a conversation. Be sure to listen. Every day you should be leaving comments or ‘Liking’ posts from others. More importantly, respond to people who are trying to reach out to you like Salesforce has done in the Tweet below. It’s an easy way to show that you’re listening or to offer up your expertise or insight. It’s also an easy way to find what you have in common.

You can also repost something from someone else. When sharing content from another user, be sure to tag or thank them for their initial post.

9. Earn Trust by Sharing Success Stories

Your company may boast of providing exceptional service or you may be highlighting some impressive features of your product. But these are just claims that you’re making and your prospects may not necessarily trust what you’re saying. So if you wish to earn the trust of potential customers, use social media to showcase proof that will back up your claims.

This proof would ideally be the success stories and reviews of your existing customers. You can share links to the success stories published on your site. Or you can create custom images with a photo of the customer or the brand logo and a brief summary of the results they achieved with your help. You can even do a full-fledged interview with them and share their story on your social media.

Cisco does a great job of sharing success stories on social media. In the following post, they’ve shared a picture with a link to the story of how they’ve helped the SM School District achieve their education goals.

Once your prospects see that you’ve delivered impressive results for real people, they’ll be more interested to work with you. You can even encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business on Facebook. Your star rating will be displayed prominently towards the top of your business page as shown in the screenshot below.

hello social facebook

If your prospects are interested in reading reviews they can click on this star rating section and gain access to all the reviews your existing customers have left about your business.

hello social facebook reviews

10. Be Responsive to Customer Complaints

Social selling isn’t just about aggressively promoting your business on social media. Rather, it’s the way you directly and indirectly promote your business through your social media behavior. And this includes your ability to respond to and resolve customer complaints submitted on social media. You’ll be selling your brand name through exceptional customer service.

This is crucial because according to the Q2 2016 Sprout Social Index, the average consumer expects brands to reply within four hours. Unfortunately, the average response time is 10 hours.

peoples wait time expectation vs brand response time on social

Not only will this help you retain existing customers, but the way you handle complaints can help you win over potential customers as well. Responsiveness and great social customer service are great selling points for new customers.

For example, JetBlue uses Twitter to interact with their customers, answer their questions, offer resolutions to their issues and respond to general social media mentions. For example, in the screenshot below, JetBlue provides an explanation as to why a certain passenger’s flight was delayed.

JetBlue even took the time to respond to respond to a passenger who posted an image of a stuffed toy, all strapped in for a flight. This shows the passenger and other followers that the company is paying attention to customers. And it’s likely that many potential customers may feel more comfortable traveling with the airline.

11. Get Offline

If you can convert your social media followers to email list subscribers, that’s a great first step. But what you really want to do is convert these digital friends into real life connections. Social media is a great way to establish that warm connection.

Once you’ve established a back-and-forth conversation with someone on social, it’s easier to suggest a phone call or coffee date via a Tweet or email. Think about it: an email with a subject line referencing your Twitter conversation may be more likely to get opened. Now it’s up to you to make sure your real-life persona is just as great as your digital one.

Conclusion

These 11 tips can help you promote your brand effectively through social media, ultimately resulting in loyal customers and increased conversions. When implemented together, these tactics can make a significant difference in your social media performance. Now you just have to develop a comprehensive social selling strategy that will help you make the most of these ideas.

This post 11 Tips & Tactics for Expert-Level Social Selling originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

#SproutChat Recap: Managing Online Communities

Building, engaging and growing an online community helps businesses in the long run. Forming communities of your brand’s most tuned in and engaged fans are what ultimately help to inform products and procedures.

This week at #SproutChat we chatted with Sprout All Star, Meagan DeMenna, Community Manager of ClearVoice, about best practices for managing your online communities and the benefit they provide your brand.

Communities Come Together Around a Topic

Digital communities allow folks to gather around topics or issues they care about and connect. This can happen organically or could be a space created by a business to allow followers to congregate around their brand. Conversations and connections that happen in these online communities instill a real sense of value.

Create Goals First

If you’re just starting to launch a community, think about the platform this will live on (website, forum, Slack, social) and where your community might take to. Additionally, be thoughtful of the purpose of your community. Will it be focused on technical support or advocacy? Mapping out these details ahead of time will and giving members a clearer sense of purpose to start will effectively encourage engagement.

Align Community With Business Goals

When planning your community think about how this will serve the brand overall. If you’re trying to set up a support focused community think of ways this can help deter support tickets and drive down costs associated there. Goals will look different for communities across the board, but think of identifying goals that align with overall business objectives.

Content Is Fuel

When setting up new communities, it’s important to make sure that you’re planning out content with your members in mind. Conversation may already be happening organically, but scheduled content can help encourage further conversation. Small things like this can help make sure that engagement is activated. Remember to have a two way relationship with community members and interact.

Be sure to join us at #SproutChat next Wednesday, at 2 p.m. CT, to chat with Sprout All Star Elite, Marek Cornett of Koch Communications about integrating PR and Social Media strategies. Until then, be sure to join our Facebook community to keep the conversation going.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Managing Online Communities originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Data & Business Impact with Feras Alhlou

Google Analytics Stuido

A few months ago I had the opportunity to chat with my friend and work partner Feras Alhlou, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant at E-Nor & Co-Author of Google Analytics Breakthrough. Feras and I have known each other for almost 10 years, and it is always great to hear more about the work that he and his first-class team are doing.

Here are the questions we discussed, checkout the answers in the video below. I have also added some of my favorite highlights from the interview after the video.

  1. [01:05] What’s the process that you use to make sense out of data?
  2. [02:41]During this process, what do you actually do when you start working with data?
  3. [04:07]When analyzing data, how can we make sure that we are looking at the context to understand what is happening around us?
  4. [07:24]How can Data Studio and better data visualizations help companies make more data-driven decisions?

We believe analytics is a business process. We start with an audit, both from the business side and the technical side – we want to engage the stakeholders to understand how to measure what matters most to the business. Once we have the data in place, we go to the reporting layer – how do we report on this data? Then, we start to be able to analyze the data and find some actionable insights. Last, we can move to testing and personalization – that’s when you really can have an impact on the business. Read more about E-Nor’s Optimization Framework

There’s a whole lot of data these days, right? Life used to be simple for marketers: one device, a few channels – now there’s data everywhere, mobile, social, web, and of course backend data. I think one of the first things we need to do is to understand the context around that data, focusing on the following:

  • The integrity of the data: is it clean, was it collected properly, is it raw or aggregated? Understand the data collection, how the data was put together.
  • Having a set of meta data, information about the data: if you’re looking at Google Analytics metrics, knowing more about the user. For example, if you have a subscription based model: Is it a premium user? Is it a standard user? Having that additional data gives a whole lot of context, to the person who’s consuming that data.

I would definitely advice to have a data road map. Start with what you own, web and mobile analytics data. Then, start augmenting reports with basic social data, maybe you can get a little bit into the qualitative aspect with that. And last but not least, a great product that was recently introduced by Google as the Surveys product. There are surveys we can do on our own properties to understand the voice of the customer. But also use it to do market research – it used to be expensive and cumbersome to do it, but now you can easily run a Google survey and do a lot targeting.

And here is Feras and me having fun in the Google Analytics studio!

Daniel Waisberg and Feras Alhlou

image 
Daniel Waisberg and Feras Alhlou


Online Behavior – Marketing Measurement & Optimization

How to Think About Email Capture Forms Like a Customer

What keeps customers from filling out one of your email capture forms? Is it because they don’t believe you will deliver what you say? Is it because it’s too long? Too short?

In this clip from an in-person training session at 2016’s NIO Summit hosted by NextAfter at MECLABS, Austin McCraw talks about the two essential factors that we can influence to produce more leads through our capture forms.

The post How to Think About Email Capture Forms Like a Customer appeared first on MarketingExperiments.


MarketingExperiments

6 Tricks to Boost Your Share of Voice on Social Media

Is your brand seen as a leader in your industry? When people talk about the type of products you sell, does your company come up in the conversation? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you might have issues with your brand’s share of voice.

With social media becoming increasingly competitive, capturing and retaining your audience’s attention is more difficult than ever. Not only that, it’s a struggle for some brands to even be heard when over 52 million photos are shared a day on Instagram and more than 7,000 Tweets are sent every second. When you throw in decreased organic reach for brands on networks like Facebook, the challenge becomes even clearer.

So with all of this against you, what can your brand do to get more visibility and capture your audience’s attention? Read on to learn how to increase your share of voice on social media.

What is Share of Voice?

Share of voice measures the amount of the conversation your brand owns with your target audience compared to your competitors. It’s kind of a tricky metric since not every brand measures it exactly the same. On social, some brands look at share of voice as the amount of social media messages shared about your brand, in relation to all of your competitors.

But you can also look at share of voice around a specific keyword or hashtag. For instance, a hotel chain might measure what percentage of social media messages involving the keyword “hotels” that contain its brand name compared to the percentage that mention competitors. Ideally, the hotel chain would want to have a larger share of voice for hotel-related keywords than its competitors because it’s a sign that consumers are more aware of them than competitors.

Traditionally, share of voice is referenced in regards to paid advertising. With paid ads, share of voice represents your brand’s share of ad space compared to the total amount available. Or in simple terms:

share of voice calculation

For the purposes of this article, we’re going focus on share of voice on social media.

How to Increase Your Share of Voice on Social Media

Now that you understand what share of voice is, how do you improve it? Here are six tactics you can use to increase your brand’s share of voice on social media:

1. Always Be Active (ABA)

In order to be heard on social media, you need to be active. There’s no way around it.

If you only Tweet once a day or post to Instagram once a week, you’re going to get overlooked and forgotten. All of the major social networks have millions of active users sharing content, engaging and browsing them every day. Your brand has to compete with all of that and cut through the noise. The only way to do that is to be active on a consistent basis.

Start by creating a social media calendar that outlines all of your planned content for the month. You don’t have to include every single post you plan to make. The goal is to schedule content that needs to go out on specific dates (campaigns or special holidays) as well as content curated from your own site.

Calendar Month View Inline Actions

This will allow you to fill content gaps and give you the ability to share content around the clock. The last thing you want is for your audience to go long periods of time without hearing from you. Because even if you aren’t posting, there’s a strong chance one of your competitors is, which gives them more room to grow their share of voice.

2. Engage, Don’t Broadcast

Being active doesn’t mean you should just make a bunch of promotional posts every day. A common misconception for brands is that social media is just a content distribution channel. That’s far from the case.

Social media is an opportunity to engage and interact with your audience. Consumers know this, but it sometimes gets lost among brands. As a result, there’s often a disconnect between brand activity and consumer expectations. For instance, one of our surveys found that 89% of messages to brands go completely ignored. And when brands actually respond, they aren’t doing it as quickly as consumers expect.

peoples wait time expectations vs brand response time

So how does this relate back to your brand’s share of voice?

It shows the power of engaging with your audience. Whether it’s responding to upset customers, thanking a follower for sharing UGC or any other type of engagement, it all improves brand likability and gets people talking about your brand. Our data found that 45% of consumers will post about a positive interaction if a brand responds well to their complaints on social media. And 37% will share their story with their friends online.

consumer reaction if a brand responds well to their social complaint

That translates to an increase in positive conversations about your brand on social, and a larger share of voice.

You can use a social media management tool like Sprout Social to make sure any incoming messages don’t get overlooked. One advantage of using Sprout is we display all of your incoming messages, including messages containing specific hashtags, in a single stream. That saves you the time and hassle of switching between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reply to your audience. And after you’ve responded, just mark the message as complete so everyone on your team knows it has been taken care of.

smart inbox collision detection

Check out this case study to see how Trello uses Sprout to respond to 97% of Tweets within 24 hours!

3. Create Share-Worthy Content

One of the best ways to get people talking about your brand is to create share-worthy content. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other network, sharing industry related content can boost your share of voice.

By sharing tips, news and other content about your industry, people will start to seek more of that type of content from you, and share it as well. Not to mention, you have the potential to make a piece of content go viral if you can hit a home run with a specific post or campaign.

Take the viral sensation Salt Bae for instance. While you probably know it as a funny meme, do you know how it originally started? It was actually a play on another meme trend. Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe sent this Tweet from his restaurant’s Twitter Handle.

saltbae tweet

As you can see, the Tweet caught on and started driving massive engagement. That prompted the chef to post it on Instagram as well, and it went on to become the viral sensation we all know today.

With his increased share of voice, Gökçe turned his viral hit into business growth because demand for his food started to grow as the meme took off.

4. Push Conversations to Social

Do people leave comments on your brand’s blog posts? Do customers prefer to call and email you for customer service? Rather than having these conversations happen on multiple platforms, why not train your audience to head to social media to contact your brand first.

Not only will it help keep you organized, but it increases your brand’s share of voice since there are more conversations and mentions of your brand on social. Plus, our data showed that customers actually prefer to talk to brands on social more than any other channel.

peoples top choice for customer care

One way to get your customers to go to social rather than email or phone support is to make it clear on your website. Highlight benefits to contacting you on social such as faster response times, easy communication or even getting quick answers with chatbots.

5. Don’t Focus on Just Social

Increasing your brand’s share of voice doesn’t stop at social media. You can use every marketing channel to help out:

  • Get mentioned in major publications and referenced around the web to spark conversations about your brand on social.
  • Use SEO to get your content on the first page of Google and get more visibility.
  • Run paid ads to boost brand awareness.

The more you can integrate all of your marketing channels, the larger impact you can make on your brand’s overall share of voice. Start by laying out all of the channels you have available to you. That includes:

  • Email
  • Your website
  • Search ads
  • Media buys
  • All your social channels

Then, you can start to craft campaigns that involve each channel. For instance, you might create a blog post and make a downloadable guide to go along with it. Then you promote that blog post and guide to your email list and with search ads to spread the word.

Assuming the content you created is useful and relevant to your audience, and your promotion strategy is well implemented, chatter about your brand should start to grow.

social media analytics banner

6. Lead Industry Conversations

When building your share of voice, participating in existing conversations is important. But if you really want to be looked at as an industry leader and boost your share of voice, you need to lead the conversations. You can do that through building and feeding your own communities on social through Twitter chats, Facebook Groups or even niche forums.

For instance, today Simple Green Smoothies is known as one of the top health blogs in the world and is a full-blown media company. And it all started with their focus around building a community. Thanks to their community, Simple Green Smoothies arguably has the largest share of voice around the web when it comes to healthy green smoothies. In fact, the hashtag #simplegreensmoothies has been used over 50,000 times on Instagram alone.

simplegreensmoothies instagram hashtag

At Sprout, we have #SproutChat, which is a weekly Twitter Chat where we talk about topics relevant to social media managers. By facilitating these conversations, we’ve built trust and authority in the social media marketing space and increased our share of voice on industry-related topics.

The key is to find relevant topics your audience is passionate about. Otherwise people won’t be compelled enough to join in on the conversation. For example, one of our past #SproutChats was about how to handle a social media crisis. This is a topic most social media managers can relate to, so they’re more than happy to share their tips and advice.

You’ll also notice that participants use our branded hashtag (#SproutChat) when they Tweet. That helps our social and communications team monitor how well received each chat is, as well as how much the chat grows over time. All of this is easily trackable with our social listening report.

twitter listening report

Start Increasing Your Share of Voice

How much share of voice does your brand have in your industry? Do you lead the conversation, or blend in with the competition? Increase your market share and become the go-to brand in your industry by using the tactics above.

This post 6 Tricks to Boost Your Share of Voice on Social Media originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Transcript of Webinar Best Practices Throughout the Customer Journey

Transcript of Webinar Best Practices Throughout the Customer Journey written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast

Transcript

John Jantsch: Webinars. Everybody’s doing them, right? Well yeah, right, everybody’s doing them, but are they doing them well and are you using them in your business? I think that webinars are a great tool to use for every stage of the customer journey, not just as a sell tool, as a hard sell tool, like so many people use it. In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I speak with Omar Zenhom. Not only has he been running webinars and teaching people how to do webinars, he’s actually created an amazing software for doing webinars called Webinar Ninja, so check out this episode.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is sponsored by Ahrefs, the SEO tool set that I use every single day. Listen into this episode because I’m going to tell you how you can win a full year subscription, over $ 2,000 value on this amazing tool. Check it out.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Omar Zenhom, the author of The $ 100 MBA and a podcast by the same name, and he’s also the creator of a webinar platform called Webinar Ninja that has a new, shiny release that we’re going to talk about a little bit today. Omar, thanks for joining me.

Omar Zenhom: Thank you, John. It’s great to be here.

John Jantsch: So you have a whole course on webinars. You see a lot of webinars. I’m sure you consume a lot of webinars just in your kind of daily business. In your opinion what makes a good webinar? And I know there’s probably a lot of answers to that, but generally speaking.

Omar Zenhom: That’s a great question, because there’s so many people that are doing webinars today and I’ve seen a lot of them, just some of the taste-makers in our marketplace, and I find that the best thing that somebody can do when it comes to running a webinar is making sure that they’ve been able to convey some sort of value in a way that people can use. So a lot of people, they like to just do a value dump where they’re just like, “I’m going to tell them everything they need to know about golf,” and just if [inaudible 00:02:24] golf expert, let’s say, for example, and it’s just like an information dump.

And then there’s some people that on the other end of the spectrum they’ll maybe banter a lot and they’ll just go on and on and they just really don’t give a lot of information. Both camps are really not useful because when you just have some sort of information dump, it’s just so hard to retain all that information. And when you’re just bantering and you’re not really giving a lot of information, people feel like it’s kind of a waste of time. So what you’re really trying to do here is you’re trying to give specific information, give specific value in a way that they can retain it.

In my previous life, I was an educator for 13 years as a high school and university educator, and that’s one of the first things you learn, that when you’re teaching a classroom of students is that it’s not about how much information you give it’s just how well they can retain it. So you got to keep in mind that whatever I teach, let me see how I can make sure that they can retain it and implement it. That’s how they’re going to feel like they got a win. That’s how they’re going to feel like, “Wow, this wasn’t a waste of time. Wow, this was great. This person gave me a whole bunch of value that I can use, and it’s very applicable,” and they go away remembering your webinar and having that trust built with you so they can go ahead and purchase a product of yours or check out your next piece of content.

John Jantsch: I suppose it’s like any good presentation. There has to be that narrative arc that brings it all together, that keeps people interested, but then also, like you said, delivers a lot of value.

Omar Zenhom: Definitely, yeah.

John Jantsch: So you kind of alluded to this. I’ve probably been doing webinars for 15 years or so, and it used to be a really unique thing. I probably get 10 webinars pitched at me a day now. So what about that kind of glut? What is that doing even to the consuming, educating market? Is it too much, or is there still a purpose for it?

Omar Zenhom: Well, what I love about that dynamic is that when there’s so much going on, when there’s so many webinars or there’s so many videos on YouTube or whatever it is, it’s so easy to rise to the top. It’s so easy to stand out because people are just used to a mediocre presentation. So if you just do a few small things that differentiate yourself, that makes you a little bit better than the rest, you stand out and people remember you. Person that comes to mind is Tim Page. Tim Page is one of the best I’ve seen on webinars, so much so that we’ve hired him at Webinar Ninja to do our webinars because he’s so good.

John Jantsch: So a lot of people view, and I want to talk about various uses of webinars, but certainly the one that a lot of people see is the webinar that is selling something.

Omar Zenhom: Right.

John Jantsch: Are there some effective ways to, and again, you see people that are just like boom boom boom, they sell a lot but everybody comes away feeling kind of sleazy at the end, right?

Omar Zenhom: Yeah.

John Jantsch: So is there an effective way to both get people what they need but also not kind of come off as the hard sell?

Omar Zenhom: Definitely. There are two strategies that I’ve found that are really effective when it comes to this. The first strategy is just to be very honest about it from the start. A lot of people they talk about the problem they want to solve, they say that this is what this lesson’s all about, they’ll spend about 20 minutes on their back story or something like that, talking about their war stories. And then they spend about a good 30 minutes pitching at the end. And the whole time they’re watching the webinar they kind of feel like this is coming. “Oh my gosh, when are they gonna sell, when is the other shoe’s gonna drop?”

So one strategy is just to be upfront about it in the beginning, like the first five minutes. “Hey guys, this is what we’re gonna be covering today, this is what today’s webinar’s all about.” Or, “The first thing that I’m gonna just do right now is get it out of the way. We have an offer today, this is what the offer is. I’ll be going into detail what it’s all about. I’ll even give you a quick warning before I start this offer at the end so if you want to leave, no problem, no hard feelings.” I like to joke around about that. They feel like, “Oh, this person’s a real person,” and it also just lowers the anxiety. Like, “Okay, I know what this product’s all about, I know that this person’s just being honest with me, they’re an entrepreneur and they want to offer me something that can help me.” But then we can just move [inaudible 00:07:01]. “Okay guys, that’s a quick glimpse of what today’s offer is and the bonuses. And let’s move on to the lesson and let’s move on to the workshop.” And at the end I can go into detail and refer back to what I was talking about. A lot of people like that because you just feel like, “Okay, this is different and it just makes me feel comfortable.”

The second strategy that I saw that has been really effective, and I picked this up actually from our mutual friend Michael [Port 00:07:27]. So what he does is he actually has no pitch on the webinar. So what he says at the start, he says, “Hey guys, we’re gonna be doing a workshop and I do have a product that can really help you take your public speaking to the next level.” That’s his area of expertise, for those of you who are listening. “But I’m not gonna be talking about this today. You’re all automatically registered to another webinar tomorrow at the same time, and that’s when I’ll be talking about the product and you can ask all the questions about the product at that time.” And that’s all he talks about. That’s it, that’s the last time he talks about the product.

And then throughout the webinar people will ask questions like, “Hey, so do you have a payment plan for this product you mentioned?” “Well, really sorry but we’re not going to be talking about it today. Today’s the workshop, tomorrow you can ask all the questions you want.” And it makes people feel comfortable and it also makes people understand that this is not a sales webinar. What’s great about this is that the next day when he runs that second webinar for everybody who’s invited, everybody who was registered to that first webinar, it’s just fair game. Everybody expects him to sell, everybody expects him to talk about the product, everybody knows what they’re going to get. And they can ask buying questions and it’s just so much easier for Michael because he can just be himself and sell the product, and at the same product no one’s kind of guessing what this webinar’s all about.

John Jantsch: Yeah, and I wrote a blog post recently about using webinars in every stage of the customer journey. And I think that that’s kind of the key point there is that the first one was maybe awareness and trust building. And so then once you earn that trust then it’s like, “Come back tomorrow,” and you’re going to be ready to buy maybe even because you’ve kind of moved to the next stage. And clearly some of the people don’t come because they are in that stage. And so I think that’s a real key too. So many people just want to sell sell sell, and you’ve got to earn, I think, the opportunity. I have done webinars where we were down to 10 people left that wanted to get on the call, but all 10 of those people wanted to buy and they just needed a couple questions answered because they had gone through several gates, if you will, or stages. And I think people need to realize that this medium is no different than running an ad or something that would tell somebody to buy.

Omar Zenhom: Definitely. And I love what you said there because I firmly believe you can’t make anybody buy anything. Some people that use pressure sales, that sale’s not going to stick. They’re going to return it, they’re going to cancel, or they’re just going to have a bad taste in their mouth. So you really can’t make anybody buy. Plus you’ve worked so hard, you’ve spent so much time and effort and money to earn that trust to get them on the webinar. No, it takes a lot to try to promote that webinar. Don’t lose that trust, allow them to feel comfortable and buy when they’re ready.

John Jantsch: I tell you another side of using webinars that I don’t hear enough people talking about is we use them to serve our customers. So in other words we do a ton of training with webinars, we do a ton of added value or kind of helping them along with something that maybe they’re struggling with. And we also use it for a lot of internal things too. So I think companies should probably look at internal training and training of customers and serving customers as a way to think about webinars as well.

Omar Zenhom: That’s true. We love the idea of doing live training, live Q&A for your current customers. It’s a great way to [inaudible 00:10:59], it’s a great way to keep your customers happy. And these are really low maintenance kind of webinars, there’s no real performance needed because you can send an email out to all your customers or specific customers once a month and say, “Hey, it’s an AMA, ask me anything,” open Q&A, and people can ask you questions, people can get advice. And it’s just a great way for you to kind of hop on. It doesn’t have to be long webinar, it could be 30 minutes and ask a few questions, and feel like they’re being supported. Some people are really surprised when they get an email and the founder of the company shows up and answers questions for 30, 40 minutes once a month. They’re like, “Wow.” Sometimes that’s just enough for them to be like, “Okay, I’m going to hang on with this company. Even if I’m not using it right now I know I want to use them in the future so let me just sit tight, because these guys care.”

John Jantsch: And I think that you can only do so much with an email, but you get on and maybe you’re video sharing, and there’s just so much more trust that could be there, there’s so much more feeling of connection. And it’s not unlike, I should say, flying across the country and sitting in somebody’s office.

Omar Zenhom: I love that.

John Jantsch: Hey, wanted to remind you this office of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is sponsored by Ahrefs and I’m giving away a full year subscription to this awesome tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and monitor your niche. I use this tool every single days. One of my favorite ways to use it is to learn why competitors are ranking so high and what I need to do to outrank them. There’s so many great backlink tools, search tools, keyword research tools, rank tracking, all built into this tool, and that’s why I love it so much. If you want to enter to win a full year of this tool, that’s like $ 2,000 value, go to Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and find this episode if you’re listening to this. If you’re on the page the links are down below, but you’re going to subscribe to the podcast, you are going to maybe do a little tweak to get some extra bonus entries. And in a couple weeks we will pick a winner and we’ll let you know if you won a full year. So go check it out.

So you have spent a great deal of time and effort and sweat and blood building a webinar platform of your own. Let me ask you this. What was sort of missing from the myriad of platforms out there that had you kind of say, “Why gosh darn it, I’m building my own.”

Omar Zenhom: Oh wow, that’s a good question. The funny thing is that I built Webinar Ninja by accident. I just built it out of my own necessity to scratch my own itch. I was running webinars to promote our membership program, the $ 100 MBA. I was using it also to support our member’s office hours. And I just couldn’t stand the solutions that are out there. They were clunky, they were not complete solutions. Often I’d have to build all these other components on the side whether like my own email notification system through my email marketing, and then I would have to do a follow-up of sequence and have my own landing pages. And then when I was doing it there was no kind of built in chat, so I had to have a separate chat. So it was almost too much trouble than it was worth.

And I was just like, “But I like doing these webinars,” because again, I’m a teacher by trade and I loved the medium and I was like, “Okay, let me see if I can just slap something together to make my life easier every time I run a webinar.” No intention to make this a commercial success. I’m a self-taught developer, if you want to even call me that. I just know simple HTML, CSS, some PHP. I couldn’t even complete it, I got a freelancer off freelancer.com to help me out to just clean it up. And then I started using it and my members that I was doing the webinar for were like, “Hey, I love what you’re using for this webinar. What is it?” And I was like, “Oh, it’s just something I slapped together.” And they’re like, “Oh, can I buy it?” And I was like, “Can you give me like a day to put up a sales page?”

But in all seriousness I think what attracted people to it and why we decided to say, “Hey, let’s open this up and see if people actually are interested in it,” is because we really just wanted to make it easier for people to create and run webinars, to let the technology kind of fade in the background and let their content kind of shine. There’s so many platforms out there that promote, that have all these features or they’re going to make your business blow up and all of this stuff. But when they actually go and create a webinar or use it it’s just tedious, it takes 10 steps to create a webinar. It kind of just prevents you from doing them consistently. So that’s why we like to say is Webinar Ninja is just better webinars with no worries. You just go in, it takes 10 seconds to create a webinar. We do everything in the background, we create all the landing pages and the notifications and everything for you. If you want to geek out there’s advanced settings or you can edit all the stuff. But if you don’t you can just rub the webinar instantly. It just makes things just so much easier for people.

And when it comes to running the webinar we want to kind of just, again, let you shine. And we let you control everything on one screen so you can upload your slides and show your slides while you’re presenting so you don’t have to share your screen or use PowerPoint if you don’t want to. You can manage all the layouts, you can chat, you can answer questions, all that kind of stuff. And I built it as an educator. That’s why I built it because I wanted to make sure it’s a great tool for teaching, because I believe teaching is the new learning, and the new selling. Sorry, teaching is the new learning. Teaching is the new selling.

John Jantsch: Well I learn a lot more when I try to teach something so I’ll let you have that too.

Omar Zenhom: Yeah. So yeah, that’s really kind of the driving force or the influence I’ve had on Webinar Ninja, making it a great teaching tool that people like using. So yeah, I’m a firm believer as an entrepreneur. There’s so many great ideas out there, it’s really the person that implements it the best is who wins. And that’s what I’m trying to do.

John Jantsch: Well so I have, because I’ve been doing this a long time, because I do a lot of webinars for people, I’ve been on every platform probably that’s ever been created. And I will say that the common threat is they all lack a sense of elegance at all, and I think that in your latest update, 5.0, is that what we’re calling it?

Omar Zenhom: Yep.

John Jantsch: I think you’ve added an element of elegance that really doesn’t exist in a lot of the other platforms. Was that intentional or is that just hard work has eventually got you there?

Omar Zenhom: No, it was incredibly intentional. When we were working on 5.0 about 18 months ago it was like on the top of my list to hire the best talent when it came to design. And we went through so many interviews and finally we found [Irina 00:18:13] who is our head UX/UI designer. And on the interview I remember her, this is just a great story, I was asking her, “Hey, can you tell me a little bit about your experience and how your experience can contribute to our company?” And she came to the interview and said, “Hey, I actually signed up for your platform, I took a look at all your UI, your current UI, and hey, can I just share my screen? This is some mock ups I created where I think it would really much, a lot better for UI for the next version.” And she just came with these designs which were great, but it was kind of like the early stages of what 5.0 are. I was just like, “Okay, this woman’s got to get hired right now because she just gets it.”

And she understands that it’s not only elegant and it’s not only supposed to kind of make you look good as a contributor, as a teacher, as an entrepreneur, but also make people’s life easier, just make people say, “Oh, this is friendly, this is easy.” It’s one of the things we try to do with our brand is to kind of not make webinars seem so intimidating. And we want to make sure it’s approachable. In fact on our about page everybody on the page is a cartoon character dressed up as a ninja. So we just make everybody kind of approachable. And that’s really what we try to do with the UI is to really make people feel like, “Hey, this looks great, this makes me look professional.” But at the same time my attendees are going to feel like, “Wow, this is easy to use and I want to attend something that looks like this.”

John Jantsch: So without getting too technical, what’s the delivery platform built on? In other words I know in original versions there was a Google Plus integration. Has that gone away or is that still a part of it?

Omar Zenhom: Yeah, so Google Hangouts was a part of what Webinar Ninja was. It was part of kind of our history I guess. And I got to thank Google for giving us that kind of technology. But it couldn’t service forever, it was kind of like a stepping stone because Google Hangouts has a delay of about 30 seconds, or sometimes it gets as good as 15 seconds. But as an educator, as a teach, you know that that’s not so great with interaction. If I say, “Hey, let me know what you think of this thing on my slide,” and the chat the answers are like 15, 30 seconds late, it’s not really interactive, it’s not really great for that kind of technology. Plus I just didn’t like the idea of being reliant on another system that I had no control over.

So over the last 12 year-, 12 months, I’m sorry, we’ve been working on building our own media servers. We work on a technology called Web RTC, which is the latest technology for live video. It’s the video technology that Facebook Live uses or some of the bigger players that do live broadcasting. And it’s something that we really wanted to kind of use, because they’re really going to take us to the next level and allow people to interact in real time with no delay in HD, which is something that we really wanted to do. So that’s the video technology behind Webinar Ninja.

John Jantsch: Awesome. So tell people where they can find it. And we’re recording this show, it’s mid-September 2017, but obviously whenever you’re listening to this it’ll still be available. And we’ll have links in the show notes, so tell us where we can find out about it.

Omar Zenhom: Sure, it’s at WebinarNinja.com. And every plan comes with a 14 day trial, so you don’t get charged anything when you get started. So you can test it out, try it out, run a few webinars, see for yourself if it’s the right fit for you. Yeah, so go check it out, WebinarNinja.com.

John Jantsch: Well Omar, thanks so much, or Oman, thanks so much for joining us. And I’d venture to say the Citrix is nervous.

Omar Zenhom: Well I know how hard it is to create a webinar platform so a lot of respect to them as well.

John Jantsch: No kidding. All right, thanks. Hopefully we’ll into you soon out there on the road.

Omar Zenhom: Take care.

John Jantsch:  Hey, thanks for listening to this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Wonder if you could do me a favor? Could you leave an honest review on iTunes? Your ratings and reviews really help and I promise I read each and every one. Thanks.


Duct Tape Marketing

Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.

By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

With Unbounce, you can launch your overlay at any point during someone’s visit on your website: on exit, on arrival, after delay, on scroll and on click. Find out how Unbounce overlays work here.

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.


Unbounce

Nike: Introducing The NBA Connected Jersey

Here it is. And about time. The Nike x NBA Connected Jersey that connects wearers to highlight reels, the latest scores, player and team stats, exclusive content, training content and more. All by tapping their phone against the label. Boom! It’s all triggered from the NikeConnect logo on Jerseys and shoes, you’ll just need the […]


Digital Buzz Blog

The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018

Too many brands treat social media like their own personal soapbox. They invest all their energy preaching to their customers, but don’t spend enough time listening. Fewer than one out of four businesses actively listen to their followers on social media.

Many brands are starting to recognize the error of their ways. They recognize that there are lots of great social media listening tools that they can use to their advantage. Here are five of the best.

1. SentiOne

SentiOne is a newer social listening tool that is used by over 2,000 brands in nearly three dozen countries. There are three different service tiers, so you will need to decide which one is best for your business.

The most basic plan allows you to track keywords, users, mentions and recent updates in real-time. You can also track historical data for up to six months. If you want to track data for over a year, offer access to more than one user, or follow more than one market, then you will need to choose one of the other plans. You can get your feet wet with their 14-day trial.

Here are some of the main features:

• Data can be collected from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, news aggregators, opinion websites, and blogs.
• You can measure the reach of your messages on any given day.
• You can see results in 24 languages.
• You can monitor campaigns at different levels, including category, competition, consumers and communication.
• Advanced consumer and workflow management filters can be used.

Many marketing experts have spoken highly of SentiOne. If you run a small or medium-sized business, you may benefit from it as well.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite brands itself as a centralized platform to manage all of your social media accounts. While most people use Hootsuite for its schedule and content optimization tools, it also has a very sophisticated social monitoring platform.

Hootsuite has a number of great functions that make social listening easy and efficient. You can monitor social networks by keyword or location. You can also set up an unlimited number of social media streams. Hootsuite provides a great blog post, along with a couple of video tutorials on setting up social listening campaigns on their platform.

Before you choose a tool and dig into the nitty-gritty work of social media listening, you’ll need to determine what you should actually listen for. The exact keywords and topics you monitor will likely evolve over time as you learn (from social listening) what language people use when they talk about your business and what sorts of insights are most useful for your business.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a popular social media management tool that has some excellent social listening features, such as:

• You can track specific keywords related to your industry or business. The easiest way to follow social media discussions of your brand is to use your company name.
• You can generate visual reports on every keyword you are tracking.
• You can subscribe to real-time alerts on hashtags.
• You can integrate inbound message tagging in your social media campaigns.

Over 19,000 brands depend on Sprout Social, so you can trust their social listening tools to deliver the data you need.

4. Talk Walker

Many other social listening tools aggregate data from a handful of social media platforms. Talk Walker extracts data from over 150 million websites, including over a dozen of the most popular social networking sites. This makes it one of the most comprehensive social media listening tools in the world.

Another great feature of Talk Walker is its ability to track conversations in nearly 190 different languages. This feature makes it ideal for global businesses that serve multilingual markets.

5. Conversocial

Conversocial brands itself as a “customer engagement solution as advanced as your customer.” It is a lesser known social listening tool, but many top brands depend on it, including Google, Hyatt, Hertz and Tesco.

Conversocial allows you to collect data on customers from multiple platforms on both mobile and desktop devices. The tool is designed to bring marketers into discussions with their customers and help them be more proactive with their responses.

Use the Right Social Listening Tools to Run Your Business

Social listening plays a key role in any social media marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools at your disposal. Make sure you understand the nuances of these tools and use them properly to gain access to the social media data you need to optimize your marketing strategy.

The post The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018 appeared first on Social Media Explorer.


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