NOTE : I started freelance blogging recently for oneforty and this was originally a post I did for their blog. This was my first for oneforty so please check it out here or on their blog and please feel free to share comments!
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C, connecting with your current customer is crucial. Those current customers are needed for consistent business and through word of mouth may lead to future customers as well. One loyal consumer who boasts about a company’s customer service reputation, can lead to their friends — whether on Facebook, Twitter, or in person — becoming aware of your company and possibly converting to customers as well (for more details on converting people to customers see: The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani).
So how do you connect with these current customers on the social platforms on which they reside, play, comment, tweet, and post? I created this Toolkit to guide your efforts.
Here’s the run-down:
Rapleaf: Want to know the most relevant criteria about your consumer? Rapleaf does this by providing your business with the Who (demographics, location), What (interests, lifestyles, brands they love), Where (online platforms), With Whom (friends), and Weight (their online influence). A tool to help your business improve its customer outreach accurately, easily and in real-time! As quoted by Stephanie Olsen from CNET: “Rapleaf is among a new generation of people search engines that take advantage of the troves of public data on the Net–much of which consumers happily post for public perusal on social-networking sites and personal blogs. The search engines trace a person’s digital tracks across these social networks, blogs, photo collections, news and e-commerce sites, to create a composite profile. Unlike Google, which might link to the same material over pages of search results or after trying different combinations of keywords, these sites attempt to “normalize” personal data so that it’s easily digested by the searcher on one page.”
Flowtown: Although under-going renovations, currently, Flowtown has received much praise for its “goldmine” of consumer information they are able to provide to business owners. Have emails of your current customers? Flowtown takes those emails and helps your business engage with each consumer. As in real life, engagement online is about the personal touch, and building each relationship as you would in real life, is key. Kelly Robertson from 6S Marketing raves on how Flowtown gave her the personal insight needed to reach out to specific users: “By targeting specific users with relevant content to one of the social networks we knew our readers were on, we obtained our highest ever open rate (67.1%) and click rate (31.5%). Both of which, were well over the industry averages (17.9% and 4.1% respectively).” Awesome!
NetProspex: Claim to be the key tool for B2Bs that want to communicate on a more personal level with their customers. This tool gives companies the ability to find the social profiles of their consumers and then leverage that information for their sales team to find the influencers among those customers. In addition, NetProspex lets companies buy or trade contacts to earn credits to find what the company needs from a vast user-contributed directory. According to KillerStartUps.com, “Netpropex would appear to have come up with a dynamic and workable model that should ensure that its database continues to grow and improve over time.”
Klout: This app has 750 partners utilizing the data it is able to retrieve. Want to know the “reach” a customer has in their twitter network? Klout is the go-to app to determine how valuable each customer is and how they can impact your brand with what they say, tweet, etc. Note: an initial score is given when you go to the site, but an actual score is emailed later after you sign up and further calculations have been done. Thus, this is a great tool that helps companies identify their most influential customers in the social space in order to engage effectively.
Zuberance: A “word of mouth marketing platform” that allows you to find the perfect brand advocates for your company. Then you are able to utilize those advocates as brand ambassadors and hopefully to the benefit of your company and brand. Although there have been some reviewers who do not believe in Zuberance, others seem more objective and give consumers/brands the chance to judge for themselves.
Tweetdeck: Want a tool to stay in great touch with your consumers? Tweetdeck allows you to connect with consumers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms via one simple application. Tweetdeck also lets you organize your consumers in a simplistic way in order to reach out to people in a consistent, relevant, and easy-to-use format. Worried about missing a chance to be connected? You can access this on your desktop, browser, smartphone, and iPad! Engage away!
Hootsuite: A great social media dashboard for multiple accounts, which allows you to engage, monitor, and track the effectiveness of messages. In addition it has WordPress integration, ability to schedule tweets, and manage followers with ease. Shoutmeloud calls it the “ultimate twitter web client.” A great tool, which allows companies to reach their customers from anywhere such as via smartphone or iPad, which is important for a small business owner who is constantly on “the-go” as well as those who travel often.
How do you know which app is best to utilize? Watch a demo. Try it out. Experience it for yourself and tell us what you think. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Share!