2013 – The year of Social123

2012 has been a tremendous year for Socail123! First and foremost we received an initial investment of funding from outside investors of $500,000.  That really says a lot about how individuals see our company and the future we have in this space. Secondly, we pivoted from a social media management tool to a social sales enablement company. The impact of our strategic shift will be felt for years because we have found our niche.

Social123 has a marked competitive advantage in the social data appending space due to our strict compliance with the terms of service of our social media partners.  Social media providers are quite clear in stating that their data cannot be compiled and resold. We do not own any data nor do we have any data to sell. We act as a concierge by bringing back specific requests from our customers for social data.  Our customers benefit from our compliance in two ways:

  1. We ensure the privacy settings of the end user are respected
  2. There is no intermediary database to limit returns

That is very important because other companies append social data by compiling their own database from which to append.  This is an approach that lends itself to inaccuracy and privacy concerns. It is also impossible to replicate the sheer size of social media databases.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter together provide a 1.5 billion person database where the individuals themselves update their professional and demographic information. This is the most accurate and detailed contact database in the entire world. Social123 helps our customers access this data thus prioritizing, validating, and enriching their understanding of their own customers.

A recent study by LinkedIn found that 85% of sales reps trusted their data more than the data inside of their CRM. Hubspot studies reveal that the average marketing and sales database is 25% inaccurate. Nucleus Research reports that sales reps spend on average 1.3 hours a day outside of their CRM collecting contact data and preparing for sales calls.

At the end of the day – our customers want all the information available about their customers and prospects in one place, their CRM. We combine the confidence, depth, and accuracy of social media data with the proprietary and institutional knowledge of CRM. The result: Social123 customers report that their sale productivity has increased by 10% and the email open rates have increased by 20%.

We have taken the additional step of working with the world’s most popular sales and marketing tools to easily append social data inside of their solution.  Social123 is currently embedded with Sugar CRM through Performance Advantage and Eloqua through SureShot Media.  We are also very excited to announce that starting on Jan 1, 2013 – Social123 will be on the Salesfore.com AppExchange.  Salesforce.com has over 150,000 customers and an excellent vehicle for social data appending.

As we set sail for 2013 – Social123 is in a great position. We are the only company providing customized social scoring and we are adding another field – demographics. Our customers will be able to score a social contact’s title, company, industry, and geography. We are also providing hygiene tools that will inform our customers when their data is inaccurate.

Lastly, we will launch an entirely rebranded and SEO-enabled website for 2013. Look for the Social123’s social sales enablement message and unique value proposition prominently displayed.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

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Inbound and Down

For many sales and marketing leaders – Inbound marketing is the next big thing in lead generation.After all, the modern marketer will tell you that content drives relevance, relevance drives eyeballs, and eyeballs drive friends, fans, and followers.

A quick Twtpoll from Joel Harrison at B2B Marketing asks your opinion on Inbound Marketing: http://twtpoll.com/fd2tyj  and I encourage you to participate. From the early results – I am not the only one who feels that inbound marketing alone has left us unfulfilled in terms of cracking the lead generation code. I have a couple of ideas as to why that is the case:

I look at my own company as an example – writing thought leadership is time consuming. After all, every minute I spend writing a blog or commenting on someone else’s is a minute I could spend elsewhere. I could hire someone to do it – but I haven’t found anyone who understands the difference between theory and application. And then we are left with the ultimate question – now that I have friends, fans, and followers – how do I turn them to advocates, mavens, and customers?

Take your current opt-in list for marketing automation; the newsletter sign-ups that have been piling up year after year.  Lists such as these are the quintessential inbound lead nurturing target.  I recommend taking the intelligence we can obtain about these two disparate groups, our opt-in list and our social followers, and merge the two for better campaigning.

As example – someone that follows you, is part of the industry you service, a title that makes decisions on your solution and is part of your newsletter campaign campaign deserves a bit more attention in your next marketing drip.  Someone with these characteristics that isn’t on your campaign needs to be invited to do so.

I invite you to learn more about how social123 can help by looking into our socialdata+

SocialPoints for Marketing Automation

The Marketing Automation space is rather well defined with Constant Contact, ExactTarget, and Responsys publicly traded and each generating over $100 Million in revenue last year. Other power players in this space are Genius.com, iContact, Vertical Response, HubSpot, SIlverPop, Cheetahmail, YesMail, Epsilon, Aprimo and Pardot.  Eloqua and Marketo put much of their emphasis on larger organizations.

 
Marketing automation tools have done a great job of facilitating what is now considered the norm for e-mail marketing. In most instances, these tools send e-mails en masse with a tracking cookie attached.  This cookie tracks the activities of the contact and assigns a point score based on who they are and what they have done with the e-mail or website. These behaviors can be as simple as opening an e-mail to downloading a white paper. By setting a threshold score based on behavioral frequency, relevancy, and recency of a lead, marketing automation tools are able to nurture contacts until they are prepared for a sales interaction.

Social123 takes this same scoring philosophy and applies it to the world of social media.  Marketing automation tools base their score on activities that a cookie can track, such as e-mail views and Websites visits.  However, marketing automation tools do not score contacts based on social characteristics or what is being said on social media.  Social123 is able to give a line of sight into the “social blind spot” and create a score based upon an individual’s social actions, attributes, and mentions. This compliments Marketing Automation’s lead scoring technique, giving a much more holistic view of the contact.

Actions: Social123 allocates a point value based on the actions contacts make with social media outlets. Our point score is based off Facebook likes, if the contact becomes a fan on Facebook, or connects with us on LinkedIn. For twitter, we allocate a point value for number of followers and following or if the contact retweets content our company has produced.

Attributes:  Social123 allocates a point value based on the attributes our contacts have with social media. This provides a customized social influence value instead of relying on standards that may not be as relevant to every organization. Our point value is based on the number of Friends you have on Facebook and Contacts in LinkedIn. For Twitter, the point value is based on the number of Followers, those Following you, and the tweets you produce.

Mentions:  There are over 1 Billion subscribers to social networking sites on this planet. Most of what they communicate has no relevance. However, there are certain keywords that are amazingly important and if our contacts are mentioning it we want to know about it. These are usually the same keywords we use for Google AdWords.  If it is worth paying per click, then it is worth knowing if your customers or prospects are talking about it on social media.

  • My Company
  • My Products
  • My Competitors
  • My Customers
  • Industry Keywords
  • Google AdWords

Today’ buyer rarely uses just one source of information to make a buying decision.  By combining Social123’s SocialPoints with Marketing Automation’s Lead Scoring – companies can finally get a full understanding of their contacts’ behavior and attributes.  This added feature provides the competitive advantage of buyer intelligence when the buyer isn’t in our direct line of sight.

Take the Guesswork out of Social Influence

With Klout making a lot of news for its employment policies recently – it is nice to see that social influence ratings are getting closer look.  I love Klout – my score is 41 which makes me a “networker” in their Style grid.  My score and others’ can help me find people that will communicate my service and value proposition so that my brand awareness is raised.  I can build a nice network of social chatter by targeting my most influential social networkers.  The marketing officer in me absolutely loves this capability.

As a sales officer however, I am looking for people that can buy my solution, not kick the can down the road so that someone else will buy it.  From a sales perspective – I need not only social influence but specific actions taken and I need to know exactly what is being said on social media relative to the product I am selling.  In other words, I need to score individuals based on their social actions, social attributes, and keywords that are important to me.

Actions: I want to know if my prospects have done anything specific with my company’s social media outlets.  As example, if my customer or prospect becomes a fan of my company on Facebook or LinkedIn  – that’s important to me. So would the knowledge of retweeting something my company or I put out, follows either of us on twitter, or connects with me on LinkedIn.

Attributes:  I would also want to know the online reputation of my prospects – similar to Kout – but I would want to make that relative to what I sell.  For example, if you are a company that sells to CFO’s, then you wouldn’t rely much on social attributes.  However, if you are in the daily deals space – then this would mean much more to you.

Mentions:  There are over 1 Billion subscribers to social networking sites on this planet. Most of what they communicate has no relevance to me. However, there are certain keywords that are amazingly important to me such as my company, my product, my industry, or my competitors. More or less it would be any Adword that you purchase from Google for paid search. If it is worth paying per click, then it is worth knowing if your customers or prospects are talking about it on social media.

Social123 has taken the concept of scoring the social actions, attributes and mentions of individuals to create SocialPoints+.  Our process allows the searcher to associate a point value to the various social criteria that generates a customized and relevant SocialPoints+ score.

 

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