It seems like these days it’s impossible to go anywhere without hearing about Account-Based Marketing. Social media, tradeshows, meetings–ABM is huge right now. But how exactly do you execute ABM?
At EverString we are in the trenches of executing multi-channel ABM right now. Being the Social Media Manager, my focus for ABM is gaining traction with our target accounts on social. Social, just like all ABM tactics, involve your sales and your marketing teams.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to running an Account-Based social strategy that actually works.
Step 1: Listen
Listening to what your target accounts have to say on social is extremely valuable. It can help you gain the insights you need to deliver highly-personalized messages to your target accounts. Heads up, just because it sounds simple, doesn’t mean it’s obvious. Here’s a few ways to do this:
For Marketing: Set up a private list on Twitter with the handles of your target accounts for the quarter. If you don’t want to manually go through your Excel list to match each lead to its respective Twitter account, you can use a platform like Social123 to help you fill in the blanks. Once that’s set up, your list will be a great way to listen to what your targets are talking about, and will give you insight as to what peaks their interest. We also recommend following the personal handles of the major players within your target accounts for added insight.
For Sales: Take an account-based sales approach by finding the right people to speak to within your target accounts. Use a tool like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find your ideal buyer and look at the prospect’s profile to find any highlights or tidbits of information that are relevant to the sales cycle and helpful to your team. (Even more tips for account-based sales, here!)
Step 2: Build Relationships
Now comes the time to interact and engage with your target accounts on social. Start with baby steps: ‘Like’ a post on their Facebook, re-tweet some of their content, or share one of their articles on your LinkedIn. Once you’ve done that, it’s time for some next level Account-Based marketing tactics on social.
Working with your sales and marketing teams, start incorporating social media as a delivery method for sending information to prospects. Tired of cold calling? Well, it’s not called ‘cold tweeting’ for a reason! If a prospect has a public social media profile, then he or she is open to being social and engaging in conversations. That’s what social media is for! Try reaching out with a relevant piece of content in reply to a prospect’s recent Tweet or Post. There are so many reasons this is a helpful tactic—one, your prospect is likely to have a crowded inbox, but not a flood of @ mentions. They also are likely to have notifications turned on, which means they’ll get pinged when you reach out. It can also put a face and name to the brand when they see your profile. It’s win-win.
Pro Tip: If you really want to knock it out of the park, be sure to engage the influencer at the account you’re trying to close. For example, if you were going after a business like TOPO, you would want to engage Craig Rosenberg on Twitter. If he posts an article that’s interesting to your business or industry, re-tweet. And I don’t mean just a couple people in marketing re-tweeting, I mean everyone at your company on Twitter re-tweeting.
If you tweet something @everstring likes, you get retweet-apalooza.
— Craig Rosenberg (@funnelholic) May 20, 2016
See, this is the droid you’re looking for.
Step 3: Hone In With Social Ads
Being hyper-targeted when it comes to your social media advertising definitely pays off. Sure, it takes a bit of legwork to map your target accounts to your social platforms, but since we at EverString implemented account-based tactics with our social ads, we’ve seen some great results–not the least of which was better click through rates.
First things first, you’re going to need your target account list. If you have a predictive platform, like EverString, you can use predictive marketing to help you select your target accounts based on data-backed insights. If you don’t have a predictive marketing platform, then simply export your target account list from Salesforce and then upload it to the major platforms.
Most recently, we have been using our own Predictive Segment feature in EverString to build account-based segment models from different seed lists. Then we will upload that list of accounts to social and market to them.
For instance, this quarter we created a fun Game of Thrones themed campaign where we film a new video each week talking about the marketing lessons hidden in each episode. People can then subscribe to our weekly videos. To promote the campaign further and find a new audience that might be interested, we created a segment in EverString using current subscribers as our seed list. EverString ran the model and created a segment to find net-new accounts that look like that seed list. We uploaded that list to social, and target the net-new accounts in the list with our Game of Thrones campaign! Cool right?
How exactly do you use a target account list to do Account-Based social? I’ll break it down as it pertains to each platform.
Twitter Ads: Navigate to the audience manager within your Twitter Ads account and create a new audience. Choose ‘upload your own list’ from the dropdown and upload your list of target accounts. Now you’re probably thinking, ‘if I’m uploading a list of leads–these are work emails, not personal emails,’ and you’d be correct. We’re getting about a 40-50% match rate to our lists since Twitter combs through third-party and partnered data to fill in the gaps.
Pro tip: If Twitter is coming back with ‘audience too small’ on your tailored audience, try segmenting your audience. Since we use EverString scoring on our lists, if Twitter comes back to me with this result, I simply expand my predictive segment. Alternatively, if I’ve only uploaded A leads, I’ll upload a list with A and B leads. Generally, a combination of these scores will work and your list is ready to be targeted.
But what about the other half of your list that Twitter couldn’t match? That’s where using Twitter ads in combination with Facebook and/or LinkedIn comes in handy.
Facebook Ads: Out of the big three platforms, Facebook is the easiest to sync your target account list to, as long as you have Marketo. You can set up a Custom Audience to target in Facebook using any Marketo static list, smart list, or an EverString segment. So, pick a list like your current MQLs and from the ‘Leads’ section, hit the magic ‘Ad Bridge’ icon. (If you’re having issues with any Facebook permissions, this Marketo article has more details).
Once your custom audience is ready, you can target your leads through Sponsored News Feed posts, lead capture ads, or right-hand rail ads. There’s a lot of possibilities and you can even target users on Instagram through your Facebook account.
LinkedIn Ads: Last but not least, LinkedIn ads can be very useful for targeting your accounts since there’s no guesswork in matching accounts to businesses. The only downside is that LinkedIn currently doesn’t allow you to upload a list of accounts through Marketo Ad Bridge since its Lead Accelerator is defunct. So to target your leads on LinkedIn you have to go into your ad account and set up different custom audiences with the accounts on your target list. You have to manually add each business one-by-one to a custom audience.
Pro tip: Since you can only have 100 businesses per custom audience, make sure these are the top accounts that you’re taking the time to target. If this seems a bit tedious to do, you can wait until LinkedIn brings back list targeting later this year, or you can pick your top 50 accounts to limit your targeting to.
Want more Account-Based social?
Join our webinar with MarketingProfs on June 28 to learn how to ‘Get Social with Account-Based Marketing’. We’ll show you how to execute these tips step-by-step and teach you the 5 steps to bring social media into your Account-Based Marketing strategy.