For some consumers, social networking sites have taken on personality traits that reflect who they may log in as and communicate with. Facebook might be a boyfriend. LinkedIn is a boss. Twitter is filled with acquaintances to say “hi” to in the hall.
So how can businesses relate well to their target audiences and generate leads in this virtual land of projected personalities? Answering that question are: Chris Koch, director of research and thought leadership at Lexington, Mass.-based Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) and Andrew Chang, marketing manager for Mountain View, Calif.-based LinkedIn. Chang is the marketing lead for the social networking site’s advertising offering called LinkedIn DirectAds.
Upselling to existing customers may be easier to do in social media if companies instead think of it as lead nurturing. People on these networks are learning from each other, as well as performing their own research. “What marketers are telling us is that private, gated online communities are the most effective social media tools that they’re seeing,” Koch says. “And so, by hosting this environment, you can obviously observe their behavior and get a sense of when someone who is a customer is becoming a lead for something else that you want to sell.”