Internet marketing tips for your small business.

Using Marketing Automation With Social Media

When you think marketing automation, I bet you think email. And email campaigns are a great way to nurture leads at scale over time. But social media can also be a powerful tool in automating your marketing–a tool that I think it is underused by most companies.

Get more insight on Marketing Automation from Juicy Results.

In fact, great marketing automation programs will transcend the inbox to include several mediums to reach your best prospects everywhere online.

Since we’re all spending more time on social media, it’s a great way to reach the leads you are already targeting regardless of your industry. Believe it or not, “social” is now the top Internet activity: Americans spend more time on social media than any other major Internet activity, including email.


There are lots of fish out there in the social media sea! Let’s go get ’em.

How To Use Social Media Within a Marketing Automation Program?

Marketing automation is all about scale. By automatically identifying targeted leads, and nurturing them over time with multiple touchpoints you can expand your marketing presence and generate a higher volume of quality leads.

This article makes two major assumptions:

  1. you have a marketing automation program in place to track all of these leads and score their activity (Act-On, Pardot, Hubspot, etc) and
  2. you have a crystal clear understanding of your target market(s), their pain points and what drives them to buy a product or service like yours.

That second assumption is critical for a number of reasons, but none more than the requirement to generate lots of quality content that will be relevant and valuable to your leads.

I am going to cover four ways to integrate social media into your marketing automation campaigns: retargeted advertising, custom audience targeting, lead generation and good ol’ fashioned drip campaigns—which have been a staple of email marketing and lead nurturing for over a decade.

Retargeting Advertising

Let’s start with the most basic tactic first: retargeting your active leads with advertising and content. For example, you can assume someone who has visited your website recently is interested in your products or services and retargeting allows you to show ads to those people on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Touching prospects in a natural way while they are engaged in social activity can deepen your brand’s imprint in their minds.

Retargeting is not currently available directly through the social platforms, but can easily be set up through a demand-side platform such as AdRoll. Using AdRoll allows you to retarget on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and more.

You can see how this retargeted advertising will extend your campaign’s reach. And, since it can be set on autopilot, is a natural place to start when integrating social media into your marketing automation. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to something a little more sophisticated.

Custom Audience Targeting

The more popular social platforms—namely Twitter and Facebook—allow you to define a custom list (or many lists) of people you would like to target based on email, mobile phone number or other identifying characteristics. This is the next level of retargeting because you can match up a user to someone in your CRM or marketing automation database, rather than knowing only that they have visited your website. That introduces the possibility of more personalization and the ability to use their social interaction in a lead scoring formula.

If you’re worried about this encroaching into creepyville, don’t. It’s been proven over and over that consumers prefer relevant advertising to blanket mass marketing. And we’re not doing anything to trample privacy here.

This technology is really exciting because, as a marketer, I can define a custom audience by exporting lists of leads out of my marketing automation database and offering just the right content that will advance the buying process. For example, let’s consider the following hypothetical scenarios:

  • A software company that helps doctors with medical records might advertise a free ebook on on how to reduce costs. With custom audiences they can tailor the messaging to each type of medical practice, such as dermatologists, opticians and plastic surgeons based on their segmentation in the company’s database.
  • An advertising agency that specializes in helping startups can use its marketing lists of newly founded companies in Silicon Valley to promote a webinar on building brand recognition. As these users click through to visit the website, marketing automation software can automatically fire off follow up emails and assign these leads to the sales team for follow up.
  • A direct-to-consumer beauty product company can offer a free shipping or discount code on large orders to its past customers to encourage reorders. It might also cross-promote or use this tactic to advertise the introduction of a new product or line.
  • Juicy Results can export a list of any leads who have been to our Guaranteed SEO page in the last 30 days, and target an ad for a free SEO consultation to those users or offer a free resource such as “Four SEO Tricks Your Competition Doesn’t Know Yet.”

For this to work, you must have the same email address or phone number that the user linked to their social media platform. Here is how you create a custom audience on Facebook and on Twitter.

In the second part of this article, I will cover how to generate new leads and use drip campaigns to extend your marketing automation programs and nurture these leads into sales.

I welcome your feedback in the comments. How have you been using social media marketing to extend your marketing automation programs?

Read the second part of Using Marketing Automation with Social Media here.

Jeremy Pound
Written By Jeremy Pound

November 10 2014 in Blog, Lead Generation, Marketing Automation, Social Media

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