Consumers’ frequent use of sites like Facebook and Twitter, particularly via smartphone, makes social networks ideal places for retailers to generate word-of-mouth referrals. In June, Experian Simmons reported that two-thirds of U.S. Internet-connected consumers visit social networks (a 230 percent jump from 20 percent penetration in 2007), and 43 percent of respondents visit these site more than once a day.
John Jantsch, marketing coach and bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing, wrote a column for American Express Open Forum (July 20), in which he suggests the old, list-making practices of mailing list companies and direct marketers can be applied to data provided and acquired in social networks.
“The idea is to take a list with basic contact data acquired from other data sources, such as magazine subscriptions, association membership and even specific purchasing behavior,” he writes. “The end result is a list with a much richer level of information that allows the mailer to personalize offers and communications based on this greater level of personal information.”
Jantsch says this type of data helps you identify your advocates and champions, “the ones that are out there spreading the word in social channels and who might be really good candidates for you to target special attention.” Furthermore, new location-based tools and games like Foursquare and Facebook Places (see Location-based Promotions) make it even easier for you to single out key influencers.
In his column, Jantsch identifies the 10 Best Tools that small businesses can use to add social information to their contact records:
1. Flowtown: “All you need is an e-mail address to get social data on contact.”
2. RapLeaf: “This tool started as a monitoring tool and now offers full appending,” Jantsch explains.
3. Xeesm: “A bit more comprehensive, it searches lots of networks and now offers full appending.”
4. BatchBook: “Full featured online CRM tool was one of the first to bake social appending into the mix.”
5. ACT!2010: “The simple desktop CRM allows you to add social data right into records.”
6. Outlook 2010: “With the addition of something called the Outlook Social Connector, you can add social data to Outlook.”
7. Xobni: “A popular Outlook plugin that brings CRM functionality to Outlook.”
8. Rapportive: “Social CRM built into Gmail.”
9. SocialCRM for Salesforce: “Add on to Salesforce.com to bring social data into records.”
10. Twitter Export: “Export all your Twitter followers and then add them to the tools above.”