Happy Holidays from NeedTagger!

To celebrate the upcoming retail season, we just added two new prospecting streams for our Retail industry users:

  • Holiday: People in the market for popular holiday items (2012)
  • Holiday: People discussing Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Both streams are chock-full of shoppers planning their biggest shopping days of the year!

To view them, login to NeedTagger and Edit your stream.  Then select Industry = ‘Retail’ and select one of the Pre-Tested Streams from the drop down menu.

If you use NeedTagger in HootSuite, then select Settings/Edit Stream on your stream tab to make the same selections.

Not a customer yet?  No worries:  NeedTagger is completely Free to use – signup now!

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Social media is entering the third inning of its evolution as a marketing channel.  Are you ready to score new business?

For more articles like this, check out our new Flipboard magazine, "Social Selling" For more articles like this, check out our new Flipboard magazine, “Social Selling”

 

The First Inning: Batter Up!

The first inning of social media marketing involved businesses creating social media pages and accounts and learning how to listen and communicate in a non-damaging way.

PR and marketing led this phase. This is where first-generation social media monitoring tools like Radian6 and HootSuite got their start, as listening emerged as a first step towards managing social interactions.

There are still plenty of examples of organizations struggling to get through this initial stage, but most have moved on.

Second Inning: Foul Ball

Today, we are in the second inning, where marketers use social networks as broadcast (mass media) advertising channels.

Working through influencers wherever possible, companies of all sizes are pushing ads, offers and interesting content into social networks with little to no customer targeting. They are hoping that word of mouth, viral sharing and new discovery platforms will help spread their content far and wide.

When it comes to measuring results, second-inning players are primarily focused on attracting a large number of followers and obtaining high engagement rates.  Unfortunately, the evidence is that engagement rates remain depressingly low.

Most second-inning teams don’t measure the quality of their followers, the quality of their engagement nor the business impact. This is why so many companies cannot report ROI.

When it comes to tools, a second inning equipment locker may include BuddyMedia, Vitrue and UnifiedSocial, in addition to any of the hundreds of specialty tools and services available to connect brands with their key influencers such as Triberr, Klout and Kred.

The Third Inning: Time To Keep Score

The third inning is just beginning. It involves precisely targeting individual people with content crafted for their needs and measuring the results of your engagement in terms of meaningful business impact. In other words, third-inning players are focused on the numerator of ROI – sales, earnings, and profitability.

For marketing and sales professionals, the third inning is all about attracting new customers, generating quality leads and closing more sales. Metrics like engagement, likes and retweets won’t cut it this time around.

In a recent Forbes article, a survey of managers and employees (performed by Appiro.com) showed that attracting new business is the highest priority for social media marketing today:

As we enter the third inning, how well is your business prepared to score new business from your social media investments?

Getting Your Lineup Ready

Here’s a “third-inning” readiness checklist, with our company’s internal assessment offered up as an example:

  • Do you know where your sales prospects engage online?  Most of our customers already use social media monitoring tools, so we spend time participating in LinkedIn groups, Twitter hashtag channels and active blogs that discuss tools and techniques for social selling.
  • Are you actively listening for opportunities to help potential customers solve problems? We look for opportunities by monitoring 45 LinkedIn groups, using NeedTagger to monitor Twitter, and monitoring email alerts from dozens of specialty forums and blogs we participate in.
  • Do you have helpful online content in place, ready to answer your prospects’ most frequent questions & to address their most critical needs?  In our case, we publish detailed blog posts that help our customers organize their plan of action for selling on Twitter. We host a ton of content on our Customer Service Desk and inside our app’s Help Desk. We also leverage other people’s posts that we find using tools like Triberr (awesome way to network with other bloggers) and Zemanta (inside WordPress).
  • Have you made your content “findable” online?  We are a startup, so we don’t grapple with legacy content that needs to be re-formatted for the web.  Everything we publish and share is freely available on the world wide web.
  • Are you attributing your inbound traffic, leads and sales correctly to your social media selling activity?  We are almost there.  Using NeedTagger, we can attribute Twitter-generated traffic and engagement to our inbound traffic.  We just implemented KissMetrics and upgraded our use of Google Analytics to understand how our outreach efforts in social drive certain behaviors on our website and within our applications.

 

Since launching NeedTagger in June, we’ve introduced businesses in thirteen industries to millions of new customer engagement opportunities. Along the way, we’ve received a ton of feedback regarding our service.

Today, we are proud to announce general availability of our latest release, the Customer Search Engine for Social Media.

Wanna play with it? Then start searching for customers now.

Here’s a 2-minute video that explains how it works:

 

Self-service customer prospecting has arrived!

Now anyone can find relevant customer engagement opportunities on Twitter quickly and easily. Using our new StreamBuilder panel, you can create your own custom intent-filtered stream in minutes by setting a few targeting options:

  • industry
  • target audience: search for people with specific interest or job title; or, select one of our pre-tested filters
  • location: find people who live in a certain area (profile) or who posted near you (geo-tag)
  • conversation type: select from over a dozen types of intent and conversation styles
  • topics and keywords: enter keywords and block words to narrow your focus; or, add pre-tested topic groups to broaden your search.

You can edit your search options at any time, and your stream will immediately reflect the changes. NeedTagger provides up to 30 days of history.

Multiple Uses

With our new targeting options, you can now use NeedTagger to detect a wider range of business opportunities on Twitter. For example, you can use NeedTagger to:

  • track customer service issues, questions and complaints
  • identify and respond to complaints about competitors (lead gen opportunity!)
  • monitor questions about your product type
  • organize opportunities by product line, city or region
  • and more.

Affordable Plans (starting with FREE)

We offer a full-featured single-stream Free Trial with no expiration plus two multi-stream plans that start at $19.95 per month.

Free accounts give you one custom-filtered stream that is rate-limited in terms of the number of opportunities detected and the daily number of outreach messages you can send using NeedTagger. But you can change your search settings as often as you’d like.

Paid accounts give you more live streams and are not limited in any way.

Three Ways to Stay On Top Of Your Market

As a NeedTagger customer, you can find and engage with new customers in three different ways:

  1. our new daily email alerts, which we send every morning. Great way to keep in touch with your market on your mobile phone and tablet.
  2. our super-fast web app (app.NeedTagger.com)
  3. using NeedTagger’s free HootSuite plug-in app (note: some features are not yet available in our HootSuite app).

A Technical Milestone (Not Another Keyword Tool)

To our knowledge, this is the first time a social media monitoring tool has offered real-time natural language processing (intent-mining) in a self-service, easily-customized tool that anyone can use. Especially at this price: NLP for everyone!

Let us know what you think!