Praval Singh on Using Zoho Social for Your Business

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In this episode of Small Biz in :15 On Location, we traveled to Austin, Texas for ZohoDay 2022 to speak to Zoho’s Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience, Praval Singh. In this episode, Small Biz Trends Editor Shawn Hessinger sits down and talks to Praval to learn all about managing your social presence with Zoho Social.

What is Zoho Social and what does it do?

Shawn: Let’s start by talking about Zoho Social and what it does.

Praval: Zoho Social is basically a social media management platform that allows businesses of all sizes, as well as today’s agencies, to manage the social media presence of various brands.

It could be brands they own, which are their own brands, and in the case of agencies, it could be the brands they manage social media for.

The cool part here is that it lets you manage your social media accounts on different social media networks. It could be a page, a profile, depending on what channel you’re on and it’s all in one place from a posting and programming perspective as well as from a social media listening and monitoring.

And all of this has a layer of collaboration. So that means you could be a team of two or a team of 20. You can get your team involved. They can discuss ideas, collaborate, and give feedback, all on the same platform instead of playing ping pong over email all day.

How Zoho Social makes it easy to spread your social presence

Shawn: What can automation do for the very small business owner, maybe even the solopreneur, by allowing them to expand their social presence and really have a shot at being competitive ?

Praval: Using the platform, let’s say you have tweets: do you want to send them on fixed days of the week of the month or whatever? There might be messages that you want to recycle and repeat with a certain frequency.

For example, tweets leading up to an event like this can be scheduled four months in advance and they will go out on a set schedule. Things like this are what automation really helps when it comes to social media, posting and scheduling,

More than that, when you have a few people on the team, let’s say you can see what schedule, what you have, a social media schedule to drop things and say something you have planned for Wednesday, you want it out Friday, just drag and drop.

So, a.) being able to plan and b.) being able to visualize your content pipeline or timeline is what social media also helps you with.

Shawn: Can you explain a bit how companies can use Zoho Social’s listening component to really gain an advantage that goes beyond endless tweets or endless Facebook posts about my product?

Praval: There’s so much activity and so much happening on social media. So the question is how do you keep track?

What a good listening platform would do is allow you to use filters in your searches and define your searches more appropriately so that you get the right things on your timeline.

A platform like Zoho Social has something called a monitoring dashboard, and it has multiple columns. You want to see a bunch of stuff…you want to see tweets from people like you…and you want to see tweets from customers. You have a list on Twitter by the way, don’t you? You can create a separate monitoring view for this.

Plus, you want to see your own marketing team’s tweets, your brand’s tweets, right? So you can also have a column for that.

It’s like a dashboard that has multiple columns. You have defined who is who, then you listen to the tweets. And this is just a one-time use case. On a normal day, let’s say you have a column for your customers that you want to keep track of what they’re saying. It’s another way of listening. Next comes listening for keywords relevant to your industry.

How Zoho Social’s Listening Platform Turns Negative Customer Feedback Into “Aha Moments”

Shawn: The idea of ​​customer complaints about your business or a negative perception of your business – that’s something that people have been talking about for a very long time…when people were tweeting about, you know, airlines breaking guitars and things like that. But is it still a thing? Is it still something you can use on social media to find out what your customers really think of you, what they might not say to your face?

Praval: Part of that is understanding the social sentiment around your brand. Is it net positive or negative, whatever? Because the way things have been for the last five, seven, ten years, you and I would rather go on social media and discuss something or contact a brand if we had a problem, right? not ?

A social listening platform allows people to find the opportunity to turn that unwanted or unpleasant moment into an “aha” moment. And there are so many examples and case studies around that.

Thus, the tool helps you identify any such opportunity when it is necessary to deal with it. But the limitation we found is that when your marketing or social media management platform is siled, it doesn’t connect to your CRM and doesn’t contain any other information.

You may not have a contextual idea of ​​who this person is. So, for example, if I’m a brand’s social media manager, I see a negative tweet, click on it, and see someone’s profile — and what do I know about that person:

    • Is this person already a customer?
    • Are there any open support tickets from this person in my support software?
    • What types of emails have you recently exchanged with them?

And finally, how do you get this data? You only get this data when your social media management software integrates with your CRM and other elements.

This is where context comes in, and that makes me, as a social media marketer, much more empowered to turn this into an aha moment. Because when I have a lot of context on this client, I would approach things in a very different way.

And that includes access to contact information. I can pick up the phone and call them, right?

So that’s the problem with social media tools that are siled from those that connect to your CRM. And that’s where we see a lot of value and customers really appreciate that benefit.

Other Zoho Social Features That Enhance Social Media Impact

Zoho Social’s SEO platform also has other features that allow you to monitor the following in real time to help improve your social impact:

  • Hashtags: You can track and analyze any hashtag to see how it’s being used, who’s using it the most, and more.
  • Your company mentions: You can monitor all social media mentions of your brand, even if they don’t include your username.
  • Competitors: You can set up competitor monitoring to see how your brand measures up and where you might need to make changes.
  • Comments: You can track online reviews of your business to get an idea of ​​what people are saying.
  • Google My Business queries: You can see what people are asking about your business on Google My Business.
  • Twitter Lists: You can monitor Twitter lists you’ve been added to, even if they’re private.

How to get started with the right tools

At the end of the episode, Paraval Singh discusses how very small businesses can get started with the right tool to expand their social media presence. The best things he says to do include:

  • Start something small with a low barrier to entry. You are not ready to make an initial investment because you don’t know where it will take you. Look for something that has a free trial and a free plan. You can upgrade to one of the paid plans, which is a tiered pricing model when you’re ready.
  • Be aware of the added value when it comes to a sense of customer support. Is it easy or difficult to get on board? Examine the aspects of integration. Does a social media tool that sits in a silo look good or appear to be good? Shows you everything it has but doesn’t connect to your CRM? Because that’s where the value is added. Zoho Social has a powerful CRM integration.
  • Watch for hidden costs. You are a startup; look for something that is affordable. Look for something that doesn’t hurt you. Often what happens is that the tools seem to be inexpensive to start getting on board. But as you start to embrace it, as you get more people on your team on it, it starts to get expensive. It may be inexpensive today, but what will it be in a year when I grow my team from 1 to 5?

Takeaway meals

All features of Zoho Social are designed to give you a better idea of ​​how people perceive your brand and where you might need to make changes. With it, you can turn negative customer experiences into positive ones and improve your social media presence.

Also, remember that there is more to social media management than just posting to Facebook and Twitter. It’s about listening to what your customers have to say and easily expanding your social media presence. Finally, make sure you choose a tool that is up to the task and suitable for your budget and your startup.

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