SharpSpring is one of the most popular marketing automation platforms currently in use within small businesses, and it’s not hard to sing its praises. It's built-in CRM and integrated marketing automation make it a great choice for small- and mid-sized firms doing B2B or B2C selling.
Recently, SharpSpring added new social tools to their marketing automation platform, giving it added capabilities to support broader digital campaigns. Here, we will discuss what exactly they added, and how your firm can use these new features to enhance your marketing efforts.
In January 2018, SharpSpring launched two new features: SharpSpring Social and Content Calendar. We discussed SharpSpring at length as part of our marketing automation review series, and we can confidently say that these bring something great to the programme. The essential difference between the two features are:
- SharpSpring Social automates how your brand responds to the prospective customers that interact with you.
- Content Calendar automates the process of sending out content to prospects and users.
Here are the most important details and functions of the two:
One of the most attractive features of SharpSpring Social is what it does for lead scoring. Finally, contacts can have their lead scores increased based on their social engagement with your brand. However, the new functionality doesn’t stop there.
Users can also create automations based on social media interactions. SharpSpring Social lets you choose what to do “when a contact interacts with the social account,” which lets you trigger emails and other notifications according to social engagement. You can select different automated actions based on when a lead performs one of the following actions:
So, for instance, you could configure it so that SharpSpring responds to any user who retweets your content, or reacts to anyone who comments on your LinkedIn page.
SharpSpring Social makes this process easy by creating an intuitive, visual workflow. You can select different actions to automate, segment them according to social media platforms, and then activate your workflow.
Then there is also the Social Listening feed. SharpSpring Social lets you create a feed within which you can track and monitor social media activity related to your brand, including any and all hashtags and mentions across different platforms. This is something similar to what tools such as HootSuite offer, but its advantage is that this is tightly integrated into the complete buyer journey. Other companies that aren’t taking advantage of these tools have to log into their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to monitor their mentions and interactions.
These are some of the biggest and best new functions of SharpSpring Social, now for a bit about the Content Calendar.
SharpSpring Content Calendar
SharpSpring’s Content Calendar drastically simplifies the process of sending out social media content. When you open up SharpSpring’s Content Calendar, you can select from Social Posts, Emails, and Blog Articles, and then easily schedule any of them within a single calendar.
Social Posts: You simply connect your social media accounts to the platform, click Create, then click Social Post. This lets you post from your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts.
Email Send: click Create and then select Email Send. SharpSpring lets you segment according to lists, then choose the email you want to send, then schedule it.
Blog Articles: click Create, then select Blog Article. This takes you to a content editing window, where you create your blog post. Then you schedule it to go out to your contacts, and voilà.
SharpSpring’s Content Calendar also lets you schedule events, easily edit and copy posted content, and search through past posted content.
The calendar itself is the sort of feature that’s so useful, it’s a wonder that it wasn’t part of the platform from the beginning. It lets you view according to Day, Week, or Month, and displays the scheduled posts in a totally intuitive way. SharpSpring also makes it as easy as possible to prevent duplicate posts, avoiding one of the more common content marketing faux pas.
Our only slight disappointment is that a the moment the calendar is only able to schedule a limited number of activity types. Going forward we would like to see the ability to add physical events such as trade shows, or other key marketing milestones. Once that is in place, we can finally remove the need for those Excel spreadsheets.
Going forward, we would love to see the combination of the Content Calendar and Social capabilities evolving into a more integrated version of Buffer. The ability to schedule social post in advance, monitor and generate responses, and provide useful engagement metrics would be a truly valuable addition and something unique in the marketplace.
As we said in our marketing automation series post, SharpSpring is a precise tool for targeting prospective customers at appropriate stages of the buying cycle. It’s a great tool for acting appropriately when prospects become active, and sending them the appropriate information from your library of content. SharpSpring’s new social tools make this functionality even more effective.
What has your firm’s experience been with SharpSpring’s new functionality? Have you found it to be a major improvement, and do you have any tips of your own? Yep, we use SharpSpring for monitoring our social feeds so Tweet Us and let us know your thoughts.