Many of our clients have heard of and use account-based marketing (ABM). The notion of  “social” account-based marketing is less well-known, the concept translates well. The practice begins with identifying targeted accounts and specific contacts in those accounts. Find out where they are engaging on social media. Then start engaging with them on their preferred channels.

The best way to engage a target is to build a program that advocates for them. You can do this in your own content programs and also by promoting their ideas on other social channels. Advocacy can take many forms, for example, quoting prospects in bylines, blog posts, and industry research. Consider conducting interviews in podcasts or collaborating with a prospect to create publishable thought leadership content. Advocacy can also be taking an action like inviting them to VIP events, or showcasing them in a testimonial. Another approach is to source user-generated content, like a white paper or a blog written by your audience, and share it with targeted prospects. No matter what the method, our mantra is, “Build advocacy by advocating first!”

Did your prospect or prospect’s company post a blog, white paper, or webinar? Engage socially with their content though retweets, mentions, and reposts. Comment on their content or ask questions. These interactions will develop your target’s awareness of you and help build a relationship.

Social ABM also includes social outreach. This can be inviting your key prospects to client events, launches, and other interactive activities. These outreach settings give you lots of opportunities to engage. You could post to the relevant hashtags your targets follow during breaks at the events. Take note of key quotes during an event where a target may be mentioned or may be tweeting. Listen first to what is being said, then retweet or quote it to the relevant hashtags. If appropriate, tag your target. Finally, follow up after the event by sharing photos, quotes, and mentions that highlight your target account.

As with any strategy and execution, you need measurable goals and data tracking to evaluate your efforts. A good metric for ABM is how many actions were taken by a targeted contact. Did they show up, contribute a quote, retweet, share content, or something else? All of these interactions demonstrate social ABM success.