Tag Archives: social media marketing

Packaging your story: Social media for b2bs

Espresso do a great job of using Slideshare and have a real knack in producing slides that can be effortlessly clicked through but that leave long in the memory. Packed full of ideas, tips and examples, here’s a great deck giving a useful overview to social media for the uninitiated which can be skimmed in minutes or talked at for an hour.

If you know someone who needs an overview – a boss, manager or team member – do the decent thing and pass it along. Only when good ideas go viral do they have a chance of taking off.

 

RSS/email subscribers may need to visit the blog to see the slides.

Ten Linkedin business marketing mistakes to avoid

Many millions of people using Linkedin are missing out on the fantastic brand building opportunities new Linkedin presents. I say new because after several years of under-investment, Linkedin has gone functionality crazy of late.

Give your Linkedin profile a spring clean today, avoid these ten all-to-common mistakes and start to take the most of the platform as an unbeatable research and business development tool as well as an incredible brand builder.

1. Poor or non existent profile pictures. Who wants to see a faceless profile or worse a company or brand logo. Not me. As with all social media, add a profile picture.

2. Lack of clarity in titles and descriptions. Use keywords that best represent who you are and what stand for do.  That little box that tells you how many times you’ve been looked at – its down to keywords.

3. Lack of focus on achievements and what you add. Too many people fixate on titles when they should be focusing on your impact on sales, brand launches, new initiatives, or improvements in quality, process, training or operations if you are not in a commercial role.

4. Failure to use all available opportunities to promote via the profile page. There are some great links and embed opportunities. Use them. Add your website, a blog, a Twitter account, a Slideshare account.

5. Not having a thought out contact strategy or approach. Are you connected to all the people you’ve ever worked with rather than the people you want to sell to? Time to rethink who you want to be connected to by researching people using the search function, identifying key companies and seeking opportunities to informally approach them through Groups (see below). And don’t let Linkedin send a default invitation request. Tailor it giving a reason to connect – reference to a group, common contact or other common ground.

6. Not enough or over use of the status updates feature. Linkedin status updates containing tweets is one of the most frustrating parts of logging into new Linkedin. If you’re not careful a handful of people will take over your feed – luckily they can be hidden without dis-connecting. On the other side, don’t be a Linkedin bore. Update once / twice a day with something useful.

7. Not enough or over use of testimonials. These should matter. The best testimonials come from former managers, clients or customers. Asking your peers, team or suppliers to provide references just seems lame. Go for quality over quantity on this one. .

8. Being a lurker not a contributor in Groups. I estimate 1% of a Linkedin group’s membership actively engage in discussions within the group. What a missed opportunity. Getting involved in groups of like minded people is the cornerstone of the Linkedin experience. There is a group for almost everything on Linkedin. Search and sign up for one to try it out. There will be discussions taking place that you can add value to today!

9. Not building reputation through Answers. Like groups, this is a great feature to really build your profile as an expert in your field but as it is hidden away in the ‘More’ tab it is overlooked. Browse the categories and begin to provide feedback and recommendations to questions posed by other Linkedin members, worldwide.

10. Not fully populating your Company Page. This feature has developed in recent months with opportunities to add specific products and services linked to targeted landing pages and your Linkedin member colleagues.

Q: What other mistakes do you see made on Linkedin and how can they be avoided?

Ten social media trends for 2012

An interesting set of slides from Comscore which previews/summarises the key findings from their latest social media report. (Using SlideShare to preview downloadable paid/free content is itself an interesting example of content marketing in action that will be explored more in a future post).

It’s not a surprise to me to see data which supports claims such as

  • Social networking is the most popular online activity in the world
  • Microblogging platforms like Twitter have emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking, news and entertainment
  • Mobile devices are fuelling an addiction to social

Slides 20-26 detail how Facebook truly dominates the social scene. How the site is even winning in most individual countries and regional markets is pretty astounding too.

What trends are you expecting or hoping for in 2012?

From destination social to dispersed social

A great little deck from Patricia and Steve at The Social Practice in London looking at ten trends in social media – or more acutely how social media is evolving from a destination to being everywhere.

As mainstream ubiquity gives rise to mobile commerce, sharing, liking, scoring and polling on the move, social businesses push the boundaries.

Baffled? Don’t be. The slides lay it all out. One thing is for sure. The soothsayers who predict the demise of social media as marketing return on investment folly haven’t got a clue.

 

4 reasons why your B2B social media marketing isn’t working

Providing integrated marketing consultancy to B2B companies means having to test drive new technologies and new platforms to establish if they are relevant to my clients.

Recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the social media space assessing the uptake in a number of very specific sectors. It is fascinating that whilst there is a never ending stream of data from surveys and polls indicating that social media is being used by the vast majority of B2B companies, the reality on the ground I think is very different.

Part of this undoubtedly lies in the semantics and what actually passes for B2B marketing. Working with accountants, lawyers and other professional services is quite different to fast moving technology products which is again quite different to industrial and scientific engineering. I suspect that the polls, surveys and sea of infographics fixate on the first two groups, but rarely on the third.

The problem is compounded when companies that I consider to be 100% B2B begin to ‘dip their toe’. Whether it is the established platforms, or emerging tools, if you don’t crack the following four areas, your social media marketing won’t succeed.

1. Lack of clear objective setting: If you don’t have a view on what success looks like, how can you measure success. For me, the hundreds of potential metrics can be boiled down to two categories – outputs and outcomes. I’d focus on outcomes – the actions that are encouraged through your activity, so downloads, subscriptions, forms, transactions if you are sufficiently enabled. Measuring fans, follows, tweets, blog posts etc is just lame and provides no return on investment.

2. Broadcasting not engaging: You have to find a mix, otherwise it is advertising, but even more annoying and interruptive. Initially, do nothing. Watch, listen, observe, follow. Then curate and share what you like and what positions you in the discussion. Then increase the ratio of broadcast content. But, and this is the differentiator, present your broadcast material in the form of posts like this that inform, advice, help, support even entertain.

3. Failure to build trust: Social media networks and platforms were designed for individuals not brands. The sheer volume of users – Facebook = 800m, Linkedin 130m, video accounting for 50% of search – inevitably lead big brands and then B2B to seek out opportunities to interact with users. On these platforms, trust is earned not paid for. Social media taps into the oldest human forms of word of mouth interaction. People buy from people they like and people they trust.

4. Using the wrong channels, in the wrong way: B2B companies dipping their toes do two things wrong. Firstly, they go about it wrong, like a moth to the light seduced into using all the high traffic sites without a clear strategy and an appreciation of audience relevance. Secondly, they fail to implement specific campaigns across social media sites, opting to syndicate the same messages and content to all platforms in a bid to be consistent.

Linkedin is great for impressing people with knowledge and expertise, Facebook is great for building a hub designed to engage (which supports a corporate website) and Twitter is a great overall distribution tool.

But there is so much more to social media for B2B and success really lies in ‘the link’ – the content of the tweet, the video, audio, image, news story, white paper, ebook, slide set that is forming the message. In B2B you should strive to be a great curator, a trusted authority and a provider of useful information to buyers looking to shortlist credible suppliers. 

Working out the value of a fan: Facebook marketing

Note RSS / email subscribers should visit the blog for the full post.

I’ve been musing on Facebook for business of late and was flicking through a slide deck on Slideshare on The Value of a Fan.

I eventually arrived upon slide 36 below, which for me is the killer slide, as it contains insight on which any self respecting Facebook marketing campaign should be based.

What is great about this data is that much of it is as relevant to B2B marketing as it is to B2C. Sure the majority are interested in transactional benefits but around 20-25% of followers are interested in content and information that aids, helps, informs or entertains.

Then slide 50 neatly summarises why Facebook (and sites like it) are becoming so important in the next communication age.

It’s not just about banging people, repeatedly over the head with broadcast messages. To be seen and acted on, you need to do more. Clever marketers are already understanding and doing this, recognising that lifetime custom can be achieved and word of mouth can have a significant impact on their business as a result.

Your content isn’t yours any more. It’s their’s. Lady GaGa knows it. Old Spice know it. Coca Cola know it. Cisco know it. Isn’t it time you engaged your audience the same way?

The full slide set is here kudos to Mat for pulling this together.

Six examples of how to use Facebook company pages for B2B marketing

I’m writing regularly over at SmartInsights. It is a great digital marketing blog with lots of collaboraters covering lots of urgent topics.

There is a real lack of good quality information online about B2B use of Facebook as the debate rages about its relevance.

Across two posts over recent weeks, I wanted to outline the emerging and evolving case for adding Facebook to your B2B marketing arsenal. And I wanted to offer some advice on the type of strategies you might adopt. In the second post which went live earlier this week, I identified a number of current B2B companies using Facebook to drive engagement and promote their business.

Q: How is Facebook working for you?