Tag Archives: social media

B2B social media case study: BASF chemicals

Whilst conducting some research into social media uptake in the speciality chemical sector, I happened across a great slide deck that outlines how chemicals giant BASF goes about it.

With a dedicated social media manager and senior management buy-in, this is about as socially emersed as B2B marketing gets.

Slides of particular relevance to me include

[Slide 4] The statistics that support why they engage on social media

[Slide 11] How different tools and platforms like content, dialogue, news flow and aggregation are used separately and together

[Slide 14] How it is all brought together as a social newsroom (FirstDirect also doing this)

[Slide 17] How to use call to actions on Facebook

Sometimes we have to see how the big boys do it, in order to take the best from it. We may not all have the resource to bring to bear, but the attraction of social media for the smaller B2B firm is that, like most digital marketing, it doesn’t take a lot to stand out from the crowd in your sector.

Play to your strengths, identify your niche and above all, add value to the people of most interest to you.

NB: Note to RSS/email subscribers, a Slideshare is embedded which may need a trip to the blog to view in full.

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Links worth a click #15

A week with some great online content, tips and tricks.

PowerPoint as content: PowerPoint gets a hard press, in and out of meetings. But, used correctly, it can be turned into social media gold. Have a quick read of this blog post and see what ideas it sparks for you and your customers.

Business blogging: Here’s a piece for those amongst you managing or considering blogs, a list of ten great things to include in your thinking.

Some useful advice next on designing paid search (pay per click) campaigns that deliver.

Apparently, it’s no longer six degrees of separation when it comes to human relationships. According to Facebook, its 800m users give you access to anyone in the world (if they are on Facebook) in only 4 hops.

Using video? You should be. And it should be optimised. Here are some tips on how to optimise online video, with a natural focus on YouTube.

More next week. Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping weekend!

Business blogging – my post for Smart Insights

My latest effort for the influential UK digital marketing blog, Smart Insights went live today. In it, I offer a dozen ways to kickstart your blog writing – which should help ensure you never run out of things to blog about ever again.

The highlights include:-

1. Solve an industry problem.

2. Use data to make your point.

3. Comment on breaking news.

4. Be provocative.

5. Provide a resource list.

6. Focus on keywords.

7.  Use existing material.

8. Report the news.

9. Write a round up.

10. Write up an event.

11. Write up a case study

12. Offer guest posts.

For more detail please visit the blog post and also click on my name to read my previous B2B marketing related posts on social media for business, email marketing, using video in B2B and two posts on Facebook, one on how to use Facebook for business and one with lots of relevant Facebook business case studies showing best practice.

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.

 

Links worth a click #14

In the week where Richard Branson got his hands on Northern Rock, and Tesco and Asda fought in the digital space (Tesco with new AR and Asda with a transactional and price comparison iPhone app), here are some of the other interesting digital marketing related things that caught me eye.

Love this from the Twitter blog. They tracked who was talking about 11.11.11 on 11 November 2011. It’s an interesting animation showing the reach of Twitter, the power of hashtags and trends and how they can go global – all in thirty seconds of animation.

If you are considering, or are already running your own Linkedin groups, you might like to know that there is now an analytics dashboard for group managers, released this week. Offers some great demographics of your members.

Another day another infographic. This one provides some quotable statistics on who is using Facebook and Twitter. Gender, age, income, location and frequency, there will be a stat in here for everyone.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find objective search results from Google now we’re all logged in. A new tool, hidden away in the search menu called Verbatim might just be able to help you find what you want rather than what Google or your friends think you want.

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Links worth a click #13

In the week where the Greeks held the Euro to ransom, Google rolled out new Gmail  and Groupon raised $700 from its IPO, here are some of the other interesting digital marketing related things that caught me eye.

First up, Google – or rather your Facebook comments, with news that some comments will be indexed by the search giant.  Do you see this sort of development as Alarming or great for your visibility?

Next, an infographic on the differences between outbound and inbound marketing. Infographics can be brilliant in distilling down complex arguments, processes and statistics and is used well in this example looking at why blogs, videos and white papers are going to give you more credibility than cold calling ever will.

If you use email marketing as part of your communications mix, you might to think again after reading this piece about how decisions are made within 3, 5 and 7 seconds.

And finally, if you’re a creative type looking to do something different with your website or blog, consider using your smart phone as a catch all content-generation device. This blog post from Social Media Examiner shows the way with five tips to create audio and video content on your iPhone.

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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.