Blog Archives

B2B Social Media Success Secrets – Jay Baer Webinar Notes

Yesterday I listened to Jay Baer‘s free 30-minute Webinar on B2B Social Media Success Secrets and wanted to share some of his presentation on social media. If you aren’t familiar with Jay’s work, check out his blog Convince and Convert.

Thirty minutes is not a long time to cover what is obviously a complex topic, but Jay highlighted some key points that any business needs to know when considering adding social media to their marketing mix.

When starting out, define why social media is valuable to your business. Also define success metrics ahead of time as part of your strategy.

Create a Brand Community – get those customers who like you to love you. Your customers are your strongest advocates. Focus on them first. Managing a brand community is a great way to get customer feedback and learn about social media along the way.

Building Outposts – Chris Brogan was one of the first people to describe outposts and home base. You have a company web site and you might have a blog, Linkedin page, Twitter page and/or Facebook page among other pages (home bases). These are all places that prospects go to actively find you.

But they have to already be looking for you and in many cases, they aren’t. These prospects are seeking information in your industry at other web sites – outposts. You need to be sure that you appear in these outposts as an expert and provide valuable content.

Content marketing – create FAQs and share the same content in different ways. Take a presentation and make a series of blog posts, publish it on Slideshare.net, create an ebook – there are many options. Baer listed a few places that are great for content sharing:

Knol.google.com
Slideshare.net
Scribd
Squidoo

Build social profiles of customers and prospects with social media tools.

Flowtown
Gmail
Gist

The social media success equation:

Know why you need to be there.
Create a brand community.
Find and participate in relevant outposts. (participate, not sell)
Create social FAQ to convert sales.
Measure success that works for you.

Jay uses blog stats such as how long someone was at his site, if they visited his speaking and consulting pages, tracks referrers and is always looking at the search terms that people are using to find his site.

Some great dashboard management tools for social media:

Tweetdeck
Hootsuite
Seesmic
CoTweet

Free social media listening tools:

Social Mention
Addictomatic

There are also a few paid services such as Radian6 and a new company, RowFeeder.

It was a quick and informative webinar and I wish there was more time to hear Baer’s advice on social media. I recommend checking out his book that will be coming out in February 2011.

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B2B Marketers Need to Integrate Social Media into Existing Plans

A new study indicates that 15% of traffic to B2B websites is generated from social media. For many businesses, this means that they need to take a harder look at their marketing plan and identify areas where social media could be integrated.

Where to start? My post the 30 Day Social Media Challenge for Businesses Looking to Make the Plunge can point you in the right direction. Identify where your customers go when they are online. Then go there!

At the very least, set up a listening post. Create a free company page in LinkedIn. If you have a blog and great content, set up a Twitter account and join the community. Share information that your customers find valuable. Don’t sell – that is a big turnoff. Find and follow people in your industry. Check message boards and forums for your industry. See what’s out there.

I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. The internet is changing the way we communicate personally and professionally. Be sure that your company is there and know what is being said about you, your industry, and your competitors before anyone else does.

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30 Day Social Media Challenge for B2B Companies Looking to Make the Plunge

Not sure if social media is right for your business?
Don’t know where to start or what to do?

Take this challenge. In 30 days, you will determine if your company is cut out for social media.

You may find yourself asking What is social media all about?

Social Media Surrounds Us

Social media is a hot topic these days. Your friends are using it, your employees are using it, even some of your competitors are using it.

CNN and ESPN broadcasters ask you to become a fan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Business associates are sending you LinkedIn requests. People are rating movies on Netflix and products on Amazon. Even small businesses list their Facebook fan pages on their signs as you drive through town.

Social media seems to be everywhere.

Do you at times wonder “everyone else is doing it, but why should we?”

Good question.

It might not make sense for your company to utilize social media as part of your integrated marketing strategy. It all depends on many things.

What are your goals? Who do you sell to and where do they seek out your kind of products or services?

Social media does not cost a lot of money, but the time commitment and resources that it takes to build a social media program can be demanding.

Here is a 30 day test to see if you can successfully incorporate social media into your marketing and PR mix.

Week 1 – Fish Where the Fish Are

Chris Brogan, a social media expert, say to Fish Where the Fish Are. And he’s right. Where did your customers find you? Do you know? If not, ask them.

Your customers can give you a wealth of information with a simple survey. Offer a free giveaway or chance to win a larger prize and ask them a few questions.

Do they belong to associations? Do they go online to forums, message boards and industry blogs? Which search engines do they use? Do they still use the yellow pages or do they go online? Put together a list of 5 – 10 questions for your customers. Send out a free survey and analyze their responses.

Have your sales and customer service teams ask where call-ins heard about you (if they don’t already.) Put together a list of these responses and the survey answers and you should be getting a good idea where your customers are finding you.

Week 2 & 3 – Listen

Start slow. Listen. Go where your customers are online. If you don’t know, ask them.

Start a spreadsheet of forums, message boards, industry blogs, etc.

Take time to set up some listening posts about your company and industry.

Set up news alerts for your brand and industry keywords on Google, Yahoo
and Bing.

Look up your brand and keywords on Social Mention and Twitter Search. Set up alerts – Social Mention has different tabs, so you can set up an alert for each category.

Search blogs through Technorati and Google Blog Search.

Bookmark LinkedIn Answers under the appropriate categories or set up the RSS feed in a Reader and check daily. 

Look up any blog comments about your company or industry through BackType.


Yacktrack lets you search for comments on your content from various sources, such as Blogger, Digg, FriendFeed, Stumbleupon, and WordPress blogs.


Use boardtracker.com to get instant alerts from threads citing your name. Boardreader and Big Boards are other tools that work similar to this one.

Use iGoogle or Netvibes to set up a dashboard with these sites and RSS feeds.

Now that you have set up your listening posts, check them in an RSS feed a few times a week.

This will help you get an idea about what people are saying about you, your competitors, your industry.

You will be able to track trends and hot topics and will be ready to take the next step in social media.

Week 4 – Comment

Once you set up your listening posts, schedule 1-2 hours a week to monitor and comment on any relevant blogs, articles, etc.

Answer at least one LinkedIn question in each of the categories that applies to your business. Make sure you have a free company page set up in LinkedIn.

If people are talking about your brand in a good or bad way, respond directly to them and offer your help.

Build trust and relationships. You may be surprised how helpful the social media community can be.

End of the Month

By now you should have an idea of what social media is about.

Hopefully by doing this challenge you will learn more about your business, your customers and yourself. Social media does not cost a lot of money, but it sure involves lots of time.

In 30 days, if you find that you do not have the time or resources to do these basic monitoring tasks, you might not be ready for a full social media strategy.

If you are able to do these monitoring tasks, then you are ready to take the next steps in social media which will be covered in the next post.


Paid Search Partners, a Pay Per Click Consultancy, Seeks Search Marketing Questions for Radio Show

Paid Search Partners, a new search engine marketing consultancy, is collecting marketers’ PPC questions for their upcoming guest spot on Gravity Free Radio in Atlanta.

Looking for Google Adwords advice? Need strategic insight on your overall SEM program? Paid Search Partners will answer your questions and give expert counsel for businesses working on their own or with agencies to manage their paid search programs. Submit your paid search questions on the Paid Search Partners web site.

Paid Search Partners also offers a free ebook at their web site titled the “7 Sins of Paid Search Marketing”. Check it out!