Posts Tagged ‘social network’

A Little Social Media Help

September 3, 2010

I have been so woefully absent from blogging. My apologies. For those of you who keep coming back for more, here is a quick but helpful post relating to social media.

The nice people at Constant Contact just published two new resources on social media. These resources are designed for small businesses and small non-profits, but honestly, the info contained in here is helpful for businesses of all sizes.

Social Media Marketing Glossary: Includes definitions for about 80 different social media terms, in many cases grouped by the site they are tied to (i.e., you’ll find “Mayor” under “Foursquare,” “Hashtag” under “Twitter,” and “Like” under “Facebook”)

Get Started Building Your Social Media Presence: This guide offfers actionable advice for businesses using 14 popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, etc.) It is organized by type of site and explains what each one is, why it’s useful, and has tips for using it effectively.

Happy reading. And I promise to be back soon. Or at least sooner than 10 months…..

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B2B Social Media: Six Months Later

October 12, 2009

When I first jumped into the deep end of the social media pool in March 2009, one of my early conclusions was that social media is about creating dialogue more than it is about pushing marketing message out to the masses. This conculsion holds true.

And it’s gotten even better in the last six months! As social media has taken hold in our society and in B2B companies of all shapes and sizes I have seen a subtle but hugely important shift take place surrounding the importance of and role of marketing in these same companies.

Marketing is Moving into the Driver’s Seat

I have been involved in marketing for more than 20 years. Call me old. Or call me seasoned. I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I’ve always known that marketing was keenly dependent on sales in trying out new marketing messages, ideas, etc.

Now, with the help and power of social media, marketing is moving into the driver’s seat. When we have a new message or new positioning idea to test we can go directly to customers on Twitter or another social network to give it a whirl. When we want to ask customers for input we can post a poll to our blog or ask a question to a LinkedIn group. If we have two customer testimonial videos and we’re wondering which is more powerful we can post them to YouTube and receive feedback very quickly. Social media has given us a more immediate and direct conduit to our customers.

The Olden Days

How did we do it in the olden days – you know, back in the 90s? We were highly dependent on sales. We would create new messages based on customer input and competitive understanding. Then we would teach the inside sales group how to convey these messages and wait and see how they worked. If we were lucky the inside sales team was disciplined enough to test them and provide feedback to the marketing group. Only then would we consider using them more broadly in the market.

Marketing Now Much More One to One

The dynamics have changed. Marketing can now create dialogue more quickly and more directly with customers. As a result, marketing has become more nimble and can add more value to our companies.

There has been an old adage for years that sales is one to one while marketing is one to many. True. But now, with the help of social media those of us in marketing roles can be one to one as much as we can be one to many. I love this!

Let me know if you have any examples of how this changing dynamic is coming to life in your world.

Actively Monitor Your Brand on Social Networks

April 8, 2009

As social networks expand and become more influential it is critical to regularly monitor discussions related to your brand. Some of these discussions you will want to actively engage in while others you will just want to read from afar.

So how do you get started and how long will it take? Hubspot offers great advice on How to monitor your social media presence in 10 minutes a day.

B2B Social Media: Looking for People Like Us

March 10, 2009

Wow! Have I zoomed (okay, I admit sometimes I crawled) up the learning curve of social media in the past couple of months. This all started one day when a friend and I had a long conversation about why and how social networks matter in B2B marketing. Although both of us have been in B2B marketing for 20+ years, the benefits from and need for social media had not quite solidifed in our brains.

So I set off to get smarter, and have shared a lot of my new found knowledge with my friend. Now I share it with you.

Why should we care?

First, why does social media matter to B2B companies? A hard lesson to learn was that it’s not about marketing. What? Not about marketing? Isn’t everything about marketing in some way? Yes, but social media is really about dialogue, it’s about starting and participating in conversations about topics we care about. It’s about finding PLUs (people like us) who have interesting opinions, ideas and questions to share. It’s about being a good listener.

But there are certainly marketing implications. Marketing is all about being tuned into customers, and here are some reasons that B2B customers are drawn to social media:

  • Customers want to have easy and convenient ways to stay in contact with the companies who supply them with technology solutions.
  • Customers want to be part of a community with PLUs who have common interests – products, problems, job function, etc.
  • Customers want an easy way to learn from others, exchange ideas and information. They want to share ways they are overcoming technical challenges with their deployments.
  • Customers want an easy way to share their ideas, suggestions and critiques with peer customers and with their technology solution providers.

Are social networks and social media one and the same?

No, they are not. Social networks are Websites that enable computer users to create online networks and communicate with friends and colleagues (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace). Social media encompasses social networks as well as other online tools (blogs, podcasts, wikis, newsreaders, bookmarking services) that enable people to share content (posts, videos, photos, etc.)

The three social networks B2B companies should consider focusing their attention on first are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. More on this in a later post. Until then, if you too are climbing the learning curve on social media for B2B companies here are some resources I found helpful: