Are you Having Trouble Getting the Staff on Board Supporting Social Media?

January 8, 2014

I think most marketers realize that social isn’t going away and they need to plan to incorporate it into their overall marketing strategy. Marketers also know that adding social means more work for their existing staffs.

One of the biggest issues is push back from others within the organization. While marketing may be in charge of social media, it doesn’t mean they have to carry the entire load. I recently read an article by Stephanie Shkolnik in Social Media Examiner that outlines suggestions on why to get employees involved. Here are some highlights:

  • Define the end goal - like any other initiative, we need to define objectives on what we’re trying to accomplish and how we are going to measure its success.
  • Create a task force - whether you’re a one-man band marketing department or have a big staff, you need to get others involved and they can and should come from other departments. Tap into sales, customer service, engineering, R&D and general management to be part of the process.
  • Develop a strategy - that will involve the whole company.
  • Be consistent - hold regular meetings with the team and track your progress.

If you get others involved and explain what the goal is, it will become easier to get others on board and share the responsibility.


Manufacturers: Benefits of Using Social Media

July 10, 2013

Although the manufacturing sector usually lags behind in newer marketing tools, it’s time for you to embrace some of them, namely social media.

I’m not saying you have to be active in every venue, but in the  B-to-B world there are certain elements like YouTube, SlideShare, LinkedIn. I’m also not saying that social media will be that silver bullet that will have customers lining up to buy your products. I will say that you probably won’t sell anything from being on social media. Then why waste your time?

Social-Media-Examiner-2013-Research-Social-Media-Marketing-Benefits-e1369104534712

The key to any tool is to know how and when to use it. Manufacturers are used to having control of the message and where it goes to which is fine. Social media is just a different way to gain exposure and increase traffic. A recent post by Heidi Cohen, 31 Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips Based on Research outlines the benefits of using social as well as tips that might help you. Here are some helpful hints from Heidi:

  • share content across social media platforms
  • make sure social sharing buttons are on blog and website
  • write guest posts
  • nudging customers to rate your products
  • ask customers to share their photos using your products
  • educate the market and continue to be a thought leader

What are you doing to maximize social media in your business?


Tips on Getting the Most out of SlideShare

January 8, 2013

SlideShare is gaining traction more and more and it’s not just for slides. SlideShare is averaging over 60 million visits a month and 120 million page views. That means great traction for your SEO and you can target buyers/influencers via tags and channels (customize content).You can also use it for lead genreation and there’s a great post in social media examiner,how to generate leads with slideshare that you may find interesting

It’s now owned by LinkedIn and they are doing a great job making it easy to connect with your LinkedIn contacts and groups.

So if SlideShare is becoming so important, we should start paying attention to the details on what and how things should be put up there. I recently read an article by Roger C. Parker in the Content Marketing Institute’s daily updates on a to-do check list (you can download it here) to make sure you’re getting the most out of SlideShare.

He outlines 22 tips on proofing, uploading files and even tips on working with PowerPoint. Here are a few of his points that hit home with me:

  • Are slide titles and text consistently placed and aligned?
  • Other than the title slide, are they numbered?
  • Does your presentation title appear at the top of each page?
  • Did you add your firm’s name, URL and contact info at the bottom of each page of your handouts?
  • Did you convert presentation files to Adobe Acrobat to preserve text formatting?
  • Did you check each link after uploading to make sure they work?
  • Did you create links between SlideShare and social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter?

I guess the point is the devil is in the details and if we all take some time, we’ll get more out of our efforts on SlideShare. Roger suggested if you want to learn more you could read The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare by Todd Wheatlan.


What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for B-to-B Companies?

November 20, 2012

According to a recent post from B2B online marketing, LinkedIn, Blogging and Facebook  are the top 3. This is according to a 2012 social media study of B2B marketers that were asked to choose the most important method they use for social media outreach.

In a study conducted by Social Media Examiner of over 1,900 B2B marketers, results indicate that while B2B marketers are finding success in their social media efforts, they still see room for improvement. Whether you’re a large company or starting a small business, here are a few statistics that show why you should be using social media.

  • Over 56% of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media.
  • 53% of B2B marketers found social media helped them develop a loyal fan base.
  • Nearly 60% of B2B marketers saw improved search rankings from their social efforts.

Each social media channel is different and should be approached that way. Here are some highlights from the post:

Facebook is more personal. Let them know what your business offers them.

  • Create an online community that encourages conversations.
  • Use photos and videos to make it more interesting.
  • Engage by offering a strong call to action. You want them to start a conversation.

Blogging is a great SEO effort and link building.

  • Become a thought leader in your area and gain credibility.
  • Target each post to a specific audience for engagement and encourage folks to share your content.
  • Use strong key words to improve site’s performance on search engines.

LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other businesses in your industries.

  • Be active. Search and connect with individuals and groups that are relevant to you.
  • Ask for recommendations from previous and current customers. These short testimonials will help prospects see why people like working with you.

Social media, if used right, can help generate leads, interact with customers and potentials and help you build your thought leadership.


Are You Using B-to-B Social Forums?

September 5, 2012

Social forums are an ideal way for B-to-B companies to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge. Forums are intended for people to exchange ideas and gather info. There are several to choose from… Quora, HighTable and LinkedIn to name a few. Most of my experience has been using LinkedIn.

A recent article on Social Media Examiner by Kane Russell gives tips on using social forums in a B-to-B setting. Here are some highlights:

  • Comment from the perspective of a thought leader - answer questions and provide qualitative and quantitative supporting evidence. Acknowledge alternative solutions.
  • Respect other users - don’t argue but address disagreements using examples and data to make your point.
  • Join the conversation - respond directly and acknowledge what others have already said.
  • Be consistent and cover subject comprehensively - do this on both where you have expertise and on topics outside your business experience.
  • Add links where necessary - but make sure they are relevant.

If you haven’t participated in a forum, please expand your horizons and try. It’s a great way to learn and make new friends.


Do You Have a Plan for Your Social Media?

September 4, 2012

What’s your social media plan – Ready, Fire, Aim?

Most businesses social media plans fail because there isn’t a plan. Starting a Facebook account or bl0g with no plan on how they will react, not only with each other but with the rest of your marketing plan, is a disaster waiting to happen.

I recently read a good article by Jim Belosic on Social Media Examiner that outlines some pretty straightforward tips for your social media efforts to be successful. Here are some highlights:

  • Make a commitment – establishing yourself and your company doesn’t happen overnight. You need to make a commitment of time, energy and resources to ensure its success.
  • Find your best fit - go where your customers or potentials are. It could be Facebook or LinkedIn. Search for your business on sites like Yelp to see where you are mentioned.
  • Create expert content - don’t promote yourself, promote conversations about issues that affect your followers. This will help engage and position you as a thought leader which is one of your main objectives.
  • Delegate tasks - as you grow your social presence, don’t get overwhelmed. Get help and recruit more team members. You don’t have to do it alone, but should manage others efforts.

Do you have a plan? Can you add to this list?


How Are You Using Social Media to Find and Engage Your Target Audience?

May 8, 2012
Do you know where your customers and prospects are spending their time online? Wouldn’t that be an important part of an overall social media strategy to find and engage them?
share of total time spent on internetIf trends continue, social networks will soon surpass internet portals like AOL and Yahoo!

I recently read an article by Phil Mershon in Social Media Examiner that highlighted five ways to use market research intelligence on how consumers behave on social media networks. Although the article is focused more on the consumer side of things, he brings out some points that us in the B-to-B world should take notice of.

Here are some highlights:

  • Know where your customers spend their time - Over 21% of internet users spent their time on social networking sites. Do you know where your customers and prospects are spending their time? One way is to ask your current customer base where they find meaningful content.
  • Develop content that is relevant to your reader - Content is king and if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to become a good source for not only product info, but for industry issues. Remember, content isn’t about you but how you can help your customer or prospect.
  • Take video seriously - Next to Google, YouTube is the most searched site. Video views have increased 43% and currently over 100 million videos are viewed daily. What are you doing to tell your story and points of differentiation?
  • Consider the role of Mobile - 8% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and that content is easy to consume and respond to.

Using key words and investigating sources on the internet, you can find places where your customers and prospects are spending time. Get there and start engaging them.

If you like this post you may like:

Why a Mobile Strategy is so Important in Reaching the Professional Tradesmen

2012 Trends of Smartphones and Tablets


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