Is Social Media Right for B2B organisations?

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  • Like Fatigue, Follow Fatigue. Facebook/Twitter growth plateauing, reaching saturation. Opinions are as polarised
  • Target customers highly intelligent. Technical buyers make very informed decisions. Blog and social strategy thus created. Easier for others in Indium to contribute, as just talking transparently about their knowledge. Reduced marketing materials by 70%, trade show exhibits by 60%. True thought leader positioning. Transformed their business in terms of leads. Most people have already done their homework before they call, meaning all incoming enquiries highly positive leads.
  • LinkedIn is a business focused social networking site – You all should have received an email invitation from myself to connect prior to this seminar?! One third of professionals in UK now use LinkedIN. Generally speaking LinkedIn is okay if your objective is customer communication, it’s good for brand exposure, bad for generating traffic to your site and okay for improving your search engine presence
  • Most people use LinkedIn as an online business card directory – there is a lot more to LinkedIn You can integrate it with your company twitter account and company blog so that it automatically updates your news feed. Does anyone here use Groups within LinkedIn? If your objective for social media is to be a thought leader, I would definitely start utilising this facility. It provides a place to find and join communities of professionals based on common interest, experience, affiliation and goals – the answers you provide become part of your profile and can demonstrate your expertise to your connections, leads and employers Expertise is a feedback measure from your fellow users, when people chose your answer as the best you get expertise points, which then help LinkedIn to recommend experts in each of the areas You can also use Polls to gain further insights from your connections and other LinkedIn members.
  • Firstly, make sure all your employees have their own profile and are assigned to the company profile Make sure you link to you company website, blog, rss and twitter account
  • Facebook is good for customer communciation and brand exposure objectives, okay for generating traffic to your site and bad for search engine optimisation – mainly due to Google and Facebook battle I know a few of you have facebook pages already, however this very short section is to give those of you that don’t a little bit of a steer in how to set up a page
  • You no longer need a facebook account to create a page – however I would recommend getting to grips with how it works before starting to embrace social media on behalf of your company.
  • Facebook provides a wizard to help set you up. You can import contacts from an existing database, You can generate a bit of code to add to your website so that people can automatically like your page from your website (without them having to leave the page and visit facebook)
  • Once you’ve got the basics in place, you can then hit the edit button in the top right hand corner and start customising your page more. You page comes with a wall, info tab and photos. You can activate additional functions in the apps section There are additional apps you can add to make your page more engaging – for example a discussion board You can, integrate Facebook with Twitter so that your facebook status automatically updates your twitter feed – however, seeing that Twitter restricts the size of you update I would recommend integrating your twitter account with your facebook page so that Twitter updates facebook.
  • You can customise your site further with additional tabs, for example we created a pre-like and after-like page for our client AF International. The pre like tab is what a user will see before liking the AF Page and as you can see it is enticing them to like The after like page just offers the user a little more information about what they can expect from AF and their updates
  • To do this, there are many third party applications, however the two most popular are Shortstack and Wildfire which make it easy to upload your own html and designs. Both however do have a cost involved in doing so.
  • Twitter is good for customer communication, brand exposure and is only regarded as okay for generating traffic to your site and optimising your site for search engines.
  • I know a lot of you are using twitter already, however for those that don’t let me just run through some of the Twitter jargon that can be rather confusing if you’re new to it
  • To start with, import your existing database and update all marcomms to include your social media links You then need to start strategically thinking about who your target audience are and who else might be interested in your campaign, Go on to brainstorm all possible iterations of keywords that your audience may use to find you or the topics you will be discussing Then go on to some free 3 rd party tools to identify your target audience. You simply type in the keyword or topic and they will bring up the most recent mentions of that topic across all of the social media platforms, many allow you to follow/like them from their site without then having to search for them on twitter or facebook At the heart of any social media campaign in an initial planning and identification process…
  • This is a screen shot of our Klout account. It maps all of our followers klout score, which makes it easy for us to see who is the most influential, and what they’re influential about. It is a good idea to try and engage, either by replying to topics they’ve blogged about, retweeting their message which hopefully in turn will develop in to an online relationship is another 3 rd party tool which
  • Klout allow provides you with your own score, you can link all of your social accounts to Klout for them to give you an overall score of your online influence, your network influence, your amplification probability and your true reach. This does go up and down on a daily basis depending on your activity, so whilst it is a good tool, I would not spend too much time worrying about your individual scores.
  • Two management platforms which are free for the basic package, some more advanced users may like to pay for the premiere package which gives your access to analytics across all social accounts. The good thing about both of these management platforms is that they allow you to schedule your tweets for the week ahead – whilst it’s importantto point out you still need to keep an eye on it to jump on any engagement, it can help save time.


  • 1. Is Social Media Right For B2B Organisations? #f3seminars @factor3tweets 20 th September 2011
  • 2. Welcome to Factor 3
    • Fully integrated, full service marketing and creative agency
    • Established in 1996 by three founding directors
    • Cheltenham based. Fully independent
    • Member of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
    • Broad base of clients and experience
    • Strong strategic links with media independent and PR partners
    • £2 million annual turnover
    • Media schedule fulfilment (via media independent) circa £3m p.a.
    • 16 members of staff
  • 3. Who we work with
  • 4. Our services Brand strategy Design Advertising Digital Direct mail Packaging Point of sale Signage
  • 5. Our approach
    • Understand
    Understanding the issue, its causes, the context and dynamics. A diagnostic process. Determining which disciplines and what actions could combine to help meet the objectives. Resolving the campaign ‘shape’. Appropriation of budget and effort. Create Deliver
  • 6. Disclaimer
    • Vast subject, limited time
    • Specifics impossible in ‘group’ situation
    • Covering principles of social media for B2B market
  • 7. Contents
    • Both sides of the coin
    • Bad B2C examples
    • What is social media
    • B2B vs B2C usage
    • Dispelling myths
    • Case study
    • B2B ‘rules’
    • Common objectives
    • Case study
    • Practical demos
    • Company policy
    • Google + Summary
  • 8. A counter view
    • Mark Ritson , Marketing Week
    • Impressive ‘pre-match’ coverage, ending at kick-off. No coverage of achievements
    • Marketing world under ‘a spell’
    • ‘ Traditional’ channels hardly covered
    • For every good campaign, dozens of bad ones not justifying existence
  • 9. A counter view
    • Mark Ritson , Marketing Week
    • Scoffs at notion ‘low cost’
    • You cannot demonstrate ROI at all
    • Marketing = making money
    • Social media makes no change to the way marketing works
    • Big brands only doing it because others are. Nobody wants to appear ‘out of date, out of touch’
  • 10. A counter view
    • Example: Best Buy
    • Heralded launch into UK market purely via Facebook / Twitter
    • After 18 months, only 15,000 Likes, 5,000 Twitter followers
  • 11. A counter view
    • Example: Seat
    • Campaign “To marry the obvious appeal of our character to the phenomenon of Facebook”
    • Depite 30,000 annual sales, they barely have 5,000 followers
  • 12. A counter view
    • Example: Ben & Jerry’s
    • Ditched email in favour of social media
    • Justified: “developing friendship & relationship with consumers is key for the brand”
    • Despite 1,000,000 tubs sold per month only 5,500 Twitter followers
  • 13. A counter view
    • His conclusions:
    • Nobody talks about failures; no ‘graveyard’
    • The numbers rarely ‘stack up’. Even when they do, rarely compared with potential results via other channels
    • Good brand managers: ‘media neutral’
  • 14. Market analysis
  • 15. So what is social media?
  • 16. How about all of these?
  • 17. People also forget:
    • Blogs
    • Forums
    • Message boards
    • News / Indi news site message boards
    • These outnumber ‘social’ sites many 1000x
  • 18. Social media ‘revolution’?
    • Social media been with net since beginning
    • Bebo, MySpace etc – ‘mainstream’
    • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube truly
    • mass market
    • All created more tools for marketeers
    • Big push by industry, including social agencies
  • 19. So what is social media?
    • Any site that enables public communication
  • 20. Best usage for social media
    • Building meaningful relationships you can
    • leverage now and into the future
    • Quality, not quantity of audience
    • People more likely to do business if ‘in relationship’
  • 21. B2C usage
  • 22. B2B usage
  • 23. Why lower numbers?
    • Personal user
      • Hobby/pastime
      • Brands say something about the user
      • Following isn’t always engaging
    • Professional
      • No time!
      • Brands less relevant in ‘affinity’ terms
      • Companies followed to enrich working life
    • Broader considerations
      • Role of decision making unit
      • Higher prices create barriers to entry
  • 25. #1: Social media is cheap
    • Tools are free, but...
    • Trial and error principles inherent
    • Highly time consuming
    • For B2B, rarely ‘direct response’ channel
    • Incentivising response = ancillary costs
  • 26. #2: Missing 1,000,001 opportunities
    • Businesses still do well without social media
    • 100 bad examples for every good one
    • In general, no ‘quick wins’ for B2B
    • Formulaic approaches still in infancy
    • Excelling in social media is not simply about the bottom line
    • Doing it badly is worse than not doing it at all
  • 27. #3: Social media is changing ‘the rules’
    • All ‘traditional’ channels work the same way
    • Social media not necessarily promotional channel
    • As a marketing channel, same rules apply
      • Right message
      • Right audience
      • Right place
      • Right time
  • 28. #4: Best place for customer insight
    • Not all of your customers have access at work
    • Neither is social media use part of many every day roles
    • Not all customers care about business on social media
    • Excluding those (above) not ‘qualitative’ as a research tool
    • However, great tool for measuring social audience
  • 29. So what is it good for?
    • Social media no more a ‘saviour’ than any other marketing channel
    • Social media ineffective as sales channel, if sole purpose
    • To excel in social media requires entirely new paradigm
    • When deployed correctly it can empower your business
  • 30. Golden rule #1
    • People don’t want to be marketed ‘to’ they want to be communicated ‘with’
  • 31. Social media is like a dinner party
  • 32. Social media is like a dinner party
  • 33. Social media is like a dinner party
  • 34. A place for everyone
  • 35. B2B Communication rules
    • Previously stated, professionals ‘time-poor’
    • Critical to be a PRUDE over content:
      • Pertinent – Provide something significant and timely
      • Relevant – Ensure it relates with your audience
      • Useful – In audience’s professional lives
      • Digestable – It has to be easy to understand
      • Enriching – Audience feels better with you in their lives
    • Content is key
    • Time is precious
  • 36. Golden rule #2
    • It takes time to build relationships
    • you need friends to invite to a party, you need to invite the right people
  • 37. Building relationships
    • Put yourself out there to build relationships
    • Once formed, relationships require effort
    • Too much contact ‘stalker-ish’
    • Engage and respond. Communication two-way
    • Relate first, ‘sell’ second
    • Relationship more likely between equals
  • 38. Common social media objectives
    • Increase website traffic
    • Brand awareness exercises
    • Deepen customer service
    • Form/change opinion
    • Develop ‘thought-leader’ positioning
    • Create brand advocates
    • Establish/regain trust
    • Participatory business/product developers
  • 39.  
  • 40.
    • Social bookmarking
    • Ensure tweets communicated through all social platforms
    • Keep key info on your site, force people to go there
    • Signpost to first phases of conversion funnels from landing pages
    Increasing website traffic
  • 41. Brand awareness
    • Critical to ensure brand values upheld at
    • all times
    • Create compelling reasons for people to engage with your brand
    • Viral marketing – YouTube videos excellent for B2B, supported by social audience
    • Brand building exercises have limited life spans due to deluge of content
  • 42. Deepening customer service
    • Inherent in the medium
    • More ways to contact = easier comms
    • Customer support on public sites sends strong message
  • 43. Thought leadership
    • Differentiates you from the competition
    • Show deep, empirical research to back up your opinion
    • Be completely user-centric
    • Aim to achieve something specific with audience - e.g. get in front of top 100 listed companies.
  • 44. Case study - Indium
  • 45. Case study - Indium
  • 46. Case study - Indium
  • 47. Case study - Indium
  • 48. Not isolated
    • Social media doesn’t operate in a vacuum
    • Only successful as part of comms mix
    • Especially critical to ensure consistency of brand messaging
    • Social media is a complementary activity
  • 49. Social media strategy
    • Strategy absolutely key
    • Direction determined before jumping in
    • Better not to do it at all than do it half-heartedly
    • Keys to social success:
      • Appetite
      • Context
      • Resource
  • 50.  
  • 51.
    • Practical demonstration…
  • 52. – top tips
    • Make sure your employees are assigned to your company profile
    • Add your company website, blog, RSS and Twitter account
    • Go through your business card folder and invite your contacts to join you
    • Try and connect with new biz leads
    • Ask people to recommend your company services
    • Use groups and polls to gain insights from other LinkedIn members
  • 53.  
  • 54. Facebook – Creating a business page
  • 55. FB - wizard
  • 56. Facebook
    • Practical demonstration…
  • 57. Customised pages
  • 58. Customising (additional) tabs
  • 59.  
  • 60. Twitter jargon
    • ‘ Tweet’ – each comment posted on twitter is referred to as a tweet
    • ‘ Retweet’ – Repeating someone else’s tweet to your followers (it appears as the originator)
    • ‘ @mentions’ – a reply to a tweet or a mention in someone else's
    • ‘ Hashtag’ – a hashtag is a way of categorising tweets and exposing yourself to a larger audience
    • ‘ Lists’ – a grouping function, that allows you to bunch users together to see what they’re up to without having to follow directly
    • ‘ DM’ – short for direct message, a private tweet which you can only send to people that are following you
  • 61. Twitter
    • Practical demonstration…
  • 62. Finding your audience
    • Import & send invitations to your existing database
    • Advertise your social media presence (update website, emails and other comms)
    • Who are your target audiences?
    • What interest areas will your audience cluster around?
    • Brainstorm all possible iterations of keywords relevant for audience
    • Research target audience & keywords:
  • 63. Hooking social media influencers
    • Klout also allows you to see which of your followers are the most influential on twitter
    • It is a good idea to target these influencers
    • Retweet, reply and engage with them to encourage them to do the same
  • 64. Overall social media measurement tools
    • Provides you with scores to measure:
    • Your online influence
    • Your network influence (Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach)
    • Amplification probability (Amplification indicates how much you influence people)
    • Your true reach (True Reach is the number of people you influence)
  • 65. Management platforms
    • &
    • Manage LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter from one location
    • Both allow you to schedule updates/tweets
    • Built in analytics that allows you to customise reports
  • 66. Social media as company policy
    • Critical if embracing as a business
    • Many employment contracts include social media clauses
    • IT policies need to consider role of social media in organisation
    • Time online must remain productive
  • 67. Already evolving
    • Engaged audiences now part of product/service development
    • Rather than top-down development, now more a flow chart
    • ‘ Beta testing’ now not just a software term
    • Even without direct sales, social media helping build stronger sales
  • 68. Evolving again - Google+ implications
    • Vast and far reaching
    • Integration of separate Google services
    • Separates work life from personal life
    • Directly integrated with Analytics/Adwords
    • Transform the face of search
      • SEO not just based on backlinks
      • Recommendations in broad terms
      • Recommendations based on peers
    • Biggest reason social media can no longer be ignored
  • 69. Summary
    • Hot debate, contentious, but cannot be ignored
    • Don’t rely purely on the mainstream channels
    • People don’t want to be marketed ‘to’, rather communicated ‘with’
    • Requires resource & Commitment
    • Social media strategies take time
    • Quality, not quantity of audience
    • Not strictly sales or marketing tool. Both, but none
    • Better not to do it than do it poorly
    • Be a PRUDE with content
    • Remember, it’s only a part of the overall mix
  • 70. How we can help
    • Social media strategy & policy
    • Communication strategy
    • KPI setting
    • Build engaging landing pages
    • Create buzz, grow community
    • Leverage existing audiences/influencers
    • Creation of blogs/content
    • Measurement
    • Training & ongoing support
  • 71.
    • Thank you!
    • Any questions?