B-to-B Social Media: A Quiet Giant

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Conventional wisdom says that social media isn’t appropriate for b-to-b marketing. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Across the corporate landscape, businesses ranging from banks to high-tech firms to …

Conventional wisdom says that social media isn’t appropriate for b-to-b marketing. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Across the corporate landscape, businesses ranging from banks to high-tech firms to plumbing supplies are successfully applying social media tools to connect with customers, channel partners and suppliers. And as they grow more confident with the tools, they’re experimenting with sophisticated applications like social networks and customer co-creation. B-to-b social media marketing isn’t just blogs any more. Learn what the innovators are doing.

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  • By committing to the program for one year, the Insiders agreed to: Participate in Intel-focused events throughout the year for education purposesProvide feedback on Intel’s social media activities so that Intel could develop best practicesIn return, the Insiders would receive special “inside” access to Intel embargoed news, executive dialogues, exclusive events and visibility on Intel social web properties. We continuously engaged them with the brand by publicly disclosing that we were seeding them the latest Intel-powered devices on the market, consulting them for advice and feedback prior to most major online community engagements, and integrating them into Intel campaigns.
  • The Gurus are the cornerstone of Clickable’s marketing strategy. Clickable charged the Gurus with patrolling online search-marketing communities like Google AdWords, WebMasterWorld, and Microsoft adCenter. In addition, the Gurus submitted a weekly cutting-edge lesson to the Official Clickable Blog, and answered customer questions in Clickable Forums. After a year of service and evangelism, the Gurus have made a measurable impact on Clickable’s bottom line: The program drove a 400% increase in new monthly ad spend on the Clickable Platform versus the previous year. This is significant because Clickable’s business model is to charge 5% of total spend managed. The company’s board of directors has committed to indefinite investment and continuation of the program.


  • 1. Social Media for B-to-B Commerce
    Paul Gillin
    Author, The New Influencers
    Secrets of Social Media Marketing
  • 2. Mainframe: Art of the Sale
    • Create awareness for new mainframe value proposition
    • 3. Increase mainframe awareness with college students
    • >250,000 views of first episode
    • 4. Blog traffic increased 25x
    • 5. Analyst, Press, Blogger coverage
    • 6. Screened at Chief Sales Officer summit, Price Waterhouse sales training and other venues
    Source: Tim Washer, IBM
  • 7. http://bit.ly/7hk9iO
    "You gotta see this video….IBM is re-positioning the mainframe as a back-to-the-future alternative. The tone of Hoey's spoof training video is in keeping with the kinder, humbler image IBM now seeks to project.”
  • 8. Chaos Theory
    Small Is the New Big
    Less Marketing is More Marketing
    Gain Control By Giving Up Control
    Publication Is a Beginning, Not an End
  • 9. The Media in Collapse
    US Magazine Circulations
    Decline in circulation of top 10 newspapers in 2008: 635,000
    Average age of US daily newspaper reader: 57
    Reduction in US newsroom staffs since 2001: 45%
    Growth in NBC prime time audience, 2008: -14.3%
    Age of average network evening news viewer: 63
  • 10. New Media Facts
    Teens watch 60% less TV than their parents. They spend 600% more time online (Arthur W. Page report)
    Twitter membership up 1,900% last year (Nielsen)
    If Facebook was a country, it would be world’s fourth largest
    % of Americans under 33 on social networking sites: 67
    % over 55: 9
    Word-of-mouth marketing spending to hit $3B by 2013
    One-third of Americans under 40 say the Daily Show and Colbert Report are replacing traditional news outlets.
  • 11. The New Media Landscape
    Marathon schedule http://bit.ly/waCMc
    I can't find my good black pants.
    Shared bread pudding w/ @skydiver at Mother's. My life is now complete.
    I'm at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI, West Palm Beach). http://4sq.com/4GeLz0
    Best press photos of 2009 http://om.ly/fNhW
    How to Write a 1 Minute Video Marketing Script http://ow.ly/17xJE
    Comparing Top Chef Masters Restaurants #topchef http://is.gd/8q4hN
    How To Get Well Prepared For The Website Creation. http://bit.ly/aTitVC
  • 12. Influence
  • 13. A Case Study: Motrin Moms
  • 14. Influence Inversion
    Courtesy Digitas
  • 15. Customer at the Center
  • 16. Experience Shapes Perception
    IBM Market Research, 2008
  • 17. The Keyword Economy
    Transition from browse to search
    The click is both validation and action
    Inbound vs. outbound marketing
    SEO is critical to all marketing
  • 18. Credibility Through Validation
    Source: Elliance, Inc.
  • 19. Influencer
  • 20. Types of Influence
    Source: Barbara French
  • 21. New Influencers are…
  • Self-Appointed Celebrities
  • 26. Assessing Influence
    voip, telecom, telephony, AndyAbramson, WiFi, FMC, Fixed Mobile, Convergence, CallVantage, Vonage, Skype, GizmoProject, SightSpeed, Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Mobivox, Truphone
  • 27. Assessing Influence
  • 28. Tools to Measure Influence
    Bookmarking and RSS
    Social Media Search
    Professional networks
  • 29. Influencer Relations
    In B2C market, influencer relations successes include:
    “Since 2002, this annual event has evolved into the cornerstone of SAP's influencer programs, now serving as a key event to validate SAP's transformational market strategy.”
  • 34. You Are The Media
  • 35.
  • 36. IT Pros Are Interactive
    Source: Forrester Research
  • 37. Match Tools to Buying Stage
    Source: TechTarget
  • 38. ROI
  • 39. Types Of Financial Impact
    Cost avoidance
    Coupon redemptions
    Cost reduction
  • 40. Many Ways to Measure
    Customer complaints
    Website Visitors
    Positive press
    YouTube views
    Coupons distributed
    Visitors to a brick & mortar store
    Positive WOM
    Delivered emails
    Negative press
    Negative WOM
    Employment applications
    Blog comments
    FaceBook friends
    Social mention
    Twitter followers
    Source: BrandBuilder
  • 41. A Four-Step Process
    Using Tools Without Strategy is Like Buying a Hammer and Looking for Nails
    Business Goal
  • Sample Engagement Metrics
    % increase or decrease in unique visits
    In the past  month, what % of sessions were >5 page views
    % of sessions >5 minutes in duration
    % of visitors that return for more than 5 sessions
    % of sessions that arrive at your site from a Google search/referral/link from your web site
    % of visitors that subscribe
    % of visitors that download content
    % of visitors that provide an email address
    Ratio of posts to comments
    Source: KD Paine & Partners,
    Eric Peterson
  • 79. For Example…
    Business Goal
    • Hire Tech Freelancers
    • 80. List Rentals
    • 81. Create CoTweet Account
    • 82. Increase PR Budget
    • 83. Hire E-mail Marketing Firm
    • 84. Initiate Blogger Relations Program
    Generate 30% More Leads
    • Publish Six New White Papers
    • 85. Initiate Monthly Webcasts
    • 86. Sponsor Microsite on TechTarget
    • 87. Build Targeted Twitter List (500)
    • 88. Dedicated Monthly E-mail Blast
    • 89. Promote To Trade Publications
    • 90. List in Tech Directories
    • 91. Increase Webcast/White Paper Reg’s by 60%
    • 92. Increase Traffic to WP Landing Pages 120%
    • 93. Increase 800-Number Calls by 80%
    Review and Revise
  • 94. So Now the Fun Begins
  • 95.
  • 96. Open Up
    "Your goal should be to have as many people as possible be public voices of the company. Scary? If you answered yes, you don't have the right people."
    Brian Kalma
    Director of User Experience, Zappos
    “It is the responsibility of corporate communications to support each employee’s capability and desire to be an honest, knowledgeable ambassador to customers, friends, shareowners and public officials.”
    --From The Authentic Enterprise: Relationships,
    Values And The Evolution Of Corporate Communications
    Arthur W. Page Society, Dec., 2007
  • 97. Case Study: Clickable Gurus
  • 98. Blog:
    Social Media’s Swiss Army Knife
  • 99. The Low-Risk Option
    Cheap and easy to create and update
    Have distinct personal voice
    Can quickly build reciprocal traffic
    Excellent search engine performance
    Ability to control discussion
    Fast, low-cost alternative to press releases
  • 100. Blogging for Business
  • 101. Blogging for Business
  • 102. Blogging for Business
  • 103. Advise and Inform
  • 104. Promote
  • 105. Advocate
  • 106. Blogging Success Factors
    A clear, preferably narrow focus
    Frequent updates
    Mix of short, long, light, heavy content
    Aggressive links to other bloggers
    Comments and trackbacks
    Mixed media
    Educate and discover
    Prompt for comments
  • 107. Have Some Fun!
    OK Labs uses "social objects," or distinct icons, to create a memorable association. “It’s been a way for people to feel that they know the company before doing business with the company,” says Marti Konstant, VP of marketing
  • 108. Social
  • 109. 360° Of Value
    Needs Definition
    Peer Support
    Product lifecycle
    Viral Marketing
    Product Architecture
    Iterative Development
    Field Testing
  • 110. About Me
    About Others
    Social Network Essentials
  • 111. Facebook Fans
    Repurpose media
    Mailing List
  • 112. Facebook Fan Pages
    Great way to connect enthusiasts to each other
    Can be about any topic
    99% are dead; they require care and feeding
    Can be restricted or open
    Can be visible or invisible to search engines
    Admins have permission to message members
  • 113. LinkedIn for Business
    Active Groups…
    …and a Distinctive Approach to Company Profiles
  • 114. Spiceworks Community
    • 800,000 registered users
    • 115. National user conference; multiple regional conferences
    • 116. Points system rewards participation without payments
    “What’s always amazed me is how much people are willing to give back.”
    Tabrez Syed, Director of Products, Spiceworks
  • 117. Element14
    Document and information exchange for electronics engineers
    Anyone can become a designated “expert” by delivering value
    More than 10,000 documents contributed and indexed in first six months
  • 118. Microblogging
  • 119. Many Uses for Twitter
  • 120. Engage Popular People
    1.7 million followers
    1.1 million followers
    1.2 million followers
  • 121. Twitter Success Factors
    Twitter can promote all your other SM activities
    Share broad range of information
    Make it personal
    Be remarkable
    Mix it up
    Respond and retweet
    Coordinate with others in your organization
    Repeat important messages
  • 122. Promoting Your Content
  • 123. Social Media Press Room
    Elements May Include:
    News Releases
  • 124. New Publishing Lifecycle
    Begins as a tweet
    Becomes a blog entry
    Feeds a podcast
    Stokes a white paper
    That gets tweeted!
  • 125. Publish Everywhere
    44 million members
    32 million members
    300 million members
    1 billion daily views
    1 million daily visitors
    6 million daily visitors
    1.5 million daily visitors
    10 million members
    50 million members
  • 126. Secrets of Engagement
    Be comfortable
    Be distinctive
    Be brief
    Be kind
    Be honest
    Be offbeat
    Be genuine
    Be shareable
    Be generous
    Be funny
  • 127. Thank you!
    Paul Gillin
    Twitter: pgillin
    Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter at gillin.com
    Available on Amazon or at NewInfluencers.com
    Available on Amazon or at SSMMbook.com
    Coming late 2010: Social Marketing to the Business Customer
    By Paul Gillin & Eric Schwartzman