Social Media For Business Marketing


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Social Media can absolutely help any business reach more consumers.

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Social Media For Business Marketing

  1. 1. Business Leads: Using Social Media for Business Marketing Harnessing the power to generate leads The New “Socially-Acceptable” Business TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET? – THAT IS THE QUESTION asked these days by businesses of all sizes and types regarding social networking. Should this uncensored, viral form of communication established seemingly for Millennials and college kids be part of the business environment? Is it proper business practice and etiquette to take advantage of online social media by incorporating it into a company advertising or PR plan? Not only is social media becoming part of everyday business and deemed acceptable by analysts and organizations around the world, it is possibly the most important and effective means of lead generation since the creation of the Yellow Pages. We can no longer look at social media as “those online connections of friends and chatter,” it’s now a crucial marketing tool that deserves attention. We need to embrace it as a new revolution in consumer behavior. Pick up the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek or virtually any business pub these days and you will see Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of others headlined across the page causing eye-openers about social networking and how it’s transforming the way we do businesses. The reality of it is unmistakable when we learn that businesses such as Ford, Office Depot and Dell have not only embraced social networking as a new marketing mantra, they have found ways to build their brand, learn from customers, and make money from it. Our premise, as put forth in this report, is that social media can and should be used as an effective tool for lead generation and brand development. To that end, we also contend that the success of social media is shaped by two distinct factors – technology and trust. Technology is the enabler that conveniently connects the consumer to businesses, research, friends and family, while trust is the driver behind why they look to their friends first when considering a business, product or service . . . over 2 billion connections just last month in fact, according to Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business
  2. 2. The New “It’s All About Me” Consumer CONSUMERS ARE REJECTING ADS PUSHED TO THEM – they want choice. Push-based information, such as emails, pop-up Internet ads, TV and radio . . . they are all quickly giving way to pull-based information served up to the consumer when and where he/she chooses. In other words, as described by Calisto, a how social networking is enabling Calisto Communications also says global technology communica- it, and how you can tap into those that people are “placing greater tions firm, “customers are rejecting mega-numbers to help drive traffic to credibility on social media and user- obsolete interruptive advertising and your business. generated content than profession- moving to interactive engagement marketing.”2 ally written editorial reviews and The Social Media Factor information.” The assertion is that Nielsen Online, the interactive divi- Many marketing authorities believe friends and family provide unbiased sion of the world’s leading marketing that broadcast advertising is in fact and real customer experiences, and media information company, already obsolete and that consumer- particularly if they are negative or recently reported “Growth in social driven “choice” marketing has taken unsatisfactory, whereas professional media is the single most significant charge. Television advertisers for reviews and business themselves will story in the online media space today. instance are gearing up to deliver avoid them. Social networking sites have eclipsed topic-specific commercials based personal email in global reach.3” Nielsen states that “recommenda- on personal profiles just as Internet ads are currently delivered based on tions from personal acquaintances The question then begs to be online activity and buying behavior. or opinions posted by consumers answered . . . why is this form of online are the most trusted forms mass media taking off in an era when In the same way that permission- of advertising.” Nielsen also cites people scream about information based marketing is affecting out- that, “Ninety percent of consum- overload? The answer is in realizing bound advertising, it is shaping lead ers surveyed noted that they trust that consumers don’t want just in- generation programs as well. When recommendations from people they formation, they want honest, trusted putting together a lead generation know.” answers about any given topic and program, you must first understand that social networking has created what drives the consumer behavior, the perfect forum for this dialog to take place – quickly, conveniently and among friends. Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business
  3. 3. Companies Look Behind the Ad Curtain CREATE A BUZZ IN SOCIAL NETWORKING AND YOU is about innovation and spotting new business opportuni- MAY GET A SWARM, at least that is what Ford Motor ties before they go mainstream. For instance, readers Company noticed when they generated 4.6 million posts flooded IdeaStorm with suggestions and proposals when on social networking sites by launching a campaign for the Dell began exploring the desktop Linux market and again 0 Ford Fiesta in Europe4. The plan involved hooking up when Dell was re-introducing Windows XP preloads as an a few “socially vibrant” applicants to drive the new Fiesta alternative to Windows Vista. around to geocache (an outdoor treasure hunting game in which users use GPS devices to find containers and trea- sure) cities and take interesting videos along the way. They would then post the videos and commentary about their experiences on social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) as they go. The Fiesta is not set to launch in the U.S. until next year, but with all the buzz surrounding it already, it is sure to have plenty of mind share at the time of launch. Mission accomplished. Office Depot is another company that has figured out how to hop on to the social networking bandwagon to create a stur about their products. According to a Forbes article,5 they use a “channel advertising” product called BrandVoice which allows Office Depot suppliers like Kingston (memory-product maker) to publish customer Figure 1: Dell’s social networking site, IdeaStorm reviews on Office Office Depot gets free, authentic product reviews and Kingston pays for—and Clearly though, there is no mainstream advertising model benefits from—the extra exposure. A month after Kingston that works on social networking sites. In fact, it is contrary launched BrandVoice’s reviews on, the to the unbiased, free-speech concept of social networking retailer saw a 0-fold increase in the number of reviews of – which leaves many marketers pondering about how to Kingston products. More importantly, the reviews translat- make money from social media or even get the budget to ed into more sales at Office Depot where sales of reviewed attempt it. Consequently, less than percent of all digital Kingston products nearly doubled. Even sales of Kingston advertising budgets currently flow to social media, accord- products that hadn’t been reviewed grew 5%. Another ing to social-advertising company BuddyMedia.6 But as mission accomplished. you’ve learned here, companies like Ford, Office Depot and Dell have looked behind the ad curtain to figure out Dell Computers is taking advantage of the viral power of how this new media can be harnessed to create buzz and social networking with its IdeaStorm site – an online forum enhance their businesses. where readers can suggest new business ideas, vote for their favorite submissions and interact with Dell. The site is so popular that other vendors (such as Canonical, an open source advocate) are now copying the concept. IdeaStorm Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business
  4. 4. The Power of are now being posted on blogs, customer surveys are put up on user Viral Marketing networks, job postings are put on IF YOU RAN AN AD ON TWITTER, Social networking association networks, and contests AND IT WAS RE-TWEETED 00 is a “mind-set shift are attached to any number of other TIMES, you might pay $00 CPM networks. Positive, consistent com- for displaying that ad the first time that will make us munication with consumers will go a because you would have an effective relevant to today’s long way toward strengthening your $ CPM, right? Unfortunately, adver- consumers...” brand image, improving customer tising is not available on Twitter . . . satisfaction, and increasing leads. but the concept of value for spread- In the words of PG’s marketing ing the word is. That is precisely how chief Jim Stengel, “social network- any marketing or PR initiative needs ing is a mind-set shift that will make to look at social networking – not as Spread the Word us relevant to today’s consumers; a an advertising sales opportunity, but mind-set shift from ‘telling and selling’ Social networking is dubbed viral as a means for spreading messages to building relationships.” marketing for a good reason . . . it is about the organization, its brand and easily transferred, it quickly multiplies, solutions, and creating lasting rela- How to Get Started and it will die out if it doesn’t remain tionships with consumers and media So, how does a organization get in contact with people. The difference gatekeepers. started into social networking to drive is, social networking for business can new relationships and word-of-mouth Google ads work because people be a positive infection or negative leads? Contrary to some beliefs, it are looking for information. They do one, depending on who starts it and does not involve buying an applica- a search, and if the advertisement how it is managed. A disgruntled tion that sits on a social platform and shows information that helps with the customer can post comments just spams messages to others. Rather, query, all is well. However, when it as easily as a satisfied customer, and it centers around a few individuals comes to social networking, usage is more often is the one who does. assigned as “buzz masters” to the quite different. People are not looking However, if your organization is read- organization – individuals that post for information about products or ing and watching, it can be prepared messages and reply to others on a companies directly — they’re looking with turnaround messaging that regular basis by providing content to communicate with friends and shows the audiences your organi- valuable to readers. The next section others with similar interests. In many zation cares enough to listen and provides details on creating buzz to cases, that communication may be respond – even if you can’t resolve about a product or company, but they drive leads for your organization. the problem. only want feedback from the trusted This is the power of social network- friends’ perspective. In that environ- ing. It can control how consumers ment, ads are seen as an intrusion look and think about your organiza- rather than a welcome addition. tion and your services. Press releases Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 4
  5. 5. Creating Buzz for Leads ONE EVERY SECOND is the rate at which social com- Step 2: Look for Companion Sites. munity LinkedIn is adding new members.7 07 million Fundamental to member communities and networks is the people around the world are now actively using Facebook ability to give users a sense of association or belonging. and almost half of them are using it every day.8 Twitter has Users join groups where they can freely share like ideas and a current annual growth rate at over ,00 percent and learn from others with similar interests. This is where you almost half of those users are age 5 to 49.9 With statistics need to look next – the communities that purchase or use like these, your business can’t afford to have the social your company’s type of products or services. networking train leave the station without you on it. You Suppose you were a car dealer following conversation need to get on board and use this medium to drive as on Twitter about car buying and you see reference to the many followers as you can to your company Website and member community,, which posts advice turn them into customers. and experiences surrounding automobile brands. You can For help, we have put together the following steps simply link to that site and start following threads of discus- to guide you through the use of social networking to sions from those members. The more you link and look drive leads. around, the more targeted groups you will find. Other tar- geted groups range from a site for those who Step 1: Listen. want to quit smoking, to for pet enthusiasts, First and foremost, before posting to social networking and everything in between. As your organization becomes sites or even starting your own, you need to read and listen more comfortable with the medium and your social media to what is currently being said. This will give you great strategy evolves, you may find yourself not only participat- insights into the tone, attitude and topics being discussed. ing in existing communities, but developing communities Begin by visiting some of the top networking sites, such as of your own. the list compiled by This step will also help you identify the top bloggers who are influencing your target audiences. Figure 2: social network ranking Figure 3: PetZume social networking site Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 5
  6. 6. Step 3: Develop a Value Strategy. Step 4: Execute with Diligence. For many organizations this step is a simple as reinforcing Like changing your oil, a well-tuned machine will deliver the brand and corporate messages. If your organization is the greatest performance. The more attention you give to known for exceptional customer service rather than being a keeping your content up to date and informative, the more price leader, for instance, your postings and conversations your discussions will thrive and spread. Mix up your game should reiterate the quality of your customer service. It to make it interesting. Post video snippets, offer up links to also goes without saying, you should respond to customer similar sites, post white papers, create voting polls on your comments and postings quickly, with attention to service. new products, list job openings, deliver RSS new feeds, or offer rewards for those that can champion your brand to For organizations that want to take social networking to other sites. a higher level, a more thorough strategy is needed. For example, suppose as the principal of a home remodeling Once you are underway, you may be surprised how little business, you wanted to tap into a new segment for eco- time it actually takes to keep a site active. For instance, friendly construction. Your strategy may involve posting Twitter only allows 40 characters per update, or about videos about your “green” materials on environmental one sentence. discussion sites or submitting surveys about environmental building interests in your area. If you were part of a wellness center for eating disorders your strategy may include posting testimonials from patients that have completed your intervention program. TIP: Do not post the testimonials directly, simply create and market the forum for open discussion so that your patients will post and carry on the discussions themselves. This way, statements by your patients will be viewed as trusted, inviting, and unbiased. Regardless of the approach you choose, keep in mind, the main objective is to make sure value is delivered in each Figure 4: Big Green Switch member site on Twitter and every communication. Value is what drives readership and the viral spreading of your messages; the more read- ers trust your information and find it useful, the more they will follow your postings and recommend you to others. Simply by posting one sentence per day, you give users a reason to come back each and every day. And, hope- JetBlue decided to deliver value by inspiring a culture of fully that one sentence leads to a dozen more. immediate response through open dialogue with their Additionally, by posting to a site like Twitter, your customers using social media. By fostering communication updates can also be automatically sent to Facebook, of understanding and forgiveness, customers are more MySpace, LinkedIn and a host of others using applica- likely to forgive incidents that would put other airlines out tions like TweetDeck. of business. As a result, JetBlue has more than 0,000 followers on Twitter—nine times that of Southwest Airlines and 85 times that of Delta Airlines.0 Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 6
  7. 7. Step 5: Network software, you should include links This concept of networking your Your Messages. to those other application vendors message on social networking sites is This step is often the most misunder- and partners. a crucial to driving traffic to your site. stood, but is the easiest to execute. The more sites you are listed on, the Back on your company website you more search engines will find mention The concept involves building a link can expand your social network by of you. In turn, the higher ranking you to additional information anytime adding links to other social net- will receive and the higher you will be you post a message. For example, working sites your organization is placed on the page. if you posted a comment that your connected with. This way, users can company made its projected earn- choose to follow your topic using the And, finally, the more page views and ings, you should include a link to a community site they prefer or use calls you will receive from users look- press release or annual report on most often. ing for your products and services. your company Website that provides more detail. If you are responding to customer comments about applica- tions that work with your company Case Study: being discussed at the online sites. Promoted the white paper across the network. Information Builders Leveraged the different sections of to How can Information Builders, an enterprise software mine potential prospects: RSS feeds, alerts, blogs, vendor, generate leads from an industry online group email newsletters, and discussion groups. without appearing to be just “selling?” Used a customized registration page to capture lead qualification information, then added the leads to the Strategy CRM system for sales follow up. Use B-to-B social networking sites as a way to provide relevant content to professionals debating key indus- Results try issues. Reach prospects that are early in the prod- The social networking audience was so receptive to uct research stage (just ’shopping’) and those openly the white paper offers that the campaign exceeded seeking advice about business information systems. its goal for total leads by more than 42 percent. Sales made as a result of this program delivered a 750 per- Solution cent return on investment. Invested time in learning about member interests on social networking sites. Designed a new white paper Case study from Marketing Sherpa, published in www. and email discussion group series around the issues 11 Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 7
  8. 8. Step 6: Utilize Technology. Step 7: Measure. With so much content online, you need to break through One of the challenges with social media is that measure- the clutter to get noticed. This is accomplished not only ment is often difficult since Internet boundaries are virtually through interesting and informative content, but through non-existent. However, there are some measurements you the use of technology as well. Users can browse video clips can perform to get a reasonable sense of how well your through YouTube, photos through Flickr, and news through social networking campaigns are performing: Digg, while sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are useful • Follow search ranking results on the major search for keeping track of contacts and a record of when we last engines: Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Bing “touched” them. • Create search phrases that are not used commonly by In others situations, an application that plugs-n-plays search engine optimization groups and track the with social networks may be useful for your organization. increase in the terms. Samples of these include: • Track increases in unique visitors to your site at the time – a tool that allows you to install chat capabili- you launch a campaign. ties that connects to MSN, Yahoo, MySpace, Google Talk • Compile a list of your brand advocates and influences and others. and track their perpetuation of your messages. – a solution that aggregates products for • Track the flavor (positive, negative) of messages being markup and resale. posted about your organization. – a site that allows users to earn rewards • Track user registrations on your site and follow them for promoting content on behalf of others. through the sales cycle. – a site that pays users to have their friends join a member group. – a site that enables posting, monitoring and measurement of PR announcements. – a tool that helps users to create their own social networking site. – a Windows application that allows PC to PC phone conversation over the Internet. – a RSS (Real Simple Syndication) news feed application that delivers your new updates to others simultaneously. Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 8
  9. 9. Additional Facts • According to Neilsen Online, for Consideration social networking sites eclipsed personal email in global reach at • Market research firm eMarketer 68.4% vs. 64.8%, in February 009. predicts that U.S. advertising And even more significant—in only spending on social networks will the first few months of 009—the exceed $.6 billion this year (009) as reach of these sites is growing at the sites and companies that make a brisk pace, faster than any other applications for them push to harvest online sector. more personal information posted online, then sell it to advertisers. • The average social networker goes to social sites five days a week • Of 0 chief marketing officers and checks in about four times a day who responded to a survey by for a total of an hour each day. Nine- Anderson Analytics asking them percent stays logged in all day and which platform would figure into are constantly checking out what’s their marketing plans the most in the new. Anderson Analytics, 009 4 coming months, 40.8% responded Twitter, followed by 6.% saying Facebook, 6.5% saying LinkedIn, • LinkedIn claims that the average and 8.7% responding “Other.” household income of its members is $0,000, 64 percent are male, the average age is 4, and 49 percent • A study run by business social are decision makers. In contrast, the network shows that average Wall Street Journal reader, executives are spending an extra makes $0,000 per household, is hours a month online sharing their 48 years old, and only 40 percent are professional experiences and learning business decision makers. from their peers. Over 90% of respondents said they felt their time online was ‘very valuable’ to their daily role.4 Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 9
  10. 10. Summary WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING THROUGH MULTIMEDIA CHANNELS No longer is the – better known today as social networking – is a dynamic new medium that marketer or agency is transforming marketing as we know it. No longer is the marketer or agency in control of in control of messaging and how it is communicated; the consumer is now in charge. However, savvy businesses are learning how to adapt to this new messaging and how instrument by combining the power of viral marketing and technology to their it is communicated; advantage. Your job, as an ambassador of your company, is to understand how the consumer is now to use social networking to drive leads for your business. in charge. For the Marketing Executive Spend time listening and joining social networks associated with your line of business. Keep an eye open for those with high numbers of followers. These are usually the ones that are providing the most value. Plan your strategy so that you fit in with the message threads and don’t be afraid to start new ones. For the New Business Manager Join as many social networks as you can. Reach out and connect with those that have similar interests and work in the same industry. However, avoid listing yourself as a sales person, readers will think you’re online just to drive business and they will tend to not trust what you say. Also, use social networks to explore and find new sales channels and advocates of your brand. For the C-Level Executive Use social networks as a powerful marketing and PR vehicle for your organization. Readers will follow you and respond. Take advantage of the opportunity. Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business 0
  11. 11. About Berry Network Berry Network, Inc. is an advertising and marketing agency, and a wholly- owned subsidiary of ATT. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Berry Network supports over 400 regional and national clients with marketing programs designed to drive leads at the local level. Berry Network’s award winning portfolio continues to expand. Our advertising solutions currently include print Yellow Pages, Internet Yellow Pages, search engine marketing, mobile marketing, direct mail, and social media. Contact To learn more about how Berry Network drives local leads, visit our website at or call one of our offices listed below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Berry Network Berry Network Headquarters West Coast 00 Kettering Blvd 0 Pacifica, Suite 70 Dayton, OH 4549 Irvine, CA 968 Tel: 800-66-64 Tel: 800-544-04 Sources: 1., 2009 2. Calisto Communications:“The Changing Role of Marketing and PR in the New Age of Social Media,” 2009 3. NeilsenOnline, “The Future is Bright for Online Media,” 2009 4., “Social Media Spreads the Word for Ford,” July 2009 5., “Where Social Networking Cashes In,” June 2009 6., “Making Money from Social Ties,” September 2008 7. AdvertisingAge, “LinkedIn Skyrockets as Job Losses Mount,” March, 2009 8. PC Magazine, “More Americans Go to Facebook than MySpace,” June 2009 9. Nielsen Wire, “Twitter’s Tweet Smell of Success,” March, 2009 10. dna13, Inc., “Social Media: the case for online engagement,” 2009 11. Marketing Sherpa, case study published in, 2009 12. eMarketer, 2009 13. Anderson Analytics, 2009 14., 2009 © Berry Network, Inc. All rights reserved. #3624 10/09 Berry Network White Paper Business Leads: Social Media for Business