B2B Social Media Marketing How-to Guide (Part I)


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In this first installment of our B2B Social Media Marketing trilogy, we’ll not only tell you how to set up a corporate LinkedIn account, but also how to create ‘promoters’ of your brand and how to turn prospects into leads, and leads into sales.

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B2B Social Media Marketing How-to Guide (Part I)

  1. 1. How-to Guide:B2B Social Media Marketing (Part I)
  2. 2. Kenneth has enjoyed a marketing career both agencyand client side. With over seven years experiencewriting B2B and B2C copy, Kenneth has createdcontent for a wide variety of industries.Enthusiastic about all things copy, he has a proventrack record of creating content capable of generatingleads, sales and revenue.In the role of Head of Content at Really B2B (aSunday Times Top 100 firm and ranked agency inB2B Marketing‟s Agency League), Kenneth isresponsible for creating a strong brand personalityand crafting content for our B2B clients whichgenerates action and solid ROI.Kenneth is passionate about writing that gets results.The AuthorKenneth Connollywww.reallyb2b.com
  3. 3. Deciding to write a series of how-to guides on the uses andbenefits of social media in the world of B2B marketing is likeopening a dustbin-sized can of worms. The entire social media„landscape‟ changes so quickly that by the time you‟ve read tothe bottom of this page, one social media site will probably havedropped out of fashion and another one taken its place. So whythen did I decide to go ahead and write these guides?The simple answer is results. Here at Really B2B we‟re alwaysready to pounce on the next technological advance orbehavioural change, as long as we can measure and prove itgenerates leads, sales and ROI.Of the top 14 well-known social media sites (shown on theleft), this trilogy of how-to guides is going to specifically discussthe top 4 which we know, from our own experience withclients, currently offer the best opportunity to support yourbusiness growth and revenue generation in the B2B space.In part one of this series we‟ll discuss in-depth the importance ofblogging and the benefits of LinkedIn when generating B2Bleads.Social Media: websites and applications that enable users tocreate and share content or to participate in social networking.Percentage of B2B Marketers Who UseVarious Social Media Sites to DistributeContentSource: 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks – CM1/MarketingProfswww.reallyb2b.com
  4. 4. B2B marketers who useblogs generate 67% moreleads per month than thosewho do not”Factbrowser.comWhen we talk about social media we very rarely throw the word „blog‟ intodiscussions and yet this is where it all begins. Granted, when blogging firstbecame popular it was simply a way for people to keep an online journaland discuss things like „I knitted my cat some slippers‟. Butnowadays, blogging is an essential part of every B2B inbound marketingcampaign and a great way to create a community of subscribers andgenerate comments, feedback and engagement with you and yourbusiness.Other benefits of blogging also include:• Maintaining contact with your prospects and customer database on aregular basis• Provide comments on wider issues such as industry related news• Reuse and repurpose more extensive content such as ebooks, whitepapers or research data to drive prospects to your landing pages• Build your brand personality, show thought leadership and display anunderstanding of and solution to your prospects‟ issues.Statistics like the one shown on the left generally provoke the samereaction in Managing Directors and Sales Directors – „we need to getblogging and quickly bring in some leads‟. But, this is not what blogging isabout. It will help to generate leads over time, but it‟s not going to haveyour phone ringing off the hook within a week.Here‟s why...Blogging“www.reallyb2b.com
  5. 5. The opportunity to generateleads via your blog comeswhen you start bloggingabout your larger pieces ofcontentBlogging and social media is about relationships. It‟s a place whereyou can connect with your prospects, establish your brand identityand build a relationship of trust and shared knowledge. Bymaintaining this display of thought leadership and avoiding the sales-pitch, you give your prospects the chance to come to you with theunderstanding that your product/service is the solution to theirconcerns.It won‟t happen overnight, that much is for sure. But by bloggingregularly, your community of subscribers will grow, as will theirengagement in the form of comments/feedback and sharing via socialmedia channels.The opportunity to generate leads via your blog comes when you startblogging about your larger pieces of content. By discussing yourlatest ebook/white paper/case study or even including an excerptfrom the publication on your blog, you can start to push yourprospects to your landing pages (to find out more about landingpages, download our how-to guide to Inbound Marketing).As if blogging wasn‟t already offering enough fantastic benefits, it canalso help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Search engineslike to discover new content and will review the pages of a blog moreregularly than a full website and help push your blog page further upthe search engine results pages (SERPs).Blogging Continuedwww.reallyb2b.com
  6. 6. • Approximately 200 million (200,000,000): Total LinkedIn users worldwide• 2: Number of people who sign-up to LinkedIn every second• More than 1 million (1,000,000+): Number of Groups on LinkedInLinkedIn is considered to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of social media for businesses. Why?The simple answer is because LinkedIn has more professionals than any other network. It‟s even been referred toas a „virtual rolodex‟. If you‟re looking to target key decision-makers within a business or industry, then LinkedIn isthe place to be.“Within the UK alone there are over 10 million professional users and 2 million plus are Directors andabove” - thelinkedinman.comHow-to: LinkedInwww.reallyb2b.com
  7. 7. LinkedIn generates thehighest visitor-to-leadconversionThe benefit of a LinkedIn presence for a business is perfectly illustrated inthis data from a recent Hubspot report: „LinkedIn generated the highestvisitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.60%, four times higher than Twitter(0.67%) and seven times better than Facebook (0.39%)‟.You‟ll see later in this series of guides that when creating a Facebook pagefor your business there is a certain opportunity for artistic license and amore „social‟ aspect. However, with LinkedIn, it‟s all business. YourLinkedIn page may be a determining factor in whether your prospecttravels through the sales funnel to become a customer, or simply thinksyour company looks amateurish and untrustworthy.Therefore, make sure your LinkedIn business page looks like that of anindustry leader. You will eventually be using this social media page as anoutlet to show your thought leadership, so make sure your profile pageequally suggests your expert criteria.The branding on the page must be exact, as any inconsistencies may beconsidered an indication of unprofessionalism and a lack of brandunderstanding. When entering information about your company in the„Home‟ section, be sure to „cut to the chase‟. This is not the place for asales pitch or a long-winded speech, simply mention the products/servicesyou offer, and why you are an expert in this field.As with all social media pages, make sure you include your companylogo, a link back to your website and your contact details.LinkedIn: Business Page Creationwww.reallyb2b.com
  8. 8. Your staff are vitallyimportant and help tocement theprofessionalism andexpertise of yourcompany in the eyes ofyour prospectsOn LinkedIn, key members of staff within your company becomerepresentatives and advertisements for your brand. This means two things...firstly, it is advisable to create profile guidelines for employees‟ profile pages.Secondly, each key staff member can become a marketing channel for yourcompany.In your profile guidelines, make sure that your key staff members maintain alevel of professionalism on their LinkedIn profile pages (i.e. no inappropriate oroffensive profile photos – use your common sense here). Staff accounts shouldalso mention the products/services and expertise of your company within theircurrent employment section.Your key staff should also:• Build their own professional network (i.e. connect with prospects, customersand key opinion leaders• Create their individual brand through knowledge sharing on their profile andwith key groups and by participating in pollsThe objectives of these staff members‟ profiles should be...• To share your news and content through status updates (to their ownnetworks)• Join groups focused around your specific industry• Participate in relevant discussions and offer thought leadership content oranswer questions related to key business issuesLinkedIn: Key Staff Profile Pageswww.reallyb2b.com
  9. 9. To save time, let amember of staff „manage‟your social media accountThese „promoters‟ of your brand are vitally important and help to cement theprofessionalism and expertise of your company in the eyes of yourprospects.Given that regularly updating your own social media account can take timewhich you may not have, why not consider letting others „manage‟ yourpersonal account? This simply means letting trusted members of staff loginto your account and make updates and answer comments on your behalf.This is a great way to maintain your own personal social media presencewithout spreading yourself too thin.Just be careful who you allow to manage your account. Don‟t give yourusername and password to that guy in your office called „Crazy Kevin‟.LinkedIn: Key Staff Profile PagesContinuedwww.reallyb2b.com
  10. 10. Only 30% of your socialmedia posts should be self-promotion. The other 70%should be valuableinformation for yourfollowers and not related toyour brandThe phrase LinkedIn „Groups‟ was mentioned briefly on the last page, butjust to clarify, a Group is a collection of like-minded professionals who havejoined a forum where they can each share information and take part inspecific discussions.These groups are a fantastic way to connect not just with otherprofessionals within your industry, but also prospects. You can see whatyour prospects are talking about and understand their burningissues, concerns and pain points too.There are a couple of things to remember though when you join a group.The first and most obvious is that they are not a place to start „spamming‟others with advertisements for your products, services or content.Yes, there will come a time when you can offer your latest ebook/whitepaper to other group members but don‟t go in „all guns blazing‟ from dayone.Groups are a great place to gain trust and become an influencer (groupmembers whose contributions cause the most contributions from othergroup members).Start your own discussion, respond to peoples‟ questions, posts andcomments and then measure the results.Once you have become established within the group, gained the trust ofyour prospects and shown that you care about their feedback, then you cangradually suggest that they download your latest piece of content or get intouch with you.LinkedIn: Groupswww.reallyb2b.com
  11. 11. LinkedIn offers bettersegmentation to get yourad in front of the exactprospects you are lookingforOther social media sites such as Facebook let you target yourprospects based on certain pieces of profile data such aslocation, Likes and interests. But, if you are hoping to get your ad infront of a specific decision-maker with a particular job function whoworks in a specific sized company, then LinkedIn Ads are for you.LinkedIn Ads offer a Pay Per Click option meaning you only incur acharge when someone clicks on your ad, but in return, you get totarget your advertising to the exact person/people you are lookingfor.Target your ads using data such as:• Job Titles• Job Functions• Industries• Company Size• Plus many more...With Google Ads becoming increasingly overcrowded andexpensive, and Facebook Ads not offering strong enough B2Btargeting options, the smart money is now being spent on LinkedInAds.LinkedIn: Adswww.reallyb2b.com
  12. 12. In order to gauge the success of a LinkedIn campaign, the measurements and KPIsneed to change. These are important for both your corporate account and also yourkey staff accounts. The data which needs to be collected and analysed is:LinkedIn: Measurements & KPIsCorporate Account Key Staff AccountsTotal connectionsLikes, Comments and Shares on pagepostsResponses to a question or an eventCost Per ClickConversion to followerCost per followerTotal connectionsLikes, Comments and Shares on pagepostsResponses to a question or an eventThe information mentioned above can be gathered easily using a combination ofdata from LinkedIn and also your own analysis. However, in order to gather theinformation shown below, you will need to either use some form of tracking softwareor even a marketing automation tool.• Conversion to download• Cost per download• LeadsIt should go without saying that when it comes to online marketing these days, test,test and test again. With so many metrics available, there is no excuse for „hoping‟something works anymore. You are now able to measure almost every aspect ofyour activities and therefore experiment with them until you get the desired results.This is not just the case with LinkedIn, but with all of your social media marketing too.And believe me when I say that we practice what we preach. It‟s through testing andamending that we have managed to secure leads and sales for our clients via socialmedia.With so many metricsavailable, there is noexcuse for „hoping‟something worksanymorewww.reallyb2b.com
  13. 13. ConclusionSo, there you go, you now know the importance of blogging and LinkedIn for B2Bmarketing. These two communication channels not only allow you to regularly engage yourprospects, leads and customers with new content and information (while driving them toyour landing pages), but also specifically target the high-quality leads you‟ve been lookingfor (based on in-depth criteria).What‟s next? Well, the second how-to guide in this series will discuss the micro-blogging mammoth that is Twitter. We maynot be able to keep the text under 140 characters, but you can rest assured that it‟ll be filled with valuable information andtips on how to generate revenue and measure ROI using the most „reactive‟ of all social media channels.We‟ll also discuss the best frequency for your social updates and how you should react to feedback and comments in apublic environment.Keep your eyes peeled for „How-to Guide: B2B Social Media Marketing (Part II)‟ coming soon. But don‟t worry, we‟ll letyou know when it‟s available.www.reallyb2b.com
  14. 14. LOOKING FOR BUSINESSGROWTH?If you‟re interested in improving your lead generationprocesses, request a meeting.We‟d love to discuss your objectives and how oursocial media marketing services can help support yourbusiness growth.© Really B2B, 1000 Lakeside, Western Road, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hants, PO6 3ENwww.reallyb2b.comCall us on0845 519 8517