How to Achieve B2B Social Media Success


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Key questions about social media answered for B2B marketers, such as: how are b2b buyers using social media? What are the pitfalls to avoid? And what does b2b social media success look like?

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  • Good morning Appreciate the invitation Will get through as many slides as possible, but it’s your presentation – happy to accommodate your pace and answer questions
  • Here’s the agenda… If you read the original article that Scott sent around -> Since we don’t have HR, marketing, customer support, product development etc. in the room today  We’ll skip integration – final stage of 4-stage model – as this meeting is focused on marketing.
  • I won’t read every bullet point here – you can do that – but the key takeaways from this are that: Your buyers are researching solutions and vendors through social media - They expect to find you there you can’t win if you don’t play
  • So…how do you get started? Many companies just want to jump right in. That can be disastrous: Walmart examples, less-publicized but real examples of B2B too heavily promotional causing a black eye
  • I don’t know obviously all of your measurement capabilities, but a good start is to combine the metrics you have today (e.g. website traffic and sources) with additional social media-specific measures and create a dashboard. Don’t worry about getting this perfect – it can evolve over time. Some examples of the metrics you may want to track include…
  • Here are some examples, in terms of how social media activity can affect: Website metrics email marketing social media measures and hopefully – measurable business results Do have to be a bit careful here. SM activity is more like PR – brand awareness, image, credibility – than like direct marketing. And it’s dangerous to try to use as a direct response vehicle. But it can drive leads and even sales, often indirectly, so it’s important to measure what you can.
  • In order to gather those social media-specific measures, you’ll need tools. I don’t have a dog in this fight but here are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a tool. Extent of coverage – make sure forums and message boards are included Realtime – talk about Vocus, other approaches Workflow – how easy does the tool make it to route citations to others in customer service, engineering etc. for follow-up Note my blog post - ??
  • Once you have a tool in place, use it to get a picture of your social media landscape: who is talking about your company / industry topics / competitors, which platforms or sites they’re using, and what they’re saying. Social media a boon for competitive research Identify the: - Topics - Influencers Venues This will help you build your plan (which comes in the next phase): understand what resources you’ll need to involve, who you’ll need to build relationships with, topics to develop content around, etc.
  • Once you’ve done that initial research, and kind of lurked for a while…gained an understanding of how social media is being used by your buyers and other vendors in your space…it’s time to plan your approach.
  • Your co-workers are already using social media and probably talking about work. They are good people who want to help, but need guidance so they don’t inadvertently say things that hurt the company or confuse the market. Crucial to involve all stakeholders: other perspectives make the policy better and more comprehensive, and it’s crucial that it meets compliance requirements. Golf course in desert analogy. Policy should be a helpful guide, not a heavy-handed straitjacket.
  • Response times, blogging…make sure you’ve planned for resources to execute. Social media doesn’t produce results overnight. It’s about relationship-building. Set proper expectations. How will you change course if something works very well? Doesn’t work at all? How would you respond in a crisis situation (BP was bad, Dominos better).
  • These are actual reasons for social media failure.
  • That brings us to the place where too many companies start in social media – diving in. Failing to properly prepare is why you see things like: abandoned blogs name-brand Facebook pages with few followers and little if any activity Twitter accounts that are just scantly followed broadcasts, or virtually inactive -BP type debacles The good news is – that isn’t going to be you. Because you’re going to be prepared with trained employees, defined goals, action plans, resource allocations and content roadmaps needed to succeed. You are going to dramatically increase your odds of getting social media right from the start.
  • Here’s one model to consider when you don’t already have a lot of social media chatter about your brand.
  • As you get your social media activities rolling, proactive monitoring and response will help keep you on top of things, keep you on the right track, and enable you to make adjustments as needed.
  • Your measures will be your own – but these are typical social media success metrics for b2b companies.
  • How to Achieve B2B Social Media Success

    1. 1. How to Achieve B2B Social Media Marketing Success March 2011
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction – Three Phases of Social Media Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Observation (Exploring and Listening) </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation (Getting Your Ducks in a Row) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation (Publishing, Responding and Mingling) </li></ul>
    3. 3. But First - Why Social Media Matters to B2B Companies <ul><li>Companies active in social media report a 59% higher lead conversion rate for organic search traffic </li></ul><ul><li>85% of B2B buyers say they want B2B vendors to engage and interact with them online </li></ul><ul><li>93% of B2B buyers believe that all companies should have a social media presence </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why Social Media Matters (2) <ul><li>9 out of 10 b2b buyers start a purchase process with search (and social media increasingly affects search results) </li></ul><ul><li>Three-quarters of B2B technology buyers say they use social media at some point during a buying cycle to gather information or communicate with colleagues about a purchase; 58% use LinkedIn for this purpose </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube reaches 36% of all business decision-makers - more than 10X the figure for </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why Social Media Matters (3) <ul><li>43% of employees in Fortune 1000 companies say they use LinkedIn for professional purposes </li></ul><ul><li>100% of the Fortune 500 have at least some of their executives listed on LinkedIn. 50% of LinkedIn users are business decision makers </li></ul><ul><li>65% of journalists use social media to conduct research for stories </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why Social Media Matters (4) <ul><li>59% of C-level executives report using social media for business purposes at least weekly </li></ul><ul><li>90% of B2B technology decision makers watch online videos </li></ul><ul><li>80% of B2B technology decision makers read blogs; 69% are active on social networks </li></ul>
    7. 7. (Really?) <ul><li>Yes, really – sources for the preceding statistics can be found here: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    8. 8. Phase 1: Observation
    9. 9. Establish Your Baseline <ul><li>Before you start – create a dashboard </li></ul><ul><li>A snapshot of all measures that may be affected by social media activities </li></ul>
    10. 10. Example Metrics Total website traffic Unique visitors Web traffic by source (e.g. Google Advanced Segments) Subscribers (email, RSS) Web traffic quality (bounce rate, time per visit, pages per visit) Search traffic – generic and branded Email open rate Email pass along (if possible) Email CTR Facebook fans Twitter followers Blog traffic YouTube subscribers YouTube video views LinkedIn group members “ Mentions” – total and by social network Lead conversions by source Lead conversion rate – total and by source Net new customers Revenue from new customers Marketing spend reduction Number / share of sales interactions involving social media
    11. 11. Selecting a Monitoring Tool <ul><li>Social media monitoring is critical for baseline and progress measures </li></ul><ul><li>Free tools – you get what you pay for </li></ul><ul><li>Some key considerations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extent of coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Realtime (or near realtime) alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow capabilities </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Popular Monitoring Tools
    13. 13. What to Look For <ul><li>Who is talking about your company / products? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are they talking? </li></ul><ul><li>What are they saying? </li></ul><ul><li>Who needs to know / respond? </li></ul><ul><li>Ditto the above for your competitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Who is talking about issues / trends in your industry? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the key influencers to connect with (analysts, journalists, bloggers, customers)? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the competitors to monitor? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Phase 2: Preparation
    15. 15. Social Media Policy <ul><li>Your employees want to help – but need guidance and guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Involve all stakeholders: marketing/PR, development, customer service, HR, legal </li></ul><ul><li>Be a concierge – not a dictator </li></ul>
    16. 16. Sample Social Media Policy Outline <ul><li>Define “social media” </li></ul><ul><li>Explain company objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Shoulds and Shouldn’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Musts and Mustn’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Who to ask when questions arise </li></ul>
    17. 17. Develop a Social Media Plan <ul><li>Establish metrics (from your baseline) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your tools / venues </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate responsibility / time / resources </li></ul><ul><li>Set reasonable measurement intervals and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for contingencies </li></ul>B
    18. 18. Mistakes to Avoid <ul><li>Using social media as a direct response vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to automate interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Expecting instant results </li></ul><ul><li>Not allocating (enough) time / resources </li></ul><ul><li>Treating social media as a silo </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to plan </li></ul><ul><li>Sending mixed signals / messages </li></ul><ul><li>Being dishonest / misrepresenting </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to train employees </li></ul><ul><li>Not providing fresh / relevant / valued content </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to LISTEN </li></ul><ul><li>Being negative </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning it to an intern </li></ul>
    19. 19. B2B Social Media Success Stories: ShipServ <ul><li>ShipServ: international shipping software </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50% increase in website traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tactics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>redesigned website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tracking through CRM system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>content development/promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>web traffic up 59%; 1,000+ white paper downloads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>600 views of company videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landing page conversion rate up 150% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales-ready leads up 400% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measurable increase in brand awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated cost was 20% of traditional media campaign </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. B2B Social Media Success Stories: Ernest Agency <ul><li>Ernest – a UK-based b2b marketing agency </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase brand awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate industry knowledge and social media marketing capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase search traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate new business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tactics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create B2B marketing statistics video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post video on branded YouTube channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoted video through: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn groups and profiles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comments on industry blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6,500 video views </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% increase in Twitter followers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>77% traffic increase to blog; 30% increase to corporate website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20+ blog posts written about or featuring the video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measurable improvement in organic search traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two significant new customers </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Phase 3: Participation
    22. 22. The Four C’s of Social Media
    23. 23. Proactive Monitoring <ul><li>Monitor </li></ul><ul><li>Brand mentions </li></ul><ul><li>Key influencers </li></ul><ul><li>- Industry developments </li></ul><ul><li>Respond </li></ul><ul><li>Who needs to know? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need to respond? How? </li></ul><ul><li>What else do we need to do? (e.g. capture information about a service problem, market opportunity or new product feature) </li></ul><ul><li>Measure </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the impact? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we capture / report this? </li></ul><ul><li>How does this change what we are doing (if at all)? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Measuring Success <ul><li>Ultimately this is based on your goals and objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct ROI measures can be challenging. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical success metrics include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased brand awareness (e.g. branded search, direct visits) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced brand image (important – and real – but hard to quantify) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased brand / product mentions in social media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased website traffic, Twitter followers, blog readers, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased lead conversion rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New opportunities identified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased customer engagement / lower churn rate </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Questions? http://