How to leverage social media at IT organizations


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The rapid proliferation of social media has revolutionized the way companies and consumers from around the world communicate, collaborate and transact. Social media platforms & tools like:
Facebook, Twitter, blogs, webcasting, and virtual events have positively impacted our business by enabling effective knowledge sharing & collaboration with various stakeholders across different geographies and time zones.

In this presentation, I will explain why and how IT companies should use social media to develop relationships with their target audiences and stakeholders.
I will discuss social media strategies & platforms that are available for companies in general and IT companies in particular to effectively provide value to their customers and stakeholders. Several case studies of IT companies that have successfully adopted social media are provided.

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  • All emails have Social links All webcasts have Social support
  • How to leverage social media at IT organizations

    1. 1. How to leverage B2B social media for IT companies? Haim Oren, The Oren Group TBK- consult- Israel
    2. 2. Table of contents <ul><li>Facts about social media growth </li></ul><ul><li>Recent research findings on the growing influence of B2B social media </li></ul><ul><li>The new model of the social Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Key success factors for B2B social media for IT companies and business cases </li></ul><ul><li>Concluding insights </li></ul>
    3. 3. Some facts about Social media <ul><li>Facebook-- 750 million members worldwide; more than 50% use the site daily. </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn--100 million registered users with 2 billion searches in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube--Americans stream 2 billion videos each day. </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter- 175 million users, 95 million tweets per day </li></ul><ul><li>More than 80% of online users are active in either creating, participating in or reading some form of social content at least once a month </li></ul><ul><li>Sources: Omniture, HubSpot & Ogilvy Worldwide </li></ul>
    4. 4. The dawn of the social media Age
    5. 5. . “ Companies should become social enterprises. First, they must connect to public social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. Next, they should create a private social networks” CEO Marc Benioff –CEO “ Nobody is as smart as everybody” Jim Lavoie-CEO Rite-Solutions
    6. 6. Social media is becoming a marketing standard <ul><li>87% of B2B IT marketers agree that </li></ul><ul><li>“ social media will become a standard tactic like email ” </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 70% of B2B Companies use social media as part of their marketing mix </li></ul><ul><li>Source; Forrester Research. 2010 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Social Media is becoming a marketing standard <ul><ul><li>In 2008, only 33% of InformationWeek500 companies used social media tools like; wikis, social networking and blogs to reach out to customers, suppliers, and partners. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2010, that figure shot up to 72%, in one of the most dramatic changes seen in InformationWeek500 data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Information Week500 survey tracks and ranks the most innovative north American corporate users of information technology with $250 million in annual revenue in 24 industries . </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. The top influencers on B2B IT decision makers
    9. 9. B2B social media is now a part of the IT marketing mix
    10. 10. Definition for social media for business <ul><li>Social media is an on-line arena   developed for the purpose of enabling mass collaboration & communication between business users </li></ul>
    11. 11. Social media represents a paradigm -shift <ul><li>Web 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Read-Only Web </li></ul><ul><li>Brochureware content </li></ul><ul><li>Company controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Monolog </li></ul><ul><li>Company’s Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate ‘Speak’ </li></ul><ul><li>Formalized, rational </li></ul><ul><li>Social Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative web </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic content </li></ul><ul><li>Community centric </li></ul><ul><li>Dialog/ Conversation </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wisdom of the crowds&quot; or Crowdsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Real stories from real people </li></ul>
    12. 12. Key Success Factors for B2B social media <ul><li>Define a social media strategy & tactical plan </li></ul><ul><li>Develop compelling content </li></ul><ul><li>Define public social media mix </li></ul><ul><li>Create a private engaging online community </li></ul><ul><li>Measure Social ROI </li></ul>
    13. 13. 1.Social media Strategy <ul><li>You can't stumble into social media! </li></ul><ul><li>You must create a strategy that includes the following components; </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the target audience that you want to reach via social media? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your strategic social media goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships, Branding opportunities, Attract traffic, Generate leads </li></ul><ul><li>Cost effectively communicate w/customers, Identify new sales channels, </li></ul><ul><li>Give customers a voice, Build link popularity etc., </li></ul><ul><li>What business information does your target audience seek? </li></ul><ul><li>What content can you offer them that no one else is offering? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the optimal mix of public social media that can help reach your target audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What is not measured is not managed; How are you going to measure the social media contribution to your business: </li></ul><ul><li>-top line: brand image, reputation, sentiment </li></ul><ul><li>-bottom line: sales, market share, customer life time value etc., </li></ul>
    14. 14. Tactical plan of action <ul><li>Define roles, polices and procedures within your company that relate to managing social media activity </li></ul><ul><li>Develop social media campaign tactics and timetables to execute strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Develop social marketing architecture to distribute your content to your target audience. </li></ul>
    15. 15. 2. Develop engaging content <ul><li>Content marketing definition: create the right content for the right audience for the right channel </li></ul><ul><li>The key to long term engagement is; developing high value content: information & tips on helping the target audience solve their customer’s problems </li></ul><ul><li>You are in the digital publishing business: develop a content plan which is an editorial calendar that defines the channels to publish and what content they require </li></ul><ul><li>Producing enough content on a frequent basis is key in achieving high engagement level , </li></ul><ul><li>Creating engaging social content is not based on a formula but on a balance between promotions and equity posts. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid “brochureware’ like content </li></ul><ul><li>Setting up an adequate budget/resourcing to fund on-going thought leadership content development </li></ul>
    16. 16. Cisco Live Virtual content <ul><li>Cisco launched Cisco Live Virtual , a virtual </li></ul><ul><li>Platform which is an extension of its Int’l Networkers Conferences . </li></ul><ul><li>After the physical conference takes place, a virtual version went live featuring: </li></ul><ul><li>Video taped executive keynotes and seminars presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Session Pdfs </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs and discussion groups </li></ul><ul><li>Chat rooms to network with the exhibitors </li></ul>
    17. 17. Cisco Live Virtual
    18. 18. Cisco Live Virtual benefits to users <ul><li>Access over 1,000 live and on-demand technical training sessions, keynotes, and Super Sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>Download session Pdfs prior to the conference </li></ul><ul><li>Build a virtual &quot;briefcase&quot; to manage and organize the content that are of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Network with peers, Cisco experts, and Cisco partners using text and webcam-based chats, buddy lists and v-card exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in games and win prizes </li></ul><ul><li>Join the conference conversation in the blog center and social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Download Cisco booth content and partner information in the exhibitor resource centers </li></ul>
    19. 19. 2. engaging Content, Cont’d <ul><li>50% of B2B marketers name content as the most effective Search Engine optimization (SEO) tactic. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop targeted social media content optimized for the right key words to rank high in search engine results because this is where potential customers are looking. </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines results pages (SERPs) are an effective type of measurement for your social media efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: MarketingSherpa 2011 B2B survey </li></ul>
    20. 20. Video –the most effective content form <ul><li>75% of senior executives view work-related videos on business websites at least once a week while </li></ul><ul><li>52% of them watch work-related videos on YouTube once a week. </li></ul><ul><li>Video pulls a higher response rate than text only content </li></ul><ul><li>Source: December 2010 Forbes Insight report </li></ul>
    21. 21. Online Video benefits to IT marketers <ul><li>Builds engagement with prospects & buyers </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate intangible product/service attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Much higher conversion rate: </li></ul><ul><li>12% compared to 1% average conversion rate for text only sites </li></ul><ul><li>Builds creditability with prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to build excitement around physical events before and after ( user conference, trade show etc.,) </li></ul><ul><li>Viral video helps build awareness, word-of-mouth and interest w/o the high cost of broadcast advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Video SEO is 50 times more likely to produce a first-page search result than traditional techniques. </li></ul>
    22. 22. HP ‘You Tube’ enterprise TV
    23. 23. 3.Public social media channels <ul><li>Your objective is: to achieve a leading mind-share for the company in the primary public social channels like: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Select channels that fit your tactical plan and social architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Then, first step is: setting a Facebook page , a Twitter account a YouTube channel and use them to distribute content. </li></ul><ul><li>Check to see if your content fits the channel, for example: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: does the content fit the 140 characters limitation </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube: is it video based? </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: is it an engaging enough story to fit this channel? </li></ul><ul><li>Roll out sequentially, mastering each channel before expanding to next channel </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain an optimal mix between promotion and equity posts </li></ul>
    24. 24. Key Social platforms
    25. 25. 3.Public media channels, Cont’d <ul><li>Prioritize social media channels based on how extensively they are being used by their target audiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics to monitor; </li></ul><ul><li>Social Reach; the total number of fans/subscribers across social channels used. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Reach Velocity ; is the growth rate per month per channel used. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain ongoing presence </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to the number of channels deployed </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure company's content on public social networks is not different than on one’s website </li></ul>
    26. 26. Cisco use of Public social media <ul><li>Cisco adopted social media since 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Its social media architecture includes: </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs: 22 external, 475,000 viewers per quarter </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter:108 feeds with 2 million followers </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook:79 groups with 100,000 fans </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube:300+ channels, 2,000+videos, 4 million views </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr:300+ photos, 400,000 views </li></ul>
    27. 27. Cisco Social media product Campaign <ul><li>Launched in the first half of 2010 its new ASR 1000 router using social media ONLY. </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated campaigns on Facebook, blogs, forums, video, mobile platforms and gaming sites. </li></ul><ul><li>This ensured that Cisco delivered their messaging to the widest audience using fresh and varied formats appropriate to the context. </li></ul><ul><li>The global virtual launch results: </li></ul><ul><li>Reaching 90 times the usual number of participants </li></ul><ul><li>With reduced costs estimated at over $100K and saving over 42,000 gallons of fuel. </li></ul>
    28. 28. SAP use of public social media “ SAP Community Network…may be the most extensive use to date of social media by a corporation.” -- Leveraging the Talent-Driven Organization , The Aspen Institute, 2010. 40K visits via blogs 20K followers 18+ accounts 25K fans, 15+ active pages 5 major groups 2M+ members 4 major groups 30K+ members 575+ storefronts Leads & Revenue
    29. 29. 4. Private online communities <ul><li>A new dimension has been added to today’s B2B marketing: the community . </li></ul><ul><li>It is in addition to a broadcast website which the company controls its information. </li></ul><ul><li>An online community enables creating mass collaboration & communications among external audiences such as; customers, suppliers, partners as well as internal audiences: employees </li></ul>
    30. 30. Benefits of setting up IT private community <ul><li>Satisfy the information needs of your target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Create high engagement by enabling collaboration/communication between your customers, partners, service providers, consultants and industry organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage sharing of information by users </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute existing content from your web out </li></ul><ul><li>by using RSS, widgets, mobile channels, etc. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Spiceworks Community Strategy <ul><li>Spiceworks is a vendor providing IT management applications such as Network monitoring, helpdesk, PC inventory tools for SMBs </li></ul><ul><li>What : an online community </li></ul><ul><li>For Whom: SMBs </li></ul><ul><li>What : Provide platform to share best practices, solve technological problems and collaborate among SMBs worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>How ; becomes the go-to-place for SMBs to find and share information on SMB system management solutions </li></ul>
    32. 32. Spiceworks community
    33. 33. Spiceworks TV
    34. 34. Spiceworks community branding
    35. 35. Branded community <ul><li>Spiceworks members help each other do their jobs, share best practices, rate products and solve technology problems, while providing a valued outlet for collaboration . </li></ul><ul><li>Community members call themselves &quot; SpiceHeads .&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>SpiceHeads also recently created their own mascot -- SpiceRex -- to help represent and promote their fast growing network </li></ul><ul><li>These SpiceHeads are responsible for adding over 1,500 new IT pros everyday . </li></ul>
    36. 36. Spiceworks community metrics <ul><li>1.5 million pros & SMBs IT professionals members in 190 counties; One in every five IT professionals worldwide belongs to the community </li></ul><ul><li>The largest and fastest growing social network for IT and network management software product in history </li></ul><ul><li>The largest knowledgebase for IT information online with; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100,000 discussions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25,000 product reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>200 tech advertisers have tapped Spiceworks to sell to SMB IT pros . </li></ul><ul><li>Leading brands like; HP, Google, Dell, Intel, and Rackspace have integrated their offerings directly into Spiceworks </li></ul><ul><li>SpiceHeads currently support 35 million workers, manage 60 million computers and devices, and spend $180 billion annually on technology products -- or 10% of the global IT market spend. </li></ul><ul><li>Spiceworks captures 20% of the market </li></ul>
    37. 37. The ‘social media chaos’ syndrome <ul><li>Today, in some cases there exists social media chaos in which: </li></ul><ul><li>Different groups/divisions within the company have their own agenda, and run their own social media channels with no regard to the big picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Content and tone are inconsistent with the brand message; creating variance in the customer experience </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing content is done on an ad-hoc basis </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting is completely silo'ed </li></ul><ul><li>Too much relying on the “twitter Strategy” and the “Facebook “ strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Solution ; Place the corporate website at the center and centralize content publication using the hub & spokes model </li></ul>
    38. 38. Mobile Video Widgets Social Bookmarks Feeds and Content Syndication Public Social channels Blogs & Micro-blogging Hub & Spokes strategy Community
    39. 39. Hub & spokes strategy benefits <ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve content & tone consistency with the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Create valuable, relevant & consistent user experience across the social media mix deployed </li></ul><ul><li>Provide implicit customer reference of the brand power & legitimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Improve Search Engine rankings </li></ul><ul><li>Create future flexibility as some social platforms are likely to fade away in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Create a brand asset which grows over time- which is your community </li></ul><ul><li>Focus marketers’ attention away from social technology ‘seduction’ to satisfying community members’ needs, and creating customer value </li></ul>
    40. 40. Intel Facebook case <ul><li>Intel had 250 Facebook Fan pages: each division/country published their own fan page- anyone can open up a Fan page </li></ul><ul><li>No centralized management of Facebook fan pages </li></ul><ul><li>Resulting in total chaos… </li></ul><ul><li>Adopted the Hub & Spoke model: </li></ul><ul><li>Cut the # of Facebook Fan pages to 40 pages </li></ul><ul><li>Fan Page per country; Intel Germany page, Intel Russia Page etc., </li></ul><ul><li>Each Fan page is managed by a local community manager and </li></ul><ul><li>Intel corporate manager </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><li>increased # of Intel fans from 65,000 to 1.7 million worldwide within less than a year </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved a unified Intel Facebook presence on a worldwide basis </li></ul>
    41. 41. 5 . Measuring Social media ROI <ul><li>What is not measured is not managed! </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring Key Performance Indicators on social </li></ul><ul><li>media programs is key in determining their effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement should be done on three categories & two dimensions: </li></ul><ul><li>Categories : </li></ul><ul><li>1. Activity - Any metrics relating to actions your company is taking on social media: # posts & tweets, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Interaction - how your audience is engaging with your social media presence: </li></ul><ul><li>3. Financial Returns </li></ul><ul><li>Two Dimensions : Quantitative & Qualitative </li></ul>
    42. 42. Social Key Performance indicators (KPIs) Success stories Client testimonials Online press/industry mentions #of leads # of sales Conversion rate; Cost per lead/sale Customer Lifetime value Financial returns Buzz Customer sentiment Brand image # of followers/fans # of views # of content downloads Social Reach Social Velocity Share of social conversations Social profile churn Engagement score: Time spent on site --Pages viewed Audience response # of posts # of Tweets # of video uploads Social media actions by company Qualitative Quantitative
    43. 43. Concluding insights… <ul><li>Define social media as a core marketing activity, internally as well as externally </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate resourcing & budgeting to fund the activities </li></ul><ul><li>Social media platforms are the means, NOT the end </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy outlives technology and it is platform agnostic. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating thriving social communities is becoming </li></ul><ul><li>a Key Success Factor for IT brands </li></ul><ul><li>In B2B IT social media, your online </li></ul><ul><li>community is core to your brand </li></ul>
    44. 44. Insights- cont’d <ul><li>Adopt the hub & spokes strategy to overcome ‘social media chaos’ syndrome. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in creating thought leadership content, continuously </li></ul><ul><li>Treat your employees as your brand ambassadors; </li></ul><ul><li>Define metrics to measure social ROI </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct ongoing stakeholders research to evaluate social media contribution to brand image </li></ul>
    45. 45. Thank You <ul><li>Haim Oren, partner </li></ul><ul><li>TBK-consult Israel </li></ul><ul><li>Email: h [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter:@haimor </li></ul>