Archive for November, 2010
How many times have you heard this? Social media is agnostic. It doesn’t care if you are B2B, B2C or C2C. Conversations and engagement are not specific to industry whether business or consumer.
Some tips to get started with your Business to Business social media initiative include:
1) The first step is to identify the objectives
Objectives for social media fit into three types of metrics
• Quantitative: These metrics are numbers driven and include page views, followers, visit length, bounce rates, filled forms and anything else you can measure with a number.
• Qualitative: Qualitative metrics are sentiment-related. What are the most used keywords surrounding your brand? If they are “sucks”, “cheap”, or any other connotation of negativity then you have a qualitative social media issue that needs to be turned around. If the conversations surrounding your brand include “best”, “quality” as well as the key messages you are trying to portray in your brand statements, then your brand is doing the work it should be doing with word of mouth advertising.
• ROI: Plain and simple, how many sales are you driving with your social media efforts? If you aren’t tracking these through analytics, then you might as well be throwing money away.
2) Generate Leads
Let’s be honest, if you are not generating leads through your social media initiative your co-workers are going to think you are playing on Facebook all day chatting with your friends. The easiest way to generate leads is to listen to your target audience and respond when they raise their hand asking for advice. In order to listen, you will need to set up a listening dashboard.
3) Search Engine Optimization
Plain and simple, social media drives organic search engine rankings. Search engines love fresh content. When is the last time you updated your website? If you don’t remember, that’s OK, the search engines have forgotten about you. Why not add a blog to your website and give them and your readers a reason to come back to your website?
4. Be The Expert
I recently performed a social media map for a B2B client and there was limited conversation around their industry. Does this mean that the company should not be using social media? No..this is an opportunity to become the industry leader and expert. They have the opportunity to be the hub of information within their industry through blogging, tweeting, contributing content and ideas to forums and communities and sharing information on their Facebook page.
If you need any more reasons for why your B2B company should be in social media, drop me a Tweet.
It was inevitable. As of November 2, Twitter will now allow “Promoted Tweets” (a euphemism for advertisements) to appear in Twitter streams, also known as timelines. Previously, advertising was allowed at the top of searches, but this is the first time that the ads will appear amidst tweets – regardless of whether the user follows the advertiser or not. So far, longstanding Twitter advertisers Virgin, Starbucks and Red Bull have bought into this new service.
It’s not entirely arbitrary who sees the ads. Users will be targeted based on the kinds of people and products they already follow, though not all users will necessarily see ads. For example, someone who follows other coffee companies or who follows people who write about coffee would be a target candidate for a Starbucks-paid Tweet.
For now, Twitter will only show paid tweets to people who use HootSuite, a third-party social media dashboard that allows people to connect to multiple social networks from one website. HootSuite will get part of the revenue generated by the advertisements Twitter sells.
Interestingly, according to Ad Age, Twitter banned third-party clients from injecting any kind of paid tweets into a user’s timeline in May, stating on the company’s blog that “third-party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created.”
So now the $64,000 question becomes whether users will accept the ads, or see them as polluting their pristine streams. A disgruntled user (or thousands for that matter) could easily identify and complain about a company pushing an ad, which would completely negate the ad’s purpose and potentially leave the brand up a creek.
As one would expect, Twitter is committed to continuing to provide a quality user experience and is naturally concerned that the ads not be seen as disruptive or detrimental to the Twitter experience in any way.
“Is it (advertising) great in search and horrible in the timeline? We are going to test and test and test,” according to Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo. Depending on the level of acceptance, the company will probably roll out these ads to other Twitter readers, as well as to Twitter.com according to insiders.
Is expanding promoted tweets to users’ Twitter streams a bird-brained idea or marketing genius? Only time and timelines will tell.
Imagine increasing traffic to your store or business by 33% in just one day. Now imagine only paying $1000 to do it. That’s exactly what McDonald’s did recently using Foursquare.
No, they didn’t chalk in square boxes in their parking lots and hand out rubber balls. Foursquare is a web and mobile application that allows four million registered users worldwide to connect with friends and “check in” at locations using iPhone, Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry applications.
Points are earned and badges awarded for checking in and users can have their check-ins posted on their accounts on Twitter, Facebook or both for all their friends to see. If a user checks into a venue more often than anyone else in a 60-day period, they become the “Mayor” of that venue (until someone checks in more than them).
In addition to checking in, Foursquare users can also add “tips” about great things to do, see or eat at a location.
What McDonald’s did was offer randomly awarded $5 and $10 gift cards as check-in bait. The bait also worked to attract the media’s attention and resulted in more than 50 articles covering McDonald’s Foursquare special.
The campaign worked in both digital and real world capacities. Patrons flocked to McDonald’s restaurants for the chance to win giftcards in exchange for check-ins, and 600,000 people online decided to follow and fan the brand on social media sites.
Granted the metrics here were only for check-ins and not sales, but hey, who’s going to go to McDonald’s and not get a cheeseburger? And McDonald’s isn’t alone in recognizing the potential of this game-changing social media application.
The Washington Redskins, Starbucks, Ann Taylor, Conan O’brien, Domino’s Pizza and many other major companies are also getting in the game, creating their own badges and offering discounts for check-ins.
But that’s just the beginning of what Foursquare offers businesses. In addition to checking in physically, Foursquare users can now also browse venues, “Like” them, and instantly share that activity back with their Facebook friends.
The liked venues will not only be shared on Facebook and visible on Foursquare, but will also become a part of the users’ Facebook profiles. It’s more free promotion that could help the most “Liked” venues attract significant offline foot traffic.
With amazing marketing opportunities being created every day by innovative companies, who knows what future possibilities lie ahead for Foursquare? What is certain, however, is that a place once used for play is now emerging as a major business strategy that really pays.