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12 Ways to Improve Social Media Marketing in 2012

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Want to add some rocket fuel to your B2B marketing in 2012? Get 12 big ideas for improving B2B social media marketing from the experts—our SocialTech 2012 Program Advisory Committee.

1. Deliver Relevant Content
"B2B social media is not about bright and shiny objects. The key to success is relevant content—deliver the right content, at the right time, in the right channel to the right customer (or partner).  Relevant content happens as a result of listening, thought leadership, Google insights and community sentiment." (Michael Brito, SVP Social Business Planning, Edelman Digital)

2. Forge Strong Social Media Partnerships
"I learned something a while back when chairing a panel on Strategic Alliances. Organizations cannot stand alone in the marketplace if they want to be successful. So it is with social media marketing endeavors. My advice for 2012 is to 'leverage large.' Align your PR, video, Twitter, Facebook strategies with your partners. Your visibility and credibility will be amplified." (Marti Konstant, Vice President, Marketing, Open Kernel Labs)

3. Integrate Social Media Activities with Existing Objectives
"Tie your social media activities to existing objectives, such as increasing online sales, driving web traffic or boosting attendance at your next webinar or offline event. Plan how you will measure your activities in advance. One way to do that is create a unique landing page for the campaign, then measure the traffic to that page that comes from a short URL you only share on Twitter, for example. And know how you're going to define success. A dollar value? A percentage increase? Set a reasonable target, see what happens and use it as a benchmark for future campaigns." (David B. Thomas, Director of Community and Social Strategy, Radian6)

4. Make Sure You Measure
"Don't get caught up in the myth that social media marketing can't be measured. Focus on 2 or 3 things you want to track and measure for the year that are tied to your business objectives and goals: choose social media metrics that are 1) obtainable, 2) actionable, and 3) measurable over time. You've got to start somewhere—even if it's not perfect don't give up—collect the data over time and then evolve where/when it makes sense." (Stephanie Marx, Social Media Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems)

5. Integrate Social Media with Your Online and Offline Marketing Mix
"When developing your social media strategy and plans, explore appropriate ways of how social can be used to extend every element of your marketing mix. For example, don't leave opportunities on the table; explore how you can extend your marketing effort by integrating social elements into your PR, events and customer support activities." (Jane Price, Executive Coach and Marketing Consultant)

6. Be Helpful—Become a Trusted Advisor
"Stop promoting and start being helpful to your customers. I see lots of clever and cute promotional disguises by some brands in their social channels. But today's buyer sees right through it. I think the 'audience-first' mentality is the toughest challenge for marketing leaders to instill in their teams but once it's entrenched, marketing content becomes much more helpful. Customers share it more widely. And the business results of marketing programs increases." (Michael Brenner, Senior Director of Global Marketing, SAP)

7. Integrate Video Content
"Integrate video with your social media marketing. Not only it is the most consumable and preferred content format, but the executives are starting to get more and more of their news and information through video. Think about what content might be most valuable to your customers. It may be informational videos, testimonial videos, self-service and how-to videos, and so on. If you are not sure, ask your customers and bridge the gaps for them. And don't forget to optimize your videos for search, distribute it across the web and enable video sharing." (Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist, Intel)

8. Add Mobile
"If your B2B social media marketing strategy doesn't have mobile at the center, you don't have a business strategy. Mobile is the new normal." (Steve Woodruff, Connection Agent)

9. Develop Meaningful Relationships
"B2B marketing is all about relationship building. Use social media as a platform for developing relationships. Show your thought leadership by answering questions on LinkedIn and Quora—it could lead to new contacts and leads. I suggest creating a Google Plus Profile and adding clients and contacts into circles so you can send specific customized information to different segments of your network." (Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami, Network Solutions)

10. Integrate Hard Conversion Points
"Don't create social media programs that focus purely on driving social engagement metrics. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to capture hard conversions (subscribers, leads, and sales)." (Mike O'Toole, President, PGA Advertising)

11. Adopt Social
"The changes that are happening in the way companies do business as a result of social are not evolutionary—they are revolutionary. The impact on marketing strategies is profound and will require very different approaches and resources/skills. Moving the generation of marketers who grew up in 'broadcasting' operations mode to 'conversational' mode is a hard and challenging task. But it can and must be done. Most large established organizations will start experiencing significant impact on their bottom line as a result of their slow adoption of new sales/marketing approaches until they will start making significant steps in making serious adjustments on how they participate/do business in this new 'social' world." (Tatyana Kanzaveli, Head of Marketing, Deloitte)

12. Engage with Your Audience
So, I'm not exactly on the SocialTech Program Advisory Committee, but I wanted to add this tip myself:

"Focus on engaging with your audience. Interact with them. Ask them questions. Get to know them. So few companies do this right, but if you do, you'll achieve big wins."

Ready to generate more leads and revenue with better B2B social media marketing? Join us March 29-30 in Seattle, WA for SocialTech 2012. Register by November 21 to grab the kickoff rate of just $595. But hurry! The price increases next week.


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Comments

  • by Jen from LIME Thu Nov 17, 2011 via blog

    Excellent article. You touch on on why and how marketers should adopt a strategy not just enter the social media sphere.

  • by Michael Brenner Thu Nov 17, 2011 via blog

    Megan,

    Thanks for including me with this amazing group of people sharing their insights into the future.

    Best Michael
    @brennermichael

  • by Kevin White Fri Nov 18, 2011 via blog

    I especially agree with #5.

  • by Megan Leap Sun Nov 20, 2011 via blog

    Always a pleasure, Michael. Really love your insights.

  • by Chris Foster Sat Nov 26, 2011 via blog

    Great article. This works for large companies with infinite resources. The challenge is for smaller businesses with limited resources including time and finance to compete - this is the major challenge in 2012 and beyond!

  • by Valerie Lindsay Tue Dec 6, 2011 via blog

    Great article. For small and midsized companies to succeed with this, they need to be really focused. Chris Brogan wrote recently that you should interact with as many people as you like in social media but really focus on 20 each year - engage with them, get to know them and ideally help them, to prove your worth.

  • by MetroFax Tue Dec 6, 2011 via blog

    Great tips and ideas! We are a B2B company and are really focusing our efforts right now to build our social media engagement. We've done a pretty good job on Twitter, but building a strong Facebook fan base is very challenging. We are hosting a holiday promotion with incentives next week to hopefully build more engagement, but these are definitely useful tips to keep in mind. Thank you for sharing!

  • by Megan Leap Tue Dec 6, 2011 via blog

    I love that advice. Thanks for sharing, Valerie.

  • by marketing Sun Jan 27, 2013 via blog

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be interesting to read through content from
    other writers and use something from other websites.

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