Social Media Sites for B2B & B2C

Pinterest Social Media

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Get more information about Pinterest

Pinterest is the latest social media phenomena to take the Internet by storm and, believe me, that isn’t an exaggeration.  According to comScore, Pinterest is the fastest social media platform in history to surpass the ten million unique visitor mark.  It is huge and growing bigger and will not be going away any time soon.  Initially, Pinterest became popular with women living in the American Midwest and has now grown well beyond that demographic.  It is here to stay and it will change the Internet’s landscape as it continues to route unbelievable amounts of traffic.At its heart, Pinterest is a picture sharing platform that is set up in such a way that you create themed boards to pin pictures to.  In addition to pictures, you can also pin videos, discussion groups and monetary gifts.   Each item pinned can then be clicked on to open into a larger picture of the item as well as a comment section which allows visitors to create discussions.  Each pin can also be liked and/or re-pinned to a board on the visitor’s Pinterest profile. Initially, Pinterest was used for digital scrapbooking as people shared pictures which included almost anything from recipes to cute animals.  As Pinterest became more popular, the sharing became more organized and creativity began to reveal some amazing things you can do within the framework.  The versatility of Pinterest became clear and as new features were incorporated, the platform only became more powerful. Businesses have now begun to take a much harder look at Pinterest as the marketing potential has become obvious.  It is a perfect platform for incorporating and distributing brand messages. Pinterest is still fairly young and to say that there are new features coming down the line would be an understatement.  With an audience growing faster than any other Social Network, you can be assured that Pinterest will evolve into something incredible.  If you’re on the fence about Pinterest, now is the time to jump in and start pinning.

Blogs

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Get more information about Blogs for B2B

Is blogging worth it for B2B marketers? Here are 12 benefits business to business marketers can gain from blogging. 1. Add value for prospects and customers. Blog posts that include how-to information or provide insightful opinions about your industry serve your audience, create goodwill for your company, and move you away from just selling. 2. Create credibility for your business. If your blog posts are well-written, well-researched, documented and informative, you will gain credibility in your industry and from customers and prospects. 3. Increase “shareability” of your marketing messages. Blogs are designed to allow readers to comment and to share posts on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. This facilitates word of mouth marketing and expands your marketing reach. 4. Keep content on your website fresh and dynamic. Search engines rank website content in part based on how current and new the content is. Frequent blogging – posting of short opinions with lively graphics – keep your site fresh and performing well in search results. 5. Engage with customers, prospects, partners. When your customers and prospects get engaged by commenting on your blog and sharing your information, they are engaging with your company and your brand. Engagement increases customer intimacy. 6. Position you as a thought leader. Once you commit to blogging, you will be forced to find great topics to write about. By writing about trending topics, you are in touch with the pulse of your industry. You can also observe which blog topics that get the most attention – adding to your market research and intelligence. 7. Immediately reach your target audiences. Your blog is a way to respond immediately to issues about your or a competitor’s products or services or important happenings in your community or industry. Within minutes on your blog you can publish a statement and have it broadcast through social media to communicate to your audiences. 8. Crowdsource market research. Instead of or in addition to expensive market research such as focus groups, you can use your blog and social media to get feedback and opinions. 9. Publish information cost-effectively. Blogs are designed for the non-graphic designer, non-programmer to quickly get content published online. They are a very cost-effective way to communicate your marketing messages. 10. Increase content creation for your company. Today shareable content is king. A blog can be the impetus to create marketing content that can be re-purposed into videos, presentations, eBooks, whitepapers and more. 11. Improve performance on search engine results. By blogging about your products and services with the right keywords and phrases in your headlines, image alt tags, blog post URLs, and page content, you can increase your ability to show up high when someone searches for the same terms. 12. Increase inbound links to your site. When you blog and your audience shares your content by linking to it, you increase quality links to your website. The key here is that these are genuine links – not artificial links that some SEO companies contrived to trick the search engines.

Facebook B2B Social Media

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Get more information about Facebook B2B

Facebook has been a great tool for reaching consumers directly for many B2C brands.  But can companies focused in the B2B industry use Facebook to enhance a reputation and grow new business? Absolutely. Quite a few B2B companies are successfully using Facebook to build important relationships with prospects and customers. If your B2B company is still considering where Facebook might fit within an online marketing mix, here are five tips on building a Facebook fan page that will better support a B2B brand: 1. Create Two Way Conversation – Rather than using Facebook to simply push out news at the audience, spend time understanding the challenges potential customers face. Search online using keywords and monitor other social tools like Twitter to find out current concerns the target audience is facing.  Be a resource to potential customers by providing content and insight that will help them alleviate the problems. After establishing a relationship with fan page followers, encourage them to provide input on the content being shared. Ask questions of followers and use responses to create content that will keep them connected to the brand.  eMarketer does a good job at this. 2. Connect a Community – Create opportunities for fans to come together and share positive experiences with each other. Oracle is an example that has built a page providing valuable professional content, news, and fans discuss or share directly on the page. The best advocates are happy customers already engaged with a B2B company’s product or services. Highlight success stories on the page and let followers see the value provided to similar companies. Should there be a negative comment, which scares many B2B companies, address it with understanding and sincerity. In most cases, transparency and listening go a long way in stemming off negative feedback. 3. Build Relationships – Often times B2B involves a greater commitment than simple retail transactions. Sales cycles can be long and, as the old saying goes, you’re more likely to do business with someone you know. Facebook is a place to let you brand personality shine – let them see who you are. According to a survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate, customers are more likely to buy from companies they track via social media. By putting a face to a brand it is possible to position your brand as a resource that will be the first call for that follower when the time comes to make a purchase decision. 4. Cross Promote Content – Use Facebook as an outlet to share interesting content that’s been created elsewhere. B2B companies should consider re-purposing photos and video from promotional materials or industry events. SAP utilizes photos well and has a large number submitted by other users. Brands need to understand that not all contacts are fully engaged with every promotional effort. Don’t assume that if a message has been shared in one channel that it needs to be retired. Connecting a blog feed to Facebook will increase the likelihood content will reach prospects through another social channel.  By connecting and cross-promoting, a B2B blog will reach the walls of current fans and potentially new contacts if that information is shared. 5. Make it Shareable – Content that is interesting or fun will be shared more widely than a bland corporate statement. This applies to companies of any size or customer focus. Providing a list of copy-heavy pages is not going to help reach new targets because nobody is excited to share boring content. Be creative and understand that humor, visual appeal, and brevity all increase your chances of having your content move through Facebook.  Seeking a good example? Look at the creative holiday play from Cisco. A short video can convey a lot about a company and its culture. Companies that create content with sharing in mind are able to extend the reach of content significantly and build memorable connections for potential customers. Facebook marketing for B2B companies isn’t limited to the mega corporations. At the core, it comes down to building meaningful relationships. If customer focused and creative, B2B companies can reap greater rewards from online marketing than many retails giants in the form of long-term customers.

LinkedIn Profile

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Get more information about LinkedIn B2B

From Facebook to Twitter to You Tube, there’s no limit to the number of social networking sites that can be leveraged to interact with customers and prospects, and build positive brand awareness. LinkedIn, however, stands apart from the crowd. The roots of popular sites like YouTube and Facebook are founded on the entertainment side of things. But since its creation, LinkedIn has been geared toward the professional business crowd. If you haven’t already incorporated LinkedIn into your online marketing mix, consider the latest statistics: LinkedIn has more than 60 million members A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members

Twitter for B2B Marketing

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Get more information about Twitter B2B

While there are plenty of resources online for leveraging Twitter, many focus somewhere between individual and consumer-oriented material. B2B marketers have a different perspective. It's difficult to relate to those types of Twitter resources when faced with more complex buying cycles and the demand for marketing initiatives emphasizing lead generation as the top priority. We've seen skepticism in our clients' eyes when it comes to Twitter. This can be overcome by demonstrating how Twitter can assist B2B organizations with their priority initiatives. Instead of focusing on using Twitter only as a promotional mouthpiece, consider how this communication tool provides support for one of the primary sources of high quality leads for the B2B organization: organic search engine traffic.

Hootsuit Marrying Social media and B2B

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Get more information about HootSuit B2B

Marrying social media and B2B has always been a bit of a challenge. And it’s by no means something for which there is ever going to be a magical solution, given how difficult it is to cross over from the ‘social’ in social media to the ‘business’ in B2B communications. But a new offering borne of a partnership between Hootsuite & Hubspot is aiming to tackle that, and it looks pretty cool. The announcement sees a Hubspot app available within Hootsuite’s app directory, allowing you to search for and respond to inbound leads. The app is called #closedloopsocial and has some nice features for sales teams to utilise. As the name suggests, Hupspot are hoping to ‘close the loop’ within social media, whereby searching social media on a keyword basis for leads, and replying to those leads can now all happen under one digital roof. The app within Hootsuite will also automatically pull in your data from Hubpsot, allowing you to more easily track and reach out to leads. Why you want this With the app currently in beta, you will have to wait a while for the full release before you can try it out. Around two weeks according to Hubspot. But why do you even want this in the first place? Well the fact is that social B2B marketing is unproven, extending little beyond a bit of connecting on LinkedIn, that any tool that comes along aiming to address problems and offer a new solution is worth checking out. The app looks to have some nice functionality, such as pulling in keywords from Hootsuite and finding who’s writing about these on social platforms, allowing for a more targeted, personalised approach to potential leads. This will work by providing a Twitter stream of keywords pulled in from Hootsuite so you can identify who you need to be talking to, as well as showing you tweet streams from your contacts within Hubspot (though you could, in fairness, do this yourself with a simple list in Tweetdeck).

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