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Original post date May 2010, the post was recognized as one of the best post on Social Media for 2010. As with most new technologies, social media is starting to “settle in” and common applications of the platforms are becoming known.   In many large B2B organizations, that means social media is finding a home in the marketing communications group, often landing in PR.
In most B2B organizations corporate marketing’s role is related to driving “top-of-the-funnel” activities.
It’s at the very bottom of what I’ll refer to as the “upside down” funnel. To find such an opportunity you have to think about a funnel that starts with once a prospect becomes a customer. If a company enables those customer advocates with social media it gives them a platform to spread the good word.
As we all know, word of mouth is the most effective marketing there is, enabling it with technology creates scale, and the ability to track it.
To do this successfully, companies have to first identify this opportunity within their organization;  second, they have to change their current way of thinking about social media beyond its present use in marcomm and PR.
Companies have to be able to collect this information across channels to create a complete profile of a customer.  If this can be achieved, an organization will have everything it needs to begin enabling, influencing and studying customer advocates. Finally, watch out for the “silo” effect.  Typically, at least three different organizations will be interacting with the customer as the relationship develops. Maybe for these reasons, many people think social media marketing cannot work in B2B like it is in B2C, or does not work in general.
ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. CISCO: Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy. CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities. OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering.
XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips.
If you need more convincing, you can download my complimentary eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI.
While there has been a lot of talk about how social media is a great way to generate new leads for a B2C company, there significantly less attention paid to how social media helps with B2B marketing.
It’s very easy to fall into the mentality that just because you are interacting with other businesses that you don’t need the same level of social interaction as with B2C marketing.
While Facebook may be huge, it is not always the best way to reach the types of businesses that you want. If you are an apparel company and your target audience is retail buyers then you should use the same terms and industry phrases that they do.
If you need more help with your social media marketing strategy please take a look at information we have for you here. Social media might be a “free” channel for marketers but the truth is that getting real traction can require back-breaking effort.
Although social is “the free channel” (versus paid media channels like print, events, PPC, etc) the reality is that you need people to man the watchtowers; and people cost money.
Where B2C social engagement is largely about replicating the activity of your service center online, B2B social engagement is different.
It often seems like the best people to engage with prospects are those with deep domain knowledge – your consultants, product engineers, developers (although sales people often like to shoe-horn themselves into the conversation). By directing customers to talk with prospects, the conversation is more authentic for the prospect.
5 Things B2B Industries Need To Remember When Using Social Media by Whiteboard Marketing Posted on November 03, 2015 at 20:55 PMThe internet provides businesses an opportunity to experience massive growth in a short amount of time. Social media is a great platform for communication, building brands, and developing lasting relationships with other businesses.

Set goals for each profile. If the goal is to develop brand recognition and stretch the marketing reach of the company, focus on those things through the creation of engaging content. Content is one of the most crucial aspects of social media marketing. Signing in and saying hello is not going to help develop lasting relationships.
Determine the geographic reach that a profile needs to have. If a B2B company wants to attract clientele in another country, they need to create content that will engage that particular crowd.
Create more than one social media account. The B2B business that dives into a few social media platforms is the business that will be seen by other businesses that have the same idea. Dedicate enough time to nurture each profile and respond to inquiries and communicate with the viewers that take an interest in the product or service. When a potential client can see that a B2B company is dedicated to providing answers and solutions, that client will likely trust and share the knowledge they have gained. You may be carefully monitoring your online reputation for negative #reviews, but what about the positive #feedback?
Companies should be actively pursuing strategies and tactics to retain, expand, grow and then leverage customer accounts to win business. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000.
Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business.
They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period. This is unfortunate because social media is a great way for your business to appeal to other businesses.
Remember that it will be actual people who you connect with in you B2B social media marketing and that they like to be treated as such.
Are you looking to appeal to someone in their marketing division or a human resources director?
Consider smaller social media sites that specialize in your field or subgroups of larger social media sites like LinkedIn. Should you be interested in SevenAtoms social media marketing services please give us a call at (925) 566-6969 or reach us by clicking here. In a down economy, most marketing departments are struggling to fill seats, so spending time “chatting” with prospects when Sales are demanding more leads falls pretty low in the list of priorities – especially if you can’t track closed sales back to social to prove the ROI of social.
These technical guys know the problem and the solution inside-out, but they’re too busy doing their day jobs to engage with prospects online. So, the job of the social media marketing manager becomes one of co-ordination, not trying to personally answer every single question that crops up on a dozen or more target social platforms. They trust the opinion of their peers far more than they trust the people in your marketing department (peer opinion is the #1 trusted source of information).
Statistics show that your social audience (the people who like or follow you) are not highly engaged. Get a high level view of what an Advocate Marketing program can do for you in this exclusive whitepaper. A business that wants to maximize its exposure and skyrocket profit averages can tap into a wide variety of modern online marketing trends.
Even though utilizing social media can be profitable, the B2B marketing manager needs to develop a strategy to maximize his or her efforts. A company needs to provide in depth and focus driven content that explains the product or service, and why it is beneficial to another business. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.

The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested. With that in mind, we have collected a number of tips that will help your B2B social media marketing strategy be more effective.
You try to engage with prospects but there are just too many queries and questions for an already overstretched marketing team to handle. The knowledge they have stays locked up in a silo that marketing people are rarely be able to tap into. Those that answer 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10 are the best candidates and can be invited into your advocacy program. As a result, the answers they get are more genuine to them and are more likely to remove doubt from their minds – moving them closer to a purchasing decision (and a sale!). Only around 1% of people who follow corporate social media accounts will really be paying attention or take some sort of action (like sharing). Learn how your star customers can help drive marketing, sales and product development in this exclusive whitepaper.
Social media marketing happens to be one of these trends and is considered to be one of the most successful internet marketing strategies that B2B companies are currently using. Simply setting up a profile and spending a few minutes a day on the profile is just not enough to push the endeavor towards success. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs.
Curabitur scelerisque, nulla et facilisis fringilla, sapien elit auctor augue, at porttitor ipsum nibh faucibus ligula. You’d need an army of social media staff to really “do” social media engagement, so platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter simply get used as another push channel that gets you a few shares but few direct sales leads. Innovative marketers know that the social channel is a big opportunity, but with social scepticism still high in the B2B arena, you can’t get budget for social engagement on a hunch. However, there is another group of people who know the prospect’s problems, and have first-hand knowledge of the solution: your customers. In low volumes, it’s possible to do this manually via email or even by phoning your clients to ask them, but when you scale this up, finding and activating matching customers become a problem. Once you have built an advocate database you can then segment and challenge specific advocates that match the criteria in each instance. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million. So, while part of the problem is scaling-up your headcount to deal with volume, there’s also the problem of depth. Critically, many highly satisfied customers are happy to take time sharing their opinions with their peers. For many organizations, there just aren’t enough marketing people to manually sift through customer records to pick out those that will best represent them in each instance.
Sometimes you might want to engage multiple customers to answer a question from a variety of angles. There’s a content marketing war going on out there and people don’t have time to see and read everything you put out there.
It’s more compelling because, in the eyes of your prospects, it’s been vetted for quality and found worthy by their peers. On top of this, by asking your customers to share content, you can use them as a “bouncing off” point that extends your reach into their networks – giving you exponential reach and gaining you net new leads (new prospects that were previously outside your circle of reach).
So, an Advocate Marketing platform can help you extend both the reach and the response rate of social media as a content marketing channel.

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