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Archive for May, 2013

Business to Business (B to B) Social Media

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

There tends to be two extremes to opinions on social media in the business to business marketing world.

The one extreme is that it’s the same as any other business.  Put in the effort and you’ll see the same result as any other business.

The other extreme is that it’s not a good medium for business marketing.  Avoid the time suck that social media entails.

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Social media can be a valuable marketing channel for trainers, consultants and professional coaches if they offer valuable content while driving clients and prospects to relevant calls to action.  Here are just a few key differences for business to business social media pages:

LinkedIn is the Heavyweight

LinkedIn is a social media site tailor made for business.  People on the site expect to see professional topics. It’s perfect for a B to B environment.  Provide relevant posts to your targeted contacts or groups in LinkedIn and business opportunities will come from it.  LinkedIn tends to outperform other social media sites by 300% for having people click a business to business call to action.

Quality of Contacts Trumps Quantity

Many social media marketing stats revolve around how many people like your page or follow your posts.  For B to B this can be a false metric.  A better metric is analyzing the quality of your social network.  If you are a sales trainer your network should be full of sales people, sales managers, and executives.  If you find that most of your contacts are not business related or the wrong demographic then you need to refocus and restructure your social media marketing campaigns.

Don’t Expect Overly Emotional Interactions

While you might have a big fan that can’t wait to tell the world how they didn’t know what business was before meeting you, those will be few and far between.  Emotion will get toned down.  Rather look for interactions and comments that highlight the business advantages to what you offer.  A sales trainer might get something like, “My revenues increased by 50% and the average time to complete a sale decreased by three months.” This doesn’t speak to how much a client loves their consultant personally but it’s a powerful comment that will get the attention of your target audience.

Always Have an Obvious Call to Action

Every post should include a next step, even if it’s an obvious one.  If you post an article the next step is clicking to read it.  If you post a video then the next step is clicking to see it.  If you have an event the registration link should be obvious.  etc.  Your call to action might have a follow on call to action but the first step should be a no-brainer.  There isn’t a lot of room for random asides in B to B social media posting.  Have a point, make a point, and provide a next step that supports that point.
Of course there are other differences but these are some starters to get a true sense of how B to B social media can be profitable.

Business to Business (B to B) Social Media

There tends to be two extremes to opinions on social media in the business to business marketing world. 

The one extreme is that it’s the same as any other business.  Put in the effort and you’ll see the same result as any other business.

The other extreme is that it’s not a good medium for business marketing.  Avoid the time suck that social media entails.

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Social media can be a valuable marketing channel for trainers, consultants and professional coaches if they offer valuable content while driving clients and prospects to relevant calls to action.  Here are just a few key differences for business to business social media pages:

LinkedIn is the Heavyweight
LinkedIn is a social media site tailor made for business.  People on the site expect to see professional topics. It’s perfect for a B to B environment.  Provide relevant posts to your targeted contacts or groups in LinkedIn and business opportunities will come from it.  LinkedIn tends to outperform other social media sites by 300% for having people click a business to business call to action.

Quality of Contacts Trumps Quantity
Many social media marketing stats revolve around how many people like your page or follow your posts.  For B to B this can be a false metric.  A better metric is analyzing the quality of your social network.  If you are a sales trainer your network should be full of sales people, sales managers, and executives.  If you find that most of your contacts are not business related or the wrong demographic then you need to refocus and restructure your social media marketing campaigns.

Don’t Expect Overly Emotional Interactions
While you might have a big fan that can’t wait to tell the world how they didn’t know what business was before meeting you, those will be few and far between.  Emotion will get toned down.  Rather look for interactions and comments that highlight the business advantages to what you offer.  A sales trainer might get something like, “My revenues increased by 50% and the average time to complete a sale decreased by three months.” This doesn’t speak to how much a client loves their consultant personally but it’s a powerful comment that will get the attention of your target audience.

Always Have an Obvious Call to Action
Every post should include a next step, even if it’s an obvious one.  If you post an article the next step is clicking to read it.  If you post a video then the next step is clicking to see it.  If you have an event the registration link should be obvious.  etc.  Your call to action might have a follow on call to action but the first step should be a no brainer.  There isn’t a lot of room for random asides in B to B social media posting.  Have a point, make a point, and provide a next step that supports that point.

Of course there are other differences but these are some starters to get a true sense of how B to B social media can be profitable.

Consistent Online Marketing Activities Are Required for Consistent Results

Friday, May 17th, 2013

There seems to be a common misconception among trainers, consultants, and professional coaches that once you get your online marketing campaigns rolling that it then runs itself.  There is never a time where you should be asleep at the wheel.  Every online communication channel requires consistent activity and a lull in activity will almost guarantee a lull in results.

Online marketing is like any job.  If you stop showing up, you’re not going to get paid.  A relative of mine has been running a blog for several months and is just starting to get some traction.  He was asking about blogs and how difficult it can be to get off the ground.  I commented, “People seem to think once the blog is established that it runs itself.  It’s still hard work creating content consistently and maintaining relevancy.  And try not writing anything for a short period of time and see your stats fall off a cliff.”

He laughed and said, “It’s funny you say that.  I went on vacation for a week, when I checked my analytics my traffic sharply dropped.  By the end of the week my daily traffic was only at 25% of where it had been.  The numbers didn’t rebound to their previous state for another two and a half weeks.”

We’ve not done strict testing on his numbers but it appears to be a good rule of thumb.  If there is a period of inactivity on your online marketing, it will take twice that amount of time to recover.  This isn’t just for blogs.  It applies across the board to websites, social media, and email marketing.