Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing’

Six great examples of B2B companies using social media

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Social media provides a valuable set of tools for B2B marketers. Here are some of the best examples of B2B firms utilising social media across a range of business activities.

HubSpot

Hubspot twitter profile

If you’ve ever searched Google for email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, lead generation or almost any other aspect of digital marketing, you are quite likely to have discovered HubSpot’s content. They are masters of content marketing. Pushing out eBooks, webinars, checklists, toolkits, blog posts and slideshows by the bucketload.

Lead generation with social media

HubSpot utilises social media channels to distribute their content for the purposes of lead generation for their inbound marketing campaigns. Calls-to-action, landing pages and high quality materials ensure that they add large volumes of leads to their marketing funnel, each of which can be tracked by source – even down to the individual tweets. Learn more about how to use inbound marketing in your business.

Boeing

Executives are often compelled to ask what social media has delivered in terms of revenue whilst missing the additional benefits it can bring; Boeing executives are not of this breed though.

Early adopters

Boeing’s use of social media really kicked off in 2005 when Randy Baseler, then VP of marketing (now retired), set up Randy’s Journal. It gathered 500,000 visitors in the first two years online with a strong and active community of employees and enthusiasts alike. Since then, Beoing’s social media usage has increased, with social media playing a significant role in the digital marketing and stakeholder engagement strategy for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (see the video below for more details about that).

Social media newsroom

Boeing look to use social media to engage a wide range of stakeholders – media, customers, shareholders, aviation enthusiasts, etc – with exclusive content that would only ever be available through the company. For Boeing, social media offers a chance to take control of the media output and become their own newsroom.

At Farnborough International Airshow 2010 Boeing created their own microsite which produced news articles throughout the event. Todd Blecher, Communications Director at Boeing, stated: “We attracted 103,710 visitors who made more than 225,000 visits and 222,300 views of our videos. That was remarkable for us. I’m very proud of that effort.” In short, it was a runaway success.

Peddinghaus

Peddinghaus are manufacturers of structural steel fabrication machinery. Structural steel fabrication is not a glamorous industry (trust me, I worked in it for five years) but Peddinghaus Corporation has embraced the latest digital marketing trends by establishing themselves with a large, active and very visible presence on YouTube and Twitter.

B2B video marketing

Peddinghaus offers a good example of what can be achieved when a manufacturing business takes online marketing seriously. Since starting to utilise YouTube two years ago, Peddinghaus has gained over 28,000 video views on their channel. Videos range from basic product demonstration videos through to a series of short case studies showing you the benefits that utilising Peddinghaus equipment can bring to a steel fabrication company.



IBM

One business that has completely embraced social thinking throughout the corporate structure is IBM. Where as many businesses use “social” as a marketing activity, IBM has turned itself into a social business.

Creating a social business

Transforming a business into a social business requires more than simply getting all the employees on to Twitter and LinkedIn. It isn’t just about engaging with customers through blogs or online communitities either. Becoming a social business requires social thinking to be embraced for internal communications as much as external communications. As IBM puts it, “When you inspire your workforce to innovate and collaborate more productively, you create tangible business value.”

The presentation below details how IBM transformed from a traditional business into a social business over the past 20 years.

IBM Social Media Marketing from Tiffany Winman

Cisco

Cisco has been “doing social” for some time now. In 2010 it published the Cisco Social Media Playbook: Best Practice for Sharing (embedded below) which details how Cisco intends to use social media including the four steps of their social strategy: listen, plan, engage, measure, and they have a section of their website dedicated to social media activity.

Reducing costs with social media marketing

One of the most compelling early cases supporting social media marketing came from Cisco back in 2010. When it launched a new router exclusively through social media, the results were astonishing: nearly three times as many press articles as with traditional outreach methods; 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event – 90 times more attendees than in the past; one-sixth the cost of a traditional launch.

The campaign won awards and saved the business over $100,000 compared to a traditional product launch. Impressive results by anyone’s standards.

  Cisco Social Media Playbook:  Best Practice Sharing by Cisco

RS Components

RS Components are the world’s largest distributor of electronic products. As part of a task to develop their online presence within the electronic design engineering community they created DesignSpark, a “global gateway to online resources and design support for engineers.”

The results were impressive:

  • DesignSpark is the fastest growing community of its kind with 45,000 members in its first year.
  • The DesignSpark PCB tool has been downloaded over 60,000 times, helping RS increase their presence within the EDE community.

Read the full DesignSpark case study.








By Martin Broadhurst

Four simple social media website integrations for marketers

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

There are a myriad of ways to connect your website to social media websites these days. Everything from embedded video to frictionless sharing on Facebook can be achieved by adding a few lines of codes to your website. Let’s take a look at some of the simplest yet most effective available.

YouTube Playlists

Embedding YouTube videos is very commonplace but few people bother to embed playlists. Playlists are great for sharing multiple videos around a common theme and can considerably increase engagement on your website or blog. Here’s a playlist looking at Google Translate for Animals.


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Essential free Facebook marketing resources

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

If I had a tool that had the potential to change the way people do things online and I wanted people to start using my tool, I would start by teaching folks how to use it and provide free resources to make sure it went as smoothly as possible. As it happens, this is what Facebook think is the best way to get business owners and marketing managers using the Facebook platform. Here are some of the best free resources available to marketers wanting to use Facebook.

 

Facebook Marketing Page

http://www.facebook.com/marketing
Facebook’s own Page dedicated to marketing on Facebook has a huge library of free content available that is suitable for business owners, marketing managers, CMOs, media buyers and everyone in between. If you like the page you will receive updates about upcoming webinars (like this archived one below) and events that help educate you about the methodology and tools available for marketing on Facebook.

Watch live streaming video from facebookeducation at livestream.com

Encourage Facebook Check-Ins for Restaurants, Retail, Hotels and Other Venues

Encouraging real-world customers to engage with our businesses on Facebook is going to become ever more important as Facebook Graph Search rolls out to more users. As such, Facebook is already offering resources to help business owners optimise for Facebook graph search. These download-and-print cards can be placed around venues to help remind customers to check-in to a venue and like the Page. Simply download the PDF, fill in the blanks and then print them out.

Download these handy Facebook Check-in Reminder Tent Cards

Download Facebook Tent Card PDF

Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Page Settings

Creating a Facebook Page is easy; understanding all of the different options available in the Facebook Page settings is a little more difficult. Page administrators have a wide range of options when it comes to setting up, moderating and controlling what happens with their Page which is why we decided to write a comprehensive guide to Facebook Page settings.







Get Inspired With Facebook Stories

http://www.facebookstories.com/
With over one billion users on Facebook it is no surprise that there are a few stories to tell. Facebook Stories is where we can find out more about the people & world around us and become inspired. That might sound twee but take a look at the Facebook Valentines Day infographic before dismissing my sentimental tone.

Facebook Stories Valentines Day

Facebook Studio Edge

http://www.facebook-studio.com/education/index
Facebook Studio is a site especially for people marketing on Facebook to be able to showcase their work and see what other marketers are doing on the network. Within the site you can also find Facebook Studio Edge; a learning resource for Facebook marketers. There are video courses you can complete with short quizzes at the end to test your learning.

Extra Resources for Facebook Marketers

Inside Facebook
All Facebook
Facebook Business Page

by Martin Broadhurst

Four browser extension tools for stress free Social media marketing

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Social media marketing requires more than just good content; it requires good planning, a constant source of content ideas & inspiration and a good set of tools. Here are some of the tools that I think every social media marketer needs to have installed in their browser for easy access and simplified social media marketing.

Buffer App

Buffer App Logo

One of the neatest browser extensions around, Buffer app is a social media scheduling tool that lets you add content to your “Buffer” which is then shared across your social media profiles throughout the day. It’s especially neat if you do much of your online browsing at one time of the day. For example, I do a lot of my blog reading while having breakfast so I fill up my Buffer then.

Buffer connects with Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles and groups) and was also one of the first developers to launch a social tool for App.net. The service is free although you can upgrade to the awesome plan for $10 per month which allows you to add more posts to your Buffer, connect more social profiles and add a team member to the account.

One of the neatest features of Buffer is that it has an Android app. This means that sharing content via your Android device is a breeze regardless of which app you are wanting to share content from. Unfortunately iOS devices don’t have the same sharing options as Android but buffer does have an iOS app as well as some good integration with other iOS apps. This is what makes Buffer my preferred scheduling tool.









Hootsuite Hootlet

Hootsuite Hootlet Screenshot

Much like the Buffer app extension, the Hootlet lets you schedule updates to social media profiles while you browse. What makes this different though is that it connects with your Hootsuite account giving your posts all the functionality you get from Hootsuite such as team members, the publisher tool and the analytics/reports.

The Hootlet app also has the autoscheduling tool which is very neat. Rather than sending out updates at pre-determined times of day (10am, 11am, 1pm and so on), the autoscheduler monitors your social streams for the times with the most activity and optimises your posts to go out at these times. Nifty!

LastPass

LastPass Screenshot Vault

When you manage a whole host of social media profiles and use a wide variety of tools to better manage these profiles (such as Hootsuite & Buffer), keeping track of all the login credentials can be a nightmare. That’s why using a password managing tool comes in handy.

LastPass is an ideal tool for this as it allows you can manage all of your passwords with one login.

LastPass also monitors your online activity so whenever you create a new profile, change a password or fill out a form, it will offer to save the details thus removing the need to manually update your account every time you change some details. Sign up for a LastPass account.

StumbleUpon Stumblebar

If you aren’t using StumbleUpon as part of your social media marketing you are missing out. From discovering amazing new content to sharing your own brilliant content, StumbleUpon has it all. By creating a StumbleUpon profile you can add your preferred topics and then use the stumble button to browse the net and find great articles. StumbleUpon is also a valuable tool for directing traffic to your website as it helps put your content in front of people who are looking for it.

It is worth saying that this is a tool that can easily be used for procrastination so it is best to avoid StumbleUpon if you have a busy deadline.

By Martin Broadhurst

UK mobile internet and social network usage statistics 2013

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Mobile internet is booming. In fact, mobile internet browsing is expected to overtake fixed access internet browsing by 2014. In some areas of internet usage such as social networking we can already see the shift away from desktop towards mobile. See the charts below for some of the key stats on social networking usage in the UK.

Frequency of Social Networking by Device

The charts below show how often smartphone users in the UK are accessing social networks via computers and smartphone respectively.

Smartphone users are beginning to use their mobile devices to access social networking sites more than their computers; 57% use their smartphones for social networking every day against just 50% using computers.
Frequency of sharing information on social network using smartphone (uk)

Frequency of sharing information on social network using computer (uk)

Sharing Activity via Desktop and Mobile

Sharing activity across desktop and smartphones is quite evenly reflected at this stage suggesting the levels of activity across each device reflect general social networking usage trends rather than any device-specific behaviour trends.

Frequency of social network visits on smartphone (uk)

Frequency of social network visits on computer (uk)

Video Website Usage via Desktop and Mobile

While many of the stats appear to be evenly matched, there is one surprising take away from these charts: almost one quarter of smartphone owners never access video sharing websites on their mobile phone. This is surprising because only 13% of smartphone owners never access video sharing websites via their computers so there is some lag with regard to people embracing mobile video.
ourmobileplanet.com_chart 3

Frequency of Using Video Sharing Websites on Smartphones (UK)

Source: Think With Google








By Martin Broadhurst

Three simple ways to use Twitter for lead generation

Friday, February 15th, 2013

When it comes to social media marketing, Twitter is the place to be in 2013. If you don’t believe me, consider this: 21 of the 56 commercials during the 2013 Superbowl mentioned Twitter which is six times as many mentions as Facebook received. With all this focus on Twitter, many marketers are still struggling to attribute ROI to their efforts on the network. This blog post will show you how to start generating leads through Twitter and demonstrate return on investment from social media marketing.

Utilise Your Profile Banner Image

You don’t get a lot of space on Twitter to design and make your own. The only design changes you can make are to your profile background, profile picture and your banner image; the last of these is the one you should be using for key messages. When people click on your username, your profile summary will appear with a biography and a link to your website. This will be your first chance to sell your business to a potential customer.

UFC Twitter Profile Banner

The above example from the UFC demonstrates this perfectly. In spite of the fact they are promoting the most popular female competitor in the sport, they don’t have loud, brash sales messages. Instead, they use the image to grab your attention and the profile biography to sell you the story with a link beneath where the visitors can go to find out more about the event, including where to buy it.

Listen and Respond

If you aren’t listening on Twitter for opportunities, you aren’t doing it right. This is something that everyone can do and you don’t even need the most rudimentary of design skills. All you need is a search facility. Thankfully. Twitter provides us with a pretty good one.

Twitter Search box

Every business should, at the very least, be using the Twitter search facility to listen for the following:

  • Mentions of your business
  • Mentions of your competitors
  • Industry hashtags
  • Phrases such as “Can anybody recommend a [insert industry relevant phrase]?”

Just as there are people on Google searching for businesses likes yours, there are also people on Twitter searching for suppliers. I should know; I’m one of them.

Data Capture, Data Capture, Data Capture

Social media marketing is a complex beast and has many business uses ranging from lead generation to customer service, public relations to market research. However, when it comes to generating leads through Twitter or any other form of social media, we should absolutely make sure we have a way of capturing lead data.

Salesforce is one of the best companies in the world for getting this absolutely right. When it comes to providing quality content perfectly pitched at their audience, Salesforce nails it. The Twitter account is forever sharing blog posts that then point people to landing pages where they can encourage visitors to part with some contact details in exchange for a webinar or a PDF guide to CRM advances. Each one of these leads can be directly tracked back to Twitter thus helping to demonstrate social media marketing ROI.

Twitter considers itself an information network rather than a social network. As such,  you should use the vast amount of information available to find your own opportunities. Provide people with information about your products, forthcoming events and downloads through your profile summary and encourage them in to your sales funnel.



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by Martin Broadhurst

Myspace Review: Mixing Social Media and music in 2013

Friday, January 4th, 2013

newmyspace_profile

After being frustrated by messy looking profiles on the old Myspace and being bombarded with friend requests by bands I had no interest in, I was sceptical towards the new release.  A combination of nostalgia, intrigue created by the teaser video and the impressive new look/style persuaded me to look into it further.

Sign-up

After receiving my beta invite, I was surprised that I could use my Facebook login in order to sign up. It seems that the new Myspace isn’t trying to take on the social networking Titan that is Facebook, but work alongside it. Its new mission is much clearer: to connect people through music.

As promised by the teaser video, the new Myspace interface is clean and simple; high on visuals, low on clutter, which is a refreshing change of pace compared to other highly evolved and wordy social networking sites.

Social Networking Comparisons

The Myspace stream is a lot like Facebook’s News Feed, with updates from your friends. You can see who has made mixes, what music people are listening to and who is connecting. Connections on the new Myspace are more akin to the follow feature of Twitter rather than the ‘friends’ feature on Facebook and with a heavy focus on visuals, the horizontal scrolling feature makes it feel like a music themed version of Pinterest. The biggest appeal for me is the ability to make playlists which are played in your deck whilst browsing, a lot like Spotify.

newmyspace_stream

Profiles

Unlike its predecessor, with the glittery GIFs plastered over people’s profiles, the new layout boasts a large full screen cover image behind your stream. Something that seems to have made a return from the old Myspace is your chosen top eight connections, and the choice to include a profile song (which thankfully doesn’t play automatically like on the old Myspace).

Improvements

However, with it still being in the beta stages, there are still a lot of improvements to make.
The first of which being the user experience, particularly with regards the search facility which is clunky and difficult to find the exact thing you want. The horizontal scrolling feature also feels like random ‘browsing’, making it difficult to find something you saw before, with a jumble of things in between that you might not be interested in. A filter would be a useful addition to sort this, as would the option to choose what to see from a certain person when connecting to them.

Overall, I can see how the site could be used and who might use it. The new Myspace has repositioned itself in line with what it was predominately used for at its height back in the early noughties – a way of connecting to new music. When the user experience improves, the new Myspace will come into its own.

Go to the new Myspace site and leave your email address to request an invite to trial the beta version of site.

By Martin Stewart

New Year’s Revolution: Top 10 tips for tip-top content in 2013

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Further to Martin’s Digital Marketing Predictions for the New Year, here’s another little festive gift in the form of 10 top tips for 2013. Much easier to implement than Resolutions such as ‘Do 4,000 sit ups every morning’ or ‘Complete an ultra-marathon wearing a suit of armour’, these are designed to help you create a Revolution in your approach to writing great content to engage your audience, generate new leads and win new business in 2013 and beyond.

New Year’s Revolution: Top 10 tips for tip-top content in 2013 from _Katapult

CONTENT IS KING

Producing high-value content helps build a loyal audience; by providing such useful content to the people who want it most, you can cultivate your leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. Producing interesting, timely and relevant content doesn’t have to take up a massive internal resource either, encourage your team to input on content that is relevant to their expertise to help add authority to your brand and messaging.

FIND YOUR AUDIENCE

Without knowing where your audience is and what social channels they are using, you could end up becoming the jack of all channels and the master of none. Your audience doesn’t need to be huge but they do need to care about what you’re doing. If you think that everyone should care, it’s unlikely that you’ll communicate effectively with anyone.

GO FOR GOALS

Without setting goals and a content strategy, you could end up staring at meaningless statistics. Make sure you know what you want your audience to do with your content, how they should engage with it and give them clear call to actions throughout.

eBOOKS & WHITE PAPERS…DON’T BE DAUNTED

Investing your time writing an authoritative white paper or eBook may seem daunting, but once you have this content, its uses are (almost) endless. Capturing data when your publications are downloaded connects you to people who are genuinely interested in what you do. Think backwards; think about what kind of lead you want and then produce content that entices your audience to fulfil your calls to action.

WRITE ONCE, PUBLISH MANY (OR ON OTHER PLATFORMS)

One interesting and insightful article can be used numerous times in as many different ways. Break the content up and mould it into new formats for different uses and users.  For example create a video or a slideshow to share on YouTube or SlideShare, an infographic to share on visual.ly, turn it into a webinar or a presentation for an event, relate your content to a real life case study, do a survey on Survey Monkey or break it down and write a how-to article on the subject. By adapting your content, you can achieve maximum reach for your efforts.

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