4 Steps to a Great B2B Social Media Strategy

Read enough blogs about social media and marketing for business-to-business companies, and you’ll see the same point coming up again and again: If you’re a B2B firm, you need to be on LinkedIn. A great B2B social media strategy starts with LinkedIn - but doesn't end there.

It’s true. It’s the ideal social network for the B2B world, allowing you to make connections and share ideas. Most B2B marketers – 91 percent of them – say they are on LinkedIn, while 65 percent of B2B firms have picked up a customer using the platform. Another 50 percent say they consider LinkedIn an important research tool.

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Why Should I Link to Other Websites?

A lot of us grew up believing things that were later debunked.

We now know that you don’t get a cold by going outside in cold weather. If we swallow chewing gum, it won’t take seven years to digest. And you don’t need to wait an hour after eating to go swimming.

The world of digital marketing has its own superstitions, including this one:

You shouldn’t link to other websites.

And on one hand, we can understand this concern. You’ve put a lot of effort getting people to your site, so why give them an opportunity to leave?

Yet there are some good reasons for linking to other websites:

Why should you link to other websites?

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The Relevance of Social Media to Your Business

More businesses these days have social media account than not.

Here’s an experiment: Think of the three businesses closest to where you are, and search for them online. How many of them had a social media presence?

These days, a business without a Facebook or Twitter account is the exception, not the rule. But there are far better arguments for being on social media than “everyone else is doing it.”

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Are You Having a Conversation on Social Media?

Think about all the things that have changed because of social media.

Dating. The news. Staying in touch with classmates. Being famous.

Add marketing to that list. According to Hubspot, social media marketing can produce nearly twice the leads than you would see from traditional outbound methods.

Are You Having a Conversation on Social Media?

But this doesn’t mean that your company can post its news on Facebook a few times a week and wait for customers to line up. Social media marketing requires you to have a conversation with your customers. Let’s look at the why and the how of making that happen.

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Growth – PART 3

Part 3 – Business Development

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at how you can use inbound marketing tactics to help a new business grow.

We outlined the steps you could take to implement an inbound marketing plan, and we looked at ways to launch your sales strategy.

Today we’ll conclude by exploring some of the things you should do in the early days of your business, and how inbound marketing can help you get them done.

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Linking In With Your Customer Base

social media marketingLike a lot of 21st century professionals, you might have turned to LinkedIn when hunting for a job. But what about when you were hunting for customers?

Social media can play a key role when it comes to sharing information and engaging with your ideal customers. Nowhere is this truer than with LinkedIn. The platform lets you connect with groups, start your own groups, and share content that people will pass along and comment on. You can build relationships without needing to break out an aggressive sales pitch.

Writing on the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog in 2014, Lilly Chen talked about the way the world has changed for B2B buyers:

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A Social Approach to Industrial Marketing

Industrial MarketingIn January, the Harvard Business Review published a story about three different companies that don’t seem to have much in common.

Maersk Line is a global shipping container giant. IBM Security provides IT protection for businesses. Omniture is a marketing analytics company owned by Adobe.

So what ties these three businesses together? From a marketing standpoint, they all share one important trait: They’re examples of B2B companies that excel at social media marketing.

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Does Social Media Marketing Work For Manufacturers?

Social Media Marketing In past blog entries, we’ve talked about how inbound marketing can work for manufacturers.

If social media marketing is a part of inbound – and it is – then the rest is basic logic: Social media marketing can also work for manufacturers.

Let’s take a look at how the people in your industry – engineers and other technical professionals – use the various social media platforms:

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Are You Using the Right Social Media Platform?

Social Media PlatformWhich social media platform do you use for your business?

Facebook would be a safe guess. Same thing with Twitter. What about LinkedIn? YouTube? Pinterest? Google+.

Unless you’re part of a really big company, it’s unlikely you have the time or the resources to oversee accounts with all these services. The good news is that you don’t have to. Some social media platforms can benefit your brand more than others. The trick is finding which one is right for you.

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Disaster or Delight: Responding to Social Media Complaints

Social Media ReputationEveryone stops to stare when they see a car crash.

The same sort of idea applies to social media and bad customer service: if your company screws up and a customer complains on Facebook, Twitter, etc., chances are a lot of people will engage in a bit of online rubbernecking.

Think of director Kevin Smith – 2.8 million Twitter followers – documenting his removal from a Southwest Airlines flight in 2010 after the pilot said Smith was too overweight to fly. The airline apologized, but that didn’t stop the story from going viral, or the National Association for Fat Acceptance from calling for a boycott.

But a bad customer service experience doesn’t need to involve a well-known filmmaker up against a giant corporation to go viral.

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