Advertisements

Posts Tagged 'b2b social media marketing'

Conversation Lost-How to Align B2B Social Media Marketing Efforts with the Right Strategy

b

B2B Social media success is like the American ninja warrior TV show. Everyone makes it to the starting line and yet very few make it to the finish line. In fact, those that can make it just halfway through the course can sometimes advance to the next round, based simply on how difficult the course can be. They’re deemed, somewhat victorious for just getting ‘that far.’ The same holds true for B2B marketers. B2B social media marketing can be brutal but it’s not a loser.

If you’ve never watched the show, it’s essentially an impossible obstacle course that takes a lot of balance, agility, strength and sound judgment to complete. Those challenges, metaphorically speaking, completely exist in B2B social media in 2017. For those that were around in the “early days” of social media will be the first to tell you that today’s social media is a far cry from what it was back then. Understatements be damned, one could say that social media has evolved and still, others could say it has regressed.

So what is a marketer to do? Where does social media fit in the marketing mix? Should your organization have a social media strategy? The quick answers are: There is a path, it does fit into the marketing mix and yes but let’s quickly review what’s been happening.

Over the past 7-8 years, the act of truly conversing has slowly dissipated on most social networks, Twitter in particular. On other networks, however, see Snap for example, the act of communicating has escalated and changed. In reality, communicating in social media hasn’t so much as gone away, as it has been replaced by different types of communicating dominated more by imagery and less by conversations.

For marketers though, the one-way, scream it and blast it style of pushing out messages disguised as conversations, still exists today. Partly because a) they are struggling with a medium that deemphasizes the written word and embraces the emoji b) a general lack of understanding of how to use that medium and c) it’s not the only channel.

It used to not be like this. Social Media was at one point this living, breathing, conversational thing. Somewhere along the way though, marketers started to misunderstand the platform and treat social media and its content like it was an arms race. It became a content battle wrapped around the quantity and output of messages and how quickly follower ratios could grow.

Beyond that, companies became enamored with vanity metrics. Those are your typical likes, mentions, retweets, etc. In fact, orgs of all sizes still like vanity metrics, we all do. Why? Because it’s a tangible hard number that we can wrap our arms around. Like a unique visitor in the world of website traffic. How many times have you heard or have asked the question, how many uniques do you have or what’s your traffic like? It’s how we quantify and quantified success. The parallel is exactly the same as asking. “How many followers do they have?”

Recently I told someone that the same metrics that revolve around direct mail and direct e-mail success now apply to organic social media. Meaning that getting a 1-2% organic engagement rate via social is about equal to what you might see or hope to see in direct mail open rates. It’s almost considered a ‘win’ but not quite. It’s average. You would think that social media and social networks might have an advantage but social media marketers are generally not working off of lists. So for them, it’s all about the content and the creating of content. Engagement? That’s a bonus. Measurement? Maybe.

The crazy thing about social media content today? It’s not bad. In fact, it’s more visual than ever before. There are some great content creation tools these days and the whole process of creating content for social is an industry in and of itself. It’s not boring. It’s dynamic, it’s compelling and dammit, it’s clickable. But the kicker is, you have to see it. You have to find it. So really it’s not how the content is being packaged and it’s not how it’s being created or delivered. It’s more about when do you push that content out? It’s where and it’s why. Oh yea, and to whom matters too. Social media in a B2B setting is effective when the right content finds the right people at the right moment.

Blame it on growth and blame it on the “noise” that growth created but that’s the ‘other’ new reality. Getting the B2B customers’ attention is more difficult now than it ever was before. Your new digital marketing challenge is to figure out where social fits in your marketing mix. Keep in mind that it has to be there, you just have to decide which platforms you’re going to use and what the distribution of dollars and resources will be.  Let me reiterate. Social Media efforts in a B2B setting have to be there for the simple reason that the customers are there.

Does engagement really matter?

What is engagement? Or rather what did it used to mean? Loosely defined in social media. it means that an action occurred, some type of reactive action occurred in the form of a like, a retweet, a mention, or a share. All of those actions dependent on, in theory, you, the user, doing something. Some, thing. Oddly enough, the actual true meaning of engagement could not be more diametrically opposed to what is happening here. You have either a formal agreement to get married or an arrangement to do something or go somewhere at a fixed time. Neither of those really pertain to social media, do they?

In social media, because an ‘action’ did occur, marketers measured it in a positive fashion. The problem occurs or occurred, when nothing happens or happened after that. Thus, marketers were and are ostensibly hanging their hats on hollow metrics.

In email marketing or direct mail marketing, we can measure click through rates, open rates, conversion rates, leads generated and of course sales. These are things that happened after the fact. We don’t call it engagement. These are definite and distinct actions. We have a crumb trail we can measure. We have user data before and after the mail is sent. We can create a snapshot of the user based on that data. We can tailor content and give them what they want. Social media marketing on the other hand, organically speaking has to be more strategic in order to be effective. The tools and data are there but marketers are lazy.

Let’s explain it a different way. What kind of crumb trail or user data do you get from an egg with one name, no bio, following 50, with 10 followers and 5 tweets? Not much. Marketers will recognize and acknowledge the retweet, the mention and the share of the egg-but what does that really mean? Nothing.

In part two, let’s look at what a marketer should do. Let’s talk about what the distribution of marketing and social media strategies, tactics and activities should be and let’s talk about bang for the buck. The operative word being, buck, as in dollars, which should be your clue.

Advertisements

Two Hurdles and One Gap in Enterprise Social Media Engagement

Recently, my work required that I evaluate some of the top global brands in a certain industry in regards to internal b2b social media usage. I’ve used upwards of 7-10  free and paid social media monitoring and measurement tools to do it. I’ve looked at social data for a month and I have discovered two hurdles and one gap. I’m going to boil it down for you and spare you the pain of elaboration and if you happen to see me on the street I will give you the lodown on my findings.

So here it is:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a c-level executive, a director, a manager or the owner of a small business. One of your primary and most valuable comodities is your time.   Alotting time or taking time for engagement is not really high on the to-do list right now. Though recent data says that the more social your executives are the better performing your company  might be.

That’s hurdle #1. Executives need to take the time to be better at being social.

Having resources to do all the things that these companies and individuals have read, heard and want to do in social and should be doing in social needs to be a priority but is easier said than done.

Hurdle #2. Organizations are resourced challenged.

And the biggest gap?  The money is not there yet but social media budgets are continuing to loosen up quickly.  They used to be non-existant. In some very large organizations that I have seen, social is not a priority at any level be it in internal or external, yet.  The good news for all of these? You will see them all evolve in a positive  manor over the next 3-5 years.

The Enterprise Conundrum-Adapt, Adopt or Do Nothing?

Recently I had the pleasure to do 2 things that I enjoyed tremendously: One, I got to participate in a podcast with Geoff Livingston and Toby Bloomberg on Social Media and the Enterprise and Two, I got to speak to a bunch of relative neophytes with regards to Social Media. What struck me about this group, was how little they knew and how little really had an impact on their day to day jobs. Social media either did not figure into their day to day activities or was restricted so much-what was the point?

What struck me about Toby and Geoff? Just how smart they are and how they both see the big picture of social here. Now back to the other group.

For them, social media activities consisted of basically going on to Facebook and either doing a status update or reading others. Social media from a channel usage standpoint within their organizations had nothing really to do with marketing activities, recruiting and vetting of candidates in HR, addressing the needs of customers or monitoring the activities of competitors.

Social Media within the walls of their companies was viewed as something “we know about” but we don’t know enough about to figure out how it can positively affect our company, let alone how it can be used in a positive way on an individual basis to move the dial for our company.”

This dove tailed nicely into my podcast with Toby and Geoff.

Where does the Enterprise start?

Does your organization adapt by just becoming social? Or does the enterprise merely adopt certain social media practices into certain elements or departments within the company?

Am I splitting hairs here? Is this just semantics? Or are adaption and adoption just so large and time consuming that it’s just easier to say-“No social media in the organization, do your Facebooking at home!” Is there a win for stakeholders who do not necessarily move the needle?

Is that flawed myopic thinking on the part of the enterprise? Or reality?


Advertisements

The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

Feeds

social media conference

Latest tweet

TwitterCounter for @marc_meyer
Alltop, all the top stories
Add to Technorati Favorites
View Marc Meyer's profile on LinkedIn
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The social me

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Mad Props

My site was nominated for Best Business Blog!
qrcode

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 98,267 other followers


%d bloggers like this: