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Social Marketing Guide
Social Marketing Guide First Edition -‐ Jun 2011 Copyright © 2011 Coffee Bean Technology http://www.coffeebeantech.com 6601 Owens Drive Pleasanton, CA 94588 USA All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form without permission. ISBN 978-‐0-‐9826645-‐2-‐0 (First edition, Paperback) Printed in the USA Original Content: Marcio Saito Coffee Bean Platform Features: John Lima Cover and Illustrations: Carolina Cintra
Table of Contents Preface ..................................................................................................... 5
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 The social business model................................................................................................. 7 Social media: Not just another media........................................................................... 8 Change starts inside: internal collaboration ............................................................. 8 Adjusting attitude: Speak like a person!....................................................................10 Social media management: the marketing funnel.................................................11 The social funnel: Communities and Social-‐ID .......................................................12 Building a community .......................................................................................................13 Scaling engagement: Influencers and brand advocates......................................14 Your website: not the start, but the destination ....................................................17 The company blog – Do you need one?......................................................................21 Getting familiar with consumer social media sites...............................................23 Setting up and using a LinkedIn company page.....................................................24 Setting up a Twitter account and recruiting followers .......................................25 Setting up a Facebook company page ........................................................................27 Other forums and websites.............................................................................................29 The anatomy of a social media campaign .................................................................31 Segmenting to reach your audience............................................................................32 Publishing content ..............................................................................................................34 Promoting and engaging ..................................................................................................35 Influencing and converting – Capturing the Social-‐ID ........................................36 Analyze, measure, repeat.................................................................................................37
2 Building Your Social Media Footprint................................................ 17
3 Social LeadGen Campaigns ............................................................... 31
Features ............................................................... 43
Social Media is fundamentally different from classical media and its increasing participation in the mix available to marketers creates urgent pressure for adaptation. Framing change as “revolution” is useful in moving our level of awareness to start action. But change in business execution happens over time, and core principles of marketing and other disciplines will remain valid. This book is meant as a pragmatic guide and is designed to help realworld marketers’ leverage and integrate social media to the existing marketing framework. Discrete social media actions are important, but dabbling will only cause frustration. We will focus on how all elements come together to support a Marketing Strategy. Where applicable, we provide examples of tools and technology that can be used in each step. This is written for anyone interested in marketing, but we look at the subject from the perspective of businesses where Lead Generation is a primary metric of success and discuss actions in the context of Social Media Campaigns. This guide can be used stand-alone; it also has a companion interactive website component.
Before starting in this journey, any company needs to evaluate its benefits against its challenges. A company that dominates a market or already knows every single customer in a niche segment may not benefit from social media. For most companies, though, Social Marketing is not an option, but the only way forward. We hope this is helpful and wish to hear back from you.
Coffee Bean Technology
Social Media Marketing Background
Before moving into specific steps to set your Social Media Footprint (Chapter 2) and run Social LeadGen Campaigns (Chapter 3), let’s establish a few basic concepts in social media marketing and relate them with traditional marketing.
The social business model
Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service are the areas typically involved in direct customer engagement. They have traditionally operated in a highly segmented fashion, with very specific hand-over points between them. The Social Business model seeks to adapt to a reality where customers have more control and can influence their peers. We are moving to a world where new business comes to you primarily through influence of your customers and brand advocates. The goal is to move customers from satisfaction and loyalty to being personally involved with your brand and influencing others. To achieve that, providing good value along one dimension is not enough; you need to offer a good customer experience. All areas in the company must work together coherently to provide a consistent and continuous customer experience throughout the relationship lifecycle. In this book our focus is on activities that have traditionally been in marketing, but be aware that the lines separating sales, marketing, customer service and other disciplines will blur over time.
Social media: Not just another media
Classical media, including print, radio, TV, and email enabled inexpensive broadcast of messages to large audiences. Marketers have leveraged media to implement models and processes that can create awareness, drive demand and identify when prospects are ready to engage in a sales conversation. Social Media supports more engagement between all participants. It is open, inviting, and the channel is not under control of a single entity. It has two important effects in marketing communication: • Need to listen. Because social media is not unidirectional, one cannot participate in it effectively without listening and letting others affect messages as they are dispensed. Similarlly to live conversation, the audience starts processing and reacting before the entire message is out. Example: We still watch TV commercials during Super Bowl, but the audience is not passive and most of the effects of the ad campaign happen in social media before and after the event itself. • Demand for transparency and authenticity. Segmenting the market with the purpose of gaining leverage is more difficult. Participants interact in a peer-to-peer approach and exchange information among them outside the control of the marketer. Often, customers have more information about your competitors than you have. Example: Depending on how you engaged the reservation system, airlines used to charge different prices for the same seats at the same time. Now customers have access to comparative information and can circumvent artificial segmentation.
Change starts inside: internal collaboration
To interact with the market more transparently, a company has to get used to openness and co-creation in its internal operation first. If your organization works segmented in silos with little information flowing horizontally, you might consider starting a social transformation from the inside out. Traditional corporate communication and collaboration tools based on messaging (e.g. email) and document sharing (e.g. SharePoint) can be useful, but valuable information often gets buried in reports, file
repositories, and email threads that do not reach the people who need it. In a recent case, we were involved with a medical equipment services company that had challenges getting information to flow from inside sales (which sold spare parts and accessories) and operations (which provided equipment repair services) to the account sales managers (selling profitable service contracts). Traditional corporate systems, which focus on functional segmentation and a hierarchical flow of information, produce end-of-the-month reports, but they are not good at bringing information in real-time to sales managers and opportunities are missed in the most profitable part of the business. This company greatly benefited from the deployment of a social collaboration system across various departments. In the past few years, following the adoption of social communication tools by consumers, many new corporate collaboration systems emerged and are now becoming mature for adoption. An ideal corporate social collaboration system offers: • Support for real-time multi-peer interactions. Typically, activity streams or feeds, similar to update timelines in consumer social media allow for unstructured communication and support communities formed around a specific business object or problem (not only functional areas or processes). Support for traditional collaboration. Other forms of direct or collaborative interaction (chat, video, wiki, forums, etc) and traditional methods (file sharing, knowledge base, etc). Low-barrier for input and participation, to promote frequent and open sharing of information and dissemination of business insights across the company. External information in context of business. Employees are already using Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and other Internet tools to access external information. Tools should bring that information in context without requiring constant changes of context. Integration with business processes. Having separate collaboration and business tools does not make sense. Your collaboration system must understand business logic and help you execute business processes more effectively.
Coffee Bean solution for collaboration
The Coffee Bean System provides a real-time collaboration environment based on activity streams that aggregate all the company information around people and business objects: projects, sales leads and opportunities, companies, tickets, campaigns. It models your business by relating those streams according to both standard business logic and the best practices that are specific to your company. It connects to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, RSS and other external data sources to bring relevant information from the outside in context of sales and marketing tasks. With Coffee Bean, your employees not only communicate internally but also selectively share information and include partners and customers in the conversation.
Adjusting attitude: Speak like a person!
Before engaging in social media interaction, it is important to adjust attitude and language. Companies need to learn to listen and empathize with the audience. When writing marketing documents (like this one), we have been trained to use language that distances us from the reader. The print medium is unidirectional and the person writing is supposed to be detached from readers. We’ve added to that our habit of portraying our products under the best possible light and spinning facts in our favor (even when that is obvious to our readers). As readers and consumers of media, we have all trained ourselves to filter “marketing-speak” out. It doesn’t tell us anything and we unconsciously ignore it. Social Media demands more transparency and authenticity. To communicate effectively in social media, leave “marketing-speak” behind and speak like a person.
Consider this sentence: “Our highly scalable platform can leverage the synergy of mutual interactions between individuals exchanging realtime statements through flexible streams of information presented in a chronologically-arranged sequence of events.” Wouldn’t it be easier to say, “Our product lets people talk to each other using updates posted to a timeline”? Do the extra complex words really mean anything? Does the reader process the words “scalability” and “synergy”? If you think this example is funny examine your marketing collateral. Do people in your company speak like a person?
Social media management: the marketing funnel
Classical methods of lead generation are modeled as a “funnel”. Companies need to identify and nurture potential buyers in the market ("suspects”) from awareness to action to loyalty. Funnels are artifacts of inside-out thinking that assume our business processes to be self-contained closed systems. They fail to acknowledge the environonment outside our business and the central role of people. But a modified funnel model is useful as classical marketers start to adapt to social media. It cannot represent community dynamics and peer-to-peer influence, but it provides a framework to extend the customer lifecycle management processes in use today. Two of the promises of Social Media are relevant to marketers in this context: • Peer Influence – Social Media allows direct influence between existing customers and prospects, harnessing the social character of the nurturing process (happy customers recommend your product and influence their peers), and let the funnel "self-nurture." Buying process, not a selling process - By enabling continuous and less intrusive mutual engagement, social media let prospects tell you when they are ready for a sales discussion (decreasing the need to “hit” them with a campaign at the right time).
In social marketing, the goal of the marketing process goes beyond Loyalty. You have fully developed a relationship with a customer when it becomes a Brand Advocate and start influencing other prospects in their decisions.
The social funnel: Communities and Social-ID
The Marketing Funnel metaphor implies control and exclusion of people who are not likely to engage in a sales transaction. This may no longer be the best way to describe our relationship with the market and potential customers. In social media, we refer to Communities. That includes not only prospective customers, but also existing customers, partners, influencers and even competitors. Today, you manage your contact lists using spreadsheets or a local contact database. This is changing. To be effective in social marketing, companies need to be aware of customers during their entire lifecycle: • • Current customers who have already completed transactions. Partners and influencers who have already an established relationship with your company.
Future customers who have or could have interest in your company. Other market stakeholders including competitors, users of competitive solutions, market analysts, etc.
Future customers may be connected to you in one of the social networks. Perhaps they have shared links to your content, “liked” or rated your product, “followed” your posts, subscribed to your feeds, used the same “hash tag” as the ones you use, read your marketing booklet, etc. The social marketing funnel or community is not contained within your database. It is the union of contacts in the customer database, and in places where your customers congregate as followers (which may or may not be places you control: Online forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc). In order to manage the community, you need tools capable of keeping track of the Social-ID of your potential customers. The social-ID is the basic information you need about your contacts to interact and access their profile (likes, dislikes, preferences, interests) in social media.
Building a community
Similarly to real life (and unlike traditional marketing assumptions), one cannot start selling or asking for an action without first building some mutual understanding, trust and relationship in social media. So, before executing broad campaigns, you need to invest some time connecting with customers, partners, influencers and other stakeholders. To reach a large number of people, traditional marketing leverages mass-communication media. Social marketing aims to, instead, leverage social connections to propagate messages to a broad audience. The indirect reach gives you less control and requires your messages to be more customer-centric. On the other hand, messages that reach your targets through mutual connections can be more powerful because they carry implicit social endorsement (people trust what their friends say). If you already have a customer community, think how you can get them to connect with you in social media. Are they users of social media or already congregate in some online forum? Can your best customers serve as catalysts or help to recruit others? If you are new to social media, ask your closest customers for help and advice.
Tools for community management There is a multitude of freely available point-tools that can help you manage your social media community (see Chapter 2). They range from utilities for cleaning of lists of people you follow, to consolidating followers across multiple networks, to notifications of posts that require your attention or response. As your social media processes become more mature, you will want to look for an integrated suite of tools to help you manage the engagement with your community.
To expand your social media community: • Be there. You need to be present and available to engage in social media. Start with your current customers, understand the social media protocols and be a good citizen. Keep customers happy and turn them into brand advocates. Happy customers will talk to friends and bring their connections to you. Empower employees to establish connections with customers. Social connections happen between people. Be generous and authentic and provide value first. Publish valuable content and offer it without asking for something in exchange. Follow before expecting to be followed. Engage both ad hoc and by executing structured marketing campaigns in social media.
Establishing meaningful relationships is a process that cannot be automated, but there are tools that can help you to manage a large number of connections and help to cultivate and grow a social media community.
Scaling engagement: Influencers and brand advocates
While the monthly e-mail newsletter may still be applicable in some cases, social media creates new possibilities of soft engagement that can be less intrusive and more sensitive to customer interest.
Nurturing a social media community involves people having meaningful interactions. Other than the occasional companysponsored golf outing, traditional marketing stays away from personal interactions and focus on automated statistical methods because it is difficult to scale engagement. The promise of social media is to scale personal engagement. Because social media is open, customers can initiate an interaction. They can follow the company Twitter channel, comment in the company blog, share a link to content in the website, or complain about a product in social media. Each of those actions creates the opportunity for a personal interaction or dialog. So yes, you need to assign people and resources to monitor conversations in social media and react to it, be it by thanking for an action, fixing a problem, or participating in a discussion. How does that scale? • Interaction effects propagate through social connections. When someone interacts with your brand in social media their social connections also perceive a personal interaction. How many times have you heard, “My friend was talking to this company and…”? People identify with their peers. When you interact personally with someone in public, all other people who identify themselves with that person will also feel effects of that interaction. “I was waiting for boarding and saw the agent help this other passenger...” Brand advocates become influencers. As you build a community and develop a positive relationship with it, social media lets your brand advocates do the work for you. They will defend your brand, help other customers with problems, forward your content with their implicit endorsement, recommend your products, etc.
Coffee Bean and Community Management
The Coffee Bean System not only supports a local customer database similar to traditional contact management systems, but it also connects those records with the external information stored in the social networks. When you interact with people through the Coffee Bean system, we capture their Social-ID and keep track of the history of the social engagement from first contact throughout the customer lifecycle. Social media campaigns can be used to maintain those relationships and expand the community by reaching new prospects through your influential community members.
Building Your Social Media Footprint
Your website: not the start, but the destination
When a new medium is introduced, it is natural that it is used as a replacement for old media. So websites of the past decade were designed to look like online brochures. This is changing, as new websites are starting to use the capabilities of the digital medium (sometimes referred to as “web 2.0”). They are more dynamic and incorporate user-generated content, interactive elements, and video. Still today, most companies organize their website as a company presentation folder. We imagine users coming through the home page, looking at the content from the top-down, and then exploring its hierarchical tree of pages more or less in sequential order. The reality is that while many visitors still come through the home page, your prospects (people who are looking for a solution to their problem) will invariably arrive to your website clicking on a link outside your site. That link could be in: • • • • • Search Result as a result of a search engine query Sponsored ad that you place in a search engines or social network Referral - A link to you content forwarded by a friend Social media campaign item (blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc) Traditional campaign item (e-mail, newsletter, etc)
Interaction with prospects starts where they can be found (e.g. in Social Media or their mailbox). In most cases, you will attempt to bring them to your website, which becomes the influence and conversion venue. Your “home page”, where the interaction originates, is in social media. Visitors arriving to the website might not have any previous company context (they are following their need for an answer, solution to a problem, etc.) and, most importantly, they are not immediately interested in knowing about the company. If you try to take them through a one-size-fits-all introduction process, they will leave. Before you capture their attention, you need to resonate with their interest and provide value. The key to turning a visit in an engagement is the landing page, and you will probably need several of them. These landing pages are designed to resonate with different groups of visitors arriving to your website.
The Landing Pages in the website need to be independent of previous context and provide value that directly satisfy the expectations of the visitor. For example, if you brought them through a link that promised “Lose 10 lb in two weeks!” the landing page should be about weight loss and deliver on the promise. Once you were successful retaining the visitor, you can introduce what you do and how you can participate in the solution of their problem. You need to convince them you are worth their time and attention. Product demonstrations, videos are typical tools you would use to do that. In traditional marketing, the priority of a landing page is to “convert” as soon as possible. In social marketing, the website needs to provide several levels of engagement.
If the visitor is researching a solution, they might not want to talk to you right now, but instead is interested in downloading a white paper. Or maybe they want to become a follower of your company in Twitter to receive news and updates. If you create a memorable and valuable exchange, they will come back when they are ready to buy. Eventually, prospects that are ready to engage in a transaction will want to contact you. That is typically accomplished through a conversion webform, but it could also be some real-time interaction widget (chat, voice, etc) placed either on your website or in one of your social media properties. Website checklist: • Landing pages. Informative, resonate with your links, independent of context, conducive to sharing and further engagement Social actions. Make sure it is easy for users to “Like”, share, forward your content to others where applicable. Visitor perspective. When designing the site, think like your customer and their needs, not only how you would like to be seen. Search engine optimized. Yes, social is becoming more important, but that doesn’t mean the site should not be search engine optimized as well.
There is no direct association between the specific website platform you use and being adequate to support a social marketing strategy, but you need to make sure your website has fresh and interactive content and can change and adapt as you execute marketing campaigns. For most small- and mid-sized companies, that means moving from websites statically generated by a contractor designer or agency to a Content Management System (CMS) that allows business users to independently manage content without depending on a programmer.
Selecting a web platform A Content Management System (CMS) decouples the web platform from the content. In a traditional static website, any change of content needs to be implemented by a web designer (typically using tools like Adobe Dreamweaver). With CMS, once the platform is set and configured, business users can change content through a web-based front-end interface in real-time. Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. There are large development communities around those platforms, which means you can find all sort of plug-ins and extensions to support functionality without the need for custom web development. Those platforms are available as Open Source software (you can download, install, and manage yourself) as well as hosted services (which you can use for a small monthly subscription fee). There are also several commercial CMS platforms available. For an extensive directory of CMS platform options check http://cmsmatrix.org
A Social Marketing system can help you manage the engagement with prospects in Social Media (similarly to what old CRM systems did with contacts in a static database), and convert leads (through forms and conversion widgets that can be placed on the website or social media pages). A Social Sales system can manage the sales engagement process and help you move it into a sales transaction. More advanced systems will let you publish dynamic modules to the website or social media and allow real-time interaction between internal users of the system and those modules for sales, marketing, or customer service engagement.
The company blog – Do you need one?
The short answer to the question is “Yes”. If you are going to engage with customers and prospects in Social Media, you need to provide some content that is fresh, interesting and valuable to them and one of the ways to do that is to publish blog posts. Compared to traditional writing, a blog post should “speak like a person” and generally be more open-minded and participative in attitude. It is not about dispensing wisdom, but providing value and creating opportunities for interaction. Blogs posts should generally be short and frequent. The tone should be informal and personal. They are not meant to make you look smart, but instead to demonstrate you want to know what other people think. Corporate blogs can take some license and be a bit more uptight, but not too much. Ask questions instead of providing answers that have not been asked. Encourage participation, both internal and external. A quick Internet search will uncover hundreds of articles telling you about the reasons for publishing a company blog and the best practices maintaining it. So we will not go over that subject in depth here. How do I use a company blog to generate engagement? Your blog should be integrated to the website and your posts act as a resonance landing page. If your blog provides value to visitors (be it news, customer help, technical content, thought leadership, etc), they might be inclined to know more about your company or deepen their current relationship with you.
Coffee Bean social media content modules
The Coffee Bean system offer capabilities needed to engage with customers through the website and social media properties, including conversion widgets (forms that captures the Social-ID of the user and transfer submitted data directly into a contact record in the internal system) and dynamic interaction modules enabling real-time engagement between internal users and visitors.
A successful company blog can be integrated to your social marketing strategy in many different ways: • • Project thought leadership, similarly to publishing articles in trade magazines of the past. Landing page. When you post an article, you can promote it in Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media venues to bring inbound traffic using the post as a resonating landing page for your website. Valuable resource to market. Blog posts create the opportunity to provide value without directly selling your product. That is how social engagement starts. An engagement platform. Blog posts create the opportunity for interactions with visitors (agree, disagree, share, like). Every comment is an opportunity to engage. Increase reach. Blog posts can be syndicated to appear in places where your prospects are or be forwarded by visitors to others, increasing your reach outside the website. Links. If your content is good others will refer to it, creating meaningful inbound links to your website, which contributes to its reputation and its ranking in search engines.
Readers will share blog posts with their network using social bookmarking (e.g. Digg) and sharing, giving you the opportunity to reach thousands of people indirectly and with the recommendation of your reader. If you are using a CMS system as a platform for your website, it likely already has built-in blog support. If you have a traditional static platform, you can host your blog elsewhere and link it to your website.
Selecting a blog platform Some of the most popular blog platforms: WordPress, Google Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous. WordPress is available as an open source software platform that you can install in a server you own. All of the platforms above are available as a hosted service, typically free for a small footprint and with a paid subscription for more space. For most companies embarking on social marketing project, the selection of the blog platform is tied to their selection of website platform. If you are adopting a CMS system for your website, that is probably also your blogging platform. If you maintain a static website, your blog most likely have to be hosted elsewhere. In that case, looking at a hosted blog service makes sense.
Getting familiar with consumer social media sites
Consumer social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are not the same as social media, but as more people join them, they also become relevant for business. It takes some time for one to understand the functionality and the value of each of those sites. So if you have not done it already, we suggest you to spend at least a couple of weeks as active users even if at first they don’t seem relevant to your business. Depending on the nature of your business, customers might congregate in other forums. If you are in local services, that maybe review sites like Yelp! If you sell office products, product reviews in retailer’s websites may be important to you. Selling business software or IT equipment? Look for online communities and media companies targeting your market segment. Social media sites are and will become more important to businesses, but they can also be distracting. Especially if users need to switch between several software clients to get to the information they need
or if their personal interactions outside the context of work attract their attention all the time.
Setting up and using a LinkedIn company page
LinkedIn was designed to help individuals post an online resume and connect with their professional contacts. It can be a great resource for job searching and business development. While LinkedIn is not meant as source of lists of campaign targets, it provides search segmentation tools that allow finding and identifying people who are important to your business. When you meet someone in real life, LinkedIn can help you get more professional insight about that person. How is LinkedIn relevant to a sales or marketing person? When someone changes jobs or is promoted, it is likely that one of their first actions is to update their profile in LinkedIn. If that person happens to be, let’s say your champion inside a customer organization; knowing about the promotion is an important trigger to action for you. LinkedIn supports subject-specific discussion groups that congregate users interested in topics that can be used to build communities around your business. LinkedIn is mostly a professional social network for individuals, without specific support for a company presence, but this has been changing recently. It now offers features that allow companies to manage their profile and use tools to engage, recruit, and advertise within the social network. LinkedIn suggestions for B2B: • Explore. Spend some time exploring the functionality provided by the LinkedIn site using your personal account. If you have used it only to hold your professional profile and contacts look at the discussion groups, company pages, recruiting features, personal updates, applications functionality, and advertising opportunities. Claim and manage the company page in LinkedIn. Make sure the content is up-to-date, friendly and inviting. You must be a current employee to do that (see link to LinkedIn FAQ page below). Consider advertising. LinkedIn offers opportunities for targeted advertising. Because it knows a lot about its members, you can
segment by industry, geography, job title, functional area, etc. and it can offer ways to reach prospects efficiently. • LinkedIn for business. LinkedIn is still primarily a site for personal relationships, but executives are using it to network for business development. HR departments use it to recruit and hire. Encourage key employees to use LinkedIn to develop and nurture relationship with their business contacts. It is good for them and it is good for business. Leverage Apps. You access LinkedIn using the provided clients for browsers and smart phones, but there are increasingly more applications that take advantage of the LinkedIn API to bring network content to the context of business applications.
LinkedIn Learning Center: http://learn.linkedin.com/ LinkedIn Company Page FAQ: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1561
Setting up a Twitter account and recruiting followers
Twitter is a “microblogging” site. It lets users post short (limited to 140 characters) public status updates. Each user has a “timeline” where they can see updates from everyone they “follow”. You can also search for posts containing a “hash tag” (unstructured tags can be created by anyone, but some are adopted by several people and become the identifier of a community). Generally you can follow anyone else, but you cannot force anyone to follow you. So before your posts are seen, you need to recruit some followers. Start by following active users on the topics of interest (many people will reciprocate and follow back) and participating in conversations through the use of “hash tags.” If your posts are interesting and you engage positively with people, they will eventually connect with you. How can businesses benefit from using Twitter? Many companies are starting to use Twitter as a social media channel for news, promotions, and public announcements. Twitter is also the place where customers (both in the B2B and B2C) voice their praise or dissatisfaction with service providers and vendors.
Businesses can use Twitter to monitor market news, detect customers’ complaints, understand the perceptions about their brand, find business opportunities, and amplify the voice of brand advocates. Twitter does not support a company page for businesses to build presence, so most companies are there through individual employees or by setting up a Twitter user account representing the company. Twitter hash tags make it easy to find and engage with people discussing topics of interest of your business. Twitter suggestions for B2B: • Understand it. Leave pre-conceptions behind. It usually takes a few weeks before a new user truly understand the dynamics of Twitter. Connect with people you already have a relationship with. Look for the hash tags where people discuss subjects related to your business and observe for a few days, then start posting. Search for the names of your competitors and see what people are talking about them. Search for your brand.
Coffee Bean and consumer social media sites
The Coffee Bean system allows you to connect to social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google and to other sites with generic RSS to bring the relevant information in context of a customer engagement. The Social Sales system knows that a change in position/title announced in LinkedIn by a contact is relevant to a business relationship and will notify you of that change. It won’t interrupt you if a contact declared their love for the San Francisco 49er’s in Twitter, but that social information will be available as context when you prepare to make a phone call. The Social Marketing module helps you manage the social media properties and provides a listening platform with a “Social Dashboard” that allows you to monitor social media streams, search for topics o and directly convert posts of interest into contacts or leads. It will also provide publishing tools that enable you to engage with customers and automate steps in the execution of social media campaigns.
Follow users that are active in topics of your interest. • Company account. Twitter doesn’t currently explicitly support accounts that are specific for companies, but in most cases, it makes sense to create an individual Twitter account for your business. Engage. Twitter can be used to promote content of interest of the community you want to engage with. Many companies make the mistake of seeing Twitter as a broadcast channel. Listen first, publish, watch for responses, and engage. Leverage Apps. You normally access Twitter using the provided clients for browsers and smart phones, but there are several other applications that take advantage of the Twitter API to provide better interfaces for high-volume users of Twitter.
Twitter Page for Business: http://business.twitter.com/
Setting up a Facebook company page
Tools for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn There is a multitude of freely available point-tools that can help you manage your social media community. They range from utilities for cleaning of following lists, to consolidating followers across multiple networks, to notifications of posts that require your attention or response. A good directory of available Social Media tools can be found at OneForty (http://oneforty.com).
Facebook pages can be used as landing pages for campaigns and, in some cases, are becoming a viable alternative to pages in company websites. Facebook suggestions for B2B: • Connect. You probably already have a Facebook account (Are you the last person who does not have one?). If you have not yet considered it for business, pick one of the consumer brands you like, search for its page in Facebook and “Like” it. See how they are using Facebook to interact with consumers and build their brand. Not everything in B2C applies to B2B marketing, but it is not difficult to learn by observing and transpose what makes sense. Claim and set your Facebook page. In most cases, it makes sense to setup a Facebook page for your business. Spend some time setting it up so it projects your brand correctly. See chapter 3 for ideas on how to incorporate Facebook presence in your social marketing campaigns. Leverage social impulses. Facebook pages can be used to congregate your user/influencer community and work as a resonance chamber for community interaction. Every time a user interacts in your page, they also tell their Facebook connections about your brand. Publish content that is interesting, entertaining and shareable. Leverage Apps. You normally access Facebook using the provided clients for browsers and smartphones, but there are several other applications that take advantage of the Facebook API to adapt the Facebook experience to other contexts, including business applications.
Facebook Page for Business: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=175
Other forums and websites
While LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook seem to be the sites that combine a critical mass of adoption and tools that can be relevant to B2B businesses, you also need to consider other social networks that are important in certain markets (for example Xing in Germany, Orkut in Brazil ) or segments (for example Yelp! for local services), special interests (there is a multitude of online forums dedicated to discussion of specific topics). In some cases, online retailers are part of your channel and reviews and comments on their online stores might be your main source of social media information.
Social LeadGen Campaigns
In this chapter we will discuss the execution of structured campaigns for lead generation and will be talking about social media as a channel for “message push.” We are not suggesting this is how you use social media most of the time, and the fact that you start with a message push doesn’t mean you should not be available to engage in a conversation. There are tools such as social media dashboards that can help to manage engagement and automate some of the steps, but keep in mind that “social” means unstructured conversation between humans.
The anatomy of a social media campaign
Over time as social media replaces traditional media, its real-time character will turn today’s discrete and linear campaigns into parallel continuous processes. Tools and techniques will change, but it is still useful to think of campaigns as a sequence of distinct steps as illustrated in the picture below.
Segmenting to reach your audience
Before running a marketing campaign you need to find an effective way to reach our audience. Traditionally segmentation is provided by media companies or is result of analysis of a contact database. To target brides considering wedding-related purchases, for example, I would advertise in or run a joint campaign "New Bride Magazine". Or I can query my contact database to identify targets for a specific campaign based on data attributes (geography, industry segment, engagement level, etc). The same is valid for social media. Social networks know a lot about its members. For example, Facebook and Google can help you to segment through targeted advertising or by letting you peek into the demographics or behavioral patterns of users. The audience also segments itself by congregating around LinkedIn discussion groups, making their personal profiles available, or using Twitter hash tags.
Coffee Bean and execution of social media marketing campaigns
Market engagement using social media cannot be fully automated because relationships are forged between people through interaction, but Coffee Bean Social Marketing provides tools designed to help execution of social marketing campaigns. The Coffee Bean system allows you manage your social media communities by tracking the social-ID and history of your engagement with followers, “Likers”, customers, social influencers, and brand advocates. It lets you publish the posts for your social media campaigns across all social networks, making it easier to reach your community. By integrating social media with a Social Marketing system, Coffee Bean will let bring conversations in the public media into internal business objects (sales leads, opportunities, market intelligence) and publish internal content to the public sites.
Just because there are several social channels available to you, that doesn’t mean you will push every campaign through all of them. Who are you trying to reach? What actions do you want to trigger? How do you do the equivalent of market segmentation for a social media campaign? Here are a few options: • Targeted advertisement – Google, LinkedIn and Facebook will let you select your audience according to demographic variables or display your ads next to content that is relevant to your business. Social media followers – Every time you post, all users who selected to follow you will see the post in their timeline. If they “Like” your post, their followers will also see it. You rely on your influencers to judge if your content is of interest of others and propagate it.
34 • Social media specialty communities – LinkedIn and Facebook support groups with specific interests. Twitter has communities congregating around hash tags. Provided your content has value and is aligned with the topics of interest, you can publish to people in those groups.
Similarly to traditional marketing, a social campaign usually starts with content "push". In social media, the message must provide value to the audience before it promotes your product. It has to be compelling enough for people to share with and forward to others. The content itself is typically placed on your website or one of your social media properties. It can be a post in the company blog, an article in your website, or a video in your YouTube channel. You reach out to the audience by publishing a link and call-to-action in social media. The goal is to get the audience to react, forward it within their social networks, and interact with you. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn offer easy-to-integrate embeddable code that can directly be dropped into your web pages to implement the basic social actions (Like, Share, Follow, etc) in your content page. If you are using a CMS platform, you might take advantage of available widgets that add a higher level of social connection (for example, display the photo of friends of the visitor who have already “liked” that page or bring Twitter reactions to the content to the website). Here are some qualities you want in the content of the landing page: • Resonate with the visitor and deliver on the promise of the link they clicked on to arrive there. If the headline of your social ad is “Click here to learn more about Social Marketing”, the heading of the landing page should be “Social Marketing” and its content should provide valuable information before it tries to do anything else. Focus. If the content is interesting, it will be linked from other places (which will also improve its ranking in search engines). The content should work as a stand-alone piece (i.e. be independent of previous knowledge about your company or product). Make sure you set the HTML metadata correctly; the Meta-description is the excerpt that is displayed in search results and social media previews.
Make it easy to share, both in logistics (buttons for social sharing, e-mail friendly format and URLs, etc) and content (independent from context). Make it interesting (valuable, entertaining, exclusive, etc). If your content is compelling enough, it will become “viral” and can reach a very large audience through social sharing and forwarding. Path to conversion. The ultimate goal of marketing campaigns for B2B is to convert sales leads. While only a small portion of the visitors will be ready for a sales engagement, you need to provide an easy path for their conversion (navigation to other pages with company/product-specific information or incontext conversion elements).
Promoting and engaging
All right, you have built some engagement with your social communities, found where people of interest are, published some valuable content, deployed social action widgets, and built a path to conversion. Now it is time to get the word out and drive some traffic. When we think of “promotion”, our traditional minds gravitate towards talking about our product or ourselves and trying to trigger buyingaction. In social media campaigns, the conversion happens in your landing pages and deeper in your website. The primary goal of a campaign promotion post is to generate interaction (which causes the message to propagate through social connections). To promote your campaign, you can use Targeted Ads or regular posts to the timeline in social media sites. Most social networks support targeted advertisement that can be shown to people in a particular set of demographics or displayed next to other content that is related to your product or service. When you post an update to a Social Media site, all users who follow you will see the update in their timeline. When they see the post, you want them to interact with it and/or forward it to their connections. Most often the post will be a catchy headline combined with an URL linking back to a landing page (a blog post, a YouTube video, or a resonating landing page in your site). In this case the goal is to have people to follow the link and then engage with you in the website or “share” the content with their connections. A Social Media Dashboard helps you to monitor several feeds in several networks in one view and can notify you of any conversation of
your interest or any comment that requires your response. It can also facilitate publication of content across multiple networks.
Influencing and converting – Capturing the Social-ID
Traditionally "lead conversion" happened when the "suspect" responded by calling the company, replying to an e-mail, or filled a form on the website. The company interprets that as a license to engage in a sales conversation.
Coffee Bean as a Social Media listening platform
The Coffee Bean system provides a social media dashboard that let you, search, monitor, and/or be notified of activity in social media involving actions in your campaign. You can also search and monitor mentions of product names, your brand, competitors, people of interest so that you are aware of anything that brings insight or calls for an action or response. Built-in integration with the website and social media properties let you monitor, manage and analyze the results of your campaign.
Social media allows for a more gradual engagement. Users can visit social media properties and "Follow", which implies interest but not necessarily a signal of readiness to buy. A brand advocate might not be a potential source of new business, but might help you to influence many other prospects by recommending your product or service publicly. Social marketing needs to be capable and ready to acknowledge and reciprocate those more subtle levels of engagement with market participants. To keep track of the engagement over time, you need a tool that can capture the social-ID of the customer and consolidate the data in your business database with the conversations and interaction in social media.
While the name “Customer Relationship Management” is correct, legacy CRM tools focus on transactions and lack the ability to capture unstructured. So a new generation of tool emerged (some call it CRM 2.0, others call it Social CRM). Because of the entrenched notions associated with CRM, we call this new class of tools capable of capturing both structured and unstructured data from databases and from social media Social Sales/Social Marketing tools.
Analyze, measure, repeat
As we look at the shift towards business that is more social, some of the parameters to measure will change and some of the parameters become difficult to measure. It is relatively easy to know how many copies of a magazine were distributed or now many people saw a TV advertisement. But the reach of a social media campaign includes people who heard the message through their connections (forwards and shares of content) and that is difficult to track accurately. To measure the effectiveness of lead generation social marketing campaigns, you can track the obvious parameters: clicks, visits to landing pages, lead conversions. But to get there, you may need to also track, measure, and adjust actions to more tactical social media parameters. To measure your overall “influence”, track the number of followers, number reactions (comments, responses, “Likes”, etc.) and the “resonance” (number of forwards, share, retweets).
Tools for Social Media Analytics Klout and PeerIndex are examples of services to evaluate the general measure of influence of one person or a brand in social media communities. They take in consideration activity, engagement, resonance, and audience to provide a measure of “influence.” Bit.ly and Tinyurl are examples of “URL link shorteners” that, besides making links shorter (for example to allow inclusion on limited Twitter posts), helps you to monitor when people clicked on them. So if you use those links in your campaigns, you know which posts were the most effective and how many people clicked or forwarded your links. Google Analytics is the most popular tool to instrument websites and landing pages so you get information on who is accessing it, where they found you, and what they do once they land on your content. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have also been adding analytics tools that enable you to know who are your followers, who is accessing your pages, and the community you engage with. Social Media Analytics - Coffee Bean offers a platform for listening and monitoring, but if you have a very mature social marketing process, you might consider an advanced analytics platform. There are several commercial tool vendors including Vocus (http://vocus.com).
In traditional marketing, Lead Scoring techniques help you to measure the level of readiness of a specific person to engage in a transactional sales conversation. Lead scoring typically works based both on the demographic data, as well as the online behavior of a person. The social marketing process needs to be more multi-dimensional. Because effective social marketing also depends on peer-influence, marketers need to be aware of metrics previously in the scope of customer service. How satisfied are our customers? Are they delighted enough to voice their opinions to others? Which are the most vocal of our customers?
There is an emerging class of analytics tools for social media that attempts to measure variables like “resonance” (is my message resonating with my community of followers and potential prospects?), “sentiment” (is the community positive or negative towards my brand?). But at the end of the day, the goal of a lead generation campaign is still to identify prospects and generate more sale transactions. The approach we suggest is to measure the tangible variables as the result of marketing activities. Don’t obsess about measuring unstructured data in social media.
Coffee Bean integrates Sales and Marketing
While social media metrics are important to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, from the overall business perspective, the number of lead conversions and new business is what really matters for B2B marketers. By integrating Sales and Marketing systems Coffee Bean lets you track relationships throughout the customer lifecycle, from prospect to customer, to repeat customer to brand advocate.
Conclusion – Tear down those walls
In a social business model, all areas in the company work together to provide a consistent and continuous user experience. The job of marketing doesn’t end when the lead is delivered to sales. More than ever, marketing needs to participate in the entire engagement cycle with users. Marketing needs to collaborate more with Sales. To bring new customers through social connections we need to provide a resonance chamber to amplify and connect the voice of current customers, so that they can influence new prospects. Marketing needs to collaborate more with Customer Service. Quiet satisfaction is not enough. You want your customers to become brand advocates. As for any change, they are not digital. We haven’t totally ignored customer engagement in the past; we won’t completely abandon analytical marketing in the next years. But the pendulum is swinging. Eventually we will be back to the point where most energy is dedicated to make existing customers happy. New business come from “word of mouth” as it was before mass communication media, but now mediated by social media. Then the pendulum will start to move back. We will leave that for a future book. Until then, we hope this information helps you get started on your journey. We would love to hear from you, so please let us know.
Coffee Bean Platform Features
Coffee Bean offers a platform for Social Marketingand Social Sales. It uses Social Media for customer relationship, lead generation, and demand creation resulting in growth in sales and brand value.
• • • • • Internal Collaboration using Streams Email and Calendar integration Project streams Mobile access Integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and generic RSS
• • • • • • Contacts and Accounts Lead and Opportunity management Reports for sales management Sales intelligence Streams Social lead prospecting Sales insight and Social-‐ID from social media
• • • • • • Conctact database for community management Integration to website and social media via forms and active content modules Social media dashboard for search, listening and engagement Social marketing lead generation campaign support Integration with classical marketing campaign management tools Marketing insight and Social-‐ID from social media