Win a FREE copy of The Now Revolution

Jay Baer and Amber Naslund wrote a book called The Now Revolution about the seven shifts that will make your company faster, smarter, and more social. Thanks to Jay and Amber for giving me a copy of the book to give away to one of our readers. Watch this short video to find out how you can enter to win your own copy of this book. Enter by March 4, 2011.

In The Now Revolution companies will learn how to:

  1. Strip away silos and overgrown business process, and create a culture of NOW
  2. Hire and empower a new type of employee who is adept at pattern recognition, human relations, and immediate analysis
  3. Organize internal teams for maximum external impact, and empower every employee as a marketer, even if they aren’t
  4. Listen at the point of need and answer the social telephone
  5. Travel the Humanization Highway, and respond effectively and persuasively to customer inquiries
  6. Plan for, find and manage real-time crises
  7. Redesign success metrics in a business world that’s increasingly instantaneous

And if you want to see previous interviews we conducted with Jay and Amber, click on their links.

This Week’s Inspiring B2B Social Media Posts

If you work in B2B social media and you have some of the same search terms and feeds set up as I do, you may have already seen these posts flash by your field of vision. Just in case you missed them, here are some recent posts that you might find relevant. It is a diverse mix of posts about general social media B2B, ROI, advertising, sales and hiring. If there are other recent posts that have been particularly inspiring to you this week (including your own), leave them in the comments below.

3 Reasons B2B Social Media Makes So Much Sense
by Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra) on the Radian6 blog
We’re talking about social media for B2B this month. (We wrote a nifty eBook about it just in case you missed it). It’s something that comes up over, and over, and over in conversations in our industry. There’s an impression sometimes that in business-to-business companies, social media just doesn’t have a strong case. But that simply isn’t true.
continue reading

ROI Absent From Yet Another Marketing Meeting
(also titled: Where In The World Is B2B Social Media ROI? when syndicated on another site)
by Jeremy Victor (@JeremyVictor) on B2BBloggers.com
Is this a familiar scene? Are you spending a lot of time talking about B2B social media and content marketing, only not acting because you can’t find ROI?
continue reading and view a B2B marketing comic

B2B Ads: Women click, men act
by Rebecca Lieb (@lieblink) on Econsultancy
How do businesspeople interact with online ads? Women click on them, men act on them, and both genders do so at vastly differing times of the day (and night).
continue reading

IBM’s social media skills initiative for partners
by Walter Adamson (@g2m) on Customer Think
IBM is often ranked in the top 50 of US companies in terms of social media savviness, but like most companies which sell indirect that savviness does not necessarily translate down through the channel. This means that channel partners are actually missing the opportunity to leverage the investment that IBM is making in social media to help grow their business.
continue reading

Six Tips for Recruiting a B2B Social Media Hire
by Elizabeth Sosnow (@ElizabethSosnow) on Spin Sucks
Public relations recruiting can be tough, but B2B social media recruiting activity almost put me into an early grave this year. We spent months searching for someone who understood how to marry the complexities of thought leadership creation and hands-on digital skills.
continue reading

3 Private Social Community Options for B2B Companies

What do you do when your B2B company wants to establish a social community but only for a select audience? Well, there are options. Creating a private community environment with the ability to control member enrollment is key, and making sure your community understands that it is a select group of qualified individuals will help keep the environment focused and held in high regard.

Many popular social networking tools don’t provide a logical space for this kind of community organization (like Facebook and Twitter), but there are a handful of options and likely one will fulfill your B2B social media requirements.

1. A Hosted Private Community
Building a private community provides the ability to fully control your community access, while offering a full set of social networking features. There are several solutions that will allow you to quickly and easily establish a social community using third party software and host it on their servers. The most popular options are Ning, KickApps and SocialGo.

The benefits to using these tools include a quick development timeframe (hours, not days) and support is usually readily available from the developer or from other users in forums or message boards. Most technologies are very customizable and the financial commitment is minimal, if not free.

2. A Private Community on your server
If you must retain control of your content for legal or security reasons (you may not want proprietary information on a third party server), you may need to consider developing a community using software you can install on your own webserver. Some of these options are add-ons or modules to a CMS (content management system) package and some are stand-alone applications.

Among the options to consider are JomSocial which integrates with Joomla CMS, Elgg, Pligg and Dolphin.

Setup of the software will require some technical assistance, and then you’ll want to customize the look and feel and the functionality to your requirements. However, once established, the community will operate in a very secure environment and you’ll retain full control over the content.

3. LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn can also be used for private communities. Simply establish a group and send out invitations. The community creator will be able to control who joins. You can also create subgroups to further organize your members.

A private LinkedIn Group can be setup in no time, and you already have a contact list to use for the initial invitations. On top of this, LinkedIn makes it easy to send weekly messages to the group, create discussions and share information.

Managing Your Private Community
No matter which private community you choose to create, once its launched your work has just begun. Make sure you’re ready to manage it properly. To learn more about managing your community you should read Chris Brogan’s Essential Skills of a Community Manager, 3 Tips for Managing a Social Media Community or get a first hand account from Amber Naslund about Being a Director of Community.

Is a private social community in your plans? What options are you considering? Do you already have one? If so, please share your experiences.

Video: Basics of B2B Social Media Monitoring

Social media starts with listening or monitoring the social web, but before you can begin, you need to know what you are looking for. We caught up with Amber Naslund, Director of Community at Radian6, and asked her about the basics of social media monitoring for B2B companies. Watch the video as she discusses the following topics:

  • Three parts of monitoring: brand centric mentions, competitive intelligence, industry intelligence.
  • Build your own dashboard using iGoogle or Netvibes or other sites where you can aggregate multiple RSS feeds.
  • What is the tipping point to upgrade to higher-level, or paid solutions?
  • How do you begin to understand the sentiment of the data you find?

Amber blogs at AltitudeBranding.com and tweets from @ambercadabra.