Connect Your B2B Customers with Social Media Profiles

Business is getting more and more social. Understanding how social it’s becoming is a challenge to many B2B marketers. Where do you go to find out if your prospects and customers are on social networks? If so, which ones?

It’s now possible to append your B2B customer and prospect databases with social media addresses and other social marketing data. This new social layer makes it possible to connect and engage with your audience across multiple channels. With this data, you’ll know the “Four W’s” of your audience:

Who: demographics, occupation, location and more
What: interests, brand affinities, lifestyles, and influence
Where: social sites used and online hangouts
With Whom: friends and associates

Reasons why you should map your customers and prospects to social media:

1. Determine if you should be on social networks
If you are unsure about whether or not you should be marketing via social media, using social appending tools will help you understand the social activity of your contacts.

2. Determine which channels to use
Learn which channels your customers or contacts use most frequently and speak to them where they are most comfortable.

3. Determine where to best devote resources
Optimize the time you spend engaging and identify potential new channels to engage your key contacts.

4. Identify influencers
Do you know who your most valuable brand advocates are? Use the number of Facebook friends, tweets, followers, etc. to identify and engage your contacts with the most marketing influence. Create content or VIP offers to target and reward this very important group.

5. Increase relevance
Gather insights from a Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile to provide marketing intelligence which can be used to create more personalized communications. Those communications can then be distributed to the most relevant segments of your database.

6. Compare prospects to customers
If you know the social behaviors of your customers, compare that to your prospects. Learn about the differences between the two groups and adjust your prospect messaging accordingly.

7. Target new customers
Once you how your customers behave in the social networks, use that information to go after others with similar profiles or behaviors.

8. Be more effective with sales and retention
Provide your sales team with prospect or customer social profile information and allow them to learn more about the contact which will promote a more authentic conversation and sales experience.

Companies that provide social marketing contact appending or influencer identification services include:

Rapleaf
Rapleaf helps you better understand who your customers are so you can personalize communications and boost interactions while lifting conversions. Using Rapleaf can help you reveal and understand your customers’ demographics, interests, occupation, social media memberships, friend connections and more.

Netprospex
Netprospex is a directory of user-contributed business contacts verified with their proprietary CleneStep technology. Quickly find, view and download business contacts including phone and email addresses. NetProspex has a large database of 14 million verified B2B contacts.

Klout
Klout allows you to find and engage Twitter influencers based on topic or hashtag so you can understand their network value.

Flowtown
When you have an email address, Flowtown allows you to find which social networks your customers are on.

Have you used social network data to customize your B2B marketing efforts? How did it work for you? Do you see this becoming more popular as B2B marketers grow more savvy in the social marketing space?

7 B2B Social Media Tools You Haven’t Heard Of

With the vast array of social media tools out there, it’s easy for some useful ones to get lost in the mix. Here’s a few that might be flying below the radar, but can be valuable tools for B2B marketers.

1. Social Mention
http://www.socialmention.com
Cost: Free

For those of you that use Google Alerts you may want to take a look at Social Mention. Social Mention is a real time search platform that will allow you to search on a keyword/phrase and see its social mentions across 100+ social media properties. It offers a strength score, sentiment ratio, a passion score and reach. This stream of information can be fed into your RSS feeds or be delivered to your inbox. It also displays Top Users, Top Hashtags, and Sources. It’s a great addition to your listening toolbox.

2. Flowtown
http://www.flowtown.com
Cost: Free trial, monthly fees based on imported contacts and email volume

When all you have is an email address, Flowtown can give you a name, age, gender, occupation, location and all the social networks that person is on. It’s a great resource if you need to append your customer file with social network profile information, learn more about the social habits of your database or if you want to target them on social networks.

3. Compendium Blogware
http://www.compendium.com
Cost: Varies depending on number of keywords

You should consider Compendium if you rely on your blog for SEO results. Compendium’s Blogware product helps you target keywords because it automatically organizes your content in a way that’s ideal for search engines to crawl. It also has great administrative tools with a step-by-step approval process so you can manage your blog content within your organization.

4. Trackur
http://www.trackur.com
Cost: Free for 1 saved search, plans for multiple saved searches

Trackur is a social media monitoring tool that provides an impressive set of features at very reasonable costs. You can save searches which are updated every 30 minutes, receive alerts via RSS or email, bookmark and save discovered items and track sentiment and trends. You can try it for free which includes one saved search, so its easy to give it a test run to see if its right for you, and if so just upgrade into one of the paid plans.

5. Swix
http://www.swixhq.com
Cost: Free (for now)

Swix is your social web index. It allows you to create pods, which is a way to see your metrics for a particular social media property (Twitter, YouTube, your blog, Flickr, MySpace, etc.) Then for each property, you can enter your amount spent, your cost per unit and then see your return on investment. It’s simple to use. For a great review of Swix, read Jay Baer’s post A Social Media Scoreboard that Works.

6. Addictomatic
http://addictomatic.com
Cost: Free

Addictomatic instantly creates a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic. Pick the channels where you want to source your information then save your search as a bookmark. It’s a helpful way to determine the buzz about your product or service, find potential audience and to see what channels are sources of content for your keywords/phrases.

7. Spiral 16
http://www.spiral16.com
Cost: N/A

Spiral 16 offers 3D Visual Mapping. Their visualizer displays the relationships between unique URLs in dynamic 2D and 3D maps. This enables users to quickly identify key influencers who are spreading a positive, negative, or neutral message about a topic across the Internet. It can help you discover trends, identify targets, measure campaigns and sentiment and increase customer loyalty.

Are there any other tools you find useful in your B2B marketing research, monitoring or ROI calculations? Leave us a comment with your favorites.