B2B Social Media Breaks Out at SXSW

For those of us in the social media bubble it is that time of year again where we try to get our friends, fans and followers to vote for our submitted sessions so that we can speak at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in March 2013. But as we have done in year’s past, we are interested in supporting the B2B community and promoting some of the other sessions in addition to ours.

Last year there was a B2B track with a day’s worth of sessions in one Standing Room Only room. It was a sign of progress for B2B content at the session. Kipp and I even did a book presentation for The B2B Social Media Book. Each year there are more B2B sessions submitted than the year before and this year continues that trend. Companies represented include many of the usual suspects like IBM, Cisco, Xerox, Salesforce, but there are also less known B2B companies like National Instruments and Honeywell Aerospace.

If you want to support your fellow B2B marketers, check out these and other presentations on the SXSW panelpicker site. Register for an account to like sessions, leave comments to make the sessions better, or even share them with your networks. Your support may help create more interest in B2B topics this coming year. If you are interested in attending the conference, note that hotels are selling out and the tickets are only getting more expensive as time goes by.

Digital A-Z for B2B

At last year’s SXSW, a starved crowd of B2B marketers shuffled into a standing-room-only session track to hear more about this often-neglected topic. Meanwhile, the volume of B2B transactions is 20 times higher than B2C – the B2B industry is worth more than $400 billion.

How drastically does the marketing world change when you’re selling to another business? Contrary to the Supreme Court decision, businesses aren’t anything like people. But marketing must reach out to role-based B2B tribes. What are the most civilized moves you can make?

In this topic session, you’ll learn everything from 101 marketing basics to how much of your budget to protect for unpredicted innovations. Learn how web analytics and optimization testing can help determine what advertising, content, promotions and strategies are right for your business model.

Social Conversion: For Love and Money in B2B

61% of B2B marketers use social media to generate leads, but that isn’t enough. Marketers are ignoring a much bigger opportunity: social conversion. Social conversion uses social content and social media platforms to induce an action from an evangelist, lead or customer. Going beyond lead generation, social conversion enables optimization through all stages of the B2B sales and marketing funnel. By using social content at each step of the online decision making process, marketers can drastically improve their results, while giving prospective customers the most relevant content personalized to them. Inject social into all stages of your conversion process from landing pages to your website homepage to scale your online marketing to new heights.

Paradise By The Dashboard Light: Success in B2B

There is a big myth in business today — “You can’t track your social media efforts like you do other digital media.” False. With the right tools, every component of social media can be tracked & measured against a business goal. You better form your business goals with such metrics to influence all your marketing channels. Yes, all of them.

While looking to understand what impact social activities are having, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating collaborated with WCG creating a consolidated dashboard to visualize its metrics. For upper management, this dashboard showcases all digital & social activities — in real time via web-based login, which can also be displayed for all employees to see in a common area. Independent figures as well as campaign specific data can all be expanded.

A business need to analyze and showcase ROI has become a real-time illustration board. The benefits to a brand are priceless in an age where strategies need to react as fast as social media unfolds.

Late Night Comedy Secrets for Social Business

Research shows that nearly 73% of people who read corporate blogs are people. One of the most authentic, intimate connections we can make with another person is to make them laugh; which makes comedy the ideal genre for corporate transmedia content. Learn how to apply the same comedy approaches used on Conan, Letterman and SNL to help strengthen and grow online corporate communities. Learn how to produce a comedy video for under $500. We’ll share a few successes, failures and near-fireable offenses; as well as case studies our productions including a Cisco video covered by The New York Times and an IBM video which ran on Comedy Central.com.

Getting Away With It: IBM Social Sells the Cloud

IBM and its web-based offering, the IBM Public Cloud, has gone social with its selling – and is exporting the practice overseas. Beginning in the US, IBM.com developed & launched an innovative Social Selling Program to help Public Cloud sales reps close new business using social media channels & techniques – primarily because traditional teleprospecting and email were not a market best fit. By embarking on internal social selling education, a social action marketing calendar, an influencer strategy, a social content management system, weekly reporting & prospect social tracking through the sales pipeline, the innovations has proven that social media has an invaluable contribution to the B2B sales & marketing mix. Hear from IBM on how this Social Selling Program was developed, the learning that the campaign has produced both in US and Europe – and the results that are now serving to influence the use of social media as a sales and marketing tool in b-to-b markets at IBM overall.

Bonus Session Listing (Not B2B, but mine):

The Incredible Disappearing Marketing Trick

Marketing is undergoing its biggest transformation in 80 years. It is disappearing. How can marketing actually disappear, you ask? Not only are marketers getting better at their jobs and creating things that don’t feel like marketing, but these highly valuable ideas are shared by your customers, prospects and advocates. By reducing the barriers between you and this army of supporters, your content can get amplified like never before. And this marketing trick will put you on the path to more customers in less time at lower cost. Now who’s the magician?

If there are other B2B sessions that sound interesting to you, add them to the comments below.