Two Examples of Stellar B2B Facebook Pages

Facebook is a huge topic of interest to B2B marketers, so we wanted to share two examples of stellar B2B Facebook Pages, as a follow-up to How to Build a Great B2B Community on Facebook. That post was the first part of a MarketingProfs B2B Forum presentation and here are the case studies from the second part.

Examples of Interaction on Facebook

B2B-Facebook-MarketingProfs
Corey O’Loughlin is a community manager for MarketingProfs. She shared the interaction and impact of their Facebook initiatives (go ahead and like them if you haven’t already!).

At a high level, Corey outlined the following goals for their Facebook initiatives:

  • Map goals – MarketingProfs does engage in sales via Facebook but had examples for effective integration throughout the presentation
  • Create content
  • Get feedback
  • Drive membership
  • Show personality

Corey shared a series of examples from the MarketingProfs Facebook page, walking the audience from Facebook update through impact in overall content marketing initiative.

Example: 15 Marketing Buzzwords to Stop Using
A question, discussion, and response from this update, poking fun at marketing buzzwords turned into a Slideshare presentation, blog post, and follow up series.

The presentation hit the hot spot on Slideshare three different times and could be traced back to 500 new members.

Example: 8 Misconceptions About a Remote Workforce
Newsjacking Yahoo’s announcement eliminating their remote workforce, MarketingProfs (who’s workforce is completely remote) used a similar strategy, leveraging the actively participated in Facebook discussion to generate a presentation, which now has over 80,000 views on Slideshare.

A few other ideas to consider:

  • Fill-in-the-blanks are great for developing discussion
  • Negative updates tend to do better than positive ones, but use them judiciously
  • Updates can be great for getting feedback for challenges or issues (Corey cited an example of understanding their lack of pickup on mobile marketing events even though broader interests seemed so high)
  • Doodles and images work and MarketingProfs is lucky to have such a talented artist on their team

From a sales perspective, Corey showed an example of a creative brand-based selling action / promotion. The key is to be creative in communication and execution. The end result was that even though the update itself had very little engagement, they still sold five passes to this event.

Content Makes Your Boring B2B Business Less Boring

B2B-Facebook-Constant-Contact
Kristen Curtiss is the social media specialist who takes on the daily challenge of making sure Constant Contact customers stay engaged with the business through social media. Believe it or not, email is not very exciting without a bit of valuable content to keep things moving.

High level results of Constant Contact’s Facebook initiatives:

  • Over 91,000 Facebook Likes
  • 59,000+ fans (likes) gained in a two year period
  • 13% of fans have connected (interacted) with the page

Constant Contact uses a mixture of posts and updates to develop reach and engagement. Some of their best practices include:

  • Custom images work – they started by just using photos but found that adding “thought bubbles” and other customizations worked better for engagement
  • Remember marketing objective – Constant Contact consistently queries their audience to find out what they are most concerned with
  • Text only posts tend to get more reach from fans; even more so than images. Constant Contact uses a 50/50 mix of image and text updates to keep things balanced
  • They only post links to the site once a week because they get the least engagement (as opposed to images and text)
  • Constant Contact uses Facebook chats. They created a custom image that points to a chat on Facebook, which in turn helps develop customer understanding
  • Customer feedback is very important – Facebook is an important tool for them to message customers about issues / service and feedback on new functionality and development
  • Kristen recommends running social campaigns via tabs on Facebook and make certain to cross pollinate efforts (for example, their Facebook initiatives are embedded through other marketing channels like email distribution)

Lastly and most importantly, HAVE FUN! Remember that the key to getting good engagement rates is to keep things lively and conversational.

35 Expert Tips To Make B2B Content More Manageable

b2b-content-expertsContent. Many B2B marketers hear the word and wonder how they are going to create increasing amounts of it with their limited bandwidth.

Trust me, I understand this issue on a personal level. I write large volumes of material every week, from corporate and personal blog posts to website content to social media posts and more. That’s why I was psyched to hear what my fellow experts had to say in the way of tips and tricks at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston last week.

Below are their words of wisdom. Take these 35 ideas and incorporate them into your content plans!

On the Planning Stage

1. Develop a content and engagement plan – ‪@DavidBThomas‬
2. Editorial calendars are worth their weight in gold – ‪@kesslermichelle‬
3. Look at the titles of those who consume your content – it will reveal who your audience should be – ‪@jchernov‬
4. Organizations need a content strategy, a social media presence, and an understanding of how to connect both to business objectives – ‪@AmyVernon‬
5. Understand what your content marketing objectives are and what you think the ultimate outcome will be – ‪@JoePulizzi‬
6. Figure out what motivates your customers; once you know your customers’ “why,” you’ll achieve success – ‪@webby2001‬

On Developing Content Ideas

7. Sales, customer service, product management, and marketing all need to talk to one another in order to create a strong content strategy – ‪@ShellyKramer‬
8. To achieve ‪social media success, you must break down silos within your company – share info & resources – ‪@AmyVernon‬
9. Blog post brainstorm: Get together everyone who talks to customers and make a list of the questions they hear – @TheSalesLion‬
10. Encourage user-generated content – ‪@NickWestergaard‬
11. Start with a piece that’s resonating and check the comments; you’ll likely find great, new, related story ideas – ‪@kesslermichelle‬
12. Do research on Quora or Twitter to understand the questions your audience is asking – ‪@jchernov‬
13. Remember to ask: only 34% of marketers have asked their customers what they want – ‪@NickWestergaard‬
14. Answer your clients’ questions and provide value, even if it’s not directly about your products – ‪@DavidBThomas‬
15. Everyone has a story worth telling – ‪@larrysmith‬

On Developing Your Posts

16. Simplicity is key; constraints fuel creativity ‪- ‪@larrysmith‬
17. If you don’t use mobile friendly links and responsive websites, you’ll lose half your audience – ‪@TheTimHayden‬
18. 55% are more likely to buy from you if you provide solid business advice on your site – ‪‪@ShellyKramer‬
19. Until your competition and bad fits start paying your bills, don’t let them dictate how and what you teach – ‪@TheSalesLion‬
20. Don’t forget to link to authoritative sites – ‪@AmyVernon‬

On Using the Same Content for Multiple Purposes

21. Do an “ego trap” series: have different well-known folks write guest posts on their views on the same topic – ‪@jchernov‬
22. Do a content audit on pieces you already have (collateral, emails, etc.); figure out what you can repur pose – ‪@JoePulizzi‬
23. Think of yourself as a content chop shop: repackage your content into blog posts, videos, ebooks, and more – ‪@NickWestergaard‬

On Utilizing Influencers

24. Co-creation of content with influencers can be a powerful way to amplify content – ‪@leeodden
25. Identify influencers and slowly build a relationship with them before asking them for anything – ‪@kevinrcain‬

On Measuring and Tracking Success

26. Understand the difference between vanity metrics (e.g., likes, followers) and metrics executives care about (e.g., traffic, leads, sales) – ‪@jeffreylcohen
27. Figure our what you want your customers do once they’ve read your content – ‪@MarketingProfs‬
28. Don’t just create consumable content; create actionable content – ‪@TheTimHayden‬
29. Content marketing is an art that, when done well, not only provides value, but also produces sales – ‪@samfiorella‬
30. Make sure your metrics are reported in a way that makes sense both to you and to management – ‪@DavidBThomas‬
31. Try measuring what others in your company are already measuring and making your reports look the same – ‪@jeffreylcohen

On Next Steps

32. Keep in mind that in the very near future, people will be viewing your website via wearable technology – ‪@TheTimHayden‬
33. A topic that was relevant six months ago may not be relevant now; always listen and adjust your strategy – ‪@samfiorella‬
34. Keep the internal content culture going by sending out monthly newsletters and trainings several times a year – ‪@TheSalesLion‬
35. Continue to earn your authority by sharing content – yours and others’ – ‪@AmyVernon‬

What are your expert B2B content tips? Share them in the comments below.

Photo: Flickr

How to Build a Great B2B Community on Facebook

b2b-facebookWe know you (yes, you B2B marketer) are skeptical. The social network of choice for many B2B marketers is LinkedIn. Even though Facebook is the largest social network by far (and one of the most trafficked websites overall), B2B marketers remain skeptical of Facebook’s viability for marketing impact.

Mike Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer of Peoplefluent kicked things off his session at MarketingProfs B2B Forum with a few important statistics courtesy of a recent Hubspot report about Facebook:

  • 750 million monthly visitors
  • 51% more likely to make a purchase after they “liked” a brand on Facebook
  • 41% of B2Bs surveyed indicated they have acquired customers through Facebook

Here are three examples of B2B Facebook pages worth reviewing:

Mike also showed a business page he worked on – Awareness Social Media Best Practices – and the key is / was content and communication (and literally, “best practices”). The page went from 0 – 10k likes in 2011 and more importantly the organization could track 22% of leads back to a first interaction on this Facebook page.

What makes these examples outstanding?

  • Audience engagement
  • Compelling and relevant conversations
  • Encouraging the share
  • No selling (direct selling at least)

6 Keys to effective B2B Facebook page development:

  • Paying Attention
  • Interaction
  • Content
  • Presence
  • Management
  • Measurement

On paying attention: listen to people and their actions and behaviors. This is the heart of a Facebook strategy but more importantly (taking a phrase from Chris Brogan – paraphrasing) ”It’s not what you say, it’s about what you hear.”

  • Why are you listening?
  • Where are you going to listen?
  • What are you going to pay attention to?

Silo your attention based on brand, keywords, buying signals, etc. Understand the market landscape, brand, competition, customers, influencers, buying intent phrases (situational, problems, etc), and of course, what’s happening on the page itself.

If attention is the yin, interaction is the yang. Mike outlined how to understand your extended audience, since your direct competition is not necessarily your competition on Facebook. You’re also competing with other brands, a person’s friends, family, network, etc.

At a high level, here is your extended audience and the basis for how to communicate with them:

  • Broad Extended Audience – share photos and videos
  • Passive – ask questions
  • Moderate – consistency is key
  • Active – make them champions
  • Influential – guest post opportunities

Considerations for improving and developing presence:

  • Use milestones
  • Star and highlight important information
  • Connect other channels
  • Use custom tabs within your Facebook page
  • Maintain consistent branding across Facebook page

All in all great examples and ideas that hopefully can sway a skeptical B2B market audience to do more with Facebook.

How to Create a B2B Content Culture

b2b-content-sales-lionB2B marketers know that content creation – and blogs in particular – is a critical part of the marketing arsenal. Yet many balk at the thought of creating new content on a consistent basis. How do you get enough ideas? How do you create content that keeps readers coming back? And how do you do it all when content isn’t the only thing you’re responsible for?

At MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum, Marcus Sheridan (otherwise known as The Sales Lion provided some answers to those questions.

As a person who runs a blog or two and is a contributor to several others, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas on how to keep the content machine going. Here are some of the points that really resonated with me.

Learn to Teach

When I have a business decision to make, I start by doing my research online. I would guess that you do too. With that thought in mind, Sheridan advises that you begin to think of yourself as a teacher, with your blog posts being the classroom material.

Consider the questions your customers ask when they’re researching your products or solutions. Do they want to know about something that’s related to your industry but doesn’t directly have to do with your products? Write about that. Do they want to know about how you stack up vs the competition? Write a fair and honest comparison – without shying away about the pros and cons of everyone, including you. Do they want to know about pricing? Write about how much your offering costs. (Sheridan says it’s also OK to answer “it depends” on that one – as long as you explain why.)

Be the best and most honest teacher around and you’ll gain customer trust. Gain customer trust and you’re on your way to making a sale.

Be Honest and Transparent

I mentioned this in the section above, but it was something Sheridan stressed repeatedly and I heartily agree with him. You MUST be as honest and transparent as possible. The moment a customer feels like a business is hiding something, the trust is lost. And it’s not something you’re going to get back.

Don’t shy away from hard topics just because you’re worried about what the customer will think. Not talking about a subject as nearly as bad as being dishonest about it. For example, say on your website who might not be interested in being your customer and why that’s so. Sheridan even went so far as to say, “It’s more important to say on your website who you’re not a good match for than who you are a good match for.”

Keep It Simple, Stupid

The goal of great content is to keep it accessible. Don’t get caught up in technical speak. I find this often happens when I’m working with bloggers. They are super smart people, but they are so caught up in being experts in their space that they forget that the rest of us don’t know every acronym in the book.

This is not to say that you can never go into technical detail. However, be aware that many of your readers won’t understand you unless you explain what you’re saying in clear and straightforward language.

Don’t Go It Alone

Eliminate the barriers between sales, marketing, customer support, and any other group that talks to customers. These are the best people to get blog topics from, because they hear the questions your clients and prospects ask every day.

Get a group of customer-facing employees together in a room and take an hour to brainstorm a list of questions they hear on a consistent basis. Write them all down and you’ll likely have enough blog post topics to take you through the next few months, if not the next year.

There is power in using multiple employees to produce content and build the company brand. Develop a corporate culture of listening and teaching – these are powerful tools.

Moreover, understand that there are different personality types in your company. Some people are better for taking on certain jobs than others. For instance, there are writers who can produce text-based blog posts. But there are also actors who would do better with video, talkers who could create great podcasts, and questioners who are great for brainstorming about new topics. Each person is valuable. Use their strengths to your advantage.

A final, bonus tip: recognize that developing a content culture isn’t a one-time thing. Keep the content culture going through newsletters and trainings throughout the year. No doubt it adds to the workload, but persevere – it’s worth it!

5 Smart Tips for B2B Content Marketing

b2b-content-marketing-hand-5-tipsAccording to a recent study, buyers contact a sales representative after 70% of the buying decision is made. What does this mean? People do their research online before they even begin to talk with you. So if you don’t have content that interests them, you’ve lost the sale before you’ve begun.

Shelly Kramer and Amy Vernon discussed this subject at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. As Vernon says, organizations need a content strategy, a social media presence, and an understanding of how to connect them both to business objectives. After all, Kramer adds, today’s marketing process, known as “inbound marketing,” is all about attracting people with good content, converting them to prospects, closing the deal, and then continuing to delight them so they return for more.

According to Vernon and Kramer, here are the five steps you need to take to make that process a reality.

1. Develop and Implement a Strategy

Know what your end-game is, because if you don’t know what your goals are, you’ll never reach them. And in order to accomplish your goals, you need to have a strategy.

It’s important to note that developing a content strategy should never be done by marketing alone. You need to talk with sales, customer service, and product management as well. Everyone needs to work together to develop the strategy and everyone needs to contribute knowledge to your ever growing content repository, even if marketing eventually does the writing and/or editing.

2. Produce Good Content

Producing good content involves a number of factors: smart people, good writers, editors who can make the pieces more search-friendly, and more. The most important thing to remember when producing content is not to stop. As someone once told me, the biggest reason corporate blogs die is because people stop writing in them.

Having trouble figuring out what to write each week? Vernon and Kramer suggest putting together an editorial calendar, so you can more easily map content to strategy. For instance, you can easily write several posts about a single event your organization is attending: one pre-event post, one during event post, and one after-event post.

It’s also important to remember that posts can be simple as long as they’re useful. For example, you can put together a “blog posts greatest hits,” where you highlight a group of related posts that got a lot of views in the past. Posts don’t have to be complex; they just have to be consistent.

One other point – you have to be viewed as authoritative. One way to do that is to make your blog into a resource by linking to additional content outside of your material (such as a relevant blog or news article).

3. Be Where Your Customers Are

Social media alone is not enough – use it as one of your tools, not the only tool. As Amy Vernon says, ”Figure out where your audience is and go there.”

A multi-channel approach allows you to include everything from email to Twitter to advertising to guest posting and more. Wherever your audience does its research is where you want to be seen.

At the same time, don’t worry about the number of followers you have on each channel. In the wise words of Vernon, having the right 500 connections is better than having thousands of followers who aren’t engaged.

Furthermore, B2B companies must have a strong presence on LinkedIn. According to Vernon, it’s the most important platform for B2B. Kramer added that Google views LinkedIn as very credible – don’t disregard its power.

4. Use the Tools Available

There is an ever-growing list of tools available for monitoring and utilizing social media. Kramer and Vernon listed quite a few in their talk. Here’s a sample for you to explore:

Free tools to evaluate your website: HubSpot’s Grader, WebsiteOptimization.com, HubShout

Paid tools inbound marketing tools: HubSpot and Moz

A globally-recognized avatar for use when commenting on blogs: Gravatar

Alerts regarding news that is good for enhancing content: Newsle, Social Mention, TalkWalker

Tools to build your social networks: FollowerWonk, WeFollow, Twibes

Tools for building an editorial calendar: DivvyHQ, Kapost

5. Track Your Success

Although it’s listed last, this is one of the most important steps. If you don’t track your accomplishments, you’ll never know if you hit the goals you set for yourself when developing your strategy. Use the tools listed above to make decisions based on your audience’s actions. Become data-driven, and let that drive tweaks in your content strategy.

Photo: Flickr

How to Create Great B2B Presentations

This past week I spoke at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston, and one of the keynote speakers was Nancy Duarte. Her presentation about presentations was very inspiring. I speak a fair amount at conferences and events and I usually create a new presentation for each event. My mostly visual presentations are filled with information, examples and ways to accomplish things.

The main point of Nancy’s presentation was that we need to use story and structure to convey our ideas to achieve change. Whether you are looking to change the world, as Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King were in her examples, or you are convincing a room full of communicators that it is worth their time to invest in social media, as I often do, it can be done with the right kind of presentation.

The message for B2B marketers, who are used to bullet point-laden decks where the only visual excitement is when each bullet point zooms onto the screen, is that they need to focus on the idea and what action they want the audience to take. It might be a sales presentation to a prospect. It might be an internal lunch and learn. It could even be a project summary for your boss. Before you begin creating the slides, determine what action you want your audience to take after hearing your idea. By using Nancy’s structure of repeatedly showing them the future with your idea in place, they will begin to own the idea themselves and go forth to change the world. Or at least their small portion of it.

If you have recently been inspired, whether to create better presentations, or some other aspect of your marketing efforts, we would love to hear about it in the comments.

Below is Nancy’s presentation from TEDx, which is a shorter version of the talk I saw earlier this week.

And here’s a link to Nancy’s latest book, Resonate.

75 of the Best B2B Facebook Marketing Tips

Many B2B marketers approach Facebook with the knowledge of how to maintain a personal profile, but still shake their heads at how to get results from a business Page for their B2B company. There are two basic things you need to know about managing a Facebook Page for a B2B company. The first is that you must post compelling content that people who like the Page will engage with. This is especially true since Facebook introduced the EdgeRank algorithm, which only shows popular content in the newsfeed. The second thing to know is that you need to include calls to action, both on the Page and ones that drive traffic back to your company website.

Next week I will be presenting a session, along with Deirdre Walsh and Susan Solomon, about Facebook Marketing for B2B Companies at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum. In the process of preparing for the presentation, I found and reviewed lots of recent articles that provide tips that can help B2B marketers manage Facebook Pages. Here is a link to the complete list of Facebook resources, but I have selected and organized the best tips from each article. A link to the source of each tip is included if you want to read more. If you have any additional tips to share, please leave them in the comments below.

Liking the Page

1. Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first. (source)

Facebook Content

2. Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform. (source)

3. Write for the newsfeed, not for your wall. (source)

4. Don’t worry about writing too little. (source)

5. Be strategic and pay attention to signal vs. noise. (source)

6. Write posts that encourage sharing across the network. (source)

7. Boost your comments by asking questions, but stay away from simple Yes/No answers. (source)

8. Mix it up a little between videos, photos, questions and information (source)

9. Use the 80-20 rule to determine how much other people’s content to post versus your own. (source)

10. Use @ tagging strategically. (source)

11. Target by location or language. (source)

12. Tailor your content to mobile users. (source)

13. Diversify your team’s voices. (source)

14. Open the door to user content — but not the floodgates. (source)

15. Keep posts 80 characters long or shorter. (source)

16. Don’t Be Afraid to Show You’re Human. (source)

17. Have a Unique Voice. (source)

18. Diversify Your Content. (source)

19. Post original and relevant content. (source)

20. Post industry articles and blog posts fresh from your newsreader. (source)

21. Share exclusive, behind the scenes information. (source)

22. Write simply and plainly. (source)

23. Think mainstream for content. (source)

Analyze and Optimize Content

24. Use Edgerank to find your best & worst days. (source)

25. Monitor which posts attract the most Likes and comments (eyeball), and use Insights – Facebook’s own analytics tool – for data. (source)

26. Track the Performance of Your Posts. (source)

Calls to Action

27. Treat your Facebook “Like” button or link to your Facebook Page like any call to action – make it easy to spot. (source)

28. Encourage others to share your calls to action, so they show up in their newsfeed. (source)

Tabs and Landing Pages

29. Make creative use of Tabs. (source)

30. Choose a “landing tab” wisely. (source)

31. Have calls to action on your landing tab. (source)

32. The landing page should be relevant to the ad driving visitors there. (source)

33. Offer incentives. (source)

34. Keep it up to date. (source)

35. Provide interesting content. (source)

How and When to Post

36. Watch Your Post Frequency and Timing. (source)

37. There is a short window of opportunity to gain traction with an update. (source)

38. Be careful with automated posting services like NetworkedBlogs or syncing updates through your Twitter feed. (source)

39. Establish a regular schedule for your brand’s Facebook updates. (source)

40. Post towards the end of the week (source)

41. Weekends are more Facebook sharing friendly. (source)

Audience

42. Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem. (source)

43. Don’t forget to send an update to fans. (source)

44. Allow your fans to tag photos on your Page. (source)

45. Put Your Fans in Charge Every Now and Then. (source)

Interaction off the Facebook Page

46. Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes. (source)

47. Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits. (source)

Optimize Your Facebook Page for Search

48. Link to your Facebook page from your website home page, using your brand in the anchor or alt‐text. (source)

49. Use your brand name in your posts. (source)

50. Get links to your Facebook Page by driving social engagement and “likes.” (source)

51. Use Facebook Shares and Likes to improve rankings of any page on your website. (source)

52. Interlink your directory pages with parallel Facebook pages. (source)

53. Integrate your website broadly with Facebook Social Plugins and Facebook Connect. (source)

Facebook Advertising

54. Restrict ads to people that don’t Like your Page. (source)

55. Invest in sponsored stories – they work. (source)

Resources

56. Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries. (source)

57. Accept you won’t work a 9-5. (source)

Miscellaneous

58. Assess the business value of your Page. (source)

59. Hold real-world events. (source)

60. Make use of “Add to My Page’s Favorites.” (source)

61. If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors. (source)

62. Respond to comments. (source)

63. Polls delivered directly to users’ news feeds are not only effective in their reach but also in their ability to drive engagement. (source)

Facebook Mistakes

64. Broadcasting Content. (source)

65. Not Investing Adequate Time. (source)

66. Being Boring or Predictable. (source)

67. Failing to Learn About Facebook Mechanics and Tools. (source)

68. Violating Facebook’s Terms. (source)

69. Assuming People Go To Your Fan Page Versus Seeing Your Posts In Their News Feed. (source)

70. Expecting Welcome Tabs To Get You Lots Of Fans. (source)

71. Overestimating Apps and Tabs. (source)

72. No Budget For Ads To Acquire Fans. (source)

73. Posting In A Self Centered Way, Not Trying To Get Likes And Comments. (source)

74. Not Optimizing For Impressions And Feedback Rate. (source)

75. Over-Selling and Hard-Selling Without Conversing Or Arousing Desire First. (source)

SocialMediaB2B Founders to Speak at MarketingProfs B2B

B2B marketers often struggle to find examples and advice for using social media in a business to business context. In addition to online sources, events that bring people together are a great way to learn and grow in your field. They frequently find that marketing and social media conferences are filled with B2C examples that just don’t apply to them. That’s why the MarketingProfs B2B Forum on June 13-15 in Boston is a must attend event for B2B marketers. Lots of great B2B marketers will be sharing their knowledge with attendees. Oh yeah, and both founders of SocialMediaB2B.com will be speaking there, too. If you still haven’t signed up, we do have a discount code (VIP100) to save $100.

Kipp will be presenting Generating Lower Cost Leads With Social Media with Christine B. Whittemore.

Social media is growing up. When combined with blogging and email marketing, social media marketing becomes a powerful and cost effective source for lead generation. For businesses looking to lower their cost of customer acquisition and attract leads that are better educated on the industry and their business, social media offers advantages over many traditional marketing efforts. In this session, you’ll see case study examples of how B2B marketers are using social media to generate leads. You’ll also discover best practices for generating leads through social media, and learn how to integrate those leads with your CRM and sales process.

And I will be presenting Using Facebook for Effective B2B Marketing with Deirdre Walsh and Susan Solomon

Facebook has over 600 million users and 50% of them log in every day. Plenty of B2B marketers have successfully incorporated Facebook into their marketing programs. The first challenge for B2B marketers is getting customers and prospects to like your business page, but it is a bigger challenge to get them to engage with your page content. You’ll discover best practices of top B2B Facebook pages, including creating engaging content, getting that content seen, and encouraging customers and prospects to take further action. With the help of experienced Facebook page managers, our speakers will review how to handle ongoing Facebook platform changes and negative attacks on a B2B page.

What Can You Do?

1. If you are attending the forum, let us know in the comments below and please say hi next month in Boston. We love to meet our readers in person and hear about their social media successes and challenges.

2. If you are interested in blogging any of the sessions for us, let us know by email (contact AT SocialMediaB2B DOT com). As this is one the premiere B2B events, it would be great to share more of the great content with our readers.

3. If you are unable to attend, you can register to watch the conference online.

4. Follow the content on Twitter at #mpb2b on June 13-15.

B2B Case Study: Supply Chain Firm Drives Traffic with Online Community

Kirsten Watson, Director, Corporate Marketing of Kinaxis presented a case study of their online community at the Marketing Profs B2B Forum. This video is a summary of the presentation, which was part of a session featuring four case studies moderated by CK.

Goals

  • Double web traffic
  • Double conversions (leads)
  • Foster a greater awareness of the company’s supply-chain management solutions

Strategy

  • Find out where the audience hangs out
  • Get involved in key online locations
  • Drive interest from there to the Kinaxis Web properties by adding value (not selling )through the creation of a highly engaging, content-rich “home” for supply chain experts to LEARN, LAUGH, SHARE and CONNECT.

Results
Traffic:

  • 2.7X increase in traffic to Kinaxis.com
  • 3.2X increase in conversions (leads)
  • 5.3X increase in traffic to the blog/community

Community:

  • 6X increase in registered community members
  • Over 2,300 registered members (35% increase since Jan. 2010)

Revenues:

  • Double-digit subscription growth (paid users of SaaSproduct RapidResponse), topping 30,000 users and counting

Here is a recent article from Fast Company that goes into more detail about this social media program.

B2B Social Media in the Construction Industry

Patrick Prothe (@pprothe) is the Marketing Communications Manager of Viewpoint Construction Software, which produces project management tools for construction professionals. I caught up with him at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and spoke about getting started in social media in a niche B2B industry. He is looking at where people are talking online, and discovering that not many in the construction industry are using social media yet. The company is positioning itself for the coming growth in online conversations by trying to become human and building relationships with the industry people who are online. He recently created a blog to share things of interest to the company (and presumably their customers and prospects), as well technical aspects of their products. He stresses the importance of defining a company voice online and understanding what your company stands for. And he reminds newcomers to social media that even though many tools are low cost or free, companies need to understand the time commitment required for social media.