B2B Marketing and Social Media Dashboard Systems

In our continuing series of All-In-One Social Media Management Tools for B2B Marketers, we’re reviewing two more Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) and how they can assist B2B social media marketers. This post will cover HootSuite and Sendible. See our previous posts for a reviews of Argyle Social, Spredfast and  Awareness Networks Social Marketing Hub.

HOOTSUITE

HootSuite

Overview:

HootSuite is the Social Media Dashboard. HootSuite helps marketers manage social media campaigns, identify potential audience, and distribute targeted messages across multiple social channels.

Using HootSuite’s social media dashboard, teams can collaboratively schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook (individual accounts and pages), Linkedin, WordPress and other social networks via web, desktop or mobile platforms. Hootsuite provides campaign tracking results as a summary or by individual message.

Benefits:

HootSuite is one of the more popular dashboard applications, but many users may not be taking full advantage of its features. Over the past few months lots of new functions have been added that make HootSuite an option for nearly any level user.

Some features that users should explore (if you haven’t already) include its ability to publish to multiple platforms, schedule updates, team collaboration tools, task assigning, real-time result tracking and web analytics integration.

Intended User:

HootSuite has 3 price plans – a free Basic version (ad-supported) which provides up to 5 social networks, a Pro plan for $5.99/month that includes unlimited social networks, feeds, stats and Google Analytics integration, and an Enterprise level plan with a multitude of features for $1499/month.

The basic plan is recommended for those looking to get started with a social media management system, and upgrading it to a Pro account will provide a lot of features at a very reasonable price. Power users will want to explore the Enterprise level and compare it to other top-tier SMMS options.

You can learn more about Hootsuite at http://hootsuite.com. Follow @hootsuite on Twitter.

SENDIBLE

Sendible

Overview:

Sendible bills itself as a “one-stop-shop” for all your marketing needs.  It allows you to manage multiple social channels, email, SMS and blog accounts all from one interface. Sendible supports Facebook status and page updates, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Google Buzz, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and a bunch more.  It provides the ability to share posts from your blogs and RSS feeds, schedule messages, respond to feedback, and provides reporting on clicks, views, shares and message reaction.

Benefits:

The support for marketing channels other than social media makes Sendible unique in this space- its more of a campaign management system than just a social media management system. For those that want an all-in-one service this may be an attractive option.

The scheduling in Sendible allows users to set up reminders for sending messages to yourself, has options for recurring messages and has a drag-and-drop calendar that displays your scheduled content.

The monitoring shows comments, responses or feedback on your posts. Monitoring and reporting allows you to track the effectiveness of your campaign and drill into the results to determine how recipients responded to your message.

Intended User:

Sendible seems to be targeting marketers, small businesses and agencies that need a little bit of everything. It has 5 pricing plans that range from free to $40 per month. There’s also a $500 white label plan intended for agencies. Each plan has limits for sending, contacts, and accounts, so review the price structure to see what works best for you. There’s also pay-as-you-go pricing options available.

You can learn more about Sendible at http://sendible.com. Follow @sendible on Twitter.

Please note that SocialMediaB2B.com is publishing SMMS reviews as a benefit to our readers and have no monetary or other arrangements with the platforms we review.

Manage B2B Social Media Profiles, Content and Campaigns

In our continuing series of All-In-One Social Media Management Tools for B2B Marketers, we’re reviewing several Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) and how they can assist B2B social media marketers. This post will cover Spredfast and Argyle Social. See our previous post for a review of Awareness Networks Social Marketing Hub.

SPREDFAST

Spredfast

Overview:

Spredfast is an enterprise-level solution that empowers businesses to manage and communicate across all their social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, SlideShare and multiple blogging platforms. Spredfast focuses on proving the value of social media by allowing you to measure the effectiveness of each conversation.

Benefits:

Spredfast has all the features you want out of an enterprise level application. You can create roles and set permissions, assign tasks, schedule content posts, create keyword searches, analyze sentiment, and measure your results. Spredfast has a lot of Facebook functionality including support for Events, Photos, Video and Insights. We recommend you review their Features page for a full understand of the breadth of features in the Spredfast application.

Intended User:

Spredfast is a sophisticated application intended for businesses that need to manage a wide range of social channels and blogs, assign and manage roles and tasks, and receive detailed reporting on the effectiveness of their social campaigns.  Spredfast also has a white label option for agencies. Pricing is based on the number of initiatives (think “campaigns”) you require and they do offer a 30 day free trial.

You can learn more about Spredfast at http://spredfast.com. Follow @spredfast on Twitter.

ARGYLE SOCIAL

Argyle Social

Overview:

Argyle Social aggregates all your social media marketing activities into a single, easy-to-use platform. Publish social content, manage interactions and measure outcomes from your Facebook and Twitter channels. Track key performance indicators for each post – clicks, view, interactions, and conversions.

Benefits:

Argyle Social allows you to track all your social activity and reply from within your Argyle account. You can optimize your social media marketing effectiveness by keeping tabs on which content, properties, and people are driving interactions online. Argyle nearly begs you to prove the ROI of your campaigns- it specializes in conversion tracking and it integrates with Google Analytics.

Intended User:

Argyle is only several months old, and although its a relative new-comer it has all the functionality you’d expect from an established SMMS. At this time Argyle offers accounts targeted at marketers, and it has Agency and Enterprise level features coming soon. Argyle is priced at an attractive $149/month, which makes it a viable option for marketers who want more features than a free application offers but don’t need the more sophisticated features or the price tag of an enterprise level solution. There is also a 30 day free trial.

You can learn more about Argyle Social at http://argylesocial.com. Follow @argylesocial on Twitter.

Please note that SocialMediaB2B.com is publishing SMMS reviews as a benefit to our readers and have no monetary or other arrangements with the platforms we review.

SMMS Review: Awareness Social Marketing Hub

As promised in the previous post All-In-One Social Media Management Tools for B2B Marketers, we’re going to take a look at several Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) and how they can assist B2B social media marketers.

To recap, a Social Media Management System allows social media teams to manage multiple social accounts from one application. Typically a SMMS will enable users to set roles and permissions, aggregate content, publish it, and manage and measure social media activity.

Our first review will be Awareness Network’s Social Marketing Hub. In the future we will also take a look at Spredfast, Argyle Social, HootSuite, Sendible, MediaFunnel, SproutSocial and SocialTalk.

THE AWARENESS SOCIAL MARKETING HUB

Awareness Social Marketing Hub

Overview:

The Awareness Social Marketing Hub lets serious marketing teams extend their brand messaging and campaigns to social networks. The Hub allows marketers to publish content, manage responses, engage directly with social contacts and measure results across all their social channels.

On the publishing side, Awareness supports the scheduled publishing of text, photos and videos to multiple channels including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, YouTube, Foursquare and social communities. It includes a permissioning system, incorporates workflow functionality and has audit trails for publishing control and accountability.

You can manage all your content through the Social Marketing Hub, and easily update and delete social media content. The Hub keeps a record of all published content including date/time, destination and publisher. And you can engage with social contacts directly from within the application. Respond to comments collaboratively, flag comments for review by teammates, and delete comments from social channels.  Your entire team can join the conversation.

You can measure success by seeing how often content is viewed, favorited, shared or commented on. Sentiment measurement is also included, so you can easily find and react to both negative and positive user comments. The Social Marketing Hub also provides trend reporting so you can see how content performs over time.

Benefits:

Awareness is currently one of the more feature-rich SMMS applications available and provides support for a variety of social channels. The reports provide a consolidated view of all social media activity, and the range of reporting options enables you to view top-level or detailed metrics. The reporting will allow marketers to build comprehensive social media strategies based on their ability to manage how each channel and asset performs.

The Social Marketing Hub interface is streamlined and the learning curve should be minimal for anyone already managing social content.   Awareness releases updates on a regular basis, so the application is constantly evolving and improving.

Intended User:

The Social Marketing Hub is clearly a sophisticated enterprise-level application. A typical Awareness client is a large organization that has a team of marketers creating, publishing and measuring social media content.  Awareness clients include Sony, Kodak, McDonald’s, Hershey’s and Best Buy.

If you are part of social marketing team and feel that you don’t have the tools you need to centralize and organize social content management and reporting, then the Awareness Social Marketing Hub is likely a great option. Prices start at $1,000/month for 5 users/5 channels.

You can learn more about Awareness Networks at http://awarenessnetworks.com. Follow @awarenessinc on Twitter

Please note that SocialMediaB2B.com is publishing SMMS reviews as a benefit to our readers and have no monetary or other arrangements with the platforms we review.

28 Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics

Below are a collection of B2B social media statistics collected from various sources covering a wide range of topics. We hope you enjoy digging into the numbers. If you have any other interesting stats, please add them in the comments and include the source with link.

Usage:

  • 86% of B2B firms are using social, compared to 82% of B2C. (Source)
  • B2B firms aren’t as active in their social media activity with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared with 52% of B2C firms. (Source)
  • More than half (53.5%) of marketers surveyed said they currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy. This is up from 2009, when 45.0% of marketers said they used social media for marketing. (Source)

Forecasts:

  • Annual growth in US B2B online marketing spend is forecast at 8% in 2010 and is set to reach 14% by 2012. (Source)
  • B2B advertising spend on social media and lead generation sites is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 21% and 17% respectively to 2013. (Source)
  • Online accounted for 7% of the B2B marketing mix in 2008. This is set to reach 12% by 2013. (Source)
  • Two thirds of B2B marketers believe that online must be complemented by traditional marketing activities. (Source)
  • Only 50% of B2B marketers formally analyze metrics to judge ROI – but those that do find online marketing more effective. (Source)
  • B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3%. (Source)
  • Forrester predicts B2B interactive marketing spending to reach $4.8 billion by 2014 – almost double that estimated for 2009 ($2.3 billion). (Source)
  • B2B social media marketing spending will grow from just $11 million in 2009 to $54 million in 2014. (Source)
  • US business-to-business (B2B) advertising and marketing spending will increase by 0.8% this year, to $129 billion. (Source)

Executive Interest:

  • 36% of B2B execs surveyed said there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with 9% of B2C marketers who said the same. (Source)
  • 46% of B2B respondents said social media was perceived as irrelevant to their company, while only 12% of consumer-oriented marketers had the same problem. (Source)

Focus:

  • According to an eMarketer study, B2B online marketers focus on lead generation (38%), retention (34%) and awareness (28%).  (Source)
  • The top applications for the use of social media for b2b marketers are thought leadership (59.8%), lead generation (48.9%), customer feedback (45.7%) and advertising on sites (34.7%). (Source)

Channels:

  • Asked to rate the effectiveness of specific social media sites in their marketing efforts, more than one-half of respondents said that Facebook was “extremely” or “somewhat” effective. Somewhat fewer said the same of LinkedIn, and just 35% considered Twitter effective. (Source)
  • In contrast, when Hubspot surveyed B2B companies in North America about lead generation through social channels, 45% rated LinkedIn effective, compared with just 33% who said the same of Facebook. (Source)
  • Methods generating the highest B2B ROI are topped by advertisers’ own websites, followed by conferences, exhibitions and trade shows; direct mail; search engine keywords; and e-marketing/e-newsletters. (Source)
  • B2B advertisers see cross-media marketing as most effective; 78% combine three or more major marketing methods. (Source)

Measurement:

  • 34% of B2B marketers said they were not measuring social success at all versus just 10% of B2C respondents. (Source)
  • Website traffic, brand awareness, engagement with prospects and engagement with customers are the leading metrics used to measure the success of social media for B2B companies. (Source)

Resource Allocation:

  • 60% of B2B firms have no staff dedicated to social media compared with 54% of B2C players. (Source)
  • Just 10% of B2B firms use outside agencies or consultants compared with 28% of B2C firms. (Source)

Budgets:

  • B2B product marketers were spending an average of 3.4% of their marketing budgets on social media in February 2010, and B2B services marketers were spending 6.5%. Respondents expected those proportions to reach 7.4% and 11%, respectively, over the next year. (Source)
  • B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3% in 2010. (Source)
  • 39.2% of B2B marketers say they plan to boost their marketing budgets in 2010, 47.5% plan to keep them flat; and 13.3% plan to decrease them.  Among those that plan to increase budgets, 11.1% plan to raise them by more than 30%; 18.8% plan to increase them between 20% and 29%; 31.1% plan increases between 10% and 19%; and 39.0% plan to increase budgets less than 10%. (Source)
  • Within online marketing, the top areas that will see spending increases include Web site development (70.7% plan increases), email marketing (68.6%), search marketing (62.3%), social media (60.3%), video (50.7%) and webcasts (46.0%) (Source)

5 Steps For Measuring Social Media For B2B

MoneyMuch of my time recently has been spent working on and thinking about social media measurement, specifically as it relates to B2B organizations. This is a topic that could be discussed for days, even weeks within an organization, but today I am going to attempt to provide some practical advice in a few hundred words.

Before we go through the list, I think it is important that anyone who is responsible for measuring social media understands what the goals are. You must have clear and measurable goals! Nothing else in the post or that anyone else tells you on the topic of measurement is actionable if you don’t have clear goals that help drive business results.

Now that we have addressed the issue of goals, which seems simple and obvious and is often forgotten by many organizations, we can go directly into the meat of this issue. How do you measure social media?

Step 1: Understand That Social Media Isn’t Only A Marketing Thing - Social media impacts all aspects of a business, not just the marketing department. With this idea in mind, it is important that you reexamine your goals and see how your strategy impacts other business functions.

  • Does it help attract new employees?
  • Does it help resolve customer issues?
  • Does it provide support for R&D?

The list goes on and on, but by taking time to think about all of the applications of your strategy it deepens the ROI possibilities and outlines how you should be measuring.

Step 2: Assign Value To Business Processes – To assess return on investment, you first need to understand the value you are trying to achieve with your investment. To be able to do this, you need to make sure you have values assigned to business costs and opportunities.

  • How much is a lead worth and what does it currently cost?
  • How much is a new customer acquisition worth?
  • How much does a call center question cost your organization?
  • How much is product feedback worth to future product development?

The more of these questions, and ones like them specific to your goals, you can answer, the clearer the connection you can make between your investment and return.

Step 3: Segment And Differentiate Executions
– You have the resources to run a social media program. Would you like to have more resources next year? If so, then measuring overall campaign effectiveness is not enough. It is important to segment your executions and measurement methods so that you can get granular with measurement. You need to be able to understand which aspects of your strategy are driving the most value. This will help you optimize them to make the results even better and give you the support you need for additional funding.

For example, let’s say that can show that Twitter is your best source of lead generation traffic. If you know this, you can optimize your execution to determine what types of messages get the most clicks that convert and when they should be sent. Understanding this gives you the information you need, to get more support, staff or a bigger budget.

Step 4: Have Data Collection Methods For Every Action Point – By setting goals you have outlined actions that you want customers and prospects to take. If you think of these actions as a series or a funnel, then you have a process of action and influence that drives people towards your goal. At each step of the funnel there must be a method to collect data to aid in measurement.

Sample Situation: Using A Corporate Blog For Lead Generation

Action Funnel:

  • Prospect arrives at the blogMeasurement: Web analytics to determine what influence sent them to the blog (ie search, social network, ad, etc.)
  • Customer Clicks Whitepaper Page LinkMeasurement: Web analytics to show how many blog visitors then went to the whitepaper page
  • Completed Contact Form To download WhitepaperMeasurement: Is the lead captured a quality lead? If so assign pre-determined value.

Step 5: Reporting That Make Sense – You can have great results and great measurement but to leverage the results to their fullest, you need to have reporting that is clear, concise and in keeping with your leadership’s style. The challenge is that you are taking data and results from many sources and working to combine them into one report. My recommendation is to create two types of reports. One that is highly detailed and text-based so that you can know the comprehensive results of of your measurement. The other report should be top-line and highly visual. Visual graphic and comparisons work well and are easily discussed and passed around by management.

Measurement is about the details, but you can’t get the right details with out taking the biggest steps needed to get there.

How are you measuring social media in your organization?