Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Leveraging Linkedin for Business Development and Marketing

May 20th, 2009

I was at a networking event on social media strategy this week. One of the networking topics was how to leverage linkedin for networking. When I shared my approach to managing my linkedin profile with an account manager and a CEO, they were shocked to find out I was doing some things radically different and getting much better results.

We first compared numbers of contacts. Mine is close to 4000, theirs were approx. 100. I shared with them that I get unsolicited consulting requests because my profile is searchable by about 1/3 of the Linkedin network, approx 15,000,000 people.

Secondly, I solicited requests for recommendation from all of my contacts that I have worked with; colleagues, partners, employees, and customers. I had 25 or so recommendations, they had 1 or 2 each that they got for giving a recommendation. I give them appropriately and I request them appropriately. If you have a couple of people saying nice things about you, may or may not be true, but my feeling is that if you have sufficient volume, it speaks much more clearly about your abilities than you could ever tell. You don’t ask, you don’t get….

Next, I put up links to my blog and I put up powerpoint presentations. My goal is to credential myself so that when people find me they can evaluate my thought leadership. Obviously, I want them to think highly of me and want to reach out to engage me. Very similar to your marketing strategy; have an outbound marketing outreach program, but also make sure that when they are inbound that you provide them with a compelling interaction when they arrive. How would I know I want to do business with you if there is nothing on your profile to interest me. So, here are basic recommendations:

1. Fill out your profile completely, including jobs, roles, interests, contact information, etc.

2. Use key words liberally. We all do searches for key words to find people, make sure you are found by your key words.

2. Link to everyone you know & meet. Keeping a closed database works if you want to stay closed. If you want to be found, then make sure you connect and help others connect.

3. Join Linkedin LIONs – Linkedin Open Networkers – you have to accept requests with LION in the invitation, but if your goal is visability in Linked, this group of “connectors” is the very spirit of business development

4. Join Groups that are relavent to you – all about visability & making sure that you are accounted for in the markets where you play. Also, there are some groups that are great sources of information on markets, technologies, and connections.

5. Create content – Q&A, status updates, add powerpoints, add your blog, video, etc. for all of the reasons stated above.

6. Dont’ assume a linkedin contact is a “real” contact & don’t assume they got your message. I get SPAM messages all of the time from people who asked to connect and then assume I am fair game… you have to make sure that your messages to your contacts are respectful, reintroduce yourself even though you are a 1st level contact, and also assume that you will have to reach them another way. Almost a 1/3 of linkedin messages get lost in a SPAM filter so don’t just blast and assume they are interested or not.

7. Along those lines, I make it a point to also reach out to my contacts outside of linked if I really want a response. At the end of the day, people are open to connecting, but you have to still make it relevant, make it personal, and get there attention.

Linkedin does work… I know one of my contacts who makes 80% of her sales through her linkedin database. She built it up and then reduced it to just the “right” contacts, but if you are connected to her, you are a player. That is the exact perception she wants to create and does it extremely effectively. CMOs know that she has an exclusive database of other CMOs and they feel like they are a part of an exclusive club. When she calls or reaches out to them, they respond because they recognize the value she brings beyond just the immediate offering she sells.

At the end of the day, social media is about giving more value that you get…. but then again, that is the secret to networking in general…

Decoding Marketing: BtoB CMOs Integrating SM, SEO,Lead Gen, CRM, MCM, and M$trics for Success

May 20th, 2009

What? Let me translate…

B-to-B = Business to Business

CMO = Chief Marketing Officer who has responsibility for Strategic Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, Channel Marketing, Marketing Communications, Lead Generation, & depending upon the nature of the company Customer Service.

SM = Social Marketing; both the external Social Media properties like FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, etc, as well as, the branded online communities built as a part of the corporate website that leverage social media components and generate a ton of user content.

SEO = Organic Search. SEM is Search Engine Marketing whereby you pay-per-click for placement. SEO is better, but you have to be on the 1st page of organic search to really get placement. There are some really effective strategies leveraging online press releases, PR, cross-linking strategies, user generated content on your website, targeted meta-tagging, and more focused website content.

Lead Gen = Lead Generation, meaning the qualified stuff, not the “IP address 123.345.128 visited your page at 12:35am”. I mean the stuff sales organizations appreciate; qualified, interested, and clearly identified, preferrably educated, but ideally a referral. Inbound leads are a reflection of your outbound activities. If you are scatter-shotting your marketing activities, throwing stuff up against the wall, without a clearly coordinated call to action, you will have trouble with leads. Good marketing aircover involves multi-channel, clear value communications, and targeted to potential buyers where they buy. As a friend said the other day, “one message is ok, a campaign is better, a relationship is the best”. Relationships take time, multiple interactions, and can’t just be about the transaction….

CRM = heard about a new company doing Social CRM which brings all of your online social media contacts from multiple sites into your CRM. COOL! Now, take it one step further and find a way to bring those contacts into a dialogue on your website about attributes of your offering that is of interest to them… priceless…

MCM = Multi-channel communications, an essential tool in today’s world. Not the end-all, but a significant, important tool to managing your outbound marketing. The ability to coordinate marketing communications, target market specific interactions, and tie all of that into your CRM system is a strong foundation. I am talking with a leading Multi-channel Marketing firm this afternoon to find out there strategies for integration social media components into their lead scoring systems.

M$trics – A cute way of saying metrics. Marketing cannot get quantitative enough in my opinion. We need to make sure that we have clear ways to measure the impact on the business; whether through a direct ROI or the ability to affect the conversion from one stage of the sales process to the next. At the end of the day, Branding disconnected from the Business is hard to justify.

Success = Integrated marketing strategy that helps position the company & the product above the competition, drives awareness in the market, generated leads, and help position the company to get referrals and repeat purchases.

Plan = Without a destination, it is hard to figure out if you will arrive….

A Social Media Marketing Primer for People Who Don't Blog (and Never Will)

May 14th, 2009

Imagine a typical CEO, late 40′s – mid 50′s, has one of the bright young guns, 3-4 layers removed in the organization, comes into a meeting and proposes that the organization do something in marketing around social media. The CEO’s only experience with “social media” is linkedin, possibly logging into facebook to monitor their tweens behavior online. Twitter? Google X application of the week? Invitation to X,Y, Z community every week? Blog? Nope. “They are lucky I check email on a regular basis with as busy as I am”

Sound like someone you know? Sound like you? Sounds like most of us. At this point, you are saying, yep, so why should I pay attention to this social media stuff if I am not going to use it?

The short answer is…. because it is changing the face of marketing and business in general. Remember they said the same thing about websites, ecommerce, online applications, web hosting, etc… Some of these you were leading the charge and some you were dragged kicking and screaming. The real question that you should be asking about social media is not whether there is value, but what is the risk if I am an early adopter….

The reality is that most of the people I speak with about social media will never blogs, but the real value in social media is not in getting all of your customers to chat about your product 24X7, because they won’t unless they are really, really angry, but how do you get the 10% of people who sign up, which is 10% of the people who visit to interact on your website about topics that will help your business… by the way, translates into about 1% of people interact… means 99% of us won’t on a regular basis (note: I can discuss technographics and real numbers with the best of them, but I am making a point about the value of having a small percentage actually engage to create value)

Anything is a better experience than the stale, 3 year old, and boring website you have today…. anything that differentiates your company, explains why people should buy from you versus the competitors, drives SEARCH ENGINE traffic to your website, and creates credentialling in the sales process is a tool that you should be embacing to club your competitors over the head… AND yes, you can get trememdous value from a small number of people interacting.

The how it works, how you manage risks, and how you go about getting your team to figure out how to make it work for your organization is the details that can be worked out. The question is whether you can see value in social media even though you will never blog….

Social Media is Like Fishing

May 12th, 2009

There are two types of social media; external and branded. External social media is the facebooks, twitters, linkedins, of the world. These are the deep sea fishing of marketing. You don’t own the ocean, but you drop a line or a net and you catch fish.

The other side, branded social media is like fish farming where you create a branded, online community where you transition them from private, modelling your sales process. You go from a public discussion of your offering and market space, to semi-private membership discussion forums, to private groups for managing customers on a one-to-one basis.

The best marketing plans tie both types of social media together to assist in outbound marketing communications with a specific call to action back to your website with a more interactive, thought-leadership driven online community for educating potential buyers, qualifying the sales interest, and managing the customer lifecycle.