Tag Archives: Communication Strategies

Catching Up With Runaway Social Media Accounts

Most of our clients struggle to get their organizations to truly embrace social media. Arm-twisting and bribery are two common tactics employed to get the blogs, tweets and updates flowing (these are not SiriusDecisions best practices, just observations). At the other end of the spectrum are clients whose efforts have taken off like a high school party thrown when Mom and Dad are away for the weekend: New accounts are popping up left and right, and they’re scrambling to shut down the revelry before the neighbors call the police. Social account proliferation is becoming a bigger issue (especially on Twitter), so it’s important for the social operations team to have clear guidelines about the process for setting up new accounts. This must be explained so that people understand why a smaller number of well-maintained accounts is more effective than dozens of separate accounts with only a few followers and sporadic activity. Requiring a business case for opening a new account is a good idea to prevent willy-nilly account creation.

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What’s the State of Your Customer Community?

One thing that’s becoming abundantly clear for b-to-b companies is that customers and prospects are interacting with each other in ways we couldn’t imagine just a short time ago. Technologies are enabling these interactions, and marketers are scrambling to understand how to become part of the conversation (or at least know that the conversation is happening). One communication channel that’s growing in popularity is the online customer community. Companies are dusting off their old customer portals and making more investments in the functions that support online communities. Although companies sponsor these communities, they are also proving to be fertile ground for customers to exchange ideas and possible concerns with each other as well as a forum for technical support. We view customer communities as an important element of a broader customer advocacy program. Companies looking to create or re-invent an online customer community should consider the following questions:

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Social Media: Creating an Early Warning System

Social media can work like an early warning system to alert an organization to an emerging problem; it can also recycle old news and spread misinformation and rumors. In either case, it is important to be prepared with a plan to address negative themes that are being amplified in social media, which can attract broader media coverage, as well as potential damage to the company and brand. Smart companies prepare crisis response protocols as part of their social media strategy or as part of an overall corporate crisis communications plan. A typical crisis plan covers areas such as:

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Four Reasons for Slow Social Media Adoption

What separates organizations that are running at full speed in social media from those that are just beginning to crawl? The causes of slow social media adoption often lie outside the control of the marketing team. It’s good to have an understanding of these factors so you can calibrate your expectations accordingly. Here are a few questions you should ask:

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Delivering an Engaging Analyst Briefing: An Insider’s View

Organizations of all types are in hot pursuit of analyst coverage, and ideally a vendor briefing provides an opportunity to establish the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. Unfortunately, vendors often fail to make the best use of the time allocated, and many introductory briefings fall short on delivering content than an analyst finds meaningful. Getting it right can be tough. Analyst briefing strategies demand careful planning and even more careful execution to best represent your company’s capabilities to buyers and prospects. Here are some dos and don’ts to optimize your briefing time and deliver content that captivates an analyst audience:

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Summit 2013 Highlights: Inciting a B-to-B Content Revolution

Fully 60 to 70 percent of content churned out by b-to-b marketing departments today sits unused. This stark statistic underscores the urgent need for a content revolution in b-to-b organizations. The SiriusDecisions Content Model, a new framework introduced today by SiriusDecisions’ Summit 2013 event in San Diego, aims to help companies launch such a revolution. “Our revolutionized perspective is that content is an enterprise-wide strategy requiring the alignment of product, sales and marketing in order to optimize the factory that produces content,” said Marisa Kopec, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions.

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Top Three Reasons to Use Marketing Automation for Influencer Relations

Here are the top three reasons to use marketing automation for influencer relations.

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Marketing During Disasters: What’s in Your Digital “Go Kit”?

Every year at this time, marketers sit down to plan out their annual initiatives – launches, campaigns, events. But one category is noticeably missing from most lists – marketing’s crisis response plan. There is a lesson to be learned from the massive business disruptions caused by natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy. I know from past experience that most b-to-b organizations have a business continuity plan that lays out how IT operations and business functions are brought back on line after an outage. Priority is given to “mission critical” systems; unfortunately, marketing, and its ability to reach customers, is usually an afterthought. Since so many of our interactions with key audiences occur digitally, it’s important to be proactive about maintaining the flow of communications, particularly for companies providing b-to-b services.

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Looking for Social Media Success in All the Wrong Places

I admit it; I haven’t been paying much attention lately to what’s happening in b-to-b social media land for the simple reason that I haven’t seen anything interesting and practical that can help our clients. Instead, I see the same people trotting out the same ideas and case studies, mainly around gaining more leads, increasing customer satisfaction and, everybody’s favorite, “driving engagement.” Do I sound jaded and cynical yet? Actually, I’m not at all. These days, I find that most innovation is happening at large tech-company clients — even some with three-letter-acronym brand names — companies that most people view as somewhat conservative.

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Social Strategists: Movin’ On Up

What we’ve seen over the past five years of social evolution has been nothing short of radical. It’s the relatively quick shift from the perception of Twitter as a silly, frivolous task for interns to muck around with, to the realization that social media can and should be integral to the way we operate as marketing professionals. What I’m beginning to see now is even more interesting – and extreme: the emergence of more and more social strategists, with a wide variety of titles, outside of marketing (and sometimes even in senior-level management). For a role that just four years ago was largely filled by transient intern populations, this is a noteworthy shift.

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