Tag Archives: Social Media

Gaining Permission: Where Email Opt-In and Social Media Meet

Note: SiriusDecisions is not a firm of legal advisors, and if you are in any doubt as to the legality of your proposed electronic communications, we urge you to obtain expert local legal counsel. I am glad that recent SiriusDecisions research on the topic of email communication has achieved one of its intended goals – namely, to add a level of urgency for U.S.-based companies to come to terms with the thorny topic of opt-in laws that exist within Europe and wider afield. Opt-in is not just a wacky European idiosyncrasy; many non-European countries have moved to adopt these laws as well. For example, new Canadian anti-spam legislation will take effect July 1, 2014 (companies will have a three-year transition period in which to gain consent of individuals). It is similar in nature to the opt-in laws enacted in European countries. Many Asia-Pacific countries have followed a similar path:

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From Likes to Leads: Tips for an Effective Conversion Strategy

The overuse of the word “like” in our everyday communications is flagrant. As much as I hate it when I hear others tossing the word meaninglessly into their conversations, I still catch myself doing it. Like so many others before me, I blame Frank and Moon Unit Zappa and their 1982 song “Valley Girl” for my transgressions. Now, thanks to the introduction of the “like” button on Facebook in 2009, we have another “like” to contend with – and this one is just as rampant. Sure, Facebook “likes” have their place; it’s the quickest and easiest way for a contact to show appreciation of a post or a page. But clicking “like” has become almost as commonplace as peppering our conversations with the word “like.”

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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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The More Connected I Become, The Less Connected I Become

I used to be a pretty good networker. I was disciplined and organized. I’d set aside a couple of hours a week, block the time on my calendar, and I would rarely let other “more urgent” activities (shout out to the late, great Stephen Covey) take that time. Back then, the tools of my networking trade were simple: a phone, my contact list (first stored in a Rolodex (for the Millennials out there, below is an image of a Rolodex) eventually moving to electronic contact management systems. (I used ACT! and my trusty Palm Pilot to organize the names I had). I used a tickler system to remind me to reconnect with folks on a regular basis. I would sometimes take notes to remind me of our last conversation, their kids’ achievements, etc. – more often than not, I’d just remember. It was done primarily via phone, though sometimes in person over breakfast, lunch or drinks – having an actual conversation. Harvey Mackay, the author of the networking how-to book Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, would have been proud!

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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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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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Vertical Social Networks: Observing B-to-B Buyers in Their Natural Habitat

Some vertical social networks go beyond knowledge sharing, providing free tools that help members work smarter and get their jobs done. For example, Practice Fusion offers healthcare providers free electronic medical record management; Spiceworks offers IT professionals free network management and help desk software; and Wave offers small-business owners free financial services software. The intersection of business application and social network provides a unique perspective into how members do their jobs, how and when they research products and solutions, and what they use to make purchasing decisions. Vertical social networks present rich learning and engagement opportunities for product, marketing and sales professionals who want to target these audiences. Consider a few of the possibilities:

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Five Tips for Using Social Media in B-to-B Demand Creation

By now, most b-to-b organizations understand the merits of social media marketing. More than 70 percent already use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social channels, according to SiriusDecisions research. However, many companies undertake social activities outside their integrated campaigns or without fully understanding their buyers and how they use social media. These and other social missteps can result in inefficiency and limit positive business impact. An instant survey conducted at SiriusDecisions’ Summit 2013 showed that 40 percent of attendees hoped to leverage social media for thought leadership, 26 percent sought to build brand awareness and 26 percent wanted to use social media to create demand.

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Who’s Ready for Social Selling? The Answer May Surprise You

Social selling is a hot topic in sales enablement, with many leaders trying to determine what tools their reps should leverage, how they should engage online with buyers, and what training and support is required. On a recent call, a client asked how SiriusDecisions defines social selling. “That’s easy,” I replied. “It’s the ability of a rep to close business in 140 characters or less.” I was met with dead silence on the other end of the phone. This was a good reminder that humor sometimes loses translation over the phone, just as it does online. Jokes aside, we define social selling as the practice of incorporating social media tools, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, into core sales competencies to increase sales productivity.

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A Call for Mandatory Social Media Upskilling

I listen to conversations about the merits and future of social media and networking for b-to-b. I sit across the table from b-to-b executives who don’t believe that social is impacting or will impact their buyers’ behavior. The most common myth repeated over and over again to me is: C-level decisionmakers don’t have time or are just too important to use social media. To be honest, it feels like déjà vu -- it’s the exact same dialogue the industry had about impact of the Internet on b-to-b buying. And I’m pretty sure that, down the road, we won’t be having this conversation anymore, and social won’t be a issue; it will be just an ubiquitous component in the marketing and sales ecosystem, just as the corporate Web site has become over the past two decades.

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