Ten Commandments For B2B Social Media Campaigns

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Best Practices Around The Globe, From The B2B Social Media Experts At Worldwide Partners Inc.

The world’s largest network of independent marketing communications agencies, Worldwide Partners, Inc. (WPI) with 87 agencies in 54 countries, representing $3.4 billion U.S. in capitalized billings, offers ten rules for utilizing social media in B2B marketing from WPI partner agencies Godfrey in Pennsylvania, Mintz & Hoke in Connecticut and Traction Creative in Canada.

Number One: Be On Target
Know your audience – “Start by determining where your audience is spending their time online and where they are engaging in conversations,“ urges Andy DeBrunner, Social Media Manager at Godfrey. “Then begin participating as a valued member of their community.”

Number Two: Be Relevant
“What works in social for business to consumer is not likely to work for business to business,” says Jeff Lucas of Traction Creative in Vancouver. According to Lucas, it is of utmost importance to recognize that the motivation to use social media in business circles is different than the motivation to use it in our personal lives. “The uses also shift by industry from older conservative industries versus technology industries,” Lucas adds.

Number Three: Be On Time
“Is the right message being presented at the right time in the sales cycle to the right audience?” asks Lucas. Chris Knopf of Minz & Hoke in Connecticut adds, “It’s important to stay top-of-mind as the B2B consumer moves through an often long sales cycle in B2B.”

Number Four: Focus On Quality
“Content is king,” Knopf notes. “Social media can help establish community, create brand identity and generate leads. And this starts with content. Create high quality, varied content on a consistent basis, with a call-to-action to drive discussion and engagement. Promote with social links and use keywords to improve SEO and findability.”

Number Five: Be Real
DeBrunner advises businesses to, “Walk the walk. It’s easy for community members to sniff out a social media dilettante. If your company is not committed to making the digital community a better place, then they will tune you out. Simply sending out traditional marketing or sales messages in a new medium will ultimately fail.” Knopf suggests businesses use question and answer formats to develop thought leadership.

Number Six: Look For Leads
“Lead generation is also the name of the game,” explains Knopf. “Lead generation starts with building relationships, which is fueled by a content marketing strategy. A solid marketing automation program also will bolster these efforts. Like the ‘likes’ but keep an eye on the leads.”

Number Seven: Know What’s Working And What You’re Working Towards
Metrics matter. Know in advance what you are tracking against. Metrics will vary depending on your goals. Tie specific goals and metrics to higher-level business objectives. The most successful and targeted campaigns integrate social media management with marketing automation metrics. Explains Knopf, “Equally important is to track the impact of social media on sales. Develop a strategy with your sales team on board to follow-up and convert leads from social media. Monitor results on an ongoing basis.”

Number Eight: Start Small And Go Long Haul
“Be consistent,” DeBrunner encourages, “and don’t give up too soon – start small with one community where you believe you will have the greatest impact. Focus on making your presence in that community the best it can possibly be. Results will probably not be immediate but will become more pronounced over time. Then, after you begin to see results and learn more about your audience, start growing your reach into new communities. If you spread yourself too thin early on, it’s likely that you will give up before the program starts working.”

Number Nine: Remember Social Is Global
As many consumer goods companies have learned, there are no borders in the digital world. “While language can sometimes create a barrier, it seems to be less and less an issue in some of the B2B industries,” asserts WPI, President & CEO, Al Moffatt. “We’re finding that some B2B social efforts are viewed around the globe.”

Number Ten: Integrate Social
“Social permeates everything,” says Knopf. “Integrate social media programs with overarching marketing campaigns. As a key driver for offline programs (e.g., trade shows), social media should be part of a coordinated effort to improve results of traditional tactics. Audit everything you do for social potential: cross-promote social platforms and facilitate sharing at multiple touch points such as websites, newsletters and the like.” “Never use the line ‘Win an iPad’,” Lucas adds.

About Worldwide Partners, Inc.
Worldwide Partners, Inc. (WPI) is the world’s largest owner-operated advertising and marketing communications network made up of 87 agencies employing 3,900 people in 141 offices located in 54 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. Based in Denver, Colorado USA, WPI is owned by the partner agencies that make up the network. WPI exists to explore and capitalize on global business development opportunities with multinational clients for its partners and to act as a hub that harnesses the creativity, local expertise and resources of the agencies in the partnership and apply them to solve problems for clients on a local, regional and international basis. This allows partners to expand their existing client relationships geographically and to compete effectively for international new business. Clients gain access to best-in-class, entrepreneurially driven agencies steeped in local knowledge in all markets they engage WPI shops. WPI’s partner agencies manage $3.4 billion in worldwide advertising expenditures. For more information, visit http://www.worldwidepartners.com.

About Godfrey
Godfrey is one of the leading business-to-business marketing agencies in the United States. Godfrey offers research, strategic consulting, brand management, digital marketing strategy and execution, advertising, public relations, digital marketing solutions, lead management, measurement and the ability to implement cutting-edge technologies. For more information about the spectrum of services Godfrey offers, please visit the company website at http://www.godfrey.com.

About Mintz & Hoke
Mintz & Hoke is an integrated, full-service communications firm offering a wide range of strategic planning, advertising, public relations, interactive, media planning and buying, and direct marketing services. Located in Avon, Connecticut for 41 years, Mintz & Hoke’s mission is to Make the Complex Sale Happen. Clients include Aetna, the State of Connecticut, Legrand, GE Captial and DRS Technologies. Mintz & Hoke is a shareholder of Denver-based Worldwide Partners Inc., the world’s largest alliance of independent agencies serving clients around the globe. For more information, visit http://www.mintz-hoke.com.

About Traction Creative
Traction is a full-service, creative communications firm providing advertising, design, online, social media, brand activation and other marketing services to companies from a wide range of industry sectors. Since 1995 we have earned a reputation for strategic thinking, creative excellence and forming strong relationships with clients and suppliers. We are independently-owned, and located in the heart of Yaletown in Vancouver, Canada. For more information, visit http://www.tractioncreative.com

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