Last week I attended (and was a presenter at) the Seattle edition of Marketo’s 2012 Social Marketing Rockstar Tour, a roving conference/seminar series being held this summer in cities nationwide. Marketo bills the event as an opportunity to hear, learn, and share advice on B2B social media marketing strategy.
Based on both the presentations I heard, as well as conversations throughout the day with local marketing managers, one thing is clear: social media marketing is no longer simply an element of the B2B marketing mix; rather, it is affecting (and infecting) the way B2B companies market, from top to bottom. Social media used to mean launching a blog, or designing a corporate Facebook page. Now it’s about how to extend the reach of every campaign, from demand generation to lead nurturing to customer communications.
Integrating social at every step of the demand generation cycle: that was clearly the lesson of the day. In addition, here’s a list of other insights, comments, and data points that I found most interesting, surprising or enlightening:
• Buyer to buyer influence is what counts. Only 15% of buyers trust “company to buyer” social messages; 92% trust opinions from their peers.
• The contacts that comprise your sales database represent only the tip of the iceberg. The real opportunity is with the friends and networks of those contacts.
• Social sharing buttons (Like, +1, Tweet, etc.) have become so endemic that they are practically invisible to the average viewer. This means you need to encourage and motivate people, in more overt ways, to share your content.
• For example, consider offering tangible incentives for sharing – a training discount, or an entry into a prize drawing. (Important note: offering incentives for sharing is very different from offering incentives for writing nice things about your company and product. The latter is a big no no.)
• Add a pop-up window on thank you pages, blogs, Webinar confirmation pages, or content like white papers that asks the viewer to share content.
• If you’re able to track which contacts share content, design a nurturing campaign that uses sharing as a “trigger event” to send follow-up information (even if just a thank you.)
• Several speakers at the conference (Marketo included) raved about results they’re generating from advertising on Twitter, specifically through Promoted Tweets. Surprising? Perhaps, but definitely worth investigating if it’s not part of your current demand gen mix.
• Infographics? So yesterday. The hottest new form of graphical social media content is memes.
• Integrating social into every campaign requires a much greater diligence in measuring campaign effectiveness and ROI. For one, social muddies the waters when it comes to tracking lead source. (If someone shares your Webinar via Facebook, do you credit the Webinar or Facebook?) You can measure social ROI, but having the right tools and metrics in place is critical.