Social Media Marketing

Marketing is no longer just a "one-to-many" advertising proposition or a PR program aimed at "influencing trusted intermediaries" to drive public opinion. With the explosion of social media, the world you do business in has now also become a dynamic "many-to-many conversation" in real time, where virtually everyone can be a powerful influencer on your brand's reputation.

Fortunately, there are lots to great tools out there that can streamline your ability to leverage these dynamic conversations. But even the best tools are only helpful if you know how to use them. The primary goal is to make sure that your messages receive attention among the communities where your prospects, customers, partners and industry influencers gather and interact.

For most B2B marketing scenarios, the big two social media targets are LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook makes a lot of sense for B2C and retail-oriented businesses but it's not yet a significant factor in B2B. You should also create a presence on Google+ (if only because of the SEO boost that Google doesn't admit giving to businesses with Google+ sites.)

We've had excellent success by using LinkedIn Groups for posting links to clients' gated landing pages. For example, an eBook on "revenue recognition software" gets a lot of attention when posted to LinkedIn groups that focus on accounting practices - instead of just throwing it out to general audiences and hoping for the best. Same thing applies for using Twitter hashtags and targeted following practices.

The key is to become an active participant in the communities of value for your business. That doesn't mean to go there and always be selling something. It means to really participate by offering valuable content that people want to learn about.