Posts Tagged ‘HubSpot’

Four Expert Local SEO Guides

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Although the beauty of the Internet for enterprises and publishers is its global reach (for example, one out every eight visitors to this blog is from the U.K., and Webbiquity is one of the 10,000 most popular websites in Thailand[!]), for many businesses, it’s value lies more in connecting them with searchers very close by.

Local Search Engine OptimizationFor establishments that rely on local customers, or even global enterprises with prospective customers in their geographic area, local SEO is a vital component of online marketing efforts.

What are the most important ranking factors in local search optimization? Which local directories are best at driving referral traffic (and helping with SEO)? What emerging trends will impact local search?

Discover the answers to those questions and more in these expert guides to local SEO.

The Ultimate Local SEO Roadmap by Inbound Interactive
***** 5 STARS

Amy NokinskiAmy Nokinsky provides an outstanding guide to local SEO, with detailed explanations of more than two dozen specific tactics organized into five categories: (initial) research and analysis, keyword research, website optimization Google+ optimization, and progress tracking. This is a post well worth bookmarking and sharing.

Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors: An Illustrated Guide by Moz

Miriam EllisMiriam Ellis posits the 20 most important factors for ranking local search, then details each of the factors which include physical business address, domain authority of the website, verified Google+ Local page, quality of inbound links, inclusion of city and state in meta title tags, and (where applicable) quality of third-party reviews.

The Ultimate List: 50 Local Business Directories by HubSpot

Eric VreelandWriting that “Every individual directory that you submit to is another chance to get found online, so it’s important to make sure you’re listed in every directory possible,” Eric Vreeland spills the goods on more than four dozen directories important for driving local traffic as well as improving local search rankings.

The Future of Local Search: 5 Layers of Local by Search Engine Watch

Amanda DeSilvestroContending that “To improve your local search strategy for both now and the future, you need to understand the growing importance of local data, personalization, emerging technologies, new transaction methods, and delivery,” Amanda DiSilvestro delves into the “five layers” of local search optimization, from data (“Work on citation building and monitor your ratings and reviews”) to delivery, then explains how to win in the future world of local search.

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New Breed of Web Metrics Can Help Marketing Executives Make Better Decisions

Monday, November 19th, 2012

As online marketing processes have evolved, the number and sophistication of software tools to support specific functions has exploded. Every discipline within marketing and PR has its own tools, among them:

Most Web Marketing Tools are TacticalContent development: CMS tools (WordPress, Joomla, HubSpot, 100s of others), Adobe CS, tools for creating infographics, etc.

SEO: backlink tools (Backlink Watch, SEOmoz, Majestic), keyword research tools, page optimization tools, SEO plugins.

Social media: social media monitoring (Radian6, Sysomos, SM2), social media management (HootSuite, SocialOomph, Buffer), Twitter tools, etc.

Web analytics: Omniture, WebTrends, Google Analytics, Clicky, and more.

All are very helpful, even essential, but most are designed for practitioners, that is: they help a specialist in a particular discipline do his or her job more effectively. Not only are they tactical, each focuses on supporting one functional silo or another. Not surprising, since this is how digital marketing is managed today—as a set of largely disconnected specialties. So much so, companies utilize different tools, resources, and in some cases, even different agencies to manage web visibility for brand, SEO, social media, PR, and paid advertising.

And of course, search has evolved—it’s no longer just 10 blue links. Today, web presence goes way beyond a company’s website. News and social links are as vital as are other points of visibility. What’s missing is the larger strategic picture needed for top-level decision-making and for managing digital marketing and PR in a coordinated manner. We’re all missing this because there aren’t tools to help us do it. Or are there?

A “Eureka” Moment

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the web presence optimization (WPO) framework. This model (evolved from a 2010 post) came about from KC Associates’ (KCA) client consulting projects. Operating as a cross-functional team, each consultant knew that a framework for optimization is useless unless there’s a way to track and measure gaiting factors that can be adjusted in order to move the optimization needle. So the group took a long, hard look at the tactical tools each consultant uses with a more creative mind of how they might be repurposed for WPO.

For example, SEO backlink tools can provide detailed lists of the precise backlinks to a competitor’s website. This can be quite valuable to an SEO consultant, but it’s mind-numbing overkill for a VP of marketing.

However, a graphical comparison of the type and quantity of backlinks pointing to the firm’s website and the sites of close competitors may be very enlightening (e.g., discovering that competitor A has twice as many media links and three times as many social links pointing to them)—particularly if these measures have changed significantly in a short period of time.

This simple change in thinking was truly eye-opening.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

First and foremost, the WPO framework provides the strategic and structural approach to the unified management of web visibility. And WPO metrics that support this framework provide the critical measurement necessary to enable the overall coordination of these disciplines to improve presence optimization and performance.

The set of 100+ WPO metrics that the group developed for KCA clients is driven by data collected by a host of off-the-shelf tools as well as some custom developed sources. As a collection, the attributes of these metrics differ from what most other tracking and measurement tools are set up to provide in six distinct ways:

  • • Focus on management, not execution. WPO metrics are designed to support management decision-making (e.g., where should we devote more resources) rather than tweaks to specific tactics. Put another way, they are about the “what” rather than the “how.”
  • • Provide a unified view of results. They provide leaders and team members with an overall picture of press (media outlets), social, website (organic search), industry (e.g. associations, research organizations) and paid web presence. The tactical tools available tend to focus on one or two of these areas.
  • • Include competitor metrics. An organization’s digital marketing results don’t exist in a vacuum; it’s critical to be able to view results in the context of competitive activities. Competitive benchmarking is vital to developing strategy and allocating resources.
  • • Reflect the value of owned, earned and paid presence, not just the company website. What customers, analysts, journalists, bloggers, and others have to say about you is sometimes more important than your own content. WPO metrics show the value of all of your points of web presence, whether it’s your content or something produced by a third party.
  • • Are actionable and NOT “everything but kitchen sink.” Too many tools try to report every possible detail, rather than just what’s important. The result is data overload and analysis paralysis. It’s confusing and too much to absorb, and therefore doesn’t get acted upon. Best-practice WPO metrics focus only on measures that support concrete action.
  • • Identify clear priorities. While WPO metrics cover a lot of ground, not every measure matters all the time. For example, if your media share-of-voice remains about the same from one month to the next, but your AdWords conversion rate drops by half, WPO metrics focus on the latter result.

WPO metrics won’t replace tactical, execution-level tools, but they will help guide decisions about which functional tools to use and how to coordinate the tasks of different disciplines for a larger purpose. They fill a critical gap by giving marketing executives, and everyone on digital marketing and PR teams, a unified view of web presence that reflects a more integrated optimization effort.

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87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Though social media marketing is now used in about 90% of companies, techniques, platforms and best practices continue to evolve.  Should you include Pinterest in your mix? Increase use of video marketing? Is blogging coming back or trailing off? What will likely be the hot trends in social media over the next couple of years?

More Social Media Stats for 2012Marketers have questions, this post has answers: 87 vital social media and online marketing statistics covering everything from how executives and large companies are using social media for marketing, customer service and recruiting to fresh stats on the leading social media platforms to search, email, content and mobile marketing trends.

The recent 72 Fascinating Social Media Stats post on JeffBullas.com was one of my post popular guest posts ever, so here is an entirely new set of social media stats, facts and research findings.

Social Media Stats and Demographics

1. Social media accounts for only 16% of customer engagement today, but is expected to increase to 57%—the second-most used channel, behind only face to face interaction—within five years. (Marketing Pilgrim)

2. 30% of the world’s entire population is now online, and social networking is the most popular and time consuming online activity—with users spending more than one fifth (22%) of their time engaging on social media channels. This means that more than 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook status updates are now published every single day. (MindJumpers)

3. Brazilians have the highest number of online friends of any country, averaging 481 friends per user, while the Japanese average only 29 friends. (MindJumpers)

4. 56% of Americans have a profile on at least one social networking site. And it’s not just millenials; 55% of those aged 45-54 have at least one social network profile. (Convince & Convert)

5. Social networks and blogs In the U.S reach nearly 80% of active U.S. Internet users and represent the majority of Americans’ time online. (MediaPost)

6. 60% of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site. 48% of these consumers responded to a retailer’s offer posted on Facebook or Twitter. (MediaPost)

7. 90% of marketers now use social networks in their marketing efforts, but growth has plateaued; the figure was 89% in 2011. (eMarketer)

8. Half of all social media users are between 25 and 44 years old, but the age distribution varies widely across social networks. Reddit and Tumblr are among the “youngest” networks, with half or more of users under 35 years old. Twitter is about in the middle (55% of users age 35 or older) while 65% of Facebook users are over 35 (didn’t this start with college students?) and LinkedIn is the “oldest” network, with 79% of users age 35 and older. (Pingdom)

9. Women tend to be somewhat more present and active on social media than men, though the shares vary widely by site. Men tend to dominate on technical sites (e.g., Slashdot is almost 90% guys); LinkedIn is close to a 50-50 split; Twitter and Facebook are both about 40% male / 60% female; and women account for almost 90% of Pinterest users. (Pingdom)

10. Social media and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. Internet users. 91% of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media and 79% are generating more quality leads. (Business2Community)

11. 90% of companies with 100 or more employees use social media in their marketing mix. 83% use Facebook and 53% are on Twitter, though that gap is expected to narrow by 2014 due to rapid growth in Twitter use. (eMarketer)

Social Media in the Enterprise

12. Just 23% of Fortune 500 companies maintain an active blog, vs. 37% of Inc. 500 firms. (V3 Integrated Marketing)

13. 35% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog compared to 14 percent of those Fortune 500 companies in the bottom 300-500 of the category, i.e., top companies devote more attention to their corporate blogs than those in the bottom of the pack.  (V3 Integrated Marketing)

14. 62% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Twitter account, while 58% maintain a corporate Facebook page. (V3 Integrated Marketing)

15. Looking at five leading social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest), Fortune 100 company names are mentioned more than 10 million times per month. (Digital Buzz Blog)

16. The average Fortune 100 company is mentioned nearly 56,000 times per month On Twitter. (Digital Buzz Blog)

17. 87 of the Fortune 100 companies are now active on at least one social network. 82 use Twitter, 75 have a Facebook page, 50 are on Google+ and 25% use Pinterest. (Digital Buzz Blog)

18. To accommodate different product lines, business units and geographies, the average Fortune 100 company now maintains 10 official corporate Twitter accounts, 10 Facebook pages and eight YouTube channels. (Digital Buzz Blog)

19. Fortune 500 companies tend to be antisocial. Less than half of Fortune 500 businesses provide a link to their Facebook profile or Twitter handle on the Contact Us page of their Web sites. About 27% of consumer-facing Fortune 500 corporations do not list social media channels on their Web site home page, 89% do not list an e-mail address on their site, and 13% don’t list a phone number on their Contact Us page. (MediaPost)

Social Media Use in the C-Suite

20. 71% of consumers say that CEO participation in social media leads to improved brand image. (41 Stories)

21. Only 3.2% of Fortune 500 (largest companies) CEOs have a Twitter account compared with 17% of Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) CEOs. (41 Stories)

22. 52% of CEOs who are active in social media say that it helps their companies rise in search rankings, and 48% say that social media has generated qualified sales leads.  (41 Stories)

23. Though 94% of corporations use social media in some way and 58% of executives acknowledge that social media is useful for lead generation and developing brand loyalty, 70% of CEOs have no presence on any social network. 26% are on LinkedIn, 8% have a Facebook page and just 4% use Twitter. (Business Insider)

24. This is the case even though 82% of buyers say they are more likely to trust a company whose top executive is active on social media, and 81% of employees believe that social CEOs are better leaders. (Business Insider)

Social Media and Human Resources

25. 40% of organizations have a formal social media policy, and 56% of those policies include a statement regarding the organization’s right to monitor social media usage. More than a third (39%) of companies monitor their employees social media use on company-owned computers and handheld devices. (Resume Bear)

26. 92% of recruiters use social media to find new candidates, up from 82% in 2010. And 73% now say they have successfully hired through social media, up significantly from just 58% two years ago. (Ragan.com)

27. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is the most popular social network among recruiters, with 93% using it. 66% use Facebook while 54% utilize Twitter. More dramatically, 89% of recruiters say that LinkedIn has produced at least one successful hire for them, compared to 25% who say the same of Facebook and just 15% who’ve had recruiting success with Twitter. (Ragan.com)

Facebook Stats

28. 20% of all pageviews on the web are on Facebook. (Jeff Bullas)

29. Half of all Facebook users use it on mobile devices, at least occasionally. (Jeff Bullas)

30. More than 500 million people log in to Facebook each day, and they collectively post 3.2 billion likes and comments. (Jeff Bullas)

31. Social media fatigue? Though 20% of Facebook users say they check in on the social network once or twice per day, 52% plan to spend less time there in the future. (SodaHead)

32. 73% of users believe that another social network will eclipse Facebook. (SodaHead)

Twitter Facts

33. Twitter attracts one million new users per day. (Jeff Bullas)

34. Of Twitter’s 165 million users, half access Twitter on mobile devices at least occasionally.  (HubSpot)

35. 53% of Twitter users have been a member for less than a year, compared to just 19% for Facebook. (Convince & Convert)

36. 76% of Twitter users are active tweeters, up from 47% in 2010. (Convince & Convert)

37. Want to get retweeted more often? Research shows that keywords which increase the likelihood of retweeting include “please,” “thank you,” “Twitter,” “social media” and “you.” Words to avoid include “lol,” gonna,” “hey,” “tired,” “work” and “bored.” (iMedia Connection)

38. Twitter users now post 340 million tweets per day, or roughly a billion tweets every three days. (Digital Buzz Blog)

LinkedIn Statistics

39. Two news users join LinkedIn every second.  (Jeff Bullas)

40. 75 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn in their corporate hiring process.  (HubSpot)

YouTube and Video Marketing Trends

41. YouTube is the third-most-visited site on the web, with two billion views per day. (Jeff Bullas)

42. YouTube use accounts for 10% of all traffic on the Internet. (Jeff Bullas)

43. 76% of marketers said they planned to increase use of video and YouTube in 2012.  (HubSpot)

44. There are 1.5 million business-related searches on YouTube each day, and 75% of senior executives say they watch work-related videos at least weekly. (Earnest B2B)

Blogging Stats

45. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages. And companies with more indexed pages generate far more leads from search.  (Search Engine Journal)

46. The very first blogs appeared in 1998, and Blogger.com was launched in 1999. By 2006, there were more than 50 million blogs in existence. (HubSpot)

47. Today, there are more than 158 million blogs (though only about 70 million are active). (Spin Sucks)

48. B2C companies who blog regularly see an 88% increase in median monthly leads and B2B companies who blog see a 67% increase in leads.  (V3 Integrated Marketing)

49. Roughly 60% of business blogs are updated at least twice per week. (Marketing Charts)

50. Another study found that while 60% of businesses have a blog, only 35% of those (i.e., 21% of all businesses) actively maintain them. (New Media Expo Blog)

51. The two most popular blogging platforms are WordPress (used for 43% of all blogs) and Blogger (35%). Surprised it’s that close. (New Media Expo Blog)

Content Marketing Findings

52. The most popular forms of content marketing for B2B companies are social media excluding blogs (79%) and article posting (78%). 51% maintain blogs, 42% conduct webinars and webcasts, and 41% produce videos. Just 11% use mobile content and only 9% create eBooks. (Earnest B2B)

53. However, 71% of B2B marketers view in-person events as effective while only 31% say the same about social media excluding blogs. (Earnest B2B)

54. Relevance is critical is content marketing. 45% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails due to irrelevant content, and on the B2B side, IT buyers say that 58% of vendor content is not relevant to them, and that this lack of relevance reduces the chance of closing a sale by 45%. (MarketingSherpa)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Facts

55. 70% of the links search users click on are organic. (This is an overall average, however, and the share of clicks on paid results is considerably higher for many commercially oriented searches.) (Search Engine Journal)

56. 46% of all searches are for information about products or services. (HubSpot)

57. 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of results (which also means of course that 25% do).  (Search Engine Journal)

58. 93% of online experiences (including b2b and considered purchases) begin with a search engine. (Search Engine Journal)

59. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices.  (HubSpot)

60. 66% of new customers use search and online research to find local businesses.  (HubSpot)

61. 21% of all time spent online is spent on web searches. (MindJumpers)

62. It’s probably no surprise that the big three search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo!) are among the five most-visited sites on the Internet. But consider that AOL is #7 and Ask is #10, meaning that…five of the top 10 most-visited sites on the web are search engines. (MindJumpers)

63. B2B companies that maintain active content (e.g., bloogging) and SEO programs increased their total website traffic, on average, by 25% in the past year, while those who neglected SEO (either never did it or did SEO only as a one-time effort at site launch) experienced an average 15% decline in overall visits. (Webbiquity)

64. How big is the SEO industry? Well, there are 863 million websites globally that mention “SEO.” There are 9.1 million searches conducted including the acronym each month, with the top two phrases being “SEO services” and “SEO company.” More than 60,000 Twitter users include “SEO” in their bios, there have been 13 million blog posts published that include “SEO” in the title, and Amazon.com carries almost 2,700 different books about SEO. (Search Engine Journal)

65. While it’s vital for marketers to integrate search and social in terms of their strategies, it turns out consumers don’t like the two actually mixed in search results. 62% say they do not want social results included on search engine result pages (SERPs), while just 19% do. (Search Engine Watch)

66. If social results are going to be included on SERPs, consumers prefer Bing’s layout (social off to the right side) rather than Google’s layout (social mixed with organic results), 63% to 37%. However, by a 5-to-3 margin, consumers preferred Google’s display of universal search results. (Search Engine Watch)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Online Advertising

67. Every marketer knows that click-through rates on banner ads are very low. Why? 31% of users say they are worried if they click on an ad that their behavior will be tracked, while 57% fear they will receive spam from advertisers. (Get Elastic)

68. The average person is more likely to apply and be accepted by Harvard or be dealt a full house in poker than to click on a banner ad. (Get Elastic)

69. There are more tweets each month that include “PPC” (282,000) than there are that include “SEO” (248,000), though there are most searches on and blog posts written about SEO. (Search Engine Journal)

70. Click-through rates (CTR) on search ads for keyword phrases with “high commercial intent’ are up to 600 times greater than average CTR for ads on a typical Facebook page. (e-Strategy Trends)

Mobile Marketing Statistics

71. There are about four billion mobile phones in use. Of those, 27% (1.08 billion) are smartphones.  (HubSpot)

72. 50% of all smartphone users use their devices to search the web, and 49% use them for social networking. (HubSpot)

73. 8% of web hits worldwide are from mobile phones. In the US, 25% of mobile Web users are mobile-only. Further, 80% of this traffic will leave if your website isn’t optimized for mobile–a good case for having a mobile-friendly website. (Heidi Cohen)

74. Do some research and consider carefully before investing in design and creation of a mobile app for your business. A quarter of all mobile apps are used only once. (Heidi Cohen)

75. 74% of Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of checking in to a location via mobile device, and only 3% have ever checked in. (Convince & Convert)

76. One in four employees use personal smartphones at work. (Earnest B2B)

77. Almost 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone at least occasionally. (MediaPost)

78. Mobile and video are the two hottest growth areas in marketing. 17% of marketers say they’ve been using mobile marketing for less than a year, while another 17% plan to start using it in the coming year. The figures are 14% and 10%, respectively, for video marketing. (eMarketer)

79. In a July 2012 survey, 26% of respondents said they were interested in the iPhone5, while 74% said they were “over it”–just not that intrigued by another new Apple device. (SodaHead)

Email Marketing Facts

80. Nearly one billion Internet users are on Facebook. But 3.1 billion use email. (HubSpot)

81. Less than one out of five email marketers include social sharing links in their emails. Of those, 91% include a Facebook link while nearly half include Twitter.  (HubSpot)

82. 19% of all time spent online is spent on reading and responding to emails. (MindJumpers)

Other Social and Marketing Stats

83. Instagram tripled its user base from 10 million in September 2011 to 30 million by April 2012. Its Android app had one million downloads on the day it was released. (Jeff Bullas)

84. 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook “likes” are from women.  (Jeff Bullas)

85. Google+ adds 625,000 new users each day.  (Jeff Bullas)

86. 67% of Google+ users are male.  (Jeff Bullas)

87. A majority of marketers worldwide say that less than half of all the analytics data they collect is actually useful for decision-making, and 34% say analytics are not integrated at all with their business plans. (eMarketer)

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The Top #Nifty50 Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A year ago, the #Nifty50 honored 50 remarkable men and women on Twitter. This year, colleague Cheryl Burgess and I changed things up a bit, opening the award to nominations but focusing specifically on outstanding men and women who work for technology companies and are active on social media.

#Nifty50 Top Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012These women are executives, thought leaders, bloggers, authors and role models for younger women with an interest in technology. Not only leaders in their professional lives, nearly all these women use their social profiles to express their passions outside the workplace, which range from NASCAR, art, travel, billiards, wine and music to community service, politics and, of course, family.

Among the women profiled below, Emily Gonzales notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things,” while Padmasree Warrior is “passionate about helping women in tech.” True, and important, which is why this year’s #Nifty50 is focused on the technology field.

We’ve also expanded the focus of the #Nifty50 this year to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project. Although the idea captured the imagination and interest of several brand-name organizations, the timeframe was just too tight this year to line up sponsorship. That will be our top focus for next year.

2013 #Nifty50 Women and Men of Twitter - LogosNext year, Cheryl and I tentatively plan to honor #Nifty50 Women and Men Writers, including bloggers, journalists, authors, and PR professionals.  As with this year, we will be asking our community to nominate their favorite leaders in this field.

This year, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in an upcoming post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are among the top social media connectors and engagers in the technology world, representing technology vendors as well as related venture capital (VC), advisory and analyst firms. These are the leaders in the information and communications technology sector who truly “get” social media and social business.

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 41 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women of technology on Twitter for 2012.

Stacey AceveroStacey Acevero
@sacevero

Stacey is flat-out awesome: Social Media Manager for Vocus/PRWeb as well as serving her country as a U.S. Air Force auxiliary 2nd Lieutenant and Mission Scanner. She’s a self-described “social media nerd” who loves “NASCAR, steak, rock music and XBOX360 .” ‘Nuff said.

Abby BaileyAbby Bailey
@AbbyBailey

Based in Minneapolis, Abby is Senior Manager Creative Services at Best Buy, and also Board President at FamilyWise, a non-profit organization that provides programs for families that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, and healthy family lifestyles.

Cindy BatesCindy Bates
@Cindy_Bates

Active across social networks, Cindy leads Microsoft’s small- to midsized-business sales and marketing efforts as Vice President U.S. SMB and Distribution. The 10-year Microsoft veteran is also a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Susan BeebeSusan Beebe
@susanbeebe

Austin, Texas-based Susan Beebe works in Corporate Communications – Social Media Management at Dell. Calling herself Dell’s “first listener,” Susan also welcomes the opportunity to “learn from others and develop things; including new projects, especially those that improve the world and deliver on the promise of ‘social good.’”

Valerie BiancoValerie Bianco
@valeriemichelle

Now a Business Information Analyst at The Mint Partnership, Valerie has an extensive background in the architecture and engineering industry. She currently lives in Newport Beach (been there), once worked for a pizza company (done that) and is a graduate of San Diego State University (love that town).

Meghan BiroMeghan Biro
@MeghanMBiro

As the CEO and Founder at TalentCulture Consulting Group, Meghan connects talent with technology companies as well as being an accomplished speaker and author. She also hosts the talent chat (#TChat) on Twitter Wednesdays from 7-8pm eastern time.

Linda BoffLinda Boff
@lindaboff

New York-based Linda Boff, Executive Director Global Digital Marketing at GE, is “passionate about all things digital, specifically new digital media and concepts that fuse design and technology.” She was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year.

Liz BonillaLiz Bonilla
@LizatDell

Senior Manager Social Media and Community at Dell, Liz is a strategic marketing professional with over 10 years of proven success who lives in Austin, Texas. And congrats on being a new mom!

Liz BrennerLiz Brenner
@lizbrenner

Living, working and tweeting out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Liz is Senior Director, Talent Marketing at SAP. Her background includes stints in management consulting and the energy industry. Liz also writes the Lead With Intuition blog.

Sandy CarterSandy Carter
@sandy_carter

As the Vice President of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism at IBM, Sandy Carter plays an integral role in driving the company’s Social Business initiative. Sandy is an active thought leader in helping businesses transition into an era of social business, as well as the award-winning author of two best-selling books: The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0, and The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market. She also explores the many nuances of social marketing on her blog Social Media to Social Business. A self-described “social media evangelist,” Sandy’s work blogging and tweeting for IBM has led to 27 different awards, and is one of IBM’s top bloggers.

Blair ChristieBlair Christie
@BlairChristie

Blair is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Government Affairs at Cisco in Silicon Valley. Her integrated marketing and communications organization is responsible for positioning Cisco’s growth strategy and cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets through market and customer insight, corporate positioning, branding, and advertising.

Beth ComstockBeth Comstock
@bethcomstock

Another New Yorker, Beth leads GE’s growth efforts including sales, marketing and communications and innovation platforms. Prior to being named GE’s first Chief Marketing officer in more than 20 years, she held a succession of roles at GE, NBC (including President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal), CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

Carrie CorbinCarrie Corbin
@thealphafemme

Carrie Corbin leads the employment brand initiatives, recruitment marketing & media strategy as Associate Director – Strategic Staffing & Talent Attraction at AT&T. Carrie played a key role in launching the enterprise-wide integration of social & mobile recruiting, breaking some of the traditional boundaries of HR in the process. She has been named one of the top people to follow in Social Media Recruiting, and has been quoted in publications such as The New York Post & Workforce Today. Carrie is also active in community work, including work with tornado relief and local sports charities.

Colette CoteColette Cote
@ColetteCote

From Darien, Connecticut, Collete leads Corporate External Communications at Pitney Bowes Inc. as well as serving on the Board of Directors at Person-to-Person, Inc. Her varied background includes corporate roles (B2B and B2C), agencies, non-profits and startups. She’s a rock star on Twitter and also speaks French.

Lisa CramerLisa Cramer
@LisaJCramer

Lisa Cramer is President & Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions in Atlanta, a provider of on-demand lead management software that generates, scores and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. LeadLife  is designed to increase qualified leads while shortening sales cycles and decreasing the cost of sales. Lisa also recently authored a guest post here on web analytics and lead scoring.

Elyse DeVriesElyse DeVries
@Elyse_D

Chicago-based technology marketer Elyse DeVries most recently worked as Marketing Manager, Demand Generation at The SAVO Group, and prior to that did stints as Marketing Manager, Social Media at Alterian (owner of the former Techrigy SM2 social media monitoring product) and Marketing Specialist, ERP USA at Comarch. And she’s amazing.

April DunfordApril Dunford
@aprildunford

Based in Toronto, April is currently Vice President Marketing, Enterprise Products at telecom services provider Huawei. She previously worked in marketing roles at Nortel, DataMirror Corporation and IBM. A marketer who’s an engineer by training (I can relate to that), April has a broad range of marketing experience that encompasses messaging, media relations, lead generation, email marketing, content marketing, social media, analyst relations and sales enablement.

Ale EspinosaAle Espinosa
@aespinosa

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Ale now lives in Los Angeles and works as Senior. Director, Marketing, Communications & PR at EndPlay, Inc. EndPlay is a leading provider of SaaS content management, engagement and monetization solutions delivered in the cloud. Ale is, in her words, a wine & art enthusiast at night, beach girl over the weekends, and music-lover every single second.

Laura FittonLaura Fitton
@Pistachio

Boston’s amazing Laura Fitton is an inbound marketing evangelist for HubSpot, founder of @oneforty, and co-author of the best-selling Twitter For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)). Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Deb FreyDeb Frey
@DaVinciDeb

Deb is Vice President of the DaVinci Institute, a non-profit organization near Denver, Colorado, responsible for Member Relations, event planning and marketing director for the DaVinci Institute. She teaches one-on-one classes to small businesses on Twitter, and when she has “a few extra moments,” serves as a contributing editor to the Impact Lab, a DaVinci Institute blog billed as “a laboratory of the future human experience.”

Jeanette GibsonJeanette Gibson
@JeanetteG

Jeanette leads the Social & Digital Marketing team at Cisco. Our group is responsible for setting the strategy for the company’s global digital brand presence on cisco.com, social web sites and mobile. Before joining Cisco in 1998, Jeanette helped launch push-technology pioneer PointCast, and worked at public relations agency Copithorne & Bellows.

Emily GonzalesEmily Gonzales
@EmilysHere

Emily is Chief Technology Officer at Bookigee, an early-stage startup that builds online analytics and marketing applications for the Book Publishing Industry, in Miami. Her Twitter profile notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things” (which is why Cheryl and I chose to honor 50 of the top women in technology on Twitter here).

Christine HerronChristine Herron
@christine

Christine Herron is a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur. She is currently a Director with Intel Capital and a Venture Advisor at 500 Startups. Previously, Christine was a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she worked with companies such as BillFloat, Double Verify, Get Satisfaction, Mint, and Xobni.

Alex HisakaAlex Hisaka
@alexhisaka

San Francisco-based Alex Hisaka is Growth Builder at Desk.com, part of the Salesforce.com family. She gains valuable insight about your audience through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and social media marketing. She also rocks on Twitter and shares her thoughts on The Fresh and Only.

Ilene KaminskyIlene Kaminsky
@ilenealizah

Ilene is a “content creationist” whose background includes stints as Director of Marketing and Director of Strategic Development at IBM, Alliance Director at eGain Communications, and Managing Director at Lumina Consulting. She also writes the Techronicity blog.

Katie KeatingKatie Keating
@ThingsSheSaid

Based in Los Angeles, Katie is the social business manager for IBM Cloud Computing, which involves running the @IBMCloud Twitter handle and other social media venues for IBM Cloud, as well as overseeing a global team of IBM cloud community managers. Before joining IBM she worked with Fleishman-Hillard and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Margaret Anderson KelliherMargaret A. Kelliher
@MAKMinnesota

Margaret serves as president and CEO of The Minnesota High Tech Foundation, which provides leadership on science, technology, engineering and match (STEM) education in Minnesota and works with high-tech businesses in the state on talent pipeline issues. She’s also a former speaker of Minnesota state house of representatives and a Harvard grad.

Katrina KlierKatrina Klier
@KatrinaKlier

New York-based Katrina is the Senior Director / VP Worldwide Digital Marketing for Microsoft. In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the OEM division, she leads the digital brand and marketing functions worldwide, and has delivered strategy, plans and results for partner, B2B and B2C marketing. She’s a self-described fashionista and blogger.

Lisa LarterLisa Larter
@LisaLarter

Splitting time between Ottawa, Canada and Naples, Florida, Lisa is owner of Parlez Wireless as well as a sought-after social media strategist and speaker. Lisa was raised by a single mom in the small town of Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. Though a high school dropout, she became a self-taught sales guru and worked her way up the corporate ladder in sales for a Fortune 500 company before starting her own company.

Ann LewnesAnn Lewnes
@alewnes

As senior vice president of global marketing at Adobe in the San Francsico Bay area, Ann Lewnes is responsible for the company’s brand and integrated marketing efforts worldwide. Before joining Adobe in 2006, Ann was vice president of sales and marketing at Intel Corporation. In 2010, she was honored with a “Changing The Game” Award by the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and in 2011 Ann was named a “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Monica Liming-HuMonica Liming-Hu
@MonicaLimingHu

With her background in International Management and Marketing at AT&T, Monica Liming-Hu has been a stalwart of the marketing world for the better part of the past two decades. More recently, she has focused a great deal of her attention on sustainability, whether in business or the environment—or both. Monica gives the credit for this shift toward developing a strong corporate conscience to her two daughters and their encouragement to “go green.” Outside of the active realm of social marketing, Monica writes fiction under two separate pen names, and often frequents writer’s conferences and workshops. Her thoughts on writing and the creative process can be found on her blog Positive Reverie.

Marissa MayerMarissa Mayer
@marissamayer

Marissa Mayer has come a long way from her childhood home in Wausau, Wisconsin. A Stanford grad with two degrees in computer science, Marissa is known for long tenure at Google, where she was the company’s first female engineer and later served in different VP roles.  She was recently named CEO of Yahoo!, making her the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and one of just 20 female CEOs in that group. She’s actually the second woman from Wisconsin to lead Yahoo! as Carol Bartz was also a cheesehead. And Marissa announced in July that she is going to be a mom—congrats!

Kelly MeadeKelly Meade
@KellyMMeade

Kelly is a Public Cloud Solutions Rep at IBM in Dallas, responsible for IBM Cloud Services and Offerings in the Eastern U.S. Originally from Iowa, Kelly’s loves include her family, traveling and reality TV. You can check out her video profile on the IBM site here.

Erin Mulligan NelsonErin Mulligan Nelson
@erinclaire

Erin is the Chief Marketing Officer for Bazaarvoice, a brand engagement and social data integration platform, in Austin, Texas. Before joining Bazaarvoice in November 2010, Erin served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Dell Inc. Her background also includes positions with Procter & Gamble, A.T. Kearney and PepsiCo.

Ory OkollohOry Okolloh
@kenyanpundit

Ory is Policy Manager Africa for Google in Nairobi, and co-founder of Mzalendo/Ushahidi. Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, is building a platform that crowdsources crisis information, allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form. She’s former editor of Global Voices and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Paige ONeillPaige ONeill
@paige_oneill

Based in the San Francisco area, Paige is Vice President of Marketing at Aprimo, a fast-growing Saas marketing automation software company acquired by Teradata in January of 2011. Her responsibilities include communications, demand generation, web/seo/ppc, events, customer marketing and social media. She also blogs at Social Media Paige.

Lee Anne OrangeLee Anne Orange
@LeeAnne_Orange

Lee Anne has served as Special Projects Manager at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, in Washington DC, since 1999. For a year prior to that, in her own words, she “bounced around the association for a while. Started in Statistics Department and moved to Administration (HR) for 5 years. Then I was recruited to work in the Exhibitions Department. Been there ever since.”

Maria PergolinoMaria Pergolino
@InboundMarketer

Senior Director of Marketing at marketing automation software provider Marketo, Maria writes for several marketing blogs, and is a frequent contributor to Marketo’s award winning blog, Modern B2B Marketing. She’s a frequent presenter at industry conferences, author of guides to B2B social media and lead scoring, and a past judge of the Stevie, BMA B2 and B2BTOTY awards.

Janine PopickJanine Popick
@janinepopick

Janine is founder and CEO of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing & event marketing for small businesses based in the San Francisco area, and writes the popular email marketing blog. Before starting VerticalResponse in 2001, Janine worked with NBC Internet, XOOM.com and FileMaker.

Maria PoveromoMaria Poveromo
@mariapoveromo

Maria leads Adobe’s Global Marketing Social Media program and Center of Excellence. She established the organizational framework and strategic direction for social media activities across the company. With her team, Maria directs a cross-functional social media council to foster knowledge sharing across different groups. She’s passionate about her family, balancing work and home life and advancing the role of women the technology industry.

Kishau RogersKishau Rogers
@kishau

A technology innovator and engaging Twitterer based in Richmond, Virginia, Kishau Rogers the founder and President of Websmith Group, a company that provides web based software systems for healthcare and research organizations. She holds a Computer Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her expertise includes software and database development, data analysis and computer modeling/simulation technology.

Kathy SacksKathy Sacks
@kathysacks

As VP Communications at Infusionsoft in Phoenix, Kathy leads a team dedicated to spread awareness of the company’s next-generation email marketing software. She is is responsible for defining and managing Infusionsoft’s communications strategies, including planning and execution, public affairs and media relations. She’s also the founding editor of bizSanDiego Magazine and ran her own PR firm from 2005 to 2008.

Gina TrapaniGina Trapani
@ginatrapani

San Diego-based Gina is the creator of ThinkUp, a social media insights engine, and Todo.txt apps, a text-based task manager. She hosts In Beta, a podcast about open source, web-based, mobile and social apps, and This Week in Google, a web show which covers the latest news about the cloud and Google. She’s also the founder of Lifehacker and author of four tech books, and blogs at Smarterware.

Ellen ValentineEllen Valentine
@EllenValentine

Ellen is Evangelist at digital marketing software developer Silverpop in Atlanta, where she writes and speaks about marketing including marketing automation and email marketing. She holds a computer science degree from Penn State University and her background includes positions with Evergreen Direct Marketing, Applied Software and CIO Partners of Atlanta.

Czarina WalkerCzarina Walker
@CzarinaWalker

Czarina is Founder and CEO at InfiniEDGE Software in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a custom software developer of mobile apps and provider of UI design services and web development services for industry and government clients. Before founding InfiniEDGE, she served on the board of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce and worked with IBM and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Angelina WardAngelina Ward
@angelinaward

Angelina is Director of Social Media and Content for LexisNexis in Atlanta. Her duties include establishing a social media framework and standards for revising company guidelines and policy, creating and lead training workshops for internal employees on strategic social media communications, and overseeing day-to-day operations of social media communications including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

Padmasree WarriorPadmasree Warrior
@Padmasree

As Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco, Padmasree helps define the company’s technology strategy and works closely with the senior executive team and Board of Directors to drive innovation across the company. She has more than a million followers on Twitter and as her bio notes, she is “passionate about helping women in tech.” Unquestionably nifty.

Courtney WileyCourtney Wiley
@wileyccoyote

Courtney is Director of Digital Marketing Strategy & Innovation at Oracle in Dallas. Her thought-leadership writing has been published in places like ChiefMarketer.com, MarketingProfs.com, IEEE.org, iMediaConnection.com, and eBizQ.com, and she speaks at national conferences. Courtney is also an SMU grad and mom of a Junior Olympian.

Bryony ZasmanBryony Zasman
@ZOOMcatalog_Bry

Bryony is co-founder and Vice President at ZOOMcatalog, a provider of B2B cloud catalog management and distribution for print catalog dependent industries, based in Denver. She holds a marketing degree from the University of Colorado.

Meryl ZdatnyMerryl Zdatny
@Zdatny

Merryl is the Senior Product Marketing Manager, Identity Solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group in New York. The objective of this group is to “give the right people access to the right information – where and when they need it.” Prior to Verizon, she worked in marketing roles at technology and art-related enterprises. She describes her educational background as “Marketing, Art History, Billiards at The University of Texas at Austin.” Interesting mix, but the degree in billiards is particularly impressive.

There you have it, the #Nifty50 Women of Twitter for 2012. As with last year, to keep it to 50, we had to leave off some deserving names and excellent nominations—it was a tough call. But next year will have a different focus and some of those names will no doubt resurface.

Watch next month for the top #Nifty50 Men in Technology on Twitter for 2012 on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog.

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Book Review: The B2B Social Media Book

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

With The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More, authors Kipp Bodnar of HubSpot and Jeffrey L. Cohen of Salesforce Radian6 have literally written the book on social media best practices for B2B marketers.

Unlike the multitude of other social media marketing books, this one isn’t about how celebrities build a huge Twitter following or how big consumer brands use coupons and contests to attract massive “likes” on Facebook; it’s focused on the content-centric, information-hungry world of B2B marketing.

The B2B Social Media BookThe book is divided into three main sections: The Fundamentals of Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Lead Generation in Action, and Taking Social Media Lead Generation to the next level. As those headings suggest, this isn’t a book about “engagement,” conversations, shares, likes, followers or any other soft measures of social media success, but rather is focused on using social media to generate a high volume of qualified leads,  the top priority of B2B marketers.

The opening chapter, “Why B2B is Better at Social Media than B2C,” helpfully lays the groundwork for the book with two key sections. First, five reasons B2B companies are a better fit for social media marketing than their B2 counterparts:

  • • Clear understanding of customers (“B2B marketers go far past demographic data”)
  • • Depth of subject matter expertise
  • • Need for generating higher revenue with lower marketing budgets
  • • Relationship-based sales
  • • Already have practice doing it (“long before the social web, [B2B marketers] were publishing newsletters, quarterly magazines and [using] other marketing tactics that map to many key social media marketing methods”)

All of which should sound familiar to B2B marketers. Still, that said, the authors point out that there are situations where social media isn’t right for B2B firms:

  • • Very small, concentrated market
  • • Purchasing decision makers are behind strong firewalls (e.g., the military, power utilities)
  • • No internal advocate for social media (i.e., lack of executive support)
  • • Need to generate a high volume of short-term sales
  • • Lack of resources to be successful (“you will always need more time and money than you expect for executing your social media tactics”)

The book also points out that social media marketing takes time to produce results, as it more of a long-term investment than an immediate expense with a quick payback. “With the hurdles into publishing and information sharing now so low, it is harder than ever before for a company to stand out. A great CMO needs to take risks an try new things, while also ensuring that the entire marketing team understands that risk and polarization are accepted and encouraged for the success of the business.” Fortunately, CMOs have a bit more luxury of time today than in the recent past, as the average tenure for a CMO has increased from just 23 months in 2006 to 43 months now.

After laying the foundation, the book steps through best practices for developing eBooks and webinars; business blogging; marketing through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook; making email social; B2B social mobile marketing; and integrating tradeshows with social efforts. Along the way, the authors share numerous bits of marketing wisdom and findings such as:

Content really is exploding. “According to Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, more information is created on the Internet in 48 hours today than was created by all humankind from the beginning of time until 2003.”

You have to ask for leads. “The lack of conversion opportunities is the single biggest mistake that we see when speaking with B2B marketers working to leverage social media.”

“Emulate the best, not your competitors.” “The people who sign your multimillion dollar purchase orders read the New York Times, buy digital goods from iTunes, and order shoes from Zappos.” Yes, you need to do a better job with search and social than your direct competitors, but for inspiration, set your sites higher.

Social media marketing isn’t a campaign, it’s a reorientation. “The only way to get more time back for new marketing strategies, such as social media, is to stop strategies and tactics that don’t work. Stop now. This simple idea of stopping tactics that don’t work will instantly make you a better marketer.”

Search and social are inseparable. Given that the number of Google+ and Facebook shares that a piece of content gets impacts its search ranking, “SEO is the number one reason a B2B company should be using social media marketing” according to the authors. “Social media isn’t the first thing a business should focus on to improve search traffic, but it is certainly part of long-term SEO success.”

Content is core to social media marketing success… “Getting found on the web is a lot like winning the lottery. A person who has 100 tickets has a much better chance of winning the lottery than a person with only one ticket. In the world of social media, content is the equivalent of lottery tickets.”

…but it has to be high-quality content. “The biggest secret in B2B social media marketing is that those companies that create great content consistently over time are the ones that succeed.”

eBooks and white papers are complementary. Too often, these terms are used as synonyms, but there are important differences between the two formats which the book explains simply and concisely. “Traditionally, white papers have been more academic in tone and style. Although an eBook may strive to educate on the same topic, it would do so in a more entertaining tone, accompanied by images to help illustrate its points…Go for the eBook instead of the white paper when talking to nontechnical audiences.” The authors also include an excellent “10-Step Blueprint to eBook Awesomeness.”

Improve your webinar presentations with a live audience. Among the helpful tips in “Five Steps for an Engaging Webinar” is the suggestion to use a live audience: “Even if it is only one person, have someone else in the room with you while presenting a webinar. As speakers, we all use feedback from the audience to adjust our presentation. Since you can’t see the people listening to you on a webinar, having a co-worker sit in as an audience to provide feedback is invaluable.”

Keep videos short. “Perfection in B2B video is not when there is nothing left to add in, but instead when there is nothing left to remove…three minutes is an eternity on the Web.”

And there’s much more, including how often you should aim to publish new posts on a business blog, the best time to send b2b emails, and how to promote your company on Twitter without overdoing it.

The book has its minor flaws. Rank is not “dead” as the authors claim; true, with Google experimenting more with image results, additional ad placements, personalized search, and even displaying email results on SERPs, rank doesn’t have quite the unique value that it once did. But it still matters; ranking at #1 or #2 will virtually always result in more clicks than ranking at #8, or #18, or #28.

The analogy used on page 65 is of questionable appropriateness for a business book, but it does get the point across. (No, I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll need to buy the book to find out.)

And the most significant criticism I’ve heard of the book is that it covers too much old ground. But in defense of the authors, given the wide range of social media knowledge in the marketplace (from newbie to expert), it’s challenging to appropriately balance the risks of stating the obvious versus leaving out crucial detail. In truth, those who are relatively new to B2B social media will find the book an essential primer, while even seasoned experts are likely to discover useful tidbits.

Quibbles aside, Jeff Cohen and Kipp Bodnar have done an outstanding job of producing a B2B social media book with enough practical substance mixed with higher level theory to meet the needs of virtually anyone involved in this area, from entry-level practitioners as well as senior B2B marketing executives. The B2B Social Media Book deserves to be read, highlighted, dog-eared, Post-It noted and referred back to often by pretty much anyone whose role is impacted by B2B social media.

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