Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’
This year’s B2B Lead Generation Report from Holger Schulze of the B2B Technology Marketing Group on LinkedIn was recently published, detailing key trends, best practices, and challenges for B2B marketing professionals.
- • The top two priorities for B2B marketers are increasing lead quality and lead volume.
- • 59% of respondents said generating high quality leads is their biggest B2B lead generation challenge.
- • Lack of resources such as staff, funding and time remains the biggest obstacle to successful B2B lead generation.
So, were there any surprises in the findings? Here are several conclusions from the report that may be at least bit more unexpected and noteworthy.
Quality trumps cost. 68% of respondents identified “increasing lead quality” as their top priority for the coming year; just 14% said the same of “reducing the cost per lead.” Vendors are generally willing to spend more on marketing in 2016 if that results in leads with greater win potential.
Marketing becoming more about sales than PR? 42% of respondents said that converting leads into customers was among their top challenges. For high-value business products like enterprise software, servers, and production equipment, this is the job of sales. But for low-value, frequently purchased, commodity-type products, marketing often is sales. The same is often true for low-cost SaaS applications.
Meanwhile, just 17% indicated that “generating public relations and awareness buzz” was among their most challenging tasks. It isn’t clear if this is because the role of brand buzz is under-appreciated, or if most marketers simply don’t find this to be challenging.
Less signal, more noise. Just 16% of B2B marketing professionals rate their lead generation efforts as “very or extremely effective.” Ironically, the proliferation of new tools and channels for reaching potential buyers hasn’t made lead generation easier, but rather has made it more difficult for marketers to make their brand messages rise above the noise and stand out from the crowd.
High-touch beats high-tech. Conferences and trade shows were rated as the most effective lead generation (which mirrors findings reported here previously), with 88% of respondents using live events and 32% calling these efforts “very effective.” Meanwhile, just 4% of B2B marketers believe mobile marketing is a highly effective tactic—and 59% don’t use this medium at all.
SEO is valuable, but misunderstood. About 80% of B2B marketing pros rank their company website and/or SEO as very or somewhat effective for lead generation. Only about half say the same for tactics like PR, content syndication, blogging, or social media—though those efforts are vital in increasing a brand’s overall web presence, which is vital for improving search engine rankings and ultimately driving more website traffic.
99 problems, but the economy ain’t one. Finally, at least somewhat surprisingly, few marketers view current economic conditions as a significant problem. As noted above, lack of resources is cited as the top challenge in B2B lead generation. About 40% of marketers also identify lack of high-quality data and audience insights as key challenges. Just 12% cite the economic climate or lack of demand.
And there’s much more. Just 15% of respondents said marketing contributes half or more of company revenue. 24% just plain don’t know. Whitepaper and eBook downloads are by far the top producers of leads, according to 59% of respondents; just 4% say the same for podcasts. LinkedIn is viewed as the most effective social platform for lead generation; Vine is the least.
Download the full report for all the details.
Though “social media” broadly encompasses a variety of platforms including blogs (WordPress, Medium, Tumblr), content sharing (YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram), and content curation (Scoop.It, Triberr, Paper.li), the term is nearly synonymous to many for the big social networks.
Here are a few highlights from the social networks stats and facts below:
- • Everyone’s on Facebook–except CEOs? Facebook is of course (by far) the largest social network. It drives more than one-fifth of all social media referral traffic to websites; 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news there; and 77% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. Yet just 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account–a lower adoption level than American grandparents.
- • Twitter can’t get no respect. Though 85% of B2B marketers distribute content on Twitter, only half view it as an effective social media channel, and just 42 Fortune 500 CEOs have a Twitter account (and a third of those haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days). Yet 75% of journalists use Twitter to build their personal brands, and Twitter drives more web visits than StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined.
- • And LinkedIn means business… 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 65% of B2b companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn; and 91% of B2B marketers distribute content there. The most popular type of content is industry insights.
- • …while Pinterest means shopping. Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic. Consumer brands are noticing: 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence in 2014, up from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012.
Find these and many more nuggets of information in these nearly three dozen stupendous social networking facts and stats.
12 Facebook Statistics and Facts
1. Each day on Facebook, there are 350 million photos uploaded; 45 billion “Like” buttons clicked; and 10 billion messages sent. (The Wonder of Tech)
2. Facebook accounts for 21% of all social media referral traffic to websites. (TechCrunch)
3. 81% of B2B marketers use Facebook to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)
4. Worldwide digital ad spending topped $140 billion in 2014. Facebook accounted for 7.8% of that total. (eMarketer)
5. 8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account, putting them firmly behind America’s grandparents in terms of adoption. 2.6% of CEOs have Instagram accounts. (MediaPost)
6. While 55% of SMBs maintain a Facebook Page, just 20% have run a Facebook ad or promoted post. (MediaPost)
7. 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers through Facebook. (Ber|Art)
8. In an average month, 1.28 billion users are active on Facebook. (Convince & Convert)
9. In the United States, average click-through rate (CTR) for Facebook advertising increased by better than 50% last year, from .09% to .14%. But the average Facebook CTR in the U.K. is nearly twice that, at 0.27%. (Convince & Convert)
10. Facebook drives 23% of all website traffic. (Shareaholic)
11. 81% of millennials are on Facebook and their median friend count is 250. (Heidi Cohen)
12. 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news on Facebook. (BentoBox Media)
8 Twitter Facts and Stats
13. 85% of B2B marketers use Twitter to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)
14. Or 74% of them do, depending on whose stats you believe. (Biznology)
15. And yet – only half of B2B marketers view Twitter as an effective social media channel. (Ber|Art)
16. Twitter offers more referral traffic per share than Facebook. (Social Media Today)
17. 42 Fortune 500 CEOs (8.4%) have a Twitter account, though nearly a third haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days. Those who do post send an average of 0.48 tweets per day. Roughly half tweet once a month or less, and less than a quarter tweet daily. (MediaPost)
18. Twitter drives just over 1% of all website traffic. While that’s considerably less than Facebook or Pinterest, it’s more visits than are driven by StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined. (Shareaholic)
19. Twitter is where millennials turn for business and financial information as well as sports. (Heidi Cohen)
20. 75% of journalists say they use Twitter to build their personal brands. (BentoBox Media)
10 LinkedIn Statistics and Facts
21. 91% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. (TopRank)
22. Just 30% of executive directors at the top 100 companies in NASDAQ are active on social networks. LinkedIn led the way, with 23% of executives maintaining a profile on the professional site, followed by Twitter with 11%. (MediaPost)
23. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (Ber|Art)
24. 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase. (Ber|Art)
25. 97% of the Fortune 500 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn. Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing–how is it possible this isn’t 100%? (Sword and the Script)
26. 98% of sales reps with 5000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota. (Biznology)
27. You are almost 5X more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a personal LinkedIn connection. (Biznology)
28. Twitter and Facebook may reign when it comes to social sharing of stories, blog posts, and visual media, but when it comes to direct traffic to your main site, LinkedIn is far and away the No. 1 social referral source. LinkedIn accounts for 64% of social media-driven visits to corporate home pages, vs. 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. (Buffer)
29. The three most popular types of content on LinkedIn are industry insights (favored by 60% of users), followed by company news (53% – likely popular with job seekers) and new products/services (43%). (Buffer)
30. To optimize reach, post at least 20 times per month on LinkedIn. But keep in mind that “LinkedIn’s best-in-class marketers post 3-4 updates per day, which could mean up to 80 posts per month” (though only if your content supports this). (Buffer)
5 Pinterest Facts and Stats
31. Women account for 69% of all users but 92% of all pins on Pinterest. (Ber|Art)
32. Pinterest accounts for 25% of all retail website referral traffic. (Ber|Art)
33. 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence on Pinterest in 2014, up dramatically from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012. (Sword and the Script)
34. According to data from Shareaholic, Pinterest drives nearly 6% of all website traffic–5X as much as Twitter (does that sound right?). (Shareaholic)
35. Pinterest is where millennials shop. (Heidi Cohen)
This was the eighth and penultimate post of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.
#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats
Guest post by Dave Landry.
Nothing promotes event marketing as well as social media. Many marketers use social media regularly, whether for networking or business purposes. As a result, social platforms are a great way to publicize events in real time.
In order to generate social media buzz on your business’s upcoming event, create and share content in the weeks leading up to it. Connect with other event attendees on social media. Find event pages on Facebook or Google Plus and join in conversations.
During the event, post updates with photography or prepared graphics. Let those not present at the event know what your business is doing and generate additional interest for those who are.
Content is extremely important for social event marketing. When appealing to other businesses, it’s necessary to choose your presentation and share it optimally.
Blog posts covering events either before or after the actual event date are a great way to keep your audience informed. They give an overall picture of your business’s activities as well as the important details. Event wrap-ups also serve to close the loop with new or existing clients or partners who weren’t able to attend the event.
Marketing your events with LinkedIn reaches out to the right people including peers, partners, and current as well as prospective clients. It’s important to post company updates of upcoming events, and include updates from important trade shows or industry summits.
In order to reach users who don’t follow your company, join groups on LinkedIn related to industries and even specific events themselves. In the first case, join the MJSA LinkedIn group and post about your company’s attendance. For the latter, it may be very helpful to join a jewelry designer group and post information about tradeshows like MJSA.
If there isn’t an event page, create one. Whatever your company’s level of involvement in an event, groups facilitate connecting with those from other participating organizations.
Twitter is perhaps the most important tool for communicating about events in real time. Your business presence on Twitter is crucial not only for presenting a specific side of your company through microblogging and thought leadership, it also serves as a platform for real-time events. Be sure to post new content regularly ramping up to the event date, and mention your partners and other influencers who may be attending the show.
Certainly, hashtagging is a fast and convenient way of cataloging information. Twitter’s instant and continual format has aided in breaking news, from uprisings to elections; this quality also lends itself to the purposes of planners and organizers who instate a Twitter hashtag for events. Take advantage of event hashtags by informing everyone at an event—such as, say, the recent Consumer Electronics Show—of where to find your company and why. Simply using #CES2015 grabs the attention of other marketers and representatives scrolling a trending hashtag for the latest pertinent news.
Using social networks for events is one application for which such platforms are ideally suited. See the infographic below on how to round out your event marketing strategy with strong social media activity.
About the author: Dave LJ is a financial expert who also studies and writes about social media’s use in business and marketing efforts. He is very excited to contribute to Webbiquity.
Guest post by Gary Dek.
Social media is an integral component of any successful digital marketing strategy. With 74 percent of adults using social networking sites, the opportunity to increase your site’s online exposure to new customers cannot be ignored.
While the ROI of social media marketing remains hotly debated, there is no doubt that it can be a great tool for optimizing your web presence—or total nightmare experience depending on the execution of your strategy. Here is a list of social media marketing mistakes to avoid, and ways to ensure your campaign’s success.
- Paying for fans and followers.
Having thousands of fans, followers, and likes leverages the power of validation and social proof, especially since visitors tend to take positive action when they see others have already shared the page.
However, social media sites have algorithms that track and analyze user engagement and interaction, including the number of people interested in an account’s updates as a percentage of total followers. When businesses have low engagement rates, platforms limit the reach of certain accounts because the numbers indicate low relevance and interest among followers. Therefore, fake followers only serve to hurt brands in the long run.
Instead of wasting money on paid fans, spend more time on creating your strategy and increasing your fan base organically. Considerations include:
- Having specific, measurable goals with timelines.
- Creating a system or set of policies for updates, such as the types of posts allowed and how employees should respond to feedback, criticism, or suggestions.
- Identifying the appropriate corporate persona and tone via social media.
- Using too many social networks.
Research shows that marketers generally focus on three social networks: LinkedIn (91%), Twitter (85%), and Facebook (81%). However, the three social networks you should focus on depend on your niche or industry.
Recent research shows that the largest social platforms of 2014 were:
- Facebook, 1.28 billion active users
- Google Plus, 540 million active users
- Twitter, 255 million active users
- Instagram, 200 million active users
- LinkedIn, 187 million active users
- Pinterest, 40 million active users
If your primary demographic is women and your site relies heavily on images and graphics, you should allocate resources to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you offer professional advice, services or products, LinkedIn and Twitter will yield the best results. The networks you dedicate time to should yield the highest ROI for your niche and target demographic; otherwise, your time, money, and resources would be better spent elsewhere.
- Failing to use (or optimize) hashtags.
Harness the power of hashtags by creating your own. If your own hashtag gets picked up, then you’ll have a viral thing going. It is critical that you create a hashtag that has a specific message, one that’s interesting, engaging and free of ambiguity.
Examples: #TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin (the toilet paper company) and #SFBatKid (remember Miles, the 5-year-old kid who had cancer and wanted to become a superhero for a day? He even caught the attention of President Obama!).
Brands should also be using trending hashtags. This can help spike your reach and inject your brand into trending conversations. So, how do you find trending hashtags that you can use effectively?
- Use tools such as Hashtagify.me to identify hashtags that are related to your business.
- Then use RiteTag.com to tell you when a hashtag is overused, and that you should choose another hashtag to piggyback off of. This way, your content won’t get lost in the sea of tweets and posts.
- Isolating social media marketing from other activities.
The focus on social media marketing is so high that some marketers forget the other assets of the business. In order for social media marketing to reach its full potential, it has to be tied in with a business’s website, blog, product pages, and other digital platforms—the essence of the web presence optimization (WPO) framework.
Setting up and growing a business blog is critical to your brand’s long-term success. After all, followers don’t want to click-through to product pages from Twitter, but are more than willing to check out interesting news, tips, advice, or guides.
For instance, if you manage a skincare product company, linking to a page selling acne medicine won’t get you many visits. On the other hand, blog posts titled “Top Skin Care Experts Reveal Secrets” or “How To Feel Confident In Your Own Skin” will get tons of engagement. The added benefit is that consumers will also develop positive associations with your brand.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers often make is pushing their brand too hard. Don’t be overly promotional and forget to share some value-added content. This means brands shouldn’t only broadcast their own posts, products, and company-specific information. Showing the consumer you care about their well-being, regardless of whether they buy your product, is critical to developing a loyal fan base.
- Not using visuals to drive engagement.
The power of visual content cannot be overstated. For example, on Twitter:
- Photos average 35% more Retweets
- Videos earn 28% more
- Famous quotes get 19% more
- Tweets with numbers achieve 17% more
- Hashtags receive 16% more
With a high volume strategy, the boost you can achieve with a visual aid is too good to past up.
- Including the full URL in the description.
When you paste a link in the status field, Facebook generates a clickable image/excerpt. The link you’ve pasted is thus redundant, should be removed and a catchy description should be incorporated. The bare link should never take the place of your description.
An expansion of this concept can be applied to Twitter—don’t use long, full URLs in your Tweets. Marketers should leverage URL shorteners (including Twitter’s own) to leave space for other users to respond or share. Also, URL shorteners such as Bit.ly or Google can help you track the number of click-backs.
- Sharing too much at once and overwhelming your followers’ feeds/streams.
Sharing posts one after another within a few minutes time is a good way to get people to unfollow you or overlook all your posts. Businesses should use scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to space out tweets and posts for optimal sharing times. For Facebook, marketers can visit “Insights” then “Posts” to see what times most fans are online.
On the other end of the spectrum, sharing infrequently or irregularly will make your followers forget you. Create a regular posting schedule so your readers know when to expect new content from you.
- Ignoring comments/tweets.
Whoever is responsible for your social media marketing strategy and message should be responsive to customers by replying to comments on Facebook, tweeting to customers on Twitter, thanking followers for Retweets, and proactively engaging with others, including influencers.
Similarly, brands must deal with negative messages as quickly as possible. If you ignore this aspect of your marketing efforts, you’re bound to lose credibility and followers. Sometimes turning a negative experience into a positive one by rectifying issues can earn a company life-long customers.
- Not measuring results.
To optimize results, businesses need to analyze their social media marketing efforts. Is your reach growing? Are you engaging more followers month after month, or are your engagement stats decreasing? Is your social message consistent with your mission statement and branding? If possible, can you calculate an ROI? What metrics are important to you?
Whether you’re getting positive or negative results, analyzing and understanding your performance is crucial to a successful marketing campaign. But remember, it’s not just about getting more followers, comments, likes, etc. You can be growing your account every month, but if your effort isn’t translating into sales revenue, lead generation, growing your email subscriber list or whatever your goal is, you are wasting your time.
While the idea of going viral and earning thousands of shares and likes is exciting, businesses should always keep in mind that social media is a tool within a broad, overall marketing strategy—every aspect of which must be laser focused and executed. By avoiding these social media marketing mistakes, marketers can prevent setbacks and further grow their online presence.
What mistakes have you avoided or committed and learned from?
Gary Dek is a professional blogger, writer and SEO expert. He helps new and experienced bloggers grow their online businesses at StartABlog123.com.
Imagine that you walk into a restaurant and there’s no one there to take your order. You can’t even find anyone working in the place. Or you are waited on and place your order, but have to repeat it to three different people, because the servers won’t talk to each other. Or you’re told shortly after placing your order that you’ll need to choose a different item, because the menu has changed in the last five minutes. Twice.
You’d probably rip the place on every review site you can think of and then never return to that establishment. Yet we tolerate exactly that type of behavior from leading search and social media sites every day, and even reward them with growing traffic and more of our precious time. Why?
One of the biggest complaints about Facebook is of course its constantly changing interface, and its convoluted privacy settings have also repeatedly come under fire (as have changes to its privacy settings). The constant changes are a problem for brands not only due to the expense of keeping up to date, but also because the newest (Timeline) layout has reduced tab engagement.But the most appalling shortcoming of the world’s most popular social network may be how un-social it is.
Granted, even with its never-ending UI changes, Facebook is easy enough to use even for technophobic grandmas. But imagine that you did have a question, or something wasn’t working quite right, and you wanted to contact Facebook for assistance. Try this: go to Facebook and see how long it takes you to find any way to contact the company: phone number, email address, even a fax number. I’ll wait. Let us know in the comments below how long it took.
Given these issues, it’s little wonder that Facebook has the lowest user satisfaction rating of all the major social media sites. And Facebook’s size may be no defense against ultimate demise; it wasn’t all that long ago the MySpace was the largest social network, and the experience of social news site Digg—once valued at $100 million but sold recently for just 5% of that—is a cautionary tale.
Google not only accounts for 85% of all web searches but controls an astounding 44% of the global online advertising market. It’s the 800-pound gorilla of the web, and acts like it with increasing frequency.
The search giant has annoyed everyday users with moves like dropping popular tools (Picnik, Knol, Gears) and presenting search challenges when it sees an “excessive” volume of searches from a single IP address (yes, this was designed to thwart automated rank-checking tools—though it isn’t clear why those are a problem—but can be triggered by a much lower volume of searches; my daughter has had these thrown up while doing research for high school English papers).
Google has thumbed its nose at businesses, advertisers and SEO professionals as well through a series of recent moves like hiding a significant share of keyword data in the “not provided” category within Google Analytics, eliminating the Website Optimizer tool in AdWords, and the recent Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, which were designed to eliminate webspam but caught a lot of innocent sites in their wake.
The leading micro-blogging tool isn’t as friendly to other web services as its cute little bluebird icon would make it appear. Last year it stopped sharing tweet data with Google (bad for the SEO results of Twitter users) and more recently the company eliminated the ability to automatically share tweets on LinkedIn. And after six years, the platform still doesn’t offer simple and obvious functions like the ability to download one’s followers and tweet history.
These web giants are assuming we’re so addicted to their services that we won’t quit or go elsewhere, no matter what they do, change, or eliminate. But the next Google killer or Facebook killer may very well not be a better search engine or social network, but simply one that treats its users with respect. And listens.