Posts Tagged ‘Wendy Marx’
As the use of social media in marketing has become ubiquitous, marketers have turned their attention to making the use of business social media more sophisticated and strategic. They are refining tactics, integrating social with other marketing channels, taking a hard look at new networks, and continuing to refine their measurements of success.
How can marketers help their organizations move from “social media marketing” to “social business”? Which emerging platforms are essential (or even worth investigating)? What role does social play in a brand’s overall online visibility? How does social media use differ in B2B vs. B2C companies? Between large and small businesses? Which content marketing tactics and formats are gaining or losing favor? How do marketers separate hype from reality in mobile?
Find the answers to these questions and many, many more in this compilation of more than 100 compelling social media, content marketing and SEO stats, facts and observations.
General Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics
1. 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. (An amazing statistic, given that nearly 20% of the adult U.S. population still lacks internet access). (Relevanza)
2. 20- to 30-year-olds (Gen Y), act like no other previous generations. 20-something business buyers are roughly twice as likely to seek information or advice from social media as the generation before them (31- to 40-year-olds) and almost four times more likely to than the baby boomers (51- to 60-year-olds). (MediaPost)
3. 68% of Google+ users are male, while 80% of Pinterest users are women. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
4. Looking at the importance of social media by business function, 80% of business executives said social is “important” or “somewhat important” in marketing and branding; 74% said the same for customer service; 70% for innovation and new product/service development; and 63% for employee recruiting. Less than half view social media as important for supplier/partner engagement. (e-Strategy Trends)
5. Social media isn’t quite as ubiquitous as it sometimes seems. 7% of the American population has never heard of Facebook, and 41% say they haven’t heard of LinkedIn. And these people can vote. Which explains a lot. (iMedia Connection)
6. 72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005. (MediaPost)
7. As many companies have learned the hard way, unanswered complaints on social networks can go viral, causing real damage to a company’s brand. But the opposite is also true: 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others. (Forbes)
8. 65% of respondents of global business executives say their organizations use social business tools to understand market shifts; 45% to improve visibility into operations; and 45% to identify internal talent. (Deloitte University Press)
9. There are, on average, 700 YouTube video links shared on Twitter every minute, and 500 years worth of YouTube videos watched on Facebook every day. (Social Media Today)
10. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site, and 43% of U.S. marketers have obtained at least one new customer through LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)
11. 70% of brands now have a presence on Google+, up from just 4% in the last quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)
12. 69% of brands now have a presence on Pinterest, up from 10% in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)
General Marketing Facts and Statistics
13. Webinars, virtual events and other digital communications channels are driving trade shows and other live events to extinction, right? Wrong. Nearly three-quarters of brand marketers still view live trade shows and conferences as either “very valuable” or “essential to doing business.” Just 9% say their importance is diminishing. (e-Strategy Trends)
14. 93% of online research starts with a search engine, and 68% of consumers check out companies on social networking sites before buying. Visibility is vital, so every brand needs a comprehensive strategy for optimizing their overall web presence. (Brandpoint)
15. To optimize not just online visibility but also trust with buyers, vendors need to focus on their industry presence. Just 9% of B2B decision makers consider vendor content trustworthy vs. 67% who trust research from professional associations, 50% from industry organizations, 44% from analyst reports, and 40% from independent product reviews. (B2B Marketing Insider)
16. The average CTR for banners is 0.01 percent. According to Get Elastic, 31 percent of consumers are worried that they will be tracked if they click them, and 55 percent fear a virus. And yet—there were 5.3 trillion display ads served up last year. (iMedia Connection)
17. Big contradictions on big data: 71% of marketers say they plan to have Big Data solutions in place in the next two years. But 75% of marketers can’t calculate their ROI of their marketing spending and and 50% of them say that IT is not a strategic partner. (ZDNet)
18. Another contradiction: while 86% of companies are comfortable marketing with social tools, only 41% use social tools for communicating with customers. (Forbes)
B2B Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts
19. Nearly half of B2B marketers planned to increase their overall marketing budgets this year despite continuing economic challenges. Two-thirds planned to increase digital marketing spending. (Social Media Today)
20. Another source found that almost half of B2B marketers (the same “almost half”?) anticipate an increased budget for 2014, while just 3% foresee spending reductions. (eMarketer)
21. Just 38% of b2b marketers say they have a defined social media strategy. (Marketing Pilgrim)
22. Twitter is the most popular platform in b2b, with 85% of marketers saying they use this. LinkedIn is a close second at 82%. (Marketing Pilgrim)
23. Nearly three-quarters of b2b marketers say they can’t measure the ROI of social media at, or can measure it only some of the time. The primary measurement of social media success is increased website traffic. (Marketing Pilgrim)
24. Is social media displacing PR? In a recent survey of B2B PR professionals, 94% said they use social media to promote announcements vs. 71% who use press releases. 45% said they would use social media if they could use just one promotional vehicle vs. 24% who said they would issue a press release. (B2B PR Sense Blog)
25. 60% of B2B marketers identify lead generation as their top online marketing challenge. And more than a third (36%) say they can’t accurately attribute online conversions to the correct marketing channels. (eMarketer)
26. Which lead gen tactics work best? B2B marketers put email marketing at the top (with 51% saying this is a highly effective tactic) followed by SEO and content marketing (38% each), offline events like trade shows (31%) and paid search/online ads (29%). Just 11% say social media is highly effective for lead gen, and 1% identify mobile marketing. (eMarketer)
27. In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%). (eMarketer)
28. Opportunity being squandered: B2B buyers under 35 years old (a growing group) are 131% more likely to make corporate purchases online than their older counterparts. 90% of B2B buyers age 18-35 now make company purchases online, compared with 45% of those age 45-60 and 29% of those age 60+. Yet nearly half have purchased from Amazon Supply in the past year because their current suppliers aren’t offering an online purchase channel. (BizReport)
29. Another opportunity being squandered: More than 90% of B2B marketers consider webinars/webcasts, e-books, white papers, and published articles to be either “very” or “somewhat” effective in achieving SEO and marketing objectives. Yet less half utilize webcasts and just 20% create e-books. (MarketingSherpa)
30. While B2B B2B buyers age 60+ conduct online research before purchasing less than 10% of the time, younger buyers (age 26-45) do research before purchasing 50% of the time or more. Another reason it’s vital to have a framework for maximizing a brand’s online visibility. (BizReport)
31. More than 80% of B2B decision makers say they visit vendor-independent communities or forums, vendor-sponsored communities or forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes. (Marketing Charts)
32. 32% of B2B decision makers use Pinterest at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business reasons. (Marketing Charts)
33. 87% of B2B companies view social media (other than blogs) as a highly successful element of their marketing mix. 83% say the same for articles on websites, 78% eNewsletters, and 77% blogs. (MyCustomer.com)
34. The top four metrics used to measure B2B social media success are web traffic (60%), sales lead quality (51%), social sharing (45%) and sales lead quantity (43%). (MyCustomer.com)
35. Almost 60% of all social media-referred traffic to B2B websites comes from just three networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (It’s All About Revenue)
36. In 2012, less than a third of B2B marketers said their social media activities were either “fully integrated” or “very involved” with company-wide operations. Today that figure is close to half. (eMarketer)
37. The top marketing tactics used by B2B marketers this year were social networks (84%), email marketing (72%), SEO (56%) and press releases (51%). The least popular tactics, each used by less a quarter of marketers, were online ads, seminars and ebooks. (eMarketer)
Statistics About Social Media Use in the Enterprise
38. 77 of the Fortune Global 100 companies have at least one official corporate Twitter account. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
39. 48% of the Fortune Global 100 are on Google+. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
40. More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have active Google+ accounts. However, 19% of the companies with Google+ corporate accounts have not yet activated them. Google+ remains the only major social platform with a significant number of open—but inactive—accounts. (MediaPost)
41. 70% of the Fortune 500 companies have Facebook pages, including nine of the top 10 companies. (MediaPost)
42. The top five social networks used by B2B marketers to distribute content are LinkedIn (83%), Twitter (80%), Facebook (80%), YouTube (61%) and Google+ (39%). (Social Media Today)
43. Another study pegs the top three social networks in use buy Fortune 500 companies are Twitter (77%), Facebook (70%) and YouTube (69%). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
44. The leaders of these companies lag in their own social media use, however. Of the 500 leaders of the biggest companies in the US, only 28 have a Twitter account, and only 19 of them actually use it. (Quartz)
45. 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever. Among the rest, 26% are on LinkedIn, but less than 10% are on Facebook and just 1% – five CEOs – are on Google+. (Quartz)
46. And yet, 90% of global business executives say that social media is important today or will be within a year. (Deloitte University Press)
47. Maybe they just aren’t doing it right? When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below. Only 31% gave a rating of 4 to 6. Just 17% ranked their company at 7 or above. (Deloitte University Press)
48. By department, the largest users of social media in enterprises are marketing (with 78% using social media to a moderate to great extent), IT (64%), sales (63%), and customer service (62%). The functions using social media least are operations (46%), supply chain operations (36%), risk management (35%) and finance (28%). (Deloitte University Press)
49. More than 40% of enterprises measure the success of their externally facing social media initiatives based on social reach (e.g., number of fans/followers) or brand reputation enhancement. Just 14% measure it based on sales. 19% don’t measure it at all. (Deloitte University Press)
50. Among the Interbrands Top 100 brands (B2C), nearly all have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. 76% are also on Google+, 74% are on Pinterest, almost a third (31) are on Tumblr. (MediaPost)
51. Why Tumblr? Because “posts tend to have a longer shelf life on Tumblr than Facebook and Twitter through ‘reblogs,’ or reposts of updates. Almost a third of reblogs (29%) took place more than 30 days after the initial post.” (MediaPost)
52. Does that mean B2B marketers should jump on Tumblr to promote their thought leadership content as well? Not necessarily; MTV claimed the second-highest number of reblogs in a recent period. Sprite claimed the most reblogs over that timeframe, with more than 85,000 for a single post with an animated GIF of a game of spin the bottle. (MediaPost)
Small Business Social Media Statistics and Facts
53. 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media. (Relevanza)
54. This despite the fact that 80% of SMB websites don’t display links to the company’s social networks. (iMedia Connection)
55. The top three challenges faced by SMB B2B marketers are lead quantity (69%), lead quality (60%), increasing brand awareness (56%) and reaching decision makers (52%). It seems like those figures haven’t budged much in 20 years. (MarketingProfs)
56. The three tactics viewed as most effective for generating SMB B2B sales leads are company websites, email newsletters, and tradeshows. LinkedIn and Facebook were also cited as effective by more than half of marketers, coming in just ahead of direct mail. (MarketingProfs)
57. At the other end of the scale, Pinterest, outdoor media and virtual events were cited as the lead effective tactics for SMB B2B lead generation. (MarketingProfs)
58. SMB marketers identify the top three benefits of social media marketing as increased exposure (89%), increased website traffic (75%), and access to marketplace insights (69%). However, less than half said that it either reduced marketing expenses or increased sales. (eMarketer)
59. Small business marketers are most likely to outsource TV/radio advertising (40%) and SEO (35%); they are least likely to outsource email newsletter and social media marketing management (less than 5% each). (Constant Contact)
60. However, those decisions are often budget-driven. Half or more of SMB marketers would prefer to outsource both TV/radio ads and SEO, and nearly 20% would outsource social media marketing if they could. (Constant Contact)
Content Marketing Facts and Stats
61. The content marketing challenges faced by enterprises and small businesses must be very different, right? Well…yes and no. Marketers in companies large and small rank are challenged by producing engaging content, producing enough content, producing a variety of content, and measuring content marketing effectiveness in broadly similar proportions. But surprisingly, they part ways on the challenge of lack of executive buy-in (38% of enterprise marketers vs. 25% of SMB marketers say they are challenged by this), lack of budget (48% enterprise, 38% SMB) and most dramatically, lack of integration across marketing channels (58% enterprise, 23% SMB). (Content Marketing Institute)
62. 92% of marketers believe that content creation is either “very” or “somewhat” effective for SEO. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
63. More than half of B2B and business-to-government (B2G) marketers focus on white papers and case studies as key components of their content marketing, compared to less than 10% of B2C marketers. However, those on the consumer side focus much more on customer reviews (44% vs. 27% for B2B). (MarketingSherpa)
64. Different types of content address different levels of the purchase funnel. At the top of the funnel, blog posts, news articles, press releases and social media content drive awareness. In the consideration stage, “category level” web page content, “long tail” blogs and news articles, newsletters, FAQs and white papers are most effective. (Brandpoint)
65. On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion. (B2B Marketing Insider)
66. 87% of buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection; but 43% say “blatantly self-promotional” content is a major turn off. (B2B Marketing Insider)
67. 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. (MyCustomer.com)
68. 77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix, and 70% use online video. (Social Media Today)
Business Blogging Statistics and Facts
69. Blogs convert readers into buyers. 42% of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57% of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
70. Despite that, just 34% of Fortune 500 enterprises maintain corporate blogs – up from 28% in 2012. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
71. Within the Fortune 500, telecommunications (53%) and specialty retailers (48%) are most likely to have blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
72. 77% of B2B firms maintain blogs. (MyCustomer.com)
73. Or do they? Another source puts the share of B2B marketers using blogs at 39% in 2013, down from 48% in 2012. Hmm, confusing. (eMarketer)
SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts
74. 50% of searchers on Bing click the first organic result. Only about 6% click the third result, 3% on the fourth result, and 1% on results near the bottom of page one. (Search Engine Land)
75. However—a lower position isn’t always bad. If the searcher clicks the “back” button because the top result didn’t meet expectations, then he or she is 5-8 times more likely to click on a lower result than on the initial search. That is, the CTR for a result near the bottom of page one can be as high as 8% after a “back” button click. (Search Engine Land)
76. 50% of marketers cite web pages as “very effective” for SEO. Really, only 50%? (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
77. Another study puts the figure above at 95%; that sounds more like it. (MarketingSherpa)
78. 50% of consumers say they are more like to click on a search result if the brand appears multiple times on the results page. This is why web presence optimization is vital! (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
79. Marketers produce a wide variety of content to support SEO, with web pages (79%), social media (74%) and blogs (68%) topping the list. The least-used tactics? Mobile apps (14%), digital magazines (11%) and podcasts (8%). (MarketingSherpa)
80. Search AND social rule. Among marketers who rate their companies’ SEO strategies as “highly effective” in achieving marketing objectives, 38% have extensive integration between their social media and SEO tactics, and only5% have no such integration. Among those who call their SEO “not successful,” just 2% have extensive search and social integration, while 50% have no connection between these activities. (Marketing Charts)
81. Again comparing “superior” to “inferior” SEO strategists, those in the superior group are 67% more likely to say that creating original content is their most effective SEO tactic, and three-and-a-half times more likely to cite changing search engine algorithms as a critical obstacle to achieving their objectives, while being far less likely (6% vs. 58%) to point to the lack of a clear and concise strategy as a main challenge. (Marketing Charts)
82. Organic or paid? No, both! Paid search supports organic SEO efforts: paid-search ads alongside organic listings in position two through five receive two out of every three clicks from the search engine results page (SERP). When organic results are well below the fold in positions six through 10, paid search is responsible for nine out of 10 clicks to the Web site. (MediaPost)
83. Even when organic results fall in the first position, consumers still click on the paid-search ad. When a paid listing appears on a SERP with the top organic listing for the same keyword, the organic result gets 60% of the clicks on average and the paid link 40% of clicks. (MediaPost)
84. Just 23% of marketers generate more than half of all leads through organic search. 22% of companies generate between a quarter and half of all leads via search, and 24% obtain less than one out of every 10 leads via SEO. (MarketingSherpa)
Mobile Marketing Statistics
85. 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (iMedia Connection)
86. Still, mobile video is the fastest growth area in marketing. (iMedia Connection)
87. And 35% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing this year. (Social Media Today)
88. Facebook will account for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013. (Social Media Today)
Facebook Statistics and Facts
89. 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B vendors have acquired customers from Facebook. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
90. 81% of B2B decision makers say they visit Facebook at least monthly–but only 2% do so primarily for business purposes, as opposed to 42% who do so primarily for personal purposes. (Marketing Charts)
91. 20% of all internet page views come from Facebook. (iMedia Connection)
92. 95% of all social media-referred traffic to B2C websites is generated from just five social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. 74% comes from Facebook alone. (It’s All About Revenue)
93. On Facebook, brevity matters. Keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than you might otherwise see. You can get up to 66% more engagement if you cut it down to less than 80 characters. (Buffer)
Twitter Statistics and Facts
94. 34% of marketers say they have generated leads from Twitter. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
95. To maximize click-throughs from your tweets, keep them to 100 characters or less and tweet in the afternoon (between 1:00 and 4:00 EST). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
97. 18% of U.S. adult internet users are now on Twitter, double the percentage from 2010. (MediaPost)
98. Using Twitter for social media? Great idea, but you’d better be listening. 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints aimed at brands. (Forbes)
99. There are 400 million tweets sent each day. (Social Media Today)
(And incidentally, the only organizations that have indexed all tweets back to the beginning of the service are Twitter itself, the Library of Congress, and Topsy. And presumably the NSA.)
100. 50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter. (Social Media Today)
101. While posting the same headline and link, over and over, is obnoxious, strategically repeating a tweet several hours apart–when different groups of your followers are likely online–can substantially increase click-throughs, without being annoying. (Buffer)
102. For tweets with links, 120-130 characters is the ideal range to maximize retweets. (Buffer)
103. Use hashtags—but sparingly. Tweets with one or two hashtags get 21% higher engagement on average, but those with three or more actually get 17% less engagement. (Buffer)
Each year, the #Nifty50 awards honor 50 men and 50 women who actively engage on Twitter. 2011 was the inaugural year. In 2012, the #Nifty50 recognized the top men and women on Twitter in the technology realm.
The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contributions of honorees to their fields, as well as their level of engagement on Twitter; to encourage interaction with these leaders; and to expand social networks. When the timing is right, the #Nifty50 will be expanded to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project, which will provide access to advanced technologies for low-income children.
This year’s #Nifty50 highlights men and women who write—more specifically, who regularly produce some form of business-related online content (blog posts, news articles, videos, infographics, etc.)—and who actively engage on Twitter. The honorees include both full-time (e.g., journalists, authors, or PR professionals) and part-time writers (e.g., bloggers).
Since the first awards, the #Nifty50 hashtag has been tweeted and retweeted nearly 7,000 times, with a total exposure of more than 50 million people, according to Topsy. The #Nifty50 was also featured in the new book by Mark (@mnburgess) and Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess), The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a social culture.
For 2013, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in a post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are both outstanding writers and content producers and active social media connectors and engagers. Beyond their professional lives, the interests of these women range from the fairly conventional (travel, food, wine, health, fashion, family) to the unexpected (Star Wars, Milk Duds, beer, Swedish fish).
We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 48 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women writers on Twitter for 2013. You can find and subscribe to or follow the entire list on Twitter here.
(Editor’s note: Though I’d be proud to claim her as a member of my extended clan, I’m fairly certain that Marissa Pick and I have no familial relationship.)
Meghan M. Biro
Anne Deeter Gallaher
Esta H. Singer
Again, you can find and follow the entire 2013 #Nifty50 Twitter women’s list here.
The use of social media and social networks for marketing has rapidly advanced in the past few years from the “should I do it?” stage to the “how do I do it?” level to the current “how do I measure and optimize social media marketing efforts?” phase.
You’ve seen the statistics on social media marketing: 93% of marketers use social media for business. 90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool.
Yet most marketers still struggle with how to measure ROI from social media efforts, and with questions like: how we budget for social media programs? What are the best strategies for promoting social content (and which bad ideas should be avoided)? Which social media marketing tools are most useful? And how do we ultimately attract new customers through social media?
Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than 20 of the best social media marketing guides, strategies, tips and tactics of 2013 thus far.
Social Media Marketing Guides, Strategies and Tactics
15 Strategies To Get More Shares For Your Content by Marketing Land
We’ve all had the experience: you produce a fantastic, thoroughly researched, though-provoking piece of content and…instead of sharing your wonderful piece, your network is busily sharing something just not as good. Argh! Why? Noting that “The secret of getting your content shared by more people isn’t always producing better stuff – sometimes it’s making better connections or just thinking a little differently,” Courtney Seiter shares 15 strategies for getting making your great content “go that extra mile,” such as forming alliances, joining communities and rewarding sharers.
Social Media Priorities – Where Should You Focus? by Social-Hire
Where should you focus your social media time and efforts? While acknowledging that the “audience you want to reach and your own professional goals will influence where your social media priorities for the coming year should lie,” Tony Restell nevertheless offers some concrete recommendations, like spending time on Google+ communities because of “the overlap between Google+ and Google search results.”
Jasmine Sandler suggests marketers take six key considerations into account when budgeting for 2013 (or 2014) social media marketing plans, among them social media content development (“Content takes professionalism in design, writing skills, video production, photography, webcast production, audio development, and more”) and social media management (“Social media management takes listening, research, staying on top of trends and influencers, and ongoing creative thinking. Social media management, even for SMB organizations, takes a full-time salary worth of work. Don’t skimp on this and expect a junior person to take it on and run it”).
The Truth About Social Media by Forbes
Writing that social media is “not about how many tasks you can tick off your to do list but about nurturing your following and making sure they feel valued…about creating community, relationships and loyalty”), Suw Charman-Anderson offers eight thought-provoking if sometimes painful observations, such as “being a writer doesn’t make you special” and “accept that you can’t be everywhere.”
Ellie Mirman advises marketers to ignore these 30 examples of social media “wisdom” that really isn’t, like “social media is the new SEO” (no, it’s a supplementary activity—and a valuable one—but not a replacement), “an intern can manage it all for you” (hmm, sounds like another post on social media marketing myths), and that you should “use a tool that autopublishes your posts to all social networks at once … to save time” (ach, no!).
How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media at Events by MyBeak Social Media
Guest blogger James Barnett offers helpful tips for using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging to run PR campaigns at live events, for example, on Twitter: “Use hash tags (#) to stay on topic with trends and create a buzzword around your brand. Re-tweet positive PR and update followers daily during the event. Request a re-tweet and support other exhibitors if they are willing to do the same.”
Writing that, “Successful people believe they are adding value to your day, on and off social media,” TJ McCue details how social media pros use the tools effectively. Among their practices: they are genuine; they focus on quality over quantity; and they “believe in their network and leverage it.” They do not, however, send auto-DMs to all new followers or tweet what they had for lunch.
7 steps to rank your video higher on YouTube by iMedia Connection
Jon Whiting lists seven tips for improving video rank on YouTube. Beyond the obvious (keywords, title, description), he notes that “appearing higher than all the other videos targeted at the same keywords will depend on user engagement. This includes metrics like total number of views, likes, time spent watching, how many shares it gets etc. Try to encourage as many people as possible to view and like your video.” While this post isn’t an exhaustive guide to YouTube SEO, it’s a great start.
Social Media and the Sales Cycle by Marketing Wisdom for the 21st Century
Can social media help shorten b2b sales cycles? Perhaps, but here the insightful and engaging Margie Clayman skewers some of the arguments made on behalf of that premise. Prime example: “the argument that sending a message via LinkedIn thanking people for a meeting also seems to be a straw man argument. You don’t need to use LinkedIn to contact people you met with if you don’t want to. Email can work. Even better, send hand-written thank-you cards. That will really blow them away. It’s not a bad thing to use LinkedIn for post-meeting messages, but it’s not a convincing argument when debating whether social media can shorten the sales cycle.”
Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media by SocialSteve’s Blog
Steve Goldner lays out a practical action plan for moving “potential customers from interest to promoter step by step,” starting with gaining their attention (e.g., by determining and using they keywords your potential buyers use) and ending with nurturing advocates (when advocates “genuinely like you or your brand and what you deliver…you are now extending to the reach beyond your audience – to your audience’s audience”).
Expert’s Corner: How Manufacturers Are Harnessing Social Media by ThomasNet News
Mike Keating reports on how manufacturers are successfully using social media to increase awareness and sales, including blogs, YouTube, SlideShare, Quora, and most importantly, LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is the preferred social networking venue for B2B and B2G. You can reach out and connect with your clients (government or industry), define and demonstrate an area of expertise, develop a thought leadership position, and tie all your social networking back to your company website. Companies (including manufacturers) with an active social networking presence are growing much faster than those without one.”
Jim Dougherty highlights an infographic which illustrates that which is the “best” social network for your marketing efforts depends upon several factors such as your goals (Google+ and YouTube are great for SEO, Facebook and Twitter for driving traffic, LinkedIn and Pinterest for brand exposure), target audience demographics, and the skills at your disposal.
31 Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips Based On Research by Heidi Cohen
The prolific and insightful Heidi Cohen here culls more than 30 tips from Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, among them guest blogging, providing perks to brand advocates on social media, and answering “customer questions…Make a list of your customers’ top questions and respond to each one.”
Reporting that “while B2B social media spending increased 9.6% last year, the majority of B2B companies failed to integrate social media into their business practices,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers guidance for how B2B vendors can improve the productivity of their online social activities, such as by carefully structuring a social media team, training employees, and establishing accountability.
Social Media Strategy: The Answer to the Top 5 Social Media Marketer Questions by Maximize Social Business
Neal Schaffer answers five common questions about social media marketing, including questions about the best social media management tools (see below), how to measure the ROI of social media marketing (see further below) and how to create a social media marketing strategy.
Writing that “People have an attention span of eight seconds, so it’s incumbent upon writers to make their content as accessible as possible,” Jim Dougherty (again) here presents an infographic that “offers some very pragmatic and practical tips” such as including images on Facebook posts, mentioning influencers in tweets to drive engagement, and tagging brands and people with the @ sign on Google+.
Social Media Tools and Reviews
50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management by Pamorama
***** 5 STARS
Frequent best-of honoree Pam Dyer provides brief reviews of a wide range of free and fee-based social media tools, from Buffer (“An app that manages multiple Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, with the ability to set a tweeting or updating schedule unique to each. Includes detailed analytics for all your posts”) to UberVU (“Keeps track of all the major social media platforms in real time and delivers opportunities for audience engagement”).
SlideShare Is The Biggest Opportunity In B2B Content Marketing by B2B Marketing Insider
Writing that “With more than 50 Million visitors per month and more than 100 million pageviews, SlideShare is one of the top websites in the world and should be a key focus of any B2B content marketing program. According to Comscore, SlideShare is used by business owners and business executives at a rate 5 times any other social network,” Michael Brenner explains how to create an effective SlideShare deck and links to some noteworthy examples.
Ian Anderson Gray reviews 10 vital social tools for managing and monitoring social media, including Feedly (one of the most popular alternatives to the now-defunct Google Reader), ManageFlitter (Twitter management), and Commun.it, which Ian calls a “social media relationship management tool.”
How To Calculate Social Media ROI
Social Media ROI: 14 Formulas to Measure Social Media Benefits by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS
In what is possibly the best post ever about how to calculate the ROI of social media activities, Angie Schottmuller provides not just one or two but more than a dozen different formulas for tracking different types of return on investment, broken down into categories such as advertising value, content value, support value, and lead and sales value.
Social Media ROI: It’s Possible With These 7 Metrics by Kruse Control
Reporting that a MarketingChart study “reveals there’s a mismatch between marketing budget and effectiveness in key areas. Two are mass media and customer support, which are being overspent on versus their return on investment. Alternatively, email and social are being underspent on while they have a more effective ROI,” Kathi Kruse outlines a simple set of metrics for evaluating social media effectiveness, from “Engagement: number of likes, comments and shares” to value of sales closed.
Despite the occasional “death of blogging” pronouncements (often made, ironically, in blog posts), blogs remain the core of a robust social media strategy. The proliferation of themes, tools and plugins have transformed blogs from mere online text collections to powerful interactive, rich-media sites that can attract, engage and educate your potential buyers.
Particularly with Google’s emphasis in its recent Panda and Penguin algorithm updates on content that is fresh, compelling, unique, social, and naturally linked to, blogs have become even more essential to SEO strategies.
For those who still aren’t convinced of the value of business blogging (as well as those who need to convince others), the “why blog” posts below provide compelling evidence. Those getting started or already active in blogging will discover how to:
- • grow blog traffic,
- • make content more valuable to readers,
- • increase blogging productivity,
- • generate more comments and social shares,
- • find royalty-free images,
- • promote your blog, and
more here in 30 of the best business blogging guides and resources of the past year.
Why You Want To Be the Last Blog Standing by Outspoken Media
Reporting that “the number of Inc. 500 companies maintaining corporate blogs has dropped for the first time since 2007. Did you hear that? IT DROPPED! According to Dartmouth’s research, just 37 percent of companies interviewed said they had a corporate blog, down from 50 percent in 2010,” frequent best-of honoree Lisa Barone advises readers to “let your blog be the last blog standing because while sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be effective and sexy all in their own right, they don’t hold a candle to the sexiness and superpowers possessed by your blog,” and backs it up with 10 reasons and tactics to beat your competition through blogging.
Kristina Weis provides a baker’s dozen reasons for creating a corporate blog, from demonstrating your expertise (“If [prospective customers] can easily find some articles written by you and/or your staff that show your company’s expertise, they’re going to feel a lot more confident about spending their time or money [or both] with you”) and increasing website traffic to helping with customer support and generating new product ideas.
Past, Present and Future of Blogging: 3 Infographics by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas shares a wealth of fascinating blogging facts and stats here, such as that 27 of the top 100 blogs are built on WordPress, with 16 on TypePad. 43% of U.S. companies now maintain blogs. And more than half of all social media-driven blog traffic comes from Facebook (28%) and Twitter (26%) combined.
7 Tips for Blogging – Maybe Your Most Important Social Media Activity for Business by SocialSteve’s Blog
Contending that “Everyone always jumps onto Facebook and Twitter as one of their first social media activities. I recommend you think about blogging first. No other endeavor can be better to promote you or your brand as a subject matter expert,” Steve Goldner offers seven tips for blogging success, such as utilizing your passion, speaking (writing) naturally, and posting on a consistent basis.
Dozens of reasons why corporate blogs still matter in B2B marketing by Content Marketing Experience
J-P De Clerck makes a comprehensive case for corporate blogging—as long as it isn’t done the “wrong” way: “It’s traditional PR in a new package: corporate blogs as a way to shout how great they are.” Done right, blogs serve as the hub of a company’s social media strategy, a magnet for search traffic, and an opportunity to speak to prospective customers on a more informal, human level. He points out that 57% of companies with blogs have acquired at least one customer through blogging; that blogs make it easy to share multiple types of information; and that they make it easy (and even inviting) for customers and prospects to provide feedback.
Blogging Tips and Guides
Frequent best-of author Heidi Cohen offers nearly three dozen ideas “to help you efficiently leverage resources in seven of the areas where many bloggers typically need support,” such as content block (one idea: “Answer customer questions…Collect the questions prospects and customers ask from sales and customer service; then answer them”), lack of creative resources, and disappointing blog traffic.
20 Ways to Improve Your Blog by TribalCafe
Reporting that “28% of brands that (didn’t previously) publish a blog (planned) to do so in 2012—bringing the percentage of brands that publish a blog to 85%,” Gary Fox lists 20 ways to attract more readers and generate better business results from blogging, among them using strong visuals, varying blog topics, and making your content SEO-friendly (“focus on a keyword [phrase] for each blog post and try to not venture too far” from it).
5 Tips to Becoming a Top Blog in Your Industry by Social Media Examiner
Michael Stelzner shares a handful of techniques he used to make Social Media Examiner a big success, such as surveying the interests of your audience (“When you know precisely what content your readers crave, it’s much easier to create posts that are widely read and shared on social channels”) and spinning a single hot topic into multiple posts from different perspectives (e.g., a beginner’s guide, biggest myths or misconceptions, case studies, etc.).
Five Tips to Make Company Blogs Worth Reading by Marketing Profs
Muhammad Yasin offers a handful of helpful recommendations for making your company blog a success, including focusing on expert tips: “If you are not an expert yourself in a particular field, find experts and learn from them. See what they are writing about, absorb their knowledge, and share their tips. Better yet, invite those experts to share their knowledge on your blog as guest bloggers. Allowing independent experts to write for your blog can provide a much needed fresh perspective and may result in their recommending your products or services.”
Fixing The Social Media Plateau by Soulati Media
The delightful Jayme Soulati identifies 10 signs that “may be an indication it’s time to step up your game, take it to the next level, and grow or remain complacent” in terms of your social media practices, such as “Learning new things becomes more rare; another 20 ways to use Pinterest blog post isn’t providing new insight over what you know now,” and tips to get un-stuck (e.g., “Reduce the time spent on the channels that don’t return much to you. That way, you’re not spread as thin”).
10 Valuable Ideas to Help You Find Time to Blog by MyBeak Social Media
Writing that “Creating content and finding the time to do it are the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs and small business owners face when marketing their business,” Laura-Lee Walker presents helpful ideas for generating more content in less time, among them inviting guest bloggers, repurposing existing material, and using mobile phone apps like Dragon Dictator: “You don’t have time to write down all your ideas or blog posts…simply use an application…that will translate your voice to text. (They are) not perfect but will give you a head start and reduce the time you spend on typing your blog articles.”
21 Business Blogging Tips From the Pros by Social Media Examiner
The impeccably discerning Cindy King curates an outstanding collection of blogging tips from pros like Leo Widrich (“A product is only useful if you know others want it. Validate an idea for a blog post in the same way”), Heidi Cohen (“Understand prospects, customers and the public are on your blog to get answers to their questions and accomplish their goals, not yours”), and Stephanie Sammons (“Work to develop a blogging style that is unique to you. What’s your angle? What’s your view? How can you differentiate yourself from others who are blogging in your niche?”).
Guest Blogging: Seven Tips for Success by Spin Sucks
PR expert and author Gini Dietrich offers several excellent tips for expanding your reach by publishing guest posts on other influential blogs. My favorite tip is her first, on how to gauge authority (and corresponding effort) of a blog: “Go to Open Site Explorer and type in the URL for the blog for which you’d like to submit content. I’ll do it for Wood Street…You’ll see the site authority is 48/100. If the authority is 40-70, it’s worth pursuing. If it’s higher than 70, you’ll have a tougher time getting your content on the site, so you’ll need to be extremely patient, but persistent. If it’s between 90 and 100, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get something placed there without the help of a communications professional.”
Noting that “the majority of blogs starting every year end up failing,” Wendy Marx offers 16 tips in this infographic to beating the odds, such as “Be consistent: Whether you keep an editorial calendar or not, it’s important to continue to publish content on your blog because that consistency brings in more traffic” (amen!) and (perhaps most importantly), “Have fun with it: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with the process and enjoy every minute as your grow your audience and build your business.”
Guest post: 7 powerful headline techniques to skyrocket your blog traffic by Creative Ramblings
Reminding us all that “in the online world, your headline is the single most important part of your content…instead of reading every blog post, people scan for information. They look for headlines that capture their interest, and only click on the ones they feel are worthy of their time,” Lillian Leon details seven techniques for crafting headlines that grab attention, including “Fear: Identify the one thing your readers fear the most, and you’ll have yourself a headline that’s pretty much impossible to ignore.”
10 Additional Ideas to Generate Comments and Shares by Spin Sucks
Following up on an earlier post on the same topic, Gini Dietrich (again) offers 10 more ideas to increase engagement on your blog, from writing book reviews and rants to covering the latest trends and answering questions commonly heard by your sales force or customer service reps.
Content Development and Writing Tips
26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts by Social Media Examiner
In her own unique and highly creative style, Debbie Hemley presents “26 tips, from A-Z, to help you create optimal blog posts every time you sit down to write,” beginning with A for Anatomically Correct: every blog post should contain the “six parts of the anatomy of a lead-generating blog post” such as an eye-catching title, calls to action, and social sharing buttons.
Peg Fitzpatrick passes along content curation tips from Guy Kawasaki in this post showcasing the top dozen places to find shareworthy content, starting with your own network and including both popular sharing sites (like StumbleUpon and AllTop) and less obvious choices (e.g., Futurity, TED and NPR).
How to find photos you can legally use anywhere by CBS MoneyWatch
Observing that “No matter what you publish — a blog, updates to the company website, project reports, or even the venerable tri-fold — you no doubt need artwork to complement it,” but just haphazardly reusing artwork found online can lead to legal troubles, Dave Johnson recommends two easy methods for finding photos that are usable under the Creative Commons license.
29 Free Blog Images Sources: Where to Get Royalty Free Photos by Directory Journal
***** 5 STARS
In case Dave’s recommendations above don’t quite meet your needs, Gail Gardner provides a massive list of sites where you can find free or reasonably priced images, as well as resources for comparing prices across different image sites, selling your photos, identifying trademarked images, adding images to blog posts, and more.
5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Lee Odden writes that “If I were only to give 5 content marketing tips to a company that wanted to get the most for and from its customers through blogging, here are the tips I’d give.” Among his top five tips? Focus on the problems your audience faces—but don’t forget to tell them how you can solve those problems. Create an editorial plan. And measure results to support continual improvement.
How to Differentiate Your Content by Geoff Livingston’s Blog
Geoff Livingston lays out four steps to becoming an “A-list” blogger in your niche subject area. Given Geoff’s success, I won’t argue with his methodology—though it’s not for everyone. But if you’ve got the time, intestinal fortitude and financial backing or wherewithal to pursue his program, go for it.
The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content by KISSmetrics
Contending that “In order to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic and/or leads, you need to have great content on your blog or website,” Zach Bulygo shares nine tips for producing stand-out content (such as making your content actionable: “The best content gives the user a sense of how to apply the information…Many times, just writing well about a topic will spark some ideas for readers,”) then follows up with half a dozen examples of sites that consistently provide remarkable content.
Blog Promotion Tips and Tactics
6 Tips For Building a High Quality Blog Following by Fearless Competitor
Shane Snow channels Jeff Ogden and Brian Clark in this post, providing “six tips to attracting readers who stick around longer than the click of a StumbleUpon button,” such as speaking to a specific audience, guest blogging and publishing guest bloggers, and encouraging loyalty through consistency: “taking an editorial stand for what you believe in, rather than watering things down to avoid offending anyone. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to try to be controversial. In this day and age, simply taking a position and standing behind it will bring people who agree, and people who don’t.”
Want Your Blog Noticed? (Hint: It’s Not Just Content!) by Heidi Cohen
Heidi Cohen (again) supplies 23 tips for growing awareness of your blog, such as integrating your blog’s brand into related content and activities (“As a media entity, your blog deserves its own brand. If it’s a corporate brand, it should be adapted for the blog”), referencing and linking to sources, and guest blogging.
Want to Increase Blog Traffic? Some Fab Tips for Success by Positively Peggy
The ebullient Peg Fitzpatrick (again) serves up five tips for growing blog traffic, such as sharing your content at optimal times: “Buffer App helps you not only share at the optimal times based on your followers being online but also evenly distributes your amazing content throughout the day so you don’t annoy your followers with a huge spurt of brilliance and then lose them with silence later.”
How Bloggers Can Grow Each Others Readership by The @Steveology Blog
Steve Farnsworth recommends Triberr as a tool for increasing the reach of your blog posts, and explains in detail how Triberr works and how to get the most out of it (e.g., by starting your own tribe, joining other tribes, and “dating around”). While the tool is a great concept and has potential, its ongoing technical issues are frustrating.
How to Effectively Promote Your Blog Posts by MyBeak Social Media
***** 5 STARS
Beyond the big social networks and Triberr, Laura-Lee Walker (again) presents an infographic illustrating 30 ways to promote your blog content using social media, social bookmarking sites (does anyone still use Digg?), your contacts, other blogs, and 10 top syndication sites.
5 ways to promote your blog by commenting on others by Creative Ramblings
Cendrine Marrouat explains why commenting on blogs is beneficial (chief among the rewards: “You get to connect and build relationships with other bloggers”) and how to do it well (e.g., add value to the conversation, share relevant links, and comment regularly on the same blogs).
30 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts by Listly
***** 5 STARS
Ted Rubin shares a bookmark-worthy list of tactics for sharing and promoting blog posts, including Facebook (“Add it on your personal & business pages, groups and through ads”), Pinterest (“Create a board specifically for all your blog posts and pin each post to it”) and through AllTop.com (“syndicates content in every category, from autos and food to business and sports”).
Public relations (PR) or media relations has long been treated as its own world, separate from marketing. It was viewed as being about name recognition and industry credibility, not something as mundane as lead generation.
But as the world has shifted from marketing brochures and printed trade publications to everything online, the connections between PR and marketing have become more apparent; that white paper may be a lead generation asset, but it can also be used to pitch a bylined article. An online ad may be marketing, but the credibility built through PR makes prospective buyers more likely to click on it. A news release may be designed to get media coverage, but it can also create valuable backlinks for SEO.
In the online realm, PR, search engine optimization (SEO), social, advertising and marcom are all vital and intertwined elements of web presence optimization, and as such need to be measured and managed to coordinate efforts for maximum online visibility.
So how exactly does PR support SEO efforts? How can media relations skills be leveraged in social media? What do PR pros need to do differently to support online journalism? What are today’s best practices for B2B PR?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in seven recent expert guides to social and online PR.
8 Steps to Leveraging PR for SEO by iMedia Connection
Noting that news releases incorporate three elements that search engines love—trusted backlinks, social sharing, and fresh content—Krista LaRiviere provides a brief but helpful eight-step guide to improving rank and traffic to optimized content through the proper use of news releases.
7 secrets of a master digital storyteller by Get in Front Communications
Susan Young explains the concept of brand journalism, which “allows your company to tell its own story in an engaging way that we’ve never experienced before,” then reveals seven “secrets” of master brand storytellers such as “a master storyteller weaves images, video, audio, graphics, and other social tools to make stories pop and impact people.”
Why PR Should Take Social Media Seriously by jeffbullas.com
After advising PR professionals to take social media seriously due to its believability, efficiency and leverage, Jeff Bullas outlines eight major social media channels and contrasts their level of influence with the waning reach of old media. He ends with a discussion of PR values of new media, including Twitter, where “you are able to listen and to respond to what people are saying about your brand in the market place within seconds with worldwide reach.”
10 Simple Strategies To Boost Your B2B PR Campaign by Marx Communications
Wendy Marx offers 10 tips for amplifying hard-earned media coverage, such as promoting your press in your blog, spreading the word via social media, linking to your news from appropriate LinkedIn groups, and “Rework(ing) an article to function as an abstract for a speaking proposal.”
PR Pros Not Keeping Up with What Journalists Want by Spin Sucks
Gini Dietrich reports on recent research showing that “Eighty percent of journalists you’re working with in your media relations efforts want images and nearly that many also want video,” yet among PR professionals, “only four percent (believe images are) important to journalists and just a little more than half (56 percent) routinely add images to their media relations efforts.” And even among Fortune 500 firms, “Only 24 percent of the company sites offer images and 22 percent offer videos.”
Best Practices In B2B PR by Fast Company
Wendy Marx interviews Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines and formerly with Eloqua and Forrester Research, about PR and its integration with B2B marketing, social media and lead generation efforts. Among Brian’s recommendations are that B2B companies should partner with their outside PR and marketing agencies (“get to know them as people”) and should “Be generous to your influencers. Give them credit. Compliment them. Never shill for your company or products. Be helpful and genuine.”
12 Perspectives on How B2B SEO Can Better Support PR & Communications by Search Engine Watch
Derek Edmond shares guidance from a dozen PR experts including Stacey Acevero (it’s “essential for B2B PR, marketing and communications teams to have a concrete understanding of SEO elements – it results in a much more harmonious process”) and Elizabeth Sosnow (“You may not be a Sherlock Holmes fan, but you probably know that he couldn’t make it very far without his loyal wingman, Watson. B2B PR folks really need SEOs to help them solve mysteries for their clients”).