Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

What You Need to Know Now About LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

With the recent removal of the LinkedIn Products & Services tab from Company Pages, it’s time for businesses to switch gears to the newly minted Showcase Page format. Showcase Pages are an extension of a LinkedIn Company Page that allows a business to promote specific products or services to a targeted buyer persona.  LinkedIn users can follow a Showcase Page without following the business’s Company Page. This allows business to promote for and cater to multiple audiences through up to 10 Showcase Pages.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Showcase Page shares visual content daily with an audience of 12,700 followers.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Showcase Page shares visual content daily with an audience of 12,700 followers.

Another reason for B2B brands to consider moving to LinkedIn Showcase Pages is the dwindling performance on Facebook Company Pages due to algorithm changes driving down news feed visibility. Janel Pettit, McBru’s social media manager, notes, “It’s a valid conversation to have with clients. Step back and consider your marketing objectives and how they align with Facebook as a social channel. Does the client want to build a Facebook community with an active user or affinity group? Can the client tag business partners with strong Facebook communities to grow its audience organically? If not, pay-for-play advertising on Facebook is the most legitimate option to reach a vast consumer base. The alternative is to consider reallocating your focus to a LinkedIn Showcase Page keeping in mind the platform’s lead generation features.”

IBM has a series of Showcase Pages dedicated to different market segments. You can see IBM’s list of Showcase Pages in the right hand column of its Company Page.

IBM has a series of Showcase Pages dedicated to different market segments. You can see IBM’s list of Showcase Pages in the right hand column of its Company Page.

IBM has a Showcase Page about cloud computing and another about Big Data and Analytics. By having different Showcase Pages for each business unit, brand, product, or initiative, users can chose what topics they want to follow. LinkedIn also provides dedicated analytics for each Showcase Page, which allows businesses to drill down into each of the buyer personas. By keeping content focused, personal and visual, a Showcase Page can drive high engagement and impressions.

In my next blog, I will share five easy steps for building and maintaining a LinkedIn Showcase Page. Has your business made the transition?

Best Practices for Marketing Communications During an IPO

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Twitter IPOIn case you live under a rock, Twitter announced (via company tweet, of course) that it’s submitting an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. Within hours, thousands of re-tweets and editorial analyses about the upcoming deal bombarded the digi-sphere.

While much remains to be seen, it will be interesting to watch Twitter manage its marketing communications during the IPO process, particularly in light of the Facebook IPO fiasco and the beating Facebook shares suffered from a botched public offering process.

As a tech B2B marketing firm, McBru manages and positions clients for continued business growth regardless of their funding stage or lifecycle, keeping constant eye on the tech and social media landscape to apply best practices and key learning’s for our clients.

Since we have worked with companies going public in the past, here are our three best-practice tips for marketing communications during IPOs.

1. Going quiet is not synonymous with going silent.

After IPOs, companies usually must enter a quiet period, a ban on promotional publicity that can range from 40 to 90 days.

But even with a quiet period in place, it’s important for companies to maintain open lines of communication with key stakeholders—analysts, media, and social media influencers.

What gives the Twitter IPO a twist? It’s a confidential filing, which exempts Twitter from having to enter a quiet period. This is a new rule from the SEC, but whether a filing is confidential or not, the point remains: Companies shouldn’t confuse quiet with silent.

2. “No comment” doesn’t count as a comment.

Your company and journalists want the same thing: to get the story right and to get as many people as possible to care about it.

While you can’t directly comment on an IPO during a quiet period, you should never say, “No comment.” And it’s a big risk to go “off the record” with comments, too.

Instead, during an IPO, point direct influencers to trusted outside sources (like McBru!) that can comment and offer positive endorsement for your company—its vision, products and services.

3. Believe in that vision.

It’s important to remember an IPO is secondary to a company’s operations, and it shouldn’t change the core tenets of the company or its products and services. The most important message to maintain is one of quality.

Since the point of a quiet period is to prevent over-inflation of stocks, the point of a company’s PR and marketing efforts should be to help the company stand on its own merits outside the IPO-specific news or hype.

Good PR should continue to communicate quality and company value in day-to-day operations without allowing media inflation. This is how Facebook failed. The company stock price was overinflated due to a media blitz.

As the Twitter IPO now unfolds, it has the potential to be a case study in applying the right marketing, communications and advertising strategy to strengthen the company’s bottom line—while still allowing the twinkle to grow in the eyes of Wall Street’s valuations.

What do you think will happen with the Twitter IPO?
Another Facebook? Something better? Or worse?

Wolfram Alpha Unlocks Personal Facebook Data; Are Company Pages Far Behind?

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Wolfram Alpha Facebook ReportIn the social sphere, we’ve gotten accustomed to business-driven analytics setting the standard for what’s discoverable and actionable. Last Friday, math-engine-as-a-service Wolfram Alpha turned that notion on its head with the release of a reporting tool exclusive to personal Facebook accounts that surfaces some really impressive insights about your Facebook habits and networks of friends. (Geek has a good write-up and Business Insider’s Walter Hickey goes in-depth with his own user data as the crux of the story; kudos to them and anyone else who covered this on the… shall we say, unconventional choice of July 5 as a release date.)

Running the report on my own account yielded some interesting findings, including the not-too-surprising visualization of just how much my own Facebook activity has fallen off over the last few months and the more surprising realization that two of my friends are engaged to be married. But what caught my attention as a marketer were the friend network reports, including one that visualizes those friends among my own network who are most well connected on Facebook (“top social gateways,” to use Wolfram Alpha’s term) and how closely I’m connected with them. That’s the sort of information a marketer could use!

Unfortunately, as of now it appears you can’t perform the free “personal” analysis with a company page. Whether that will change or if such capabilities are destined to live as part of Wolfram Alpha’s paid business services remains to be seen, but suffice it to say this points toward the type of Facebook reporting B2B marketers should demand – and would be willing to invest in – for the benefit of their corporate Facebook identities.

If you’d like your own personal Facebook report from Wolfram Alpha, click here.

Social Media Hub and Spoke: A Fifth Reason for Tech BtoB Blogs

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

BtoB Social Media Blog Hub and Spoke ModelIn his post on MarketingProfs, Chris Lee hits on four important basics for social media marketing using a blog — and completely misses a fifth. Here are his Four Reasons It Pays to Have a Company Blog:

  • Tying Together Your Online and Offline Efforts – by promoting events on the blog and promoting the blog at events.
  • Demonstrating Knowledge – to build a leadership position.
  • Fostering Customer Relationships – by reaching out with special information and offers.
  • Boosting SEO Success – through timely, keyword-rich content.

Good recap, Chris. The second and fourth points are especially important given the long sales cycles and information-hungry nature of tech BtoB marketing. Yet in our blogging programs for IT and electronics industry clients, we find a fifth important reason may trump all of those.

  • Regular, consistently high-quality assets for content marketing via social media.

Put your blog contributors on a regular schedule, with defined topics or editorial calendar, and you create a steady stream of assets to promote awareness and engagement via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and other channels. In this model, the blog becomes the hub of content, and the other social media channels the spokes for connecting content and audiences. And because blogging is easily manageable and efficient, it is a great engine (but certainly not the only one) for making other social media channels hum.

Did you first find this post on the McBru blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+? The point is, wherever your audience likes to engage, your great ideas can be ready when they are.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Social Media Marketing: Personal & Professional

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Photo by M. Rehemtulla

We often get questions about how and where to draw the line for social media between personal and professional uses. The old adage of “not mixing business with pleasure” still lingers in our society’s collective consciousness and many people feel uncomfortable blending these worlds online. Without going into detail (use your imagination), there are obvious reasons for concern.

But just as there is an overlap between the personal and the professional in our social/working lives, there is a natural overlap to varying degrees on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other channels. Instead of trying to create a strict “firewall” between the two, professionals should think about how to best blend them.

Being a savvy social media practitioner not only boosts your competence in an important marketing discipline, your personal channels can have a positive impact on your company’s channels and programs. Many company-led social initiatives get a natural boost from promotions and interactions with other channels in the form of mentions, re-tweets, likes, impressions, etc. Having your own social media channels gives you the opportunity to participate online in a relevant way; in other words, it puts you “in the game.” Be sure to check your company’s social media policy before getting started. If your company does not yet have a policy, they should!

Twitter is the best medium I’ve seen for blending personal and professional to the benefit of both. Tweets that are 100% personal are only of interest, perhaps, to a tight group of friends (unless you’re famous of course). Tweets that are 100% business grow stale if followers don’t understand the context of the information nor the perspective of the source.

How well one is networked, active, and influential on social media is quickly becoming a differentiator that is attractive to employers – especially in the marketing profession. The good news is that it’s easy to get started and learn as you go. If you want more tips on establishing your social media presence in the BtoB Tech space, give us a shout.

How Do You Measure Success?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

At McBru, we're big believers in setting clear, measurable objectives and then reporting back to our clients regularly on our progress. Every project we undertake has clearly defined goals and objectives that have been translated into a set of expected measurable outcomes we can monitor using quantitative and/or qualitative results. Whether it's a short term project like a press tour or a long-term ongoing social media program, the outcomes should be used to track progress, guide the project, and evaluate its ultimate success.

Measuring the success of a program is often different than measuring its ROI (return on investment). For many marketing and PR programs, successful outcomes aren't directly measurable in terms of a dollar value. Some qualitative outcomes are awareness and reach, and quantitative outcomes include increased media placements, web traffic, or Net Promoter Score (NPS).

The program goal should determine what you measure for your results. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, the best way to do this would be to conduct a before and after brand study of your target audience. The first study benchmarks the awareness level and the follow up study tells you how far your activities have moved the needle. Other, less direct ways to measure brand awareness are to look at media placements, blog mentions, website traffic, share of conversation, or number of Twitter or Facebook followers.

Remember to report back regularly on progress – and be flexible about tweaking the goals and objectives when necessary to keep a project on track.

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Encouraging your customers on social media

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Encouraging customers on social mediaHas your company’s social media pipeline gotten a little stale? Are you sounding too corporate? Are your engagement levels via social media on the low side? If you answered yes to any of these, read on.

In the B2B tech marketing world, customer case studies are a powerful weapon. Well-written briefs that present common industry challenges and how they were overcome make valuable marketing fodder that can be used in many ways. One of McBru’s core services is content marketing so please let us know if you have a need in this area.

But in the hunt for slick marketing PDFs or videos, marketers can sometimes overlook lower-hanging fruit. In our experience, user-generated content receives around three times the views of corporate content on social media. See my post from last year: Third Party Content is Rocket Fuel for Social Media Programs.

There are all kinds of user-generated content, but it’s important to keep in mind that content can be as simple as a blog post, Facebook/Google+/LinkedIn update, or even a tweet. Sometimes customers just need a little push. When interfacing with your satisfied customers after a sale, upgrade, beta, or check-in, why not have your account support staff ask the customer if they’d talk about their user experience or results achieved over social media? To help, you could even provide a list of informal sample posts/tweets that they could customize. Their updates will come across a lot less “corporate” and “salesy” than your official content. What’s more, your company’s community manager can watch for these posts/tweets to cross-promote and engage with a good customer in a very public way.

Photo Credit: Wayne Truong from Houston, TX

We Built a Time Machine…Out of a Delorean!

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Okay, we did not actually build a time machine from an iconic 80’s automobile. What we did create is just as cool, especially if you are looking for a new way to engage with your clients, customers and social community.

Every mad genius needs a test subject, and we are recruiting you! Visit the McBru Facebook page and check out Geek Dialog, our latest experiment using FUSE Intelligent Dialog technology.  We believe this app has tons of potential and would appreciate your help investigating our theory. Let us know your thoughtsâwe haven’t invented a mind reading app yet.

Do YOU Have Online Klout?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

According to the online influence company, Klout, I have relatively little “Klout” in the online world. With a score of 15 out of a possible 100, I am categorized as an Observer. What does that mean exactly? According to the Klout Style chart, I am merely a casual influencer who follows the social web more than I contribute. I have two Facebook accounts, two Twitter accounts, a LinkedIn account, and even occasionally login to my ancient MySpace profile to see if I’m missing anything (I’m not). I consider myself pretty well connected, so I was a bit shocked to discover I’m not Miss Online Networking Diva 2011. So what gives? I aim to find out.

What is Klout, and does it really matter? Klout measures social influence based on an individual or brand’s ability to drive action. Compiling data gleaned from networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Klout issues a score based on social interaction–retweets, @messaging, comments, and “Likes”, for instance. Klout can display the topics you’re most influential in, who you influence, and who influences you.

Some big tech brands like HP are now trying out the service. In the near future, B2B Tech companies and agencies could use Klout as an additional measurement tool for creating, maintaining, and monitoring brand awareness for clients. Right now, I think we’re still in the early stages as there seem to be some flaws remaining before the marketing industry could comfortably embrace it. One user was classified as an expert on aviary after tweeting once about birds swooping in front of cars on the road. There are also complaints of faking high scores by indiscriminately retweeting content generated by high influencers. These are just a few examples of problems within the system.

So, do YOU have Klout? Please share your experiences and impressions of the tool with us. Anyone from Klout receiving an alert from this post? We’d like to hear from you about how you’re overcoming obstacles to adoption and how you see your service playing a role in Tech B2B Marketing.

Social Media Baseball

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Baseball is a sport that blends both team and individual disciplines. On defense, a coordinated team effort keeps the opponent from rounding the bases. When at the plate, a single batter controls the fate of the entire team.

A company’s social media presence is no different.

Let’s start with the team aspect. Social media thrives on authenticity, and tapping into the insights of company experts neck deep in product development and industry innovation is the best fodder for blog posts and updates. The primary obstacle to overcome is that these folks usually have the least amount of time to blog/tweet/update. Companies that place a premium on social media — and carve out the time for a range of experts to contribute to the social media pipeline consistently — will be rewarded with loyal followers. But it’s wise to share the load amongst a group of dedicated bloggers using a strategic editorial calendar covering a wide range of topics. In addition to these gurus, a great number of employees in any company have something of value to contribute via social media and they should be encouraged to do so.

This is where individual effort comes into play. In the age of social media, each employee represents their company like never before. LinkedIn profiles have become standard, and profiles on other networks such as Facebook, tie employees to companies in a way that’s clearly visible to the world. In order to protect themselves and the company, it’s important that employees learn about social media best practices and follow their company’s official policies. The corporate Social Media Policy is now becoming just as ubiquitous and important as a company’s Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct. When operating within these policies, every employee can contribute via social media by sharing their passions about what they do.

Whether part of a coordinated team, or an individual initiative, social media is the whole ballgame.