Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

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?

360 Degrees To A Kick-ass Social Media Program

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

kickHave you done a 360 lately? That is, a comprehensive macro view of your social media program. Whether for your own tech B2B business or a client’s, a Social Media 360 can help lift your head up to analyze morphing goals and find out how they line up with a program that drives results.

You may have noticed that social media changes quickly. Where do you and your competitors, and especially your customers and prospects, live in that mix? Are you leveraging emerging channel features? Does your social media program have a direct line to ROI with concrete measurements to track KPIs?

McBru can help you answer these questions with a Social Media 360, a deep analysis uncovering insights that set the foundation for a results-oriented social media program. We zero in on key influencers and conversations that can move your business objectives, and bubble it up to a customized social media marketing playbook.

Social media moves fast, and keeping your program ahead of the curve can be a challenge. Here are three things you can to do bolster your program in 2014:

1. Where do you and your competitors, and especially your customers and prospects, live?

Find or validate the conversations you want to be in to build long-term authenticity. Use your hashtag and influencer search tools. Don’t forget about Google’s Keyword Planner – it does have utility. Discover new or ancillary communities to broaden your reach and influence.

Tweet this: Where are your customers and competitors on #socialmedia? Freshen up your program insights.

2. Are you leveraging emerging channel features? 

It’s no secret that channels are continually evolving, especially with monetization, which is a good thing for B2B marketers—and for customers who want access to products and services. Scan channels for demand gen and CRM options; what mix is the best for achieving your goals? Have you checked out StumbleUpon?

Tweet this: Are you leveraging emerging #socialmedia channel features? Amp up your program and results.

3. Does your social media program have a direct line to ROI with concrete measurements to track KPIs?

This is consistently a leading question and challenge, but it doesn’t need to be difficult if you are deliberate. One key is to determine, right off the top, the metrics that tie back to your business roadmap. Then, find what repeatable and sustainable measurement tools are readily available that accurately report on identified metrics. They’re out there, it’s just harder to plug them in if a results reporting plan is developed after or independent of the program launch. Download this free Social Media ROI Calculator.

Tweet this: Does your #socialmedia program link to #ROI? Download this free Social Media ROI Calculator.

At McBru we love Social Media 360s! 2013 was a great momentum year for building out highly customized social media programs for clients based on their business needs. We’re happy to do the same for you. Let me know how McBru can help at @janelpettit.

LinkedIn Ranked #1 Social Platform for B2B Marketers

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

LinkedIn Surpasses YouTubeLinkedIn reigned supreme in 2013. According to Holger Schulze, a B2B content marketing executive, LinkedIn surpassed YouTube as the most influential social media platform. It also saw the highest adoption rate among content marketers this year according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Two factors leading to this development include LinkedIn’s new layout: the site’s professional audience and atmosphere, and targeted advertising options. Company pages are not only a great place to consolidate your company’s information, but a company profile with many followers helps expand the reach of your B2B content.

If your business is thinking about jumping on the LinkedIn bandwagon, follow these steps to create a comprehensive company page:

  1. Company information: Add your company’s description, address and specialties. This section also functions like keyword tags for search purposes.
  2. Cover photo: A cover photo that represents your company is an opportunity to grab your audience’s attention and get more clicks to your page.
  3. Products and services tab: This section gives viewers a snapshot of your company’s offerings. You can also gather recommendations for your products or services to help establish trust and build a strong brand reputation.
  4. Page updates: Create an editorial calendar for updates about your company, industry news, customer testimonials, and other relevant material. Post content on a regular basis to stay top of mind with your followers.
  5. Customer engagement: As with other social media profiles, the key to LinkedIn is to build relationships. Be sure to foster two-way communication with your followers.

If your company has a budget for social media campaigns, LinkedIn offers a compelling advertising program. You can target ads based on job function, which Hewlett Packard used to encourage followers to recommend the company’s products.  In the first two weeks of the campaign, HP gained 2,000 recommendations and later became the first company to reach 1 million followers on the platform.
What B2B marketing strategies have you found successful on LinkedIn?

Top Tech B2B Marketing Posts of 2013… So Far

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

mcbru tumblrIt’s like sitting down with an elite group of tech B2B marketers and finding out what’s working best in today’s markets. Everyone at McBru contributes his or her best insights to this blog, so enjoy these top-viewed posts for the first half of 2013:

  • How a Typeface Can Make Your B2B Brand More Trustworthy – While there is little inherent in the shapes of letters that makes one typeface more authoritative than another, our art director Leigh Brooks explains how historical preconceptions about typefaces color a viewer’s perception of a brand.
  • Case Study: Use LinkedIn to Build an Online Tech B2B Community – This McBru social media case study shows how LinkedIn works as a powerful platform to create community and connections within a highly targeted, worldwide tech B2B audience.
  • Localize Your Tech B2B Advertising Campaign – Your tech B2B ad campaign that’s got them clicking in Germany may not have any response in China. Since most B2B ad campaigns span various geographies, pick up these three tips we’ve learned about localizing your campaign.
  • We’re All on the Same Page: Project Documentation in Tech B2B Marketing – One of the keys to success in a tech B2B marketing project doesn’t happen during the course of the project, but actually before the project ever starts. Project initiation documents give your team all the information they need to do the job efficiently and with vision.

Please take your time exploring all the great B2B advertising, influencer relations, social media, content marketing, and other topics we dive into on this blog. And don’t be shy about commenting on what you agree with, or where we’re missing the boat.

Case Study: Use LinkedIn to Build an Online Tech B2B Community

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

To some, the Forbes article “LinkedIn is Preferred by Executives” may sound like news, but not to us. In fact, here’s a link to a book of LinkedIn case studies featuring a McBru project for a tech B2B company – from three years ago!

See this new McBru social media case study that shows how LinkedIn works as a powerful platform to create community and connections within a highly targeted, worldwide tech B2B audience. Let me point out a few of the story’s best practices:

  1. Know the market: We’ve been working with Reaction Design for years: developing a clear brand, getting media coverage and developing written and video content. So, as we led the company into social media, we already knew a lot about its customers, prospects and marketplace – a benefit of being a focused tech B2B agency with a broad service portfolio.
  2. Know the tools: With a few years under our belt, we have best practices for setting up LinkedIn groups and creating a flow of content and topics.
  3. Know the content: McBru has created a wide range of content for our client, Reaction Design, from white papers to customer videos. So we already understood the topics and content to introduce to stimulate interest, sign-ups, engagement – and ultimately value for the members.
  4. Know how to manage a community: This is where too many LinkedIn groups fail. They fill up with spammers, recruiters and product-pitchers. We manage social media communities for several tech B2B companies and know how to maintain order and value. For Reaction Design, that meant carefully culling the membership and the content for valuable peer-to-peer sharing and conversation.

Read the whole case study to get more details about how we have been able to attract and engage more than 1000 highly targeted tech professionals – out of a total global population of only a couple thousand.

P.S. You can also read about this program in our entry to 2013 Some Awards.

 

Grow Tech B2B LinkedIn Groups with Promoted SlideShare Content

Friday, March 29th, 2013

In tech B2B marketing, LinkedIn Groups are proving to be an effective social platform to reach audiences that thrive on informative data and discussions. If managed well, groups serve as a knowledge base that encourages brand preference and engagement. Groups with clearly defined goals and guardrails designed to foster mindshare organically attract members in the vertical market.

To accelerate organic growth, now you can entice more qualified prospects to your group using content-rich Slideshare content delivered as ads across LinkedIn.  SlideShare Content Ads function as a highly visible portal between SlideShare and LinkedIn. Tech B2B marketers can use SlideShare to prominently feature content rich presentations and video, while utiltizing the familiar cost and segmentation structure of display ads. When using a campaign to attract group members, be clear about group membership criteria in your SlideShare presentation’s CTA.

Efforts to build targeted tech B2B LinkedIn groups can lead to ROI indirectly (via education and networking) or directly (through sales leads and demos). Be certain to follow through with ongoing, knowledgeable community management for optimal conversion rates.

What has been your brand’s experience with leveraging LinkedIn groups for influencer relations? We’d be happy to discuss strategy with you at McBru.

Image credit: LinkedIn

B2B Content Marketing in 2013 (infographic)

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Content marketing – when effectively executed – is a very valuable B2B marketing tool. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “content is king.” What better way to create affinity for your company than by engaging audiences with relevant content that helps them do their jobs better?

MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute recently conducted a study called “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America” that explores how B2B marketers are using content marketing techniques and the challenges they face.

This infographic created by Marketo demonstrates the report’s highlights, which I’ve outlined below:

” Producing enough valuable content tops the list of challenges

” More than half of the companies surveyed plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2013

” Smaller companies are allocating more budget to content marketing than larger companies

” B2B Marketers are using an average of five social media channels to distribute their content

” LinkedIn is the top content distribution channel (followed closely by Twitter and Facebook)

What trends did you notice in your content marketing program this year? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

B2B Content Marketing Infographic (Marketo)

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.

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