Category Archives: Twitter

Social Media for small biz leads to interaction w/industry pros & thought leadership

My favorite chat session B2BChat has produced again.  Below is a question posed that spurred the following comment about how small biz can gain a thought leadership advantage using social media:

What are social media’s practical benefits, even for companies who do not monetize their web sites?

The responses varied from lead conversion metrics (from those lucky enough to have a closed-loop lead tracking system), to better understanding he industry landscape and listening to conversations, market intelligence and building personas.

  • SM for a small biz helps to level the playing field; leads to interaction with industry pros – as long as you provide quality content

The last observation was especially interesting to me; you don’t need to have a huge PR or ad budget to know what is happening in the industry, and you can engage with the influencers directly. In addition, having the first-mover advantage, you can establish a position in social media and stand apart from the crowd.

I agree with the moderator’s comment about the low cost of thought leadership campaigns using thought leadership.  If you have the knowledge and content to back up your interactions with the industry pro’s, they won’t care how large a company you represent.


Siteless Web means you have to bring Thought Leadership to the customer

A good friend of mine, David Wieneke, just posted an excellent article on his blog about the coming of the siteless web.  I believe this trend will have profound impact on how a B2B company will implement a thought leadership strategy over the coming years.  The days of “post on your web site, and they will come” are gone.

Read the article to learn more about how traditional web sites and pages will give way to mashups and blogs.  The result, according to Dave, is a ” web experience that at first is highly distributed and less centered on home pages. This, I believe, will easily transition to applications experiences that don’t rely on the conventions of pages, sites, or even being online.”

Source: Hubspot

The initial proof in Dave’s pudding is the trend toward blogging (both for thought leadership as well as other initiative).  Studies have shown that already blogging is just as important that corporate web sites.  In some cases even more important.  For example a recent Hubspot study indicates that companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages that those that don’t blog.

In most cases the blog comes to the user via a referral (digital or otherwise).  In the case of thought leadership, the referral might come from someone you follow on Twitter who tweets about a meaningful article (post, video, chat session, virtual conference, etc.) about a key issue in your industry.  Or it could be some who reads the posts and sends a link to it via email.  The key is that with the birth of social media and its networks of followers and recommenders, there are a whole lot more ways to build credibility and trust in the eyes of your customers and prospects with your thought leadership content.

Facebook a tool for B2B thought leadership?

I am very high on a chat session called #B2Bchat .  In this week’s session they focused on using Facebook for B2B marketing.  Although B2B thought leadership was not explicitly addressed, I believe that most of the observations apply.    

For example, several participants commented in response to the following question: What is the largest barrier for B2B companies to start a Facebook presence?

  • A significant barrier to expanding/improving a Facebook presence is simply having the time to devote to it.

I have heard like productivity comments many times and from many different sources, and not just with regard to Facebook.  B2B marketers definitely need new tools to quickly add and curate content.

Another comment caught my eye:

  • Facebook needs to have more effective integration with other lead generation activities

I predict that lead generation via any social media tool will be a hot topic.  Please see an earlier posting of mine that addresses the linkage between thought leadership and lead generation.

Poll results – How we monitor thought leaders’ new content

As promised in my post on building Twitter lists to follow thought leaders, please see my poll results.  I was sort of amazed at the number of people actually using Twitter lists for this reason.  I assumed it would be a smaller number.  By the way, I just love LinkedIn polls.  You can even target an audience based on attributes such as job title, industry or age.

First things first – Thought Leadership before lead generation in your social marketing strategy

ROI is hard to prove for social media marketing, but most executives intuitively realize that social media is good for building thought leadership.  With credibility comes trust.  With trust comes referrals. So are firms putting the cart before the horse when linking social media investment into lead generation activity?

As @B2Bento commented in a recent #B2BChat: “Without crossing the thought leadership and engagement bridge – jumping to lead generation is suicidal”.  His comment implies that if thought leadership and engagement strategies are first worked out, the next step might or should be lead generation.  I concur.

I certainly believe that the overall marketing strategy and the thought leadership strategy need to be mapped out together.    And  of course from that strategy spring tactics around lead generation and brand building. We are all in this together.

Twitter Lists for B2B: 1. Make a list of thought leaders in your industry

Back in October Kipp Bodnar wrote about leveraging twitter lists for B2B success.  One good tip is to create lists of thought leaders.  So simple, but what a great idea.  How many out there have done that for your industry?  I will do a poll on LinkedIn to ask that same question and report back the results.