I attended MarketingProfs B2B Forum earlier this week in Boston. Conferences are great for giving you the opportunity to expand your vision while taking a break from the day to day grind. Social media was the subject of many of the sessions and all the buzz. Here are my key takeaways and impressions:
Katie Paine, CEO of KD Paine & Partners spoke on how organizations are measuring value in social media. Excellent speaker who knows her stuff. You’ll find free resources on her website. Social media like everything else we do in marketing should have a return. Its not about collecting followers but rather about measuring the impact to your business. Define your goals first. Are you using social media to generate leads and sales and/or to further your relationships with customers and develop your reputation? Paine’s bottom line message – you can measure social media and should.
Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix was the focus of IBM’s Sandy Carter’s talk. Social media is another tactic in your marketing tool box that should be integrated into your overall plans. IBM has effectively used Linkedin and twitter to help with product development and launch and to build webinar attendance to name a few.
From panel discussion on Developing Robust Online Content to Keep Prospects and Customers Engaged, I walked away with this point about social media: You can’t control the message but you can guide the narrative. A good strategy for figuring out what content in social media will resonate with your audience is to search for relevant terms on twitter and follow the discussions, look for your top customers on facebook, Linkedin and twitter. What are they saying? Survey your customers and find out what topics are top of mind. Create your blue print to guide your content strategy.
Social media is all the rage. Don’t lose sight that it is another marketing tool that requires business objectives. Social media should be measured by its contribution to business goals and that means more than just collecting friends and followers.