Thursday, September 16, 2010

Social Media Applications for B2B

Last month I talked about the growth of social media use in the B2B sector, and some simple steps marketers should consider when formulating a social media plan. Now – which social media tools are best to implement your plans? Here’s a hint – most don’t look much different from the social media tools you see and use every day.
  • Develop a LinkedIn account, and search for and join discussion groups in your market space. Monitor conversations and bring useful information to the discussion.
  • Create a Twitter account and follow relevant businesses, industry leaders, and/or industry competitors. Engage your followers by posting tweets and link to interesting articles, news coverage, stories about your services or products or upcoming events.
  • Establish a Facebook page so people may “fan” your company. Initiate conversations and provide pertinent information. Inform fans about your company’s involvement in community projects or organizations.
  • Start a blog and update it regularly with posts such as client case studies, product applications, industry news and trends, webinars and other content that’s relevant for your audiences.
  • Create a YouTube channel and post videos explaining how to use or repair products, or feature interviews with a top executive or customer.
Of course, keep in mind that social media is all about relationship building – developing these applications means nothing without meaningful interaction. Thus, it’s important to develop fresh and interesting content on a regular basis and share it in as many ways as you can.

Don’t miss out on these online opportunities to reach and engage with your target audiences, gain mindshare and reach potential clients!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On-Screen Secrets: Achieving Video Success

Online video has become an important instrument in a marketer’s toolbox. With the rise of YouTube and user-generated content, companies are looking to stay relevant and find ways to infiltrate the video space.

I recently attended the “On-Screen Secrets: Achieving Video Success” webinar hosted by online video company Pixability and social media guru Peter Shankman. Here are some takeaways that many of us PR pros know, but they are great to keep top-of-mind:
  • Aways carry a good quality video or flip camera. It is important to always be ready for something eye catching while you’re walking down the street.
  • Keep your videos short and to the point. Most of the time, anything over 30 seconds will not keep your audience’s attention. If your video gets long, consider creating a series instead.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings when filming. You should control background noise and visuals, so the audience can focus on your story.
  • Play off the news. The most creative and successful videos tie to current events.
  • Post everything to YouTube. Even if you are going to host your video on your own site or Facebook page, you should always upload it to YouTube.com as well. YouTube is the second most used search engine!
  • Leave the end of the video hanging. A call-to-action with more information or a “finale” on your website or social media page is best, so those who are interested can find out more.
With all of the tools and advice available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. My advice? Watch, listen and learn from others.