Enhance Your Trade Show Presence by Utilizing Social Media

For most of us in the B2B space, trade shows usually take up a fair portion of your marketing budget. Are you leveraging social media in this space?

A recent post by Jeffrey Cohen from Social Media B2B highlighted 10 ways to maximize your efforts. Here are some highlights:

  • Use full URLs for social media profiles – mailers, handouts, signage. Don’t make prospects search for you.
  • Include latest topics from relevant industry groups or associations – Check LinkedIn groups or forums for the latest industry topics and share them with the group working the booth as conversation starters. A good way to break the ice and start building a relationship.
  • Put content on slideshare – Create a short, highly visible deck about new products or demos you’re doing at the show. Make sure you have key-word rich descriptions and to share them prior to the show on your social network.
  • Live blogging – If there is a keynote speaker, take notes and post before leaving the presentation.
  • Connect with show organizers – Provide them with content for their site as well as using their #hashtag during the show.
  • Conduct video interviews with customers or distributors. Subject matter can be anything from industry trends to a review of your products.

Those are some idea; what are you doing to maximize your trade show efforts?

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How Are You Integrating Email and Social Media?

In today’s market, everyone seems to be focusing on social media as the thing to do. Both social and traditional tactics have a place in your marketing plan. Inbound and outbound marketing must work together to get the most bang for your buck today. Social media or email can’t be isolated tactics, but should be used together.

I recently read an article by Kipp Bodnar in Social Media B2B, 7 Awesome Email and B2B Social Media Integrations that I thought hit the nail right on the head. Here are some highlights:

  • Use social media links in your emails – pretty simple but you’d be surprised how many folks miss this opportunity.
  • Use social media to grow your email list – you have a better chance of getting a lead if you can convince them to sign up, for example, for your monthly newsletter.
  • Test email efforts on social – before sending out a communication to your list, test it on social to see what kind of reaction you’ll get.
  • Use social media for future email content – follow and listen to what the hot issues are on social and craft future messages around those issues.
  • Source leads correctly – use tracking URLs to better understand where your interest is coming from.

Those are some highlights; what are you doing to integrate social into your traditional marketing efforts?

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Building a B-to-B Social Media Lead Generation Program Targeting the Professional Tradesmen

B-to-B marketers, especially those in the manufacturing sector who are targeting the professional tradesmen, are slow to adapt to new things and social media is one of them. I’ve seen it in our business that clients (manufacturers) are aware of social media, but don’t know how to use it to get business. Yes, social isn’t about getting business (short-term), it’s about branding and thought leadership roles, but in the real world and especially in this economic climate, companies are also identifying new potential customers and taking them through the selling cycle to see if they can be converted to a sale. If B2B folks would have a better understanding of how to use social, then it would be easier for them to incorporate it into their other marketing efforts.

I recently read a post by Kipp Bodnar from Social Media B2B, 7 steps to building a B2B social media lead generation pipeline. Kipp outlines ways to identify and take leads through a system just like any other lead. Here are some highlights from his post:

  • Understanding online analytics – You need to understand what the data is so you know what to do with it. There are several tools available, both free and paid. Google Analytics is probably the most popular free one. But it’s important to have analytics across social platforms and a simple data collection tool like Bit.ly would work just fine for Twitter and the built-in Facebook Fan pages.
  • Develop a strategy – I’ve said over and over that content is king. So you need to develop a strategy to communicate the type of information your target audience wants and then overlap its content distribution platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs and Forums.
  • Build a mechanism to gather leads – What good is it to generate leads if there is no place to identify next steps? What do they want—literature, demo, a salesman to follow-up?
  • Integrate leads into a CRM system – Leads don’t matter if you don’t get the right info to the right person. There are several out there and the one we use is called Ultimate Lead Systems. It can track leads by source, type of product or service they are interested in, and track any kind of correspondence you have. It also helps you monitor your sales forces activities as it relates to new business.
  • Set up a social sales follow-up program – You need to find where a potential lead is in the selling cycle and then nurture them down the sales funnel. I wrote a post, Where do your prospects fall in the sales cycle, that will shed more light on the different stages.

A social media lead generation program isn’t really different from a traditional one other than the issue of speed. Responses can be immediate and you need to be able to support them appropriately.

These, by no means, are all the steps. What are ways you’re dealing with this issue?


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