Monday, August 15, 2011

Social Media Marketing Summit - Live Report

I haven't attended a major multi-day web marketing conference in a few years, and it is time! The marketing landscape has changed quite a bit.

The ClickZ CONNECTED Marketing Conference is full of innovative ideas and best practices. The main event for me will be SES, Search Engine Markting, but today the spotlight was on Social Media Marketing Summit - - Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, etc. The Social Media marketing niche for B-to-B is getting bigger and bigger, as more customers across the customer demographic spectrum spend more and more time on Social Media sites.

Here are some Top-Level Take-aways today from several of the speakers:

Social media expert Michael Stelzner:

1. People want content, not a sales pitch. Focus on people - they want information from quality sources.
2. "Un-gate" your white papers, brochures and reports, and do not require someone to register first, if possible. Encourage more downloading, this will only help your cause.
3. Transform your Social Media content from "How can we sell to you" to "How can we HELP you". You'll get a much better response rate.
4. "Put away the marketing pitch" for Social Media content... don't engage in marketing oversell. Save your selling for later in the sales cycle... 'free' offers, email campaigns, links, etc.
5. Try using guest expert content contributors from your industry, not just people from your own company. This can have positive effects for credibility, synergy and enhance your content's standing with your target markets. "Lift people up, and they'll lift you up."
6. Social Media is very cost-effective for new product and service launches. Done correctly it can have as big or bigger impact than more expensive alternatives.
7. Michael has published a new book on Social Media Marketing - -
"Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition" 
After hearing Micheal's ideas today, I'm going to buy his book.

Caterpillar's Successful Social Media Campaign:

Kevin Espinosa from Caterpillar Inc gave an excellent real-world review of how his company is handling social media. Surprisingly, for a company that sells multimillion dollar earth moving and other large equipment to the world's major resource industries, social media plays a big role in lead generation and in customer feedback and relations! This was a real eye-opener for me in terms of casting off some pre-conceptions of Social Media being more B-to-C friendly than B-to-B....... Caterpillar is about as B-to-B as you can get. Kevin's comments on the positive impact of Facebook Ads was another important item that anyone in B-to-B should sit up and pay attention to.... using dedicated landing pages these Facebooks Ads are having a positive impact on major big-ticket sales.

There were many other great presentations - - including Katy Collins with AOL and Mike Lewis with Awareness Inc.
I admit, Social Media is not my top lead generation priority, Search Engine Marketing still holds that role, but after today I am resolved to give Social Media more time and attention. Social Media marketing is moving into a more mature and productive phase... now is the time to jump on if you haven't already.... don't ignore a chance to pick the low-hanging fruit in terms of customer contact and lead gen.