Monthly Archives: August 2009

Top Five B2B Twitter Mistakes (to me anyways…)

Just a quick short list of five mistakes you could make if you aren’t careful with how you are managing your b2b twitter account.

 I’m sure there are more – but these are the 5 big ones in my book

1. Making the mistake thinking that twitter is about talking vs. listening…Twitter is not the Internet version of the Town Crier where you simply ring your bell, yell something and then go back inside only to come out when it’s time to yell something again. Yelling something is fine; provided you are doing so to get followers to respond so that you can listen, reply and interact with them.

2. Over-editing or tightly-controlling your posts…Twitter is not about crafting one perfect post after another; what you “twit” doesn’t have a long shelf-life to begin with. Your message and personality gets developed over several posts throughout the day/week/month – people will forgive a less than perfect post…provided what you are saying initiates good discussions or passes along strong value or you follow it up quickly with something better.

3. Picking the wrong-person to run your twitter account or having someone tweet on behalf of someone else …o.k. so that’s really two separate mistakes but bear with me…First, your twitter posts are speaking on behalf of your company and your brand; make sure who ever is running your b2b twitter account is capable of making good judgments for the company so that everything that gets posted doesn’t need to run through an approval process and everything that is posted has some value. Secondly, if the person you want to run twitter is incapable of running twitter – you are picking the wrong person to be the face of any of your social media. If your CEO is too busy…don’t bother trying to impersonate your CEO – that could be embarrassing when it’s discovered – instead, pick someone else. Lastly; make sure who you pick is high enough in stature or presence that they can draw a following. In other word’s just because your marketing intern is “really good on computers” and “really gets” social media doesn’t mean he / she has the credibility / reputation to draw a following or to develop quality content.

4. Not updating regularly: People don’t expect hourly posts and they don’t necessarily expect daily posts – but they do expect meaningful / consistent activity. If you can’t regularly post content of solid value or discussion – you probably shouldn’t be bothering with social media to begin with.

5. Every post includes a link…occasionally or even frequently passing along other folks content via a link is fine – just don’t make it an occurrence in every post…especially if you happen to have folks who follow you with a mobile device; depending on reception; it’s easy to ignore these posts and eventually they could just end up ignoring you altogether.

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Duke / AMA CMO Survey Indicates Optimism for the Future

An August 2009 CMO Survey, conducted by professor Christine Moorman of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in conjunction with the American Marketing Association indicates some positive news for the future.

Key highlights:

Overall, 59 percent of marketers are more optimistic about the U.S. economy than they were just one quarter ago. 47 percent are feeling more optimistic about prospects for revenue from end customers and 39 percent more optimistic about revenue from channel partners (who resell products to end customers, e.g. distributors) than they were just three months ago.

Marketers continue to report a shift in spending away from traditional advertising (with a planned overall decrease of 8 percent) and toward Internet marketing, where they expect to increase investments by 10 percent. They report plans to increase spending on social media efforts by more than 300 percent in the next five years, increasing their marketing budget allocations for social media from 3.5 percent to 13.7 percent over the next five years. Social networking (65 percent), video and photosharing (52 percent) and blogging (50 percent) dominated firms’ social media patterns. Survey respondents report the five most frequently reported uses for social media tactics are brand building, customer acquisition, new product introductions, customer retention and market research.

Russia and Eastern Europe are the regions where marketers expect the most future growth to occur, with significant decreases in opportunities in Canada, Mexico and Western Europe.
 
http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/releases/207493/

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Is a lead with a public email address as valuable as a lead with a business email address?

Since a good portion of my dialog with marketing folks revolves around the topic of lead generation; I’m sometimes in situations where what I perceive to be a valuable lead is not necessarily what my clients perceives to be a valuable lead. As I’ve said in some prior posts – I’ve learned the hard way that the first thing I absolutely have to do is get on the same page as my client / prospect as to what their definition of lead is, and a quality lead at that. Simple common definition issues can really create problems or expectation issues down the road; or even kill the sale altogether without common understanding of each other’s perceptions and definitions of leads.

One lead generation issue that has recently come up is the perceived value of a lead when the individual opts to use a public email address, such as a yahoo, hotmail or gmail as opposed to their “business” email address. There were some questions as to whether a lead had value, or the same kind of value, if they weren’t explicitly using their business email address.

Before we answer this question – I think there is an opportunity to first ask – why would a legitimate potential client choose to utilize a public email address vs. their work provided email address?

Based on my experience – here are a few reasons why:

• Prioritization: Most folks have “dual” addresses – we all have a gmail or yahoo account. If we registered for everything using our business email we would likely get 2-3 times as many emails as we already receive – my business email is for urgent business from external clients and internal correspondence…my sourcing and business research takes place in my gmail or yahoo account, which doesn’t mean it’s not important – it’s just typically not as urgent.

• Comfort: Plain and simple, most folks are just not comfortable using work email for anything but internal correspondence or client correspondence

• Privacy: People use public email accounts to “screen” information simply to make sure the site or information they’ve requested lives up to what they were expecting it too. My company sees this all the time from existing clients requesting some of our whitepapers – they use their gmail address; even though we have their business email address already on file.

• Control: A public email address gives me one level of anonymity in the event I’m not ready to engage in further dialog yet. My research is important – but again, it may not be urgent yet.

• Accessibility: Public email accounts are accessible via any web browser – any where; without having to log into secure VPNs or remote desktops – just simpler to do for folks when traveling or away from work computer on evenings, weekends etc.

• Portability: Folks like a permanent address in addition to their current address – if / when they switch jobs – they can still access certain information without interruption.

• Spam Control: Public email services like yahoo, gmail etc. have invested heavily in spam control technology…in some cases better than my own corporate spam controls.

 • Restrictions: There are certain companies and industries that flat out restrict the use or even access of work email for external communication due to security issues. For example; I spent two years working for a defense contractor– I was unable to receive or send email outside of the defense contractor network – but there were designated computers for external communication – but I had to use a public service email address when using them.

As you scan the list above – they all seem like plausible / reasonable answers why someone might elect to use a public email services – but I don’t think any of them ‘detract’ from the value of the lead. Whether a prospect opts to use a public email service or a business email service, it does not mean the individual is not a legitimate, qualified prospect – it simply means they are willing to receive unsolicited email – but only on their terms.

Hope this helps.

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Top Ten Twitter Tools (to me anyways…)

Just a quick short list of a couple useful twitter applications to share; some of these are already commonly known but I wanted a complete list of those I’m using / exploring.

I’ve capped it at 10 simply due to the fact if you are using more than 10 twitter tools…you might need to get out more… J 

  1. Tweet A File: http://tweetafile.com/ – free app that lets you send file attachments via twitter…something you couldn’t do “easily” before.
  2. TweetDeck: http://tweetdeck.com/beta/ – Probably the most popular twitter app out there; allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles, organize threads etc.
  3. Tweet Later: http://www.tweetlater.com/ – this is a great idea for folks responsible for corporate twitter accounts – it lets you enter a bunch of updates in advance and schedule their release in the future; enabling you to appear as if you are twittering real time when you might just simply be tied up elsewhere.
  4. Twitterfeed: http://twitterfeed.com/ – helps you send blog rss feed to twitter and gives you some analysis / tracking of feeds; just starting to toy around with this myself.
  5. Twonvert: http://www.twonvert.com/ – free app that helps you convert “plain English” updates into shorthand language to reduce character usage. Doesn’t handle industry specific or “b2b” words well or typos – but handy overall.
  6. Twittonary: http://www.twittonary.com/ – yup; that’s it – a dictionary for twitter lingo.
  7. Monitter: http://monitter.com/ – real time, live twitter monitor that lets you monitor a set of keywords and what people are saying; a little tricky to figure out at first.
  8. Twittercal: http://twittercal.com/ – if you use Google’s calendar app; this is a handy little tool that allows you to add events to your calendar right from twitter; simple little handy tool.
  9. Mr. Tweet: http://mrtweet.com/ – it was described to me as similar to iTunes genius program; basically scans twitterdom for folks you might want to follow with similar interests. (bonus: http://twitter-friends.com/ looks to be similar)
  10. ootweet: http://ootweet.com/ – lets you “archive” your favorite tweets or discussions; admittedly haven’t played around with much – but could be useful

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Food For Thought: Is “click measurement” passe?

Good “food for thought” article here on putting “clicks” in perspective; partners well with previous discussion on “buy cycle” marketing and last click thinking; comments to the article or worth reading as well:

 http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=110891

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