OUR ARCHIVE

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Social Media for Tradeshows

Due to ever evolving advancements in technology and techniques, businesses, large and small alike, can now market to literally thousands of consumers without ever meeting face-to-face. However, marketing practices like trade shows, conferences and seminars have withstood the test of time.

In-person events highlight the physical aspects of marketing – like the much needed personal interaction with clients and potential customers. Aisle upon aisle of relevant vendors and eager attendees can provide you with an arsenal of new leads and connections. While trade shows are more physical in nature, implementing a social media strategy in coordination with your trade show activities will allow you to maximize your presence before, during and after the event.

Pre-show Activities

1. Utilize the official hashtag for the event. Start following the hashtag several weeks prior to the event to discover trends and connect with key players. When tweeting about the event, be sure to use the assigned hashtag.

2. Go ahead and create a hashtag specific to your company or trade show campaign. Attaching your hashtag to the official event hashtag will increase the exposure your company will receive when posting on Twitter.

3. Use social media to announce a promotion, contest, special hospitality event or giveaway for the event. You can create a teaser video or announce a secret code word that attendees will need for a prize or entry into a drawing. A simple tie in to your social media accounts can create significant buzz and increase traffic to your booth during the event.

4. Reach out to LinkedIn connections and personally invite them. Invite them to stop by your booth or to lunch, dinner, or an after-hours event while there.

5. Connect with trade specific media contacts and ask them to set up a meeting, stop by your booth to discuss a new product or attend a session you are hosting. Responding to tweets, retweeting posts and commenting on blogs are simple ways to engage media contacts.

During the Show Activities

6. Tradeshows and conferences are busy, so take advantage of scheduling some tweets and Facebook posts in advance. This could be particularly helpful if you are presenting on a topic at a specific time. You can schedule tweets about key talking points both before and during the presentation.

7. Use Facebook and Twitter as real-time news feeds for delivering up-to-the-minute content, photos and videos. Constant updates can provide valuable information to those people who cannot physically be there.

8. Include social media icons, web addresses, QR codes, and calls-to-action to your social networks in your booth display.

9. Offer attendees additional contest entries if they like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn.

10. Announce contest winners through your social media platforms. Advertise that the winner will be published on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and then have the winners come back to your booth to get their prize. Snap a photo of them with their prize and post it as well.

Post-show Activities

11. Create a quick event wrap-up and post it socially. Make sure to thank everyone for stopping by your booth or seminar session at the event.

12. Continue the conversation by writing a blog post about your participation in the show. You can focus on seminar discussions, common themes at the event or your overall experiences. Promote your post via social channels.

13. Connect with new prospects using LinkedIn’s premium feature called InMail. In the days following an event, valuable prospects often end up dealing with an email inbox that is flooded with messages from sales reps and marketers from the show. Stand out from the crowd by using LinkedIn InMail.

You can connect with any LinkedIn user with InMail, regardless of your previous history with them. Users will be notified of the new message with a LinkedIn alert email and more likely to read and respond to your InMail than they would a standard email.

14. Ensure that any email follow-up with your leads and connections includes links to all of your social media accounts.

These are just a handful of ideas to make your next event more social. Coordinate social media and trade shows or other events to stretch marketing efforts and drive increased exposure, more leads, and extensive networking opportunities.

Need help with your event or social media strategies? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Graphic Source: http://www.skylinetradeshowtips.com/

Here we are, seven months in to the year. How do you feel about your marketing plan? How are your marketing programs looking? Are you consistently providing good leads to your sales team? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your goals and slightly underwhelmed by your production?

As part of a marketing firm, the title of this blog probably doesn’t surprise you, but there are definitely two sides to the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” question. Let’s start off with a few reasons why you should not hire a marketing firm.

First, don’t expect a marketing firm to immediately correct your marketing if your product or service lacks clarity. Next, a marketing firm cannot generate more clients if you don’t have sound sales methodologies in place. Finally, you should not hire a marketing firm if you plan to hand off the marketing and completely disconnect yourself from the process.

Hiring a marketing firm is a big commitment, but typically one that is worth the effort. To maximize effectiveness, the engagement needs to be a two-way street where both parties are involved, attentive and strategic. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a marketing firm.

You need a bona fide marketing strategy.
Working with a firm should involve creating a solid foundation built on strategy before implementing campaigns and tactics aimed at generating leads. The time and effort put toward marketing will never build momentum until you lock in on the triggers that cause your audience to act.

You are finding resource gaps.
Let’s face it. In the IT start-up world, we all wear multiple hats and often find ourselves spread thin. Sure, you can set up a newsletter, manage social media profiles, and update the website, but these may prevent you from focusing on tasks that are more directly tied to generating revenue. Let the marketing firm take tasks off your plate and simultaneously make them a priority.

You need a variety of skill sets.
A good marketing firm will take time to understand you and your business goals and apply their skills accordingly. When you engage a marketing firm, you are tapping into a broad set of resources. It is always recommended to do your due diligence during your search but most firms will have a person or a team dedicated to disciplines such as strategy, graphic design, writing, web and social media. Instead of hiring one person focused on one specialty, you’re enlisting a team of experienced professionals who can do it all. You also get the advantage of leveraging best practices and ideas they’ve put in place that have worked successfully for other companies.

You understand that creativity is invaluable.
While many of us may have MBA-level knowledge and insight, we may lack the ability to translate that knowledge and insight in a way that speaks to our customer. Enter the marketing firm. They understand that the purpose of your marketing is to brand your business with a message that supports your company’s goals while building and nurturing leads. A good marketing firm is packed with creative minds that are skilled at crafting targeted messaging and design pieces to distribute your message.

You need to adjust your priorities.
Sadly, many business owners tend to be fixated on website traffic and social media “likes” when their main focus should be on conversions. Having the consultative guidance of a marketing firm will help you focus on the needed adjustments and activities that will have your conversions trending upwards.

At the end of the day, the big question shouldn’t be, “Can I afford an experienced marketing firm?” but rather: “How much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do this in-house?” Allow yourself to focus on mission critical tasks and let the marketing experts assist in guiding your business to the next level.

Have additional questions about working with a marketing firm or our services? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Graphic Source: www.bcff.org

To Facebook, or Not to Facebook? That is the Question.

January 22nd, 2015 by Jeff Mangels

Everywhere you look, that familiar “f” logo seems to be there. From billboards to restaurant receipts and cereal boxes, Facebook has become an integral part of social media strategies.

Businesses all around the world are taking advantage of social media and making a name for themselves. Without a doubt, one of the most established and effective social tools thus far has been Facebook. Is it right for your business though? Let’s take a look at a few staggering statistics around Facebook and what they mean to you.

To Facebook or Not to Facebook?


Statistic:
Active users total more than 1.35 billion, worldwide. This is a 14% year-over-year increase.
Take away: To answer the burning question of whether or not your business should have a Facebook presence, the general consensus is: yes, you should (more on this later). The vast majority of you will want to incorporate Facebook into your marketing mix. The Facebook opportunity is too big to ignore.

Statistic: 864 million people log onto Facebook on a daily basis. This is a 19% year-over-year increase.
Take away: A growing number of users are actively engaging Facebook, making them promising audience for marketing efforts.

Statistic: Photos are uploaded 300 million times per day.
Take away: Again, this is a strong indication of engaged users. It also serves as a reminder that you will be competing for users’ attention, so make your efforts memorable.

Statistic: Highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
Take away: Consider this statistic when trying to reach a larger audience and drive more traffic to your site. Strategically time important status updates in order to optimize your marketing efforts.

Statistic: Users spend, on average, 21 minutes per visit to Facebook.
Take away: Use your opportunities wisely. You only have a short window to make your impression. Be sure your posts are interesting, unique and relevant.

So, does your business need a Facebook presence? Ultimately, it’s up to you. Research highlights the importance of having an online presence beyond your standard website. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Your customers. Are they likely to be active on Facebook? Would your customer base have an interest in connecting with your business page on Facebook?
  • Market expectations. While Facebook pages are expected for businesses in some markets, think about your industry. Would a Facebook page be useful or bring value to your customers? How would your customers benefit by “Liking” your company on Facebook?

Finally, if you decide to create a Facebook page for your business, you need to commit to maintaining it. This requires regular interaction by posting updates and content as well as interacting when customers comment. While a Facebook page allows fans of your business to post positive feedback, the opposite is true too. Keep in mind that people can also post negative comments or complaints which can be viewed by the public. Rather than ignoring less than positive comments, Forbes Magazine offers suggestions on how business owners can handle negative comments.

The great part about Facebook is that any business can get started by simply creating a free Facebook account and connect with customers. Once your page is established, you can start sharing business news, post online specials, ask for feedback and, ideally, grow your fan base. If you do make the leap into the world of Facebook, make it count. You’ll be in great company.

Need help with your social media presence and strategy? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Sources:

http://investor.fb.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=878726

http://blog.bitly.com/post/22663850994/time-is-on-your-side

http://gizmodo.com/5937143/what-facebook-deals-with-everyday-27-billion-likes-300-million-photos-uploaded-and-500-terabytes-of-data

http://www.infodocket.com/2014/09/18/social-media-u-s-adults-will-average-21-minutes-each-day-on-facebook-in-2014/

http://www.hotforsecurity.com/blog/facebooks-latest-reading-list-includes-your-text-and-multimedia-messages-7804.html

Going social is one of the many ways employees can increase brand visibility and become company advocates. According to Top Rank Online Marketing, when it comes to sharing information about your brand, 41% of people believe that employees are more trustworthy than a company CEO or PR Department. You should take advantage of employees’ social networks by encouraging them to share branded content.

Social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are transforming the way we work and interact. Social media allows people to stay in touch, share knowledge, and populate ideas regardless of rank, title, experience or location. These interactions can also help you to build stronger, more successful business relationships.

While encouraging employees to stay connected via social media on behalf of the company, employees need to understand that certain guidelines are in place to protect them and achieve the company goal of increasing brand visibility. If they contribute to blogs, social networks, wikis, or additional types of social media, rules of engagement should always apply.

3RulesofEngagement

1. Disclose

Your honesty (or dishonesty) will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. Please represent your company ethically and with integrity.

  • Be transparent: Use your real name, identify that you work for your company, and be clear about your role.
  • Be truthful: If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out and be specific about what it is.
  • Be yourself: Stick to your area of expertise; write what you know. If you publish to a website outside your company, please use a disclaimer something like this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Company X’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”

2.  Protect

Make sure that transparency doesn’t violate your company’s confidentiality or your own privacy. Remember, if you’re online, you’re on the record – everything on the Internet is public and searchable. And what you write is ultimately your responsibility.

  • Don’t tell secrets: Never reveal your company’s classified or confidential information. Also, please respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, and trade secrets. If it gives you pause… pause rather than publish.
  • Don’t slam the competition (or your company): Play nice. Anything you publish must be true and not misleading, and all claims should be substantiated and approved.
  • Don’t overshare: Be careful out there – once you hit “share,” you usually can’t get it back. Plus being judicious will help make your content more crisp and audience-relevant.

3. Use Common Sense

Perception is often reality and in online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. It is important to know that by identifying yourself as an employee of your company, you may be creating perceptions about your expertise.

  • Add value: There are millions of words out there – make yours helpful and thought-provoking. Remember, it’s a conversation, so keep it real. Build community by posting content that invites responses – then stay engaged. You can also broaden the dialogue by citing others who are writing about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared.
  • Keep it cool: There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. And you don’t need to respond to every criticism or barb. Be careful and considerate.
  • Did you make a mistake? If so, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post – just make it clear that you have done so.

Social Media continues to grow as a viable means of business communication, so why not encourage employees to be brand advocates? Following these three rules of engagement will help employees become more comfortable and confident in sharing internal company branded content. For tips on increasing engagement with your external audience through social media, look here.

Does your company encourage employees to be brand advocates? We’d love to hear your story!