I'm just coming off 19,000 miles, 3 countries, and both coasts of the US (back and forth twice) in a 5 week period. I met lots of new people, and noticed a trend that interestingly reflected a concept Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, and I presented at our case study session at SiriusDecisions Summit -- Social Surround.
It's not new, and wasn't coined by us, but Social Surround is the technique of using every social platform available to connect to your colleagues and prospects. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, you name it. The more you connect, and the more you share with them or about them, the more you build that relationship. Let's face it, a retweet by any means is flattering.
Here's a surround scenario for you:
- I met the director of Demand Gen for a software company a few months back, brief handshake, intro and card exchange. There wasn't an immediate need for Green Leads work at the time...nurturable
- That night I sent an email with the contact info of a mutual colleageue we both knew from years ago that he had fallen out of touch with
- I then linked to him on LinkedIn
- From LinkedIn, I found his twitter handle, and followed him. Hopefully he monitors his new followers.
- I also followed his company account, learned a bit there
- Found him on Facebook, and instead of offering to connect, I simply shared Green Leads' facebook page with him. He liked it
- I notice his company tweets something retweetable, and give it a retweet. Maybe he'll notice
- He's an avid LinkedIn Update poster. So I liked a post
- Saw he was on the attendee list of #SDsummit, so sent a "Look forward to seeing you at the event" email
Fast forward to the SiriusDecisions Summit. Craig and I are in the case study presenting the Social Surround concept, and who's sitting in the middle row smiling? Yep. He comes up to me afterwards and told me how he personally experienced Social Surround by me and had come to the conference with the intent of talking with me about a b2b appointment setting project. Now that he knew the concept had a term and it worked, he was sold--surrounded and sold.
Benefits of Social Surround:
- Passive branding
- Ongoing networking
- Rapport building the social way
- Non-intrusive to the prospect
- Multiple touch points
- Warms up outbound activies
- Can trigger inbound responses
ps. What I like the most with Social Surround is that I'm seeing the prospects surrounding me. That is the ultimate Inbound Lead!
Photo: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Surrounded Islands
RoyHP: Collaborate with Data Analysts: 4 Strategies to Improve Relationships with IT http://ow.ly/qM0Q MarketingSherpa
mvolpe: "design your website first for search engines" use the free tool http://www.websitegrader.com/ to check how you are doing #sherpab2b09
NetSuite_Mei: Focus on providing valuable content on your website to drive traffic #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: I agree!! "you can make your website as pretty as you want, but if search engines don't list you, no one finds it" #sherpab2b09
ajdun: Jaren Green: "Not everyone searches like you do" Amen. There is no such thing as the average web surfer #sherpab2b09
MarketingSherpa: Audience poll #sherpab2b09: Majority of marketers using lead scoring can't quantify the value they're getting from it.
kimalbee: Look at the big pic 4 success - metrics: # visits > #leads - initial > #leads - more info > #sales-ready leads > Sales closed #sherpab2b09
viewstream: #sherpab2b09 Julie Wisdom, Babcock: content is KING, but expensive. SO leverage content, and find inexpensive ways to produce.
jill_rowley: Remember - even if you're doing B2B marketing, you are marketing to humans - per Julie from Babcock & Jenkins #sherpab2b09
BabcockJenkins: RT @viewstream: #sherpab2b09 @juliewisdom Top 4 Content Mediums For B2B: 1: video, 2: white papers, 3: ondemand webcasts, 4: case studies
MarketingSherpa: 97% of SMBs say email newsletters ‘important' or ‘very important...only 27% say same about Twitter. #sherpab2b09
kimalbee: SMB Newsletter Response: Look beyond the opening click to conversions when examining response and best day to deliver #sherpab2b09
viewstream: @KenricVanWyk landing page driven site fueled only by organic search. #sherpab2b09
LaBergeLLC: Acoustics By Design -Great example of using blogging to add SEO content for your web site. http://www.acousticsbydesign.com/ #sherpab2b09
Quality vs. Quantity:
damphoux: Quality v Quantity RT @MarketingSherpa Jaren Green: Work lead quality into every discussion to improve relationship w sales #sherpab2b09
For a chuckle (congrats @andrewspoeth for both of them):
andrewspoeth: Can anyone read the font size on this slide? #sherpab2b09
andrewspoeth: Picture of today's crazy, complex sales funnel according to Forrester. #sherpab2b09 http://twitpic.com/iywkj
TJMcCue: RT @MarketingSherpa The 5 levers for improving lead-gen performance: http://bit.ly/10TUGy #sherpab2b09
amberjwallace: RT @juliepower: Best viral marketing campaigns by b2b and b2c from Sherpa http://snipurl.com/s2h9i
ajdun: Great stat from Sirius Decisions via #sherpab2b09 80% of leads DQ by sales go on to buy in 24 mos
MktgExperiments: @brianjcarroll: study shows 28% of early-stage leads take 100+ days to become sales-ready. #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: Brian Carroll just quoted me when I quote @dmscott the originator: "Think like a publisher, not a marketer" #sherpab2b09
andrewspoeth: RT @damphoux: answer these questions on landing pages: where are you at? what can I do here? why should I do it? #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: Quick Landing Page Tips from #sherpab2b09 http://hub.tm/?QYdmH
alanorourke: Clarity trumps persuasion! Landing page conversion #sherpab2b09
ardath421: sell the download (content) NOT the company on your landing page (Flint) #sherpab2b09
jepc: Genoo chose not to blog, but to create microsite http://www.b2bonlinemarketingpros.com/ & promote it in their own LinkedIn Group #sherpab2b09
MarketingSherpa: Albee: Creating a LinkedIn group gives you a great list: Genoo's enewsletters to LinkedIn Group members avg. 19%-44% CTR. #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: I disagree!!! www.facebook.com/hubspot has 6,000+ fans & FB is a top 10 source of leads for HubSpot #sherpab2b09
InboundMarketer: Almost everyone at MarketingSherpa has a corporate Twitter account, though less than half of those people read Twitter daily #sherpab2b09
InboundMarketer: Less than half of those at MarketingSherpa have company Facebook pages, & less than 10 update those pages daily #sherpab2b09
And for the lighthearted chuckle...
damphoux: @repcor most interesting part of the conference is listening to the ambient conversations next to the camera during breaks ;) #sherpab2b09
repcor: Going to turn off the lifestream for a few. Back on in 15. #sherpab2b09 http://bit.ly/sherpa09
A while back, I read an article by Chris Brogan that discussed 19 chores we could each do daily to help us maintain an online presence. I was already doing a majority of the list, but then it got me thinking. What if I had my browser setup so when I wake up in the AM all my daily tasks for maintaining my social media prowess were just lined up waiting for me to get my coffee? Here's my Lead Generation Tip for today.
I've never been one to clutter up toolbars in a browser, but this seemed like a great reason to do it. So I bookmarked the following links and turned on the bookmarks toolbar. This allows me to wake up, sip my Greenest Bean coffee (organic, locally roasted), and make my presence known. I come back to it during the day when I need a break and hit them again.
- HootSuite - been using this since I uninstalled tweetdeck for locking up my system every day. I've got it all decked out with columns, tabs, subjects, friends, you name it
- Google Reader - still the easiest RSS reader going. Read up, schedule the best for tweets on HootSuite with Send Later. Comment on a few relevant articles
- Hubspot Dashboard - finds daily chores for me to do around blogging, keywords, search rankings, etc.
- LinkedIn Q&A - to maintain my top Lead Gen Expert status and to accept invites and other LinkedIn goodness
- Personal Facebook - post some drivel
- Company Facebook Fan Page - post some value
- Fast Company Blog - share an article
- Smashmouth Marketing Blog - write an article
- FriendFeed - check out friends thoughts
- SocialOomph - vet my new twitter followers
During the process, I usually digg or stumble a few articles as well.
ps. Look at the other top experts in the Lead Generation section of LinkedIn. I'm in good company!
What other daily tasks do you do to keep yourself in the frontlines? Leave a comment
One of the blogs I read is Web Ink Now by David Meerman Scott (@dmscott).
Love the insight and tone, and the fact that he rarely lets me down. This week, David posted a great video (below) that he found through Trevor Young (@trevoryoung), that he found from Ross Monaghan (@themediapod) (boy, this twitter RT credit can get lengthy), that was produced by Engage | ORM and besides being a great short production, it too is insightful.
The video compares the rebellious, outspoken, revolutionary aspects of the Punk Rock movement to what we see today with Social Media -- the revolution not quite being politics, sex and drugs, but a revolution in how people communicate, share and propagate ideas. I follow it completely, but I'll add to it in a way that seems to extend or complete the analogy (for me at least).
Punk was Rebellion. Punk was Revolution. Punk was a Protest.
Communities and communications in Social Media are less about a Protest, and more about Sharing. I think that Punk burned out because it was never seen by the masses as acceptable and mainstream behavior. Social Media, on the other hand is. Generations of families are connected on Facebook. Competitors are having open discussions on twitter and even re-tweeting each other. Non profits and causes are thriving due to social media. Professional networks are reaching beyond the Kiwanis club and the golf course with LinkedIn.
Social Media is so much more than Punk. It has survived the early adopters, and it has broken through the mainstream barrier. Just as television and radio communications sparked changes in race relations, sexuality, politics and the balance of world power (different blog post), the new, "Social Media", will bring changes that we can't yet predict. What we can do is participate. Post updates, speak our mind, compare and contrast ideas, and connect with others.
The Clash got it 180° from where Social Media is today:
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it.
Clash, Know Your Rights
Engage | ORM's video:
This past week I was lucky enough to attend both the CMO Club Summit in New York, and the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston. There was a definite overlap of key discussion points that I believe is critical for all sales and marketing execs to consider. These are the areas that impact both the marketing discipline and the sales discipline, and where critical mass may be for your company's success. This blog article is obviously not enough to serve every topic, but as an introduction and overview, it will set the stage for future discussion.
- Alignment of Sales & Marketing
- Demand Generation
- Sales Enablement
- Social Media
They each had significant focus, but as the union of both camp's topics of discussion, the umbrella topic of Sales & Marketing Alignment seems to cover it all. For generations, Marketing has been focusing on branding, products, communications, creating demand and supporting sales. Today, especially with the economy, there seems to be increasing shifts towards the last two - the top of the funnel. Demand generation and sales enablement are the two most significant areas where investments seem to be on the rise. Some highlights below:
- Marketing needs to understand their customers and their sales force. Get out into the field, ask for feedback, but add value during this process
- Marketing and sales leaders need to know metrics inside out. Conversion rates at each stage of the funnel. ROI for every program, etc.
- Marketing should hold sales responsible for what they do with a marketing generated lead
- Sales should hold marketing responsible for generating the right leads
- Marketing should bolster and ensure the consistency of the brand messages they have created by creating uniform, adaptable, and readily available sales enablement assets
- Marketing should know what motivates a sales person, and sales should know what motivates marketing. The two should work together to align these goals
As far as Social Media is concerned, everyone is in agreement it is a hot topic and that there needs to be some strategy and tactics directed towards it. There were examples of sales successes with social media, marketing wins using social media, etc. What wasn't clear was how to maximize the use of social media, and how to control it. Some consensus, some debate:
- Marketing should drive a uniform effort to properly arm a company to use social media. This includes an official company/brand presence as well as individual users
- Social media should be used for both inbound demand gen as well as outbound
- Companies should educate employees on the proper use and respect of social media
- Marketing and sales management should educate sales teams on the ins and outs, tips and tricks of using systems such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for sales
- Consideration of guidelines governing social media since the FTC has ruled that social media contributions by employees are discoverable
- General consensus: LinkedIn and Twitter for business. Facebook for personal. The exception are Facebook Fan Pages for companies, products and brand presence
Pam O'neal and I have had the pleasure of talking recently as I was advising the micro lending sotry/non-profit One Hen on the virtues of SEO and Social Media. I had seen Pam's story on Marketing Sherpa and thought she would be a great person for them to meet and having been following Pam on twitter, I tweeted her up and made the connect. The conversation was extrememly informative, not just for One Hen, but for myself as well. She touched on many topics that companies of all sizes should be considering. I asked her if she would conduct a small interview and here are the results:
Mike: If a company is on a shoestring marketing budget and doesn't have lots of free headcount, how can they start a Social Media marketing program?
Pam: I’ve spent most of my career marketing companies on a shoestring budget so this is a topic I know well. As our recent Marketing Sherpa social media case study shows, social media is phenomenal for lead generation. It levels the playing field and provides a low cost way to connect with customers and help them “find” your company and its products. But it does take a fare amount of care and feeding. I advocate leveraging the thought leaders or subject matter experts that you have on staff to create compelling content for your blog. Then set up a Twitter,Facebook and/or LinkedIn page—whatever makes sense for your audience. Then utilize a number of free monitoring and content distribution tools such as Twitter , Tweetscan, Google Reader and FriendFeed to help you monitor and spread the word about your blog, community or social network group. When you spot an opportunity, someone needs to be responsible for engaging in the conversation. While rallying the troops to help is the best way to develop the content make such a program successful, I advocate a full time hire whose main responsibility is success of your social media efforts. Otherwise, it will be the lowest priority. You simply cannot treat it as a nice to have or something that you fit in at the end of the day. It takes a 12 to 15 hour a day commitment and the support of others in your company. Also – don’t forget to integrate your blog, Twitter page and social networks in every element of the Marketing mix.
Mike: One thing we've done is brought on a marketing MBA from one of the local universities. They scan interesting topical information, present it to us for one of us to respond and even take responses by cell phone (voice that is). It seems to all be about content. The more you produce, the more content emerges in your name, your brand.
You and I were on a con call the other day and the topic of Facebook came up. When I think of Facebook, all I can see are my teens posting pictures of them and their friends at parties. Is there really b2b value on Facebook? Should I post a picture of me at a party? ;-)
Pam: Depends upon your Facebook network and the nature of your business. I haven’t found it to be valuable at all for our market at BreakingPoint. And, I’ve seen other companies invest heavily in Facebook pages and applications with disappointing results. It seems to provide wonderful opportunities for non-profits and B2C Marketers as this Sprint campaign suggests. At BreakingPoint, We are finding more success on LinkedIn and Twitter. But, if you are selling products that appeal to other Marketers, Educators, or other groups that congregate on Facebook, it is a target rich environment. And, I find it to be a nice way to keep track of my friends and business colleagues who, as it turns out, aren’t posting a bunch of photos of themselves at parties. ?
Mike: I'm of the opinion that the gray line between business identity and personal identity in Social Media is a good thing. What are your thoughts on that?
Pam: Absolutely. It keeps things real. People can connect over shared interests whether they are professional or personal. For some reason, people seem to think that the social media space is vastly different than real life, but it is not so different. Success in both worlds is about relationships—both business and personal. Most of the friends I’ve made over the years are people I’ve worked with, so I have no need to put up an all-business façade. We all must remember, however, that everything you do or say in the social media space is available for anyone to see. It becomes your resume, to a certain extent . There is a need to edit ourselves.
Mike: Personal Branding, as they say. Which leads me to my next question about quality posting or quantity posting. For those of us that follow Guy Kawasaki on twitter, we know what I'm talking about regarding message volume. He's posting 40-50 tweets a day. In fact, before I found TweetDeck (thanks to a Guy post), I unfollolowed him because of his message volume. Now it is tucked in a group called "lotsamessages" along with @scobleizer and a few others. Lots of stuff, but lots of gems when I scan.
So, three valuable tweets a day or twenty tweets a day with three gems mixed in?
Pam: Really depends upon my schedule. Most days it’s three gems, but some days I have more time for conversation. For the most part, however, I’m there to collaborate with a group of very smart people and learn from them. Not just about Marketing, but about any topic that catches my interest. So, I prefer the tweeps who post about interesting finds, helpful blog posts, or other resources that I can put to use. (Spare me the details of your lunch or latest food born illness.) So, that’s the model I’ve set for myself. I typically only share helpful information or provide links to my blog posts at BuzzStream . With that said, most business conversations whether at a conference, in a meeting or even the hallway, have some personal discourse. We aren’t all business all of the time. So, I will engage in a short conversation with other Tweeps, but if the conversation goes long, I’ll take it to email or Direct Message someone.
Mike: Last question. SEM or SEO?
Pam: For most businesses, I’d say both. Especially in the early stages when a company doesn’t have the rich website content, Google page rank and inbound links to rank at the top of Google. You need to use both for visibility and for early testing. You see, SEM (or Google AdWords PPC advertising) is particularly good for keyword testing. You’ll need to test out the performance of the more competitive high volume terms prior to pouring your time and resources into SEO. Paul May explained this beautifully on the BuzzStream blog. Once you start to have success on the SEO front, you can scale back on SEM, but I always use SEM to a certain extent because different content appeals to different people. It really depends upon their goal . It used to be the case that shoppers in buying mode clicked on SEM links while those in research mode were more inclined to click on an organic link. I believe that still holds true today. B2B Marketers really want both types of traffic, so I’ve always used both.
Mike: Good point. Especially the keyword point. I'd add a comment to the readers... when you find those perfect keywords that get traffic, use them. Not just in your web pages for meta-tags, use them in your blog posts, use them in your blog comments, use them in your tweets and on LinkedIn or Facebook. Get the robots finding you everywhere. I even go with Mike Damphousse or Michael Damphousse and appointment setting or meetings, just to alternate which firstname or service keyword some people might search for (see, just snuck in some keywords).
Pam, thanks so much, and let's keep tweeting.
Pam: Thanks for the interview Mike. I hope you and your readers will follow me on @poneal on twitter or read my blog.
Mike:Oh, and one more...green, red or yellow curry?
About: Pam O'Neal oversees global marketing for BreakingPoint including brand strategy, integrated marketing programs, press and analyst relations, and regional field marketing. An award-winning marketing professional, O’Neal has more than 18 years of experience using advanced techniques and proven marketing frameworks to develop programs that make an immediate impact on revenue.