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Facebook beats LinkedIn as content king for senior execs…

B2B content marketing agency, Grist has confirmed Facebook to be the ‘go to’ social platform for C-suite executives to seek business advice.

As a result of its new The Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey – presenting the findings from more than 200 interviews conducted at FTSE 350 companies – Facebook was cited as the most popular social platform for senior executives to engage with business content (79 per cent), followed by Twitter (73 per cent) and LinkedIn (68 per cent).

Regards thought leadership, 84 per cent believe this plays an important part in adding value to their role. Meanwhile, two-thirds search for thought leadership particularly on a Monday and believe it fails to make an impact when it’s too generic (63 per cent); lacks original ideas (58 per cent); or doesn’t address the reader’s needs (53 per cent).

Andrew Rogerson, founder and managing director at Grist said: “This research is great news if you are in control of your firm’s marketing and communications programme. The C-suite clearly values thought leadership and is happy to receive it from advisers.

“However, we can also see that much of this content is below par. The C-suite is a sophisticated and demanding audience, and will not respond to rehashed marketing material. Instead, thought leadership must provide a return on investment (ROI), both for the firms that invest the money to produce it and the senior executives that invest time in reading it.

“Consider, too, that Facebook matters in business-to-business communications. The marketing department, content teams and agencies need to deal with the consequences of this and devise a compelling editorial plan that includes a wide range of channels and different perspectives.”

Format was also discussed, as 800-word articles (63 per cent) and 300-500-word blog posts are preferable to longer content pieces.

Access the full survey here

Forum Insight: Business-proof your company and personal social media…

Of course, garnering a substantial social media following is important to all industry professionals and companies as a whole; however, a select few are still not implementing the basics to optimising their social presence. More than likely, your profiles will be the first thing new users look at to find out more information, and often dictate how your business, and you as an individual, appear in search results. 

Here, we breakdown the essential elements to maximising the potential of your social accounts, and why this is important for generating new business and creating a lasting impression…

 

  1. clear job title: How many times have you searched for someone’s profile, only to find the individual considers themselves to be a sales manager, commercial development director, project coordinator, and all of the above? May sound simple, but you’ll be surprised by the number of job titles people list as their current employment; therefore, to make life easier for all parties involved, just stick to one! Short, concise descriptions of your role within a company instead of laying out extensive, essay-style paragraphs will also help users and clients to stay engaged.
     
  2. Keep updating your accounts: Posting daily, or even multiple times a day, is crucial to sustaining a loyal following as well as how others will perceive both your company and your role. Granted – it’s tough work keeping on top of an average of four social accounts, nevertheless, as multiple marketing industry reports suggest, consistent use of social media can boost a company’s site SEO and allows instant communication with your clients. To share out the workload, why not create a weekly schedule where every member of your marketing team is responsible for a particular day of the week. 
     
  3. Select a professional image: I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but your choice of profile image for both a personal and business account greatly impacts a client’s perception of you; and, with my recent experience of following up with leads after a networking event, some are still choosing to ignore this basic component. Don’t just leave it as a generic grey box; and definitely don’t upload a picture of you and your friends on a night out along the Magaluf strip – for a business, a logo image will allow clients to instantly find you among the other accounts with a similar name. For personal, stick with a simple yet professional, smiley and welcoming headshot.  
     
  4. Include ALL direct contact information: Don’t forget to include information on how people can get in touch with you. Include your preferred contact methods, such as phone, Skype, email, website,  The inclusion of both a professional and personal blog presents itself as a way of existing and potential clients to learn more about you. 
  1. Recommendations: If a social platform provides the opportunity (particularly LinkedIn) it’s a good idea to take full advantage of their ‘Recommendations’ feature. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a bunch of your loyal clients and even some colleagues to write short recommendation paragraphs for you – but expect to give a little guidance on what they need to write, and be open to doing the same for them. 

LinkedIn joins ASOS and John Lewis for marcomms campaign…

The world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn, has joined forces with retail companies John Lewis and ASOS with the launch of its new international B2C and B2B marcomms campaign, designed to drive awareness of its ‘Jobs’ function as well as support engagement amongst its global members.

The Way In, which is a content-led marketing campaign, focuses on delivering inspirational stories from LinkedIn members who love their jobs, and details how professionals can achieve greater fulfilment from their careers. The integrated campaign features dedicated content, social and PR elements that will run from throughout the month of October, and marks the brand’s biggest UK campaign of the year.

Content is hosted on the campaign’s microsite and includes member and recruiter interview videos from ASOS and John Lewis. Additionally, ASOS UK headquarters have opened their doors to produce 360 degree videos that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the eTailer’s operations.

Director of consumer marketing, EMEA at LinkedIn, Peter Maxmin, explained how the campaign was created: “Being fulfilled in your job plays a big factor in both your personal and professional happiness and development. It seemed natural for us to develop a campaign that inspires professionals to think about what they love about their jobs and how to be more fulfilled in their careers. It’s great to be teaming up with some of the world’s biggest and most recognisable brands to help people find the way into their dream career.”

‘The Way In’ will also include comprehensive research conducted across eight markets: the Netherlands, UK, the US, Germany, France, Australia Canada and Singapore.

To find out more about campaign, visit: lnkd.in/thewayin.

 

You can also join the conversation on Twitter using @LinkedInUK #TheWayIn

Guest Blog, Keren Lerner: Social media in business – who’s responsible?

Social media is undeniably a key factor in business success.  In an era where prospects and supply partners will Google both company and management team before even considering any further interaction, social media content has evolved to be more than a shop window: it is the chance to display the essential voice and vision of the business – and who better to deliver this than the senior managers that define them?

Yet far too many innovative, exciting businesses now mask their true nature by opting to delegate all responsibility for social media channels away from the team’s founder, owner or leaders – often due to the mindset: “I’ll leave this to the experts, it’s not my field, and I am too busy anyway.”

Granted, experienced marketers have the skills and techniques required to create content and manage social media output, but it is the voice of the business owner or managing director that needs to be heard, and the role of the marketer to ensure responsibility isn’t abdicated entirely, but intelligently.

 

Mechanics plus vision

Most businesses that do recognise the need to embrace a dynamic and interactive approach to social media – and, unfortunately, far too many don’t – assume the entire process can be delivered by marketers, either in house or via third party agencies.

But this is not an out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all scenario.

Marketers are fantastic at putting the right mechanics in place, ensuring social media feeds are integrated and link back to original content. But does the marketer have that essential business vision or understand what led to the creation of the company in the first place? Not unless the marketer was the founder.

It is only the owner who fully understands why the business was set up, the problems it was designed to solve or the customers it wants to help. And a failure to communicate that message is a real missed opportunity.

 

Capturing the voice

The voice of the company should have an interactive social media strategy, coupled with an engaging website, well-written blog posts and content marketing. But it is also important to gain input from across the business – so the founder and the leadership team coming together to discuss ideas in keeping with the company ‘voice’ is invaluable.

The right line of questions and facilitation can prompt new insights and make it easier for a marketer to harness the essential nature of the business.

 

And it doesn’t end there

Following an initial discussion, senior management needs to stay engaged with this key aspect of business success and identity. It doesn’t need to be onerous – a scheduled time each week or month discussing ideas, from customer issues to market change, is essential to ensure published content and messages truly reflect the nature of the organisation.

 

Conclusion

Marketers must steer senior management to re-evaluate how they approach their company’s social media presence. This is a portal to the business, a way to drive engagement with prospects and customers, suppliers and business partners – and it needs to be as compelling and engaging as possible – with real insight, real stories and real experiences.

Although it is widely thought that business leaders are typically driven, opinionated and focused – that is what underpins success. So, harness that uniqueness. Generic content completely masks the true nature of the company – make sure the critical business lens of social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn are a true reflection of its core beliefs, passion and expertise.

 

 

Keren Lerner is founder and managing director of London-based design and marketing agency, Top Left Design and holds regular social media workshops,  with her next event – ‘Nine things you need to do on LinkedIn for business’ – taking place at Soho House on September 23,  2016, at 1pm. Email keren@topleftdesign.com for more information.

Forums vs Expos – how to maximise your precious time out of the office…

With a majority of ‘expert’ advice on Expos being somewhat outdated or, like with many businesses, asserting too much emphasis on easy routes rather than methods that actually work, it’s no wonder people get frustrated and disconcerted when they are looking to effectively network and source new connections without it lessening quality time spent in the office.

Amplified by the dominant presence of social media quick fixes such as: setting up a LinkedIn profile; increasing your Twitter presence; scheduling a large number of email marketing campaigns; and collecting as many business cards as possible at industry events – are key solution in helping you to be astute in intelligently selecting what methods best suit you and your way of working.

Expos can also have a somewhat ‘lazy’ association to it: people picture the huge halls and countless stands as a way of picking up leads and justifying their time out of the office, but realistically a large percentage of exhibitors won’t be of necessary relevance, or the person you need to speak to has decided not to attend at the last minute.

So set aside any previous experiences you may have with networking and Expos, and garner some quality connections by attending one of our Forum Events. Our formula ensures that buyers can increase their knowledge of how, why and where to invest without hanging around waiting for the wrong supplier; as well as ensuring that all suppliers are provided with qualified leads and valuable business is made as a result.

Events relevant to you may include the Marketing Business Forum taking place on November 8, 2016. Contact the team today…

More marketers turning to Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets…

In a survey collecting opinions on organic and paid-for marketing from 300 social media marketers, the B2B research and marketing firm, Clutch, found more than 60 per cent are approaching Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets; with the video platform YouTube coming in second at 34 per cent; 33 per cent for Twitter; and LinkedIn amounting to 30 per cent of paid budgets.

Although the majority of respondents (80 per cent) generally opt for a combination of organic and paid-for marketing, there are companies that have chosen not to use paid-for (13 per cent), despite 60 per cent claiming paid-for social media marketing is much more effective than organic.

In addition, the survey also acknowledges some significant differences between the social media marketing of B2B and B2C; however, both sectors are using the mediums in the same context.

Read the full survey here

Facebook beats its rivals to become number one for B2B purchasing info…

Beating tough competition from the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook has been voted as the number one social platform for B2B marketers to find information to aid sector purchasing decisions.

The joint ‘Changing Face of Influence‘ report conducted by the global communications and PR agency, Hotwire, Active Digital Marketing Communications and technology market research provider, Vanson Bourne, found that out of 1,000 B2B decision-makers, 24 per cent actively choose Facebook as their main source in finding purchasing information; compared to 17 per cent preferring to use LinkedIn.

Group head of engagement at Hotwire, John Brown, commented: “Social media has eroded these divides and created an environment where what matters is how compelling the story is, not where decision makers see the story. We need to stop making assumptions about what our audience want and allow research and insight to guide how we create multichannel campaigns. B2B businesses who ignore channels because they view them as only being for consumers are in for a rude shock when they realise no one cares about the channels they’ve lovingly invested in.”

Download the full report here