Commentary

5 Key B2B Lessons From Social Media Week

Social Media Week New York had its strongest showing yet as many of the world’s biggest brands and agencies came together to talk about how the industry is transforming.

The four days were an intense, deep dive into where social media is now, and how it can benefit marketers. Here were five key points business-to-business (B2B) marketers need to remember when they create their social media and content strategies.

1. Don’t Fall Into the Lead Gen Trap

There is so much pressure for marketers to generate leads. But often, there is too much focus on short-term, meaningless leads. The real value of a social-media/content campaign comes when there is a long-term strategy aimed at top customers.

This message was driven home by top leaders from LinkedIn, eMarketer and SAP. The speakers reminded the audience that customers are humans and needed to be treated as such. They want communications that build confidence and assurance. This is especially true after a deal is struck.

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2. Pick Your Influencers Wisely.

Influencer marketing has been on a steady rise with brand marketers moving $3 billion into the space. The danger is, with 5 million influencers now on the scene, regulators are wading in, top influencers are selling out and mid-tier influencers going black hat. The fear is we are heading toward the same bubble burst that was experienced by Mommy Bloggers, Vine and other social phenomenon.

The storytelling influencers, the ones who are true experts, will survive the burst. These influencer relationships should be cultivated now to create long-term valuable options. Choose influencers who are passionate about your brand, build the relationship and make it successful through shared goals.

3. Content: Quality over Quantity, Always

It’s an old lesson, but bears repeating. Standout content that inspires, educates, engages and drives action actually works. Just remember that your content isn’t just about telling a story that’s relevant to your brand image. It must ignite emotion and human reaction and provide value to your audience. This is the only authentic way to engage with users and give them a reason to share it.

4. Video is (Still) the King of Content

The play button is now the most compelling action on the web as smartly stated by Animoto’s president/cofounder Jason Hsaio. There are endless stats confirming that video is often the preferred way people want to consume information. However, this is not to say other content formats do not have value – they do.

Video is here to amplify the content you’re already creating – i.e. taking thought leadership content your audience downloads the most and turning it into video stories. Quality video content also allows companies of all sizes to rival big competitors through the accessibility of social and video.  

5. Don’t Forget to Listen.

The value of social listening cannot be stressed enough. Answering brand questions in real time and being able to leverage what customers are saying allows your business to connect directly with your audiences wants and needs. It is not a luxury anymore, it is an absolute expectation.

Top leaders from Ketchum, Ferrero and Talkwalker drove home the value of social listening. They stressed how you can see what engagement is happening, which messaging is pulling through, and strategically choose conversations to join via timely content. Also, if you haven’t set up a free Talkwalker alert for your business. Do it today, you won’t regret it.

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