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It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Social Media for B2B Companies

September 29, 2011

As a professional who is new to the marketing industry, I am in constant pursuit of ways to learn all I can from fellow marketers. So, I was thrilled to attend a recent luncheon with the Dallas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, where I enjoyed both a terrific chocolate cake and fascinating ideas from the luncheon’s topic, “Social Media for B2B Companies: Making the Connection”.

The huge and delicious cake at the IABC luncheon.

Andrea M. Riffle, vice president of marketing at Everest Group, incorporated her more than 20 years of marketing communications and branding experience throughout the discussion with examples of case studies and a question and answer segment.

Riffle stressed the importance of remembering that the use of social media is a long-term journey and requires setting specific objectives in order to measure goals and success. Here are some things I took away from the discussion:

Social media…

  • …is part of a whole. It should be used in partnership with other marketing strategies.
  • …is not just a space to communicate. Use key words to increase your online presence and make you more searchable because you “can’t ignore SEO.”
  • …requires commitment and patience. “The way clients consume information is changing,” said Riffle. “It’s an ongoing initiative, not a one-hit wonder.” This includes being willing to respond to comments.

The speaker also provided some meaningful insights into creating and maintaining successful company blogs:

  • Keep in mind that “you have content if you have experts” in your company
  • Have a process so you can maintain consistency
  • Be flexible in your approach – be open to change over time
  • Reward internal participation in your blog. For example, MarketWave gives the “Bloggie” award to the writer with the most viewed blog post that month. The winner is announced during a staff meeting and gets to keep the statue on their desk for the next month for bragging rights.
  • Integration across multiple channels increases impact. Blogs can be your anchor to share information everywhere else. Stories, pictures, news and updates can all be originally housed on the blog, but all shared on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and more.
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