B2B Marketers Still Uncertain About Social Media

According to research from Accenture, almost two-thirds of B2B marketing executives view social media as an important marketing channel. However, only 7% felt that they were leveraging social media very heavily while 9% were not using social media at all. Business-to-business marketers have been acknowledging the value of social media yet have been slower to adopt social media strategies compared to business-to-consumer marketers.

Another study that compares B2B and B2C social media involvement showed that 12% of B2B companies are not using social media compared to 2% of B2C companies. B2B marketers say that technology, tools, metrics, and collaboration could be useful to strengthen their social media programs. Uncertainty of social media is definitely a factor in holding back B2B marketers in getting serious with social media. The fact that it is still a relatively young marketing channel has B2B marketers taking the wait-and-see approach.

It boils down to the age old sales and marketing question, “How much has it contributed to our bottom line?” Like many other marketing efforts, the number is tricky to quantify with social media. Thus, marketers are apprehensive in putting too much time and effort into social media at this time.

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The Social Side of Gaming

If you haven’t heard of Angry Birds or Farmville, you have been living under a rock. These are just two of the many games that have transformed the trend of social gaming. Social gaming is playing games as a way of social interaction, via social networks like Facebook. Gaming is not only for the stereotyped teens, now moms, business execs, and retirees are reshaping the demographics of who a gamer is. The two top activities people do online is social networking and gaming, so its no wonder social gaming has become so popular.

Social gaming is not only keeping users entertained, it is also helping companies market and advertise their brands. Marketers use social gaming to reach a wide variety of people. It also gives them the opportunity to target specific groups of people by uncovering their preferences, habits, and acquaintances via social networks. This is where targeted advertising comes into play. Companies are leveraging their brands to create experiences that exist within the games to encourage engagement and interaction. For example, you can get a pair of Nike tennis shoes for your Avatar. The idea is to incorporate businesses and brands into the gaming network instead of overloading users with ads. By integrating brands into games, users will have the chance to interact with the brand instead of being attacked by numerous ad campaigns.

Social gaming enables an interaction to take place. This is the first step in attracting users to a brand, product, or service. By integrating brands into a game, it allows users to have fun with the brand and get to know it. If a user’s avatar wears Nike shoes, the user may be more inclined to buy a pair of Nike shoes for themselves.

11 Social Media Marketing Tips

Social media has only been around for a short while and it has greatly exploded into a network of possibilities. Not only is social media used to communicate with friends and family, shop, and find love, it is also a way for businesses to market to their present and hopefully future customers. Social media has allowed marketers to transform one-way communication into an interactive experience. The ability to shape products and services based on real time customer feedback is the brilliance behind marketing via social media. Although social media sounds so simple, it may be difficult to decipher how to utilize social media for marketing purposes.

Here are 11 tips to help with social media usage as part of a marketing strategy:

1. Research: There are many social media outlets available and it can get crowded and confusing trying to decide which ones to use. Research should be conducted on how to use social media and what social media outlet is the best to use.
2. Set goals: Have a plan set so you can measure your progress and success.
3. Use the correct social media outlet for your audience: Different social media sites cater to certain things. To reach a specific audience, the right outlet must be used. For example, if your business sells consumer products, Facebook might be the best platform.
4. Be on your best behavior: Everything said online can be seen and gets recorded. It also becomes permanent. Think before you type.
5. Be interesting: Anything boring will not be read or followed. Updates or tweets should be lively and catch the attention of your audience.
6. Communicate instead of broadcasting: Social media is about engaging your audience and creating two-way communication. Avoid bombarding followers or fans with useless information.
7. Don’t be negative: Never say anything negative about another business. It could come back and haunt you and ruin your reputation.
8. Keep updated: Make sure you are keeping current. Don’t leave your audience to wonder and become stagnant.
9. Personalization: Make profile pages match the business atmosphere and incorporate the business culture.
10. Quality over quantity: Don’t go overboard and sign up for every social media site available. Keep it simple and only choose a couple of the top sites.
11. Use links: Add links to your social media accounts. Links help to get customers to your actual website. Also do the opposite and link your social media sites on your company website.