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Brian Larson

How to Build a B2B Community in Facebook

Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013     B2B, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

Mike Lewis at MPB2B

Yes, B2B marketers lean towards LinkedIn as the social network of choice…and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that a very real opportunity doesn’t exist to create a community in the world’s largest social network – Facebook.

Consider this, according to Hubspot’s “Intro to Facebook for Business”, 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.

Mike Lewis,VP of Digital Strategy TATA Consultancy Services, kick starts the panel discussion with a challenge to marketers to consider the opportunities they may be missing in Facebook. With his challenge heard, Lewis shares his methodical approach to determining how to best create & nurture a B2B community in Facebook by launching into his ‘3 Initial Keys to Standing out on Facebook’.

1) Pay Attention

Before you ‘listen’ for your opportunities, begin with an understanding of:

Nicolette Beard

How Does B2B Marketing Work on Google Plus? 4 Top B2B Tech Company Examples

Nicolette Beard on Sep 24th, 2013     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media

B2B Technology Google PlusWhile sports teams, news outlets, car companies, universities, non-profits and the entertainment industry dominate the top 200 business pages on Google+, a growing number of B2B technology companies have embraced Google+ as well.

As with any top consumer brand, consistent engagement is crucial to success. B2B technology brands are developing relationships with prospects just like on any other social platform.  In the world of optimizing customer experience across the B2B sales cycle, Google+ for businesses offers B2B marketers  an opportunity to connect with buyers in a meaningful way and provide relevant information.

Thought leaders and subject matter experts increasingly serve as trusted sources to help business buyers determine the best solution to solve a business need. Knowledge and expertise combined with social media have trumped the peer influencers of the traditional buyer, giving rise to the “B2B Social Buyer”. [Source: ITSMA pdf]

Lee Odden

15 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Land of Lakes and Bacon #SMBMSP57

Lee Odden on Sep 5th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

social media tipsMinnesota hosts some of the top consumer brands in the country: Target, Best Buy, General Mills (Betty Crocker, Wheaties, Cheerios, Yoplait) 3M, Toro and many more. Social media is also a hot topic here in the land of the north with a vibrant interactive marketing community and the always awesome Social Media Breakfast, Minneapolis, St, Paul.

SMBMP holds monthly get togethers each month covering a variety of topics (not just marketing) that attract anywhere from 50 to 300 bacon and coffee hungry social media enthusiasts

As a provider of social media marketing services to major B2B brands, TopRank has been a long time supporter of SMBMSP. Recently, several of our team attended  a SMBMSP presentation from local agencies space150, Bolin and Spyder Trap on consumer brand social media case studies: Buffalo Wild Wings, Carmex, and Michelina’s.  The presentations were diverse in style and content, which, like the photo of tasty bacon above, appealed to just about everyone.

Nicolette Beard

How Top Consumer Brands are Successfully Using Google+

Nicolette Beard on Aug 27th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

google-plus More has been written about Google+ over the past 26 months than almost any other social media site.  While Google+ has had its share of press, there are still many skeptics.

In the face of the sheer amount of time consumers spend on Facebook and Twitter, how do brands solve the dilemma of where to spend their time and how to justify their presence on yet another social network?

In the Internet Age, people seem to suffer from short-term memory loss. None of the mainstream social media platforms experienced overnight success. As proof, just watch the movie, The Social Network, about Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Lee Odden

For Small Businesses: When Is the Best Time to Start Building Your Social Networks?

Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

social networkingDuring a neighborhood gathering I met a small business owner and after sharing our respective backgrounds, he proceeded to tell me his troubles with not having the time to keep his website current. Competitors were seemingly overwhelming his category online. He also disclosed that his offering requires a bit of an educational sales cycle and the industry category has had some mixed press.

As we talked, I learned that innovations in the product line have advanced the capabilities significantly, but awareness of those advancements were hardly common knowledge within the target audience.  The good news was a significant demand in search volume and conversation on social networks about the problems his product offering solves.

Lee Odden

5 Reasons Why Employees are Your Best Brand Advocates

Lee Odden on Aug 1st, 2013     Guest Posts, Online Marketing, Social Media

Employee Brand Advocates

Confronted with the need to enter the social media space, companies are challenged with forecasting and allocating resources. At the same time, other companies are advancing towards more mature social media best practices and the drive to scale performance increases. 

In both cases, there’s an often untapped resource businesses can explore for brand advocacy and engagement on the social web. To offer insight into the how, the smart and savvy B2B marketer Erin Nelson shares her insights:

Employees are immersed in the complexities of today’s social media landscape.

They are engaging with multiple networks and they are heard (even if for only a brief moment) by large numbers – daily. Marketing executives can certainly choose to leave these impressionable and active online crusaders to themselves. Or they can realize they are sitting on top of a lush and lucrative goldmine.

Nicolette Beard

Social Media Strategy: Where to Start & Why

Nicolette Beard on Jul 23rd, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

social media strategy start

Where to Start Your Social Media Strategy

Whether you’re a bricks and mortar mom and pop business or a 100% online digital enterprise, NOT participating in social media is no longer an option. In many ways today’s social networks represent the new discovery engine. Consumers and business decision makers are sending their friends and colleagues to websites they like through their browsers and desktops and, increasingly, their mobile devices.

According to eMarketer, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide will use social networks in 2012. Although the global audience is massive, it is by no means unified, they caution. It’s clear that companies of all sizes need to embrace a social media strategy because what our connections are doing online will drive your customers’ behavior more and more. What still appears murky for many, however, is exactly where to start.

Lee Odden

Content Promotion Tips for Online Community Managers

Lee Odden on Jun 5th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Promotion Community ManagersIn a few weeks I’ll be giving a talk at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis to a class on community management on a topic that I think will interest many of our readers.

Online Community Management is a function that has existed in the digital world for a while now, stretching back to the days of bulletin boards and online forums. Today that role looks a bit different.

Not be confused with a Social Media Manager, a Community Manager is typically the “voice of the brand” on the social web as well as the voice of the community back to the brand. Functionally, this translates to social media listening and engagement but also includes some promotion of brand messaging.

Lee Odden

Top 5 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Lee Odden on May 21st, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report SME

What if you could tap into the minds of 3,000 marketers to find out where they stand when it comes to social media marketing? How valuable would it be to know how your peers are handing the time commitments, social media platforms and measurement?

Lucky you and lucky me, the answers to those questions are found in today’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner.

A few of this year’s social media statistics:

  • 86% of marketers say social media is important for their business
  • 69% plan to increase their use of YouTube
  • 58% of marketers are blogging and 62% will increase blogging in 2013
  • 49% picked Facebook as the single most important social network
Miranda Miller

Content Marketing Tactics: Business Blogging Pros, Cons, Best Practices & Brands Doing It Right

Miranda Miller on May 14th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Blogging for content marketersAs part of our continuing series on content marketing tactics, I’ll be covering a topic that is absolutely near and dear to every content marketer’s heart: business blogging.

According to a recent NM Incite report, there are over 181 million blogs around the world. The way many companies treat blogs in their content marketing mix is to incorporate blogs into their website as a section or subdomain, or host them on their own domain name as we do.

With that kind of popularity, you would think everyone in business would know what a blog is and would be using them to their maximum advantage. Trust me, I’m in the content business and they don’t.  In fact, brands split just 11% of their total social media budget between blogging and influencer outreach. So just to clear up any ambiguity and to follow the format for this series, here goes:

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Predictive Social Tools, Content Marketing & The Customer Journey

Miranda Miller on Apr 26th, 2013     Online Marketing News

Brands understand the importance of content marketing, yet most have not yet addressed their content needs on either a strategic or tactical level, according to Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb.

Researchers for the company conducted interviews with executives actively engaged in content strategy or marketing; their findings were the basis of a new report, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise. Lieb and report co-authors guide brand marketers through a variety of organizational models for content, with recommendations to help companies execute an effective content strategy. Read the full report on SlideShare.

Miranda Miller

The Secrets to Driving Social Commerce: Google & Mel Carson on Social ROI at #SESNY

Miranda Miller on Mar 28th, 2013     Search Engine Strategies, Social Media

Secrets to Driving Social CommerceIn advance of their SES New York session on social commerce, I wanted to see what tips and tricks moderator Mel Carson and speaker Deitra Mara could share with our readers. At 9:30 am March 28th, the two will join Tami Dalley from Salesforce to present Social Media Meet ROI: The Secrets to Driving Social Commerce.

Carson and Mara graciously participated in interviews prior to their session, to share their experience and advice with marketers looking to improve their social media channel awareness, content creation and social ROI.

Carson, formerly of Microsoft, is the founder of social, PR and personal branding consultancy Delightful Communications. As moderator, he’ll have his hands full with the two powerhouse speakers.  Carson told us, “I’d encourage anyone to come to see two very powerful women in the industry speak. Deitra and Tami bring a lot of insight into different tools and products, best practices and disciplines on how to prove the ROI in social media commerce exists and how to get more of it.”

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