Ashley Zeckman

4 B2B Social Media & SEO Blunders to Avoid

B2B Social Media BlundersThere are some things that you can’t take back: including what you release on the Internet.  With over 93% of B2B marketers using social media, online sales has very much become a social business. As marketers we need to do our best to present as well online as we do in person (if not better).  Creating an effective online marketing plan amongst all the changes on the social web isn’t easy, but here are a few things you may want to avoid.

#1: Flying By the Seat of Your Pants

A “lets throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks” approach will only take you so far in social media.  Consider your internet marketing plan to be just as essential as your traditional sales and marketing plans.  Below are some questions you may want to ask yourself when creating your social content marketing strategy:

  • What is the goal of the campaign?
  • Who am I writing this content for?
  • What are they interested in?
  • How do I plan on reaching my goals?
  • What results am I anticipating?
  • What actions need to be taken in order to create the most favorable results?

#2: Whoops! We Forgot to Optimize Our Social Media Profiles

Consider your social media campaigns your offsite SEO.  What does this mean?  Create content for your social campaigns the same way you would for your website.  This means determining which keywords your audience is searching for, create relevant content utilizing those keywords, and be sure to adapt these as needed.  Some things you may want to keep in mind.

  • Is your company profile optimized with proper keywords?
  • Are all of your social media profiles leading back to the same URL?
  • Is your contact information clearly highlighted & easily accessible?

#3: Avoiding Reacting to Negative Feedback

It is unrealistic to assume that there will never be negative feedback about your company.  The internet is a sounding board for users to share their opinions, experience with companies or feedback on products. Pretty much any thing you can think of people have something to say about it.   While you can’t control every detail of a users experience (or who they share it with) you can control how your business responds to their feedback.

  • Utilize social media tracking tools so you can deal with issues as quickly as possible.
  • Respond to the commenters directly and work to mend the relationship if possible.
  • If necessary, invite the dissenter to discuss the issue offline.
  • Share and reward positive comments to build even better relationships with satisfied clients/customers.

#4: Failing to Measure the Success of Your Campaign

You’ve dedicated time, money, and resources to creating an online presence but what do you have to show for it?  Effective measurement is key in running a successful social media marketing program.  There are many free and paid tools on the market that will assist you in properly measuring your success from Google Analytics to Trackur.  What are some of the metrics you should always make sure you’re watching?

  • The number of conversions your company has generated from a social marketing strategy.
  • Which social sites resonate best with your prospects and clients.
  • The topics that seem to generate the most interest.
  • The level of engagement and interest your prospects and clients show in your company.
  • Sign-ups, inquiries, leads and sales.
  • Length of sales cycle.
  • Revenue per order or deal.

Social Media is becoming more and more essential for B2B companies of any size. When you look at the trends and data, it’s easy to think of social as the new normal.   Are you confident in your corporate social media strategy?  An important step in the right direction is to determine your corporate social media readiness. Is your B2B business ready to be a social business?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Wow, you’ve hit all salient points that I don’t know what to add on top of your list and I have to agree with all of the items here.  In these days when the social customer is more savvy than ever, you have to combine the best practices of SEO + Social Media if you want to succeed in your online marketing strategy.  What good are numbers if it won’t convert?

    • I could not agree more.  Customers are becoming more and more savvy and we should be striving to find a way to provide them with enough value that they are willing to take the next step and convert into a real opportunity.

  2. There’s really nothing that hurts a company’s social campaign quite like a lack of strategy. It’s always best to launch an attack with adequate preparation – true in other assets of life as much as in social media marketing.

    • I’m glad you’re on board Emma!  I agree that it’s always good to have a plan in place especially when you’re facing tough competition. 

  3. Avatar Adam Saverian says

    Fairly basic, and absolutely vital. I’m going to mention this on the Online Business Hour podcast this morning. It wasn’t in my original round up but I need some more B2B content. 😀 When I first read “#3 Avoiding Reacting to Negative Feedback” I thought you were going to encourage ignoring negative feedback because I misread it.

    • Adam, thank you for your feedback! I wanted to focus on the things that we sometimes lose sight of when we get caught up in the social world. I’ll be sure to find your podcast after it airs.

  4. Ashley I would agree creating an effective online marketing plan is not easy there are some points in you blog that I will include in our next social media meeting

  5. You hit the basics, and hit them well.  But there is one area that keeps getting neglected:  the integration of social media into the full marketing mix.  If your social media is not reinforcing the basic branding and identity of your company, and if it is not supporting your marketing strategy, then no matter how you avoid the basic blunders, you will not be optimizing your market success.  I am continually astonished at how something as basic as unified messaging keeps getting lost.

    • Emily, this post was meant as a mini-guide for things that you should avoid doing related to a social media strategy.  I appreciate your feedback.  I will be sure to include a recommendation on marketing strategy alignment for both online and offline initiatives in a future post.

  6. The majority of businesses will use outside companies to implement their social media strategy and they will be able to use this list to talk with relative knowledge about what’s required.

    AS you say, these are ‘blunders’ that can be made either because of a headlong rush to publish or because of limited knowledge (especially amongst those who are doing it themselves), but reading this will help them, or at least guide them.


    • Jason, I tried to focus on a mistakes or blunders that may seem small but can have a large impact on the success of a social media campaign. Thank you for your comments. Keep them coming!

  7. Nice article Ashley.

    I think these principles can apply to marketing both online and offline.

    I think too many people sit down with a goal in mind, but no plan to get there. It seems like people in general never used to set goals, they just coasted through life. Now it seems like people set goals, but lack a strategic plan to achieve those goals.

    It all comes down to having a plan, staying focused, tracking results, and managing those statistics.

    Thanks again Ashley.

    Matt B

    • Matt, great points! It’s the journey that matters just as much as the end destination. How you are going to get from point A to point B. Thanks again.

  8. I work with small businesses on social media and it’s often hard to convince people to jump in with their limited resources.  You made 4 relatively simple, but critical points here that I think everyone would benefit from remembering. If all social media practitioners and marketers would use these and especially #4, I think social media marketing’s reputation with smaller businesses would improve.

    Thanks for the article. 

  9. Thanks for the list AshleyZ.  #1 is the most important.  No matter what you do that follows, having a clear path that your executive / leadership team supports is key.  I think it has to be more than a marketing campaign though. If B2B is to be successful in the ever-changing landscape of integrating technology in effective ways business needs to change internal culture and process.  Hiring a social media manager that gets Facebook and Twitter is a failing tactic.  Incorporating clear policy, listening with accountability and  responding with action to what we learn and here from customers will win long term. it’s a cycle and #4 is also a critical piece.  thanks again!

  10. #2- do you truly need to optimise social profiles?  I paid seo experts for advice to market nkom com au and they suggested it’s best to have a normally flowing content without any optimisation.  Is this true?

    • Optimize for people first and foremost Greg. Great SEO is also good copywriting and site usability. Don’t leave it to chance for high visibility and performing content. Think ABO “always be optimizing”.

  11. Avatar Brady Lewis says

    #1 was one that was really hard (and still is) for me to overcome.  I’m highly in the habit of just trying things and slacking on my planning.  I know it is detrimental to me and my businesses and I’m working hard to fix it.

  12. Number 4 is extremely important. SEO should be all about tweaking your campaign from analysis and results. Different campaigns require different tactics to target different areas. It’s a smart list though, and I like to think I adhere to all of these points.

  13. With #3 (Avoiding Reacting to Negative Feedback), you hit the nail on the head.  Nowadays, it is impossible to avoid receiving negative reviews because there are so many social media platforms that empower everyone to be a critic.  The best way to address negativity is to diplomatically reach out and seek a solution.  Never delete negative comments – it only reinforces negativity by suggesting censorship!

    •  yeah! you are absolutely right. Sometimes criticism goes positive in favor of your company as it helps you to re-engineering your area of concern.
      But I had also studied in an article that some of the competitors posts negative comments through different names about the company or business and expand those negative reviews to different sites.
      It’s really unethical to deceive people by expanding false impression about your competitors.

  14. Avatar Jason DUrham says

    Concerning #3 I would agree . . . and not agree. If you can resolve an issue online then it can have a positive effect. If followers/viewers/readers see that you were willing to do what it takes to APPROPRIATELY handle an issue that can be resolved online – it’s kudos to you and you could gain more market share because of the increased trust level you just gained. It worked with Louisiana State University’s social media team the past few weeks with the events with some of their football players.
    I will agree though, that sometimes and offline conversation would be best. The “when” and “how” should be addressed in a SM Policy I would think.
    What do you think?
    Jason Durham – @jasondurham:twitter 

  15. It’s also important to set policies up for those using the businesses social networks, so that the tone of voice, message and branding is the same throughout. Different writers can have small differences but the over all feel needs to remain the same.

    • Brand message congruency balanced with self expression can be a challenge to manage, but basic policies and common sense can do the trick. It may depend on the brand, but if all communications are too similar it can appear faked or as if one person is using multiple personas. Some SEOs actually do that (I don’t agree).

  16. It’s also important to set policies up for those using the businesses social networks, so that the tone of voice, message and branding is the same throughout. Different writers can have small differences but the over all feel needs to remain the same.