Social Media Content Workflow for B2B Social Marketing Strategies

B2B companies that already have a fairly well-defined traditional marketing
group think a particular way, so it’s important to align your thinking
with their current focus on product announcement dates, press releases, white papers, conferences, and so forth. If you can position your
social media strategy to align with what they already know, you’re more
likely to get them thinking about what’s possible instead of putting up
roadblocks. All too often their worrying comes after you explain ‘how
and why’ to use a variety of social media channels like Twitter
(micro-blogging), blogging, audio and video podcasting, and various RSS
tools to help with Internet visibility (and engagement, if they have a
social networking site already or plan one soon).

One of their concerns is how in the world will they come up with
content for all those channels (not to mention, who’s going to do that)
and another is when to use all those social media channels of
distribution. I have a simple way that gets folks enrolled.

A traditional marketing person’s ‘style’ of thinking is often
calendar-based, meaning they look at least 6-12 months out (especially
given they have a yearly budget to spend). I suggest that they consider
two ‘types’ of content workflow, one that somewhat synchronizes with
the scheduled marketing events for the year, and the other being more
asynchronous, to fill in the gaps. Big waves and little waves, I call
them.

The big waves utilize variations of existing content to repurpose
and retransmit the news about the product release/update into your
blog, Twitter, and one or more audio/video podcasts (either at your
site or ‘with’ others who podcast about your products to their
audience).

A specific scenario might be: Collaborate with the Product Marketing
manager who knows everything about the product to get the typical white
paper that is such a part of traditional B2B marketing efforts. Think
about the subtopics discussed in that white paper and write one or more
blog articles which relate to, and link to, the white paper. Consider
some creative way to write short, text-based interviews with the white
papers’ author(s) or related industry experts. This is a great way to
start and gives you a segue from yammering on about the technical
nature of the product to actually focusing on how ‘users’ are adopting
the product. Keeping a keen eye on comments and emails will guide you
in the direction to take those blog articles.

And remember, every time you blog also post a Twitter note about the
blog(s) and, where appropriate, mention the availability of that white
paper with a URL to it.

Next, schedule an audio or video podcast on the product (or service)
release. Just have a conversation about the product, not a
word-for-word redo of the white paper. Think about how Robert Scoble
does his interviews with product managers and CEOs of smaller
companies. It’s just 10-20 minutes and they talk about topics relevant
to the product and how it makes life easier for the customer in some
fashion. You will, of course, post a short blog article with a summary
of the podcast and a link to it, as well as a Twitter with a URL to the
podcast and/or blog article.

An important strategy to keep in mind: Whether you’re doing podcasts
yourself or with a outside vendor, make certain they show up well in
the search engines. Make sure the RSS feed is syndicated to all the
major RSS aggregators so you get maximize visibility of that content.
If you’re expecting a lot of traffic and comments you may want to
configure a ROOM in Friendfeed.com or some other tool for monitoring
the comments.

The idea here is to post content that’s fairly synchronous with your
existing marketing activities. I say ‘fairly synchronous’ because it’s
critical that the posts be thoughtfully timed. There are often reasons
to post slightly before or slightly after the event. For example,
traditional marketing activities include real-world social events you
attend, like mixers, conferences and so forth, that are planned for the
year. These are always good opportunities to blog, Twitter, post
pictures, capture short videos and so forth, all aligned with your
existing calendar of activities.

Now for the little waves of social media content. Just think of
these as ’salt and pepper’ to keep alive the listener’s ear. If you
already have one or two posts regularly coming from your big-wave
planned marketing activities, then you might not see the need to
sprinkle in little-wave blog posts and Twitters. But if your product
release dates are, say, once a month or less, then you’ll want to find
ways to talk about what’s going on in the industry, find out what other
bloggers are saying about your product or company (setting up a custom
room in FriendFeed may help here) and repost the ones that have some
bearing on the product, especially those that mention creative ways to
use your products and services.

As an aside, give the following a read for helpful hints in Tweeting news about your company.

Keep in mind that anyone who is reading RSS feeds like blogs and
Twitter is reading a number of them at once. They are often scanning
for news of interest and, at times, resending what they find to others.
Regardless of how often you post for your company, make it educational,
directly useful and/or highly interesting. If you don’t have anything
that day or that week, breathe, relax and focus on when you will have
something. I know that the mantra is post often and be regular, but I
don’t think that’s all that useful, especially for B2B-type companies
to be that stringent. It’s better to focus on quality of what you’re
creating versus quantity. This isn’t a race it’s about educating and
engaging with others and this is what will get their attention so
you’re remembered.

If you have any questions or have a different opinion, be sure to let me know.

Tom

Reposted with permission from
MarketsofConversation.com
©2009

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