9
Apr

Social Media Communications will be Adopted by Enterprise Business

Opportunities to publicize products, promote sales and build prospect and customer relationships over electronic media should be exploited by tech innovators marketing products and/or services to enterprise businesses as well as large groups of users in the public and not for profit sectors. In fact, ignore these opportunities at your peril. When this group of buyers needs to purchase a solution they will research markets, and select purchasing options through online activities, including Internet search along with a review of web page content that speaks to their needs. All of this translates into a general tendency to reach out to sales at a later stage in a purchase decision, generally when pricing and availability need to be determined.

We need to presently add “gauging vendor reputation” to the above list. The fact is that social media is playing a significant role in the online behavior of buyers today. Therefore, tech innovators must maintain thorough familiarity with their online reputation as well as with prospect perception of product and services. After all, massive businesses like Dell Computers, HP, etc. have crafted social media features into their online customer support options. We think these companies gain important perspective on just how a marketplace perceives their brand through participation in these venues. Further, we think that certainly, over time, this specific class of buyers — enterprise business and large groups in the public and not for profit sectors — will make even more use of social media. The realities are that successfully implementing an internal Twitter, or FaceBook like online feature will cost substantially less than the cost of hosting legacy user conferences, etc.

These buyers are making the requisite effort to get these online social venues to work. For example, we have learned recently of a coming approval for NewsGator, a social media add on for Microsoft® SharePoint® by a very large asset management firm headquartered here in the United States. This approval is important. The approval demonstrates that even within a heavily regulated business sector like Asset Management, businesses are taking the necessary steps to craft social media into authorized tools. In our opinion the obvious justification for this level of effort is the tremendous cost savings that these firms will realize through implementing a successful social program with their external counterparts, meaning prospects, customers and other industry participants.

We are very interested in this type of development. If your firm would like to learn more about this industry trend, then please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

23
Feb

Innovative Tech Businesses Should Pick Social Media Venues with Care

At present social media like Twitter require substantial amounts of daily management. In our opinion the effort/reward ratio presently emphasizes effort at the expense of reward. It is important to note that we say “presently” as this could change in the future. It is also important to define “reward.” We are interested in leads to sales of technology products to larger businesses and/or comparably sized groups in the public sector; therefore, reward in our parlance amounts to leads to business. Simply stated, we see very few leads and a lot of work to maintain presence.

For some businesses there is no option as regards presence. Large players in the technology arena cannot afford to go without social media presence. But our posts are not particularly directed to larger players; rather, we try to talk to the needs of emerging businesses that think they have innovative technology worth a look from corporate buyers and other larger prospects.

For our audience we still think it makes sense to be quite particular about the specific social media venue to be pursued as part of an online marketing campaign. True, we think the amount of work required to maintain a healthy Twitter page is very high. Twitter follower churn is very high. Our experience has been that businesses with a healthy online SEO presence tend to do much better with Twitter pages than is the case for businesses with otherwise obscure websites. Obscurity is often an intentional tactic implemented by businesses that opt to operate under the radar; therefore, for businesses that need to maintain some obscurity we don’t see where Twitter will produce much useful lead flow.

We think that blogs, on the other hand, make lots of sense. Blogs are great vehicles for targeting specific SEO keywords with the level of attention required to build healthy SERPs, especially where a blog can be used with an external website. Better to keep specific product promotion and any transaction apparatus on an external site (can be a sub folder of the same root site domain) where it belongs. The fact is that blog pages do not serve well as product pages. Nevertheless, and as mentioned, blogs can and do produce lots of useful leads. Further, we have interacted with prospects who have told us that they like the information they found on our blogs. In fact, our blog content facilitated greater confidence in claims made by our clients, saving prospects the effort of digging deeper to learn more about our clients online.

We welcome opportunities to elaborate on our experience with Twitter, blogs and, though not mentioned here, Google Plus. Please call Ira Michael Blonder, IMB Enterprises, Inc at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

5
Oct

“Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss” Usenet Groups Resurface as Social Media, Web 2.0 Discussion Groups

For those of you who either can’t or would prefer not to reflect back to the late 1980s/early 1990s, let me take a moment to introduce a phenomenon called “UseNet,” literally an enormous, often nested collection of discussion forums which, back then, were accessible via physical and virtual terminals connected to the “Internet.” Remember, there was an Internet before there were web browsers. With regard to Sales & Marketing, these forums were noteworthy in that they provided sales folk peddling people, (AKA “executive search” and/or “contract consulting” experts) with a rich venue to engage technology professionals in meaningful discussion–just the prescription for closing complex sales for staffing requirements, not to mention opening new client relationships.

Fast forward to 2011. A cornerstone feature of prominent Web 2.0/Social Media websites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Google+ and Twitter is the ability to engage in discussions and in real time. With regard to LinkedIn, this feature is offered via LinkedIn “Groups”. At no cost to the Group Owner, this feature offers “under the radar” marketers and other purveyors of products requiring complex sales strategies a great tool to:

  • constrain market visibility, but nevertheless engage in meaningful product promotion
  • cultivate discussion with prospects, potential product evangelists, etc without digressing into hard core selling
  • learn more about target businesses and presumed decision-makers

LinkedIn Groups is a true “win win” feature. LinkedIn encourages Group Owners to invite any email contacts as well as “first” connections on LinkedIn. They grow their contact base and you use their feature to carefully leverage interactive media to build your business. Of course, do be sure to make your group “members only”. Be sure to check any/all applications to join to ensure that you get the members you’re after.

This same discussion feature is more prominent on FaceBook via the “wall” feature of FaceBook pages. It is nested into Twitter, as well, where followers can engage via the “reply” feature. Google+ has a similar feature to FaceBook, but do exercise care as what you add to your Google+ “stream” may post to the public, getting you much more exposure than I recommend if you’re marketing under the radar. Ditto for Twitter.

In sum, discussion groups provide a great way to generate leads and cultivate relationships with potential partners, prospects and customers. Meaningful dialogue can even end up as a useful means of saving money for your customers, thereby building the value proposition for your products. Check it out.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved