Introducing the New & Improved Blog Site

I am proud to announce that this blog has been moved to an improved website at

I hope to welcome you on my new site as a regular reader and subscriber.

Without you as my kind audience, my endeavor to share social media tips and insights would be futile.

The first blog on my new site announces a free Social Media Day at SAP on February 15, 2012 that I am organizing. You are invited to attend onsite or via live streaming. Details for registration are in this blog post. The day is part of global Social Media Week. Hashtags are #SMW12 #SAP.

Thanks for your readership,


Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Marketing Strategy = Marketing Strategy

99% of the time I am asked to help with someone’s social media strategy, the question comes back to their overall marketing strategy.  Social media cannot be “executed” in isolation, it needs to be integrated with your overall business and marketing strategy.

But what are the steps?

Let’s go back to marketing 101 for a moment:

  • What are your business objectives? E.g. revenue goals, margin, customer growth in certain areas.
  • How does this translate into marketing objectives? E.g. thought leadership, awareness, lead generation.
  • Who is my target audience? Be as detailed as possible, including roles and titles you are targeting (more sophisticated businesses even create personas). Likely, you have more than one target audience, and likely you’ll need targeted marketing messages for each audience.
  • Where IS my target audience? This is where many social media strategies go bad. Instead of looking IF their audience is on social media, that assumption is simply made. Let’s not forget that email is still one of the top marketing tools, showing solid results. So, do your homework. This step will take time but your future marketing success depends on it. You want to be meet your audience where they like to get their information and engage.
  • Which are my top priority channels? Determine where your biggest bang for the buck likely is (you’ll have to experiment to be sure). Dont’ forget that “the buck” includes your time and other resources. E.g., do you want to apply “earned” or “paid” media? Don’t bite off more than you can chew. The number one killer of social media projects is the lack of continuous “action”. People start, for example, a Twitter channel, than don’t “feed” it after a few weeks. Momentum dies. You have to provide updates on a regular basis to make an impact.
  • What will you communicate? Create clear messages and a content calendar for the channels you have chosen. E.g., create a pipeline of blogs and have an editorial calendar for all your bloggers; schedule daily posts on your FB page; Tweet at least once a day.
  • Is what you are doing working? Define clear metrics and find tools to measure. Tip: only gather data that you’ll actually take action on. Frequently, data is collected for data’s sake. Ask yourself, do follower numbers in themselves have a meaning, or should I focus on the growth rate and quality of followers? What allows me to fine-tune? Do not omit having qualitative goals and spending the time to look closely at the people you attract. Also, your effort to gather metrics has to correspond to the gain you get out of them.

>>>>> You are ready to engage. Allow yourself to experiment and figure out the best metrics. This is where discipline and creativity are wanted. Master the basics before moving on to more complex activities like TweetChats.

Happy Holidays and a Wonderful 2012!

 A few additional links for information:

Social media marketing is an addition to personal, small business, corporate, and non-profit organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans.”

“Marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What I Learned About Social Media Marketing from an eMarketer Webinar on Mobile Marketing

Yesterday I participated in the “eMarketer Webinar: Mobile Advertising and Marketing—Key Trends and Benchmarks“.

Let me start with a definition of Mobile Marketing given by Tweeter @vimi: “Any campaign designed for users to view on their mobile. search, ads, apps, videos, QR codes, coupons, texting, games,mobile site”.


  • Mobile is a huge market and people integrate mobile with traditional and social media marketing (e.g. QR codes on postcards)
  • It’s mainly about ads, apps, games, search, SMS Messaging and targeting better (mobile allows location targeting)
  • Messaging is not different, apart from phrasing and length of messages sent to mobile phones etc.
  • Mobile platform are plenty and the market is defragmented which makes it hard for marketers. Android seems to be leading and growing.
  • There is know how required (technical know how) on how to create and serve up ads on Apple devices and within apps (for example)
  • I think it’s fair to say mobile is currently used a lot more in B2C than B2B

While the slides and webinar were interesting, I did not feel they provided enough basics for a newbie like me. I had a ton of questions.  Some were semantic, e.g.,  what do they mean by “messaging”? SMS text messaging or the content of the message to the audience…. , and how does mobile marketing strategy differ? The focus seemed to be on ads.

I decided to turn to my fellow audience members on Twitter, under the hashtag #eMwebinar to ask some questions and gain some additional insights:

This provided me with an excellent lesson in social media collaboration and marketing; really, best learning experience I’ve had in a while.  I recommend to anybody who is a social media professional to go out and join a Webinar/TweetChat on a topic you don’t know much about…so you know what it feels like for your own audience when you might talk about HANA, CRM etc.

On the Twitter hashtag, it was the usual situation:

  • A small group of people (I’d say about 7 key participants in the chat) amplified the messages from the webinar to their followers; including me.
  • Nobody engaged, talked to each other or responded to questions. There were not even many retweets at this point. We were joined by a hashtag but otherwise totally separate.

After I had posed a bunch of questions into the Go-To-Webinar tool that seemed to go into a black hole, I started to post questions on the Twitter hashtag. The reaction was…


I kept posting questions…


Finally, I sent out a Tweet that read exactly like this: “#eMWebinar – ppl on ths twttr stream. wld luv sum answers 2 my questions vs. just broadcast of webinar content :-). Please respond?”

After a few minutes I started to get individuals tweeting me answers, clarifying my questions, and finally, even eMarketer picked up on some of my questions on Twitter and addressed them on the call portion of the event (although a person from eMarketer told me on Twitter to enter my questions into the Go-To-Marketing tool; which is ironic).

Also positive, I ended up following a number of very knowledgable Mobile Marketers, and many followed me back. So I feel, I was able to build a small network of mobile experts that I can draw on for future conversations on the topic.

KEY LEARNING for using Twitter as part of a webinar (for Marketers):

  • Monitor the Tweet stream (don’t wait until the Q&A to answer questions).
  • Don’t just amplify (but overall amplification is good: often people give the information a spin or add some interpretations that helps the newbie; or provide good content to people ONLY on the hashtag and not in the webinar)
  • Do include URLs to additional content, basic information etc. in your Tweets (eMarketer sent me a URL to a B2B Mobile Marketing report that I have no access to 🙂 = #fail; not a good “sales” job but frustrating)
  • Do connect with other Tweeters; especially as a company, the hashtag is a chance to showcase some thought leadership vs. being silent
  • Provide examples and use cases, e.g. for mobile campaigns, especially B2B. The webinar provided no examples; I asked for a case study and none was offered; it was very theoretical, data without context.


  • #eMWebinar @noahelkin states that smart phone market share is in favour of Android and growing.
  • Big challenge for Marketers embracing Mobile Marketing: Lack of tactical and strategic expertise in-house & on the agency side #eMwebinar.
  • Search + display will displace messaging as top form of mobile ads in 2012. Video will have greatest % growth. #emwebinar
  • Mobile video advertising is expected to see 81.4% growth in 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 69% over the next 4 years #eMwebinar.
  • More marketers are trying to capitalize Local intent. Thanks to Geolocation technologies. Better way to measure ROI? #eMwebinar
  • Local mobile ad spend (leveraging geo-targeting) is set to surpass national mobile ad spend by a 2:1 ratio @gannett #eMwebinar.
  • Tablet ads eye-catching and hard to ignore – sounds like nirvana for marketers #emwebinar.
  • Back from grave? Email most successful purchase trigger (56%) followed by SMS (41%) trumping FB, Twitter, phone, 4square, shops #eMwebinar.
  • On iPad the ad is in the iAd platform that Apple developed to embed ads into their apps #emwebinar.
  • So messaging = SMS “messaging” vs. what you have to say to your audience? #eMWebinar// Yes
  • My take aways from #eMWebinar Mobile Marketing: It’s abt serving up ads on mobile (challenge: fragmented platforms), SMS, games, apps, local.
  • (Mobile Marketing vs. Traditional) It’s just the strategy that differs and things like user experience etc. which primarily dictate mobile strategy.
  • (Mobile) search includes paid+seo and paid search can also be contextual.Good info on paid mobile search

I also got a Tweet stating that Mobile Marketing sounds like bogus. Tweet: “(…) what can be really new in marketing? I’ve never heard about mobile marketing before #eMwebinar”). Plus, I was send a blog that states that B2B marketing cannot be done via social media. 🙂

Any insights and thoughts on mobile marketing or this blog are welcome! Please share as a comment below!

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Addressing the 7 Billion People Challenge

I don’t usually blog much about my employer SAP on my personal blog, but in this case, I am going to make an exception. SAP will be hosting an Innovation Day on October 24th, which is International UN Day, and the official kick-off of the 7-Day Countdown to 7 Billion (people on the planet).

Also, I will be supporting the social media part of this day at SAP, and You are invited to join the day online, via a virtual platform or on Twitter. And I’ll get back to you with detailed reporting on the social media activity later.


To participate in this event on Twitter, please use the following hashtags:  #7billion #SAP (always in combination)

To participate on the virtual platform (live streaming), please register here:


The world’s population is slated to top seven billion people on October 31, 2011. This humanitarian milestone represents both an achievement and a challenge, and impacts everyone on the planet. A world of seven billion and beyond has implications for sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment. Companies, governments and non-profits of every size have a role to play to create a healthy and sustainable world for all.

As the United Nations agency responsible for marking this milestone, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is leading a global initiative—7 Billion Actions—to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of a world of seven billion people and beyond.


SAP is partnering with the UNFPA on the 7 billion actions campaign and hosting an executive roundtable and Innovation Day on October 24th , 2011. This is a unique day bringing together technology experts, designers, business experts, and non-profits at the SAP Palo Alto Labs to co-innovate and design solutions for the next billion.

SAP CSR and SAP Marketing will drive a two part event which is comprised of:

  • Executive Level Roundtable “Innovating for a World of 7 Billion” , co-hosted by UNFPA, Churchill Club and SAP
  • SAP Innovation Jam: Innovating for a World of 7 Billion, sponsored and hosted by SAP in collaboration with UNFPA. (Challenge to participants: how can we leverage technology to provide better youth access to health and education using sustainable business models) >> I’ll be reporting from the inside of InnoJam and afterwards, as I will be actively participating on one of the teams!

image image
Unfortunately the live event is sold out but there might be tickets available at the door on the day.  But to participate from the comfort of your office or home, simply register here:


PS:  SAP joined the 7 Billion Actions task force of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in February 2011. SAP is not a paying sponsor. SAP are providing in-kind software as well as project expertise, including contributing to the social media campaign.

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing, SocialB2P | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why You Need to Know about Social Search, Engagement & Geo-Targeting

At SAP TechEd 2011 in Las Vegas, I had the good fortune to spend some time with my fellow SAP Mentor Sina Moatamed.  It turns out that he is not only a very bright and fun person but has a much deeper knowledge of social media than most (particularly the self-declared social media “gurus”). In addition, he was willing to share his wisdom on video:

In the video, Sina talks about social search, engagement and geo-targeting, as a means to leverage social media to the fullest.

In regards to search, he said that “search is engaged with social communities. Search will now show you the content related to the people you are connected with first”.  Companies need to be on social media to show up in this context.

Asked about engagement he highlights: “Don’t billboard yourself on Facebook but really engage in the true social nature of what it is. Grab a larger audience by not just talking about yourself but your industry etc. You’ll end up getting yourself rated higher in social search” by casting a wider net.

And introducing the term “geo targeting”, Sina emphasizes how important it is to have a “geo-targeted presence of content”.  This means that you can “geo target” things like your Facebook page, so that, for example, your “likers” in Germany will see a different page, content and conversations than then ones in India”. Content quality is important but content relevance is just as important.

Thanks to Sina for giving 5 minute of his time to enable me to share his know how with you!

Follow Sina Moatamed on Twitter at @SinaMoatamed.

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How To Build Your Brand on Social Media

Are you new to social media and unclear on how to set up your profile? Do you want to avoid the mistakes of people who did not get a job because of information that existed about them online? Do you want to use social media to extend your brand online but are not sure how?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, read on.

Having a personal brand has never been more important than in this age of information overload.

How you position yourself online will impact your success in reaching your objectives. People will judge you based on your picture, your profile description, your content, the messages you retweet and more.  And don’t forget that everything you say online is “forever”.

Hence, it is important to take charge of your online persona, devise a clear strategy and manage it with discipline and continuity.

So who do you want to be online?

Well, first of all, you are who you are and you know what you know. So, that’s a good start to define yourself – as long as you are not planning to create a fake alter ego online. For most people, their brand online is an extension of who they are off-line.  The most important question to ask yourself is:

Why am I participating in social media in the first place? What are my objectives?

In my case, I am a social media and yoga professional.  My personal objectives are:

  • Stay-up-to-date
  • Network
  • Be perceived as a thought leader
  • Recruit students for my yoga classes

STEP 1: Choose a focus area

As social media and yoga don’t go together well, I had to make a decision up front: Do I want to be known as a yogi or a social media thought leader?  If I chose social media, I’d need to keep yoga-related messages to a minimum, as I’d otherwise run the risk to lose my social media audience that is not interested in yoga. The reverse was true for my yoga target audience.

Lesson:  Once you decide on your brand, you need to stay on message. If you have divergent businesses, it is usually best to create respective online identities for each business. Note that this will require extra time and resources on an ongoing basis.

STEP 2: Make a name for yourself = build your brand

Now that I know that my focus area is social media, and my goal is thought leadership, I can start building relationships, and by association my brand, online.

To get started:

  • Find experts on your focus area
  • Share information on your topic area
  • Engage in topic-related discussions

Examples: On Twitter and Facebook, I consume information from social media experts. On Twitter and LinkedIn, I share social media know how, as well as engage in social media-related discussions.

When you first get started on social media, it’s a good strategy to follow your target audience and thought leaders; on Twitter, it’s very likely they will follow you back, and you’ll create a snowball effect that will amplify your brand/influence in your topic area. On LinkedIn, join topic-relevant groups and start to answer questions to broadcast your expertise and establish yourself.

If I wanted to build a yoga business, I would make talking about yoga, meditation and health the focus of my online existence. I’d also follow other yogis, experts and influencers, and try to figure out where else on social media they go so that I could join the discussions.  A popular option is to start your own or contribute to a blog.

 STEP 3: Be consistent

Many people you will engage with online participate in a multitude of social media channels, e.g. Twitter, FB, LI, YouTube. Make sure that your brand is consistent across all of these channels, or you can create confusion.   As mentioned before, if you have different objectives that don’t converge, you might need to create different personas or operate in closed communities. For example, I keep my FB circle limited to closer friends and business conversations to a minimum.

STEP 4: Be yourself

Does having a brand mean I cannot be “myself”?  Yes and no. It’s very important to have a personality on social media as you don’t want to come across as a robot that sends out automated messages. But where you draw this line depends a lot on who you are “in the real world” and what your objectives are.

In my case, I am an extrovert and optimist in the real world and that comes across in many of my conversations on Twitter. I like making jokes or occasionally sharing a personal high-light, e.g. my yoga teacher certification.  However, I would take a more professional approach in most LinkedIn groups and share less personal information.

I do believe in taking excessive chit-chat into private messages or direct Tweets (see my blog: The Does and Don’ts for Tweeters). But some of my social media connections have made it their trade mark to be brutally honest (including hurtful) online, thereby gaining the reputation of being very credible.  Only you know what you are personally comfortable with, and what your values are.

STEP 5: Monitor

There are two main reasons why you will want to monitor your social media presence:

  1. To find out what people are saying about you (to be able to respond and possibly take corrective action)
  2. To optimize your online brand/engagement

Here is a short list of tools to get you started. There are hundreds of them, so don’t be shy to use Google to find more:

  • Google your name or set up Google Alerts
  • Search for your name on (in addition to a list of search results, you get stats on sentiment, top keywords, top users and hashtags)
  • Put your Twitter handle into and get metrics on your reach/impressions, retweets, mentions, top followers etc.
  • provides your influencer score. Take this with a grain of salt as it’s not a perfect science. It covers Twitter, FB and LinkedIn.  Twitalyzer is a similar tool for Twitter only.
  • Mr. Unfollowr tells you who has recently unfollowed you on Twitter (PS: There is also Mr. Follow, to find out who you should be following).


To create a successful brand online, you need to have clear objectives, execute in a consistent fashion, keep it real and monitor the results.   Of course, high-quality content, subject-matter expertise and a solid off-line reputation will be key contributors to your success.


An overview of some key social media sites and their profile options:

LinkedIn:  On LI, your brand is defined by your resume (=your profile) and your participation in groups. There are many options to spruce up your resume with apps, blog links and recommendations. It’s worth looking into them.

Twitter:  It is paramount that you complete your profile. Otherwise you are an unknown quantity and very few people will follow you. Not having a picture can signal that you are not a serious user. More tips in my blog: How to get started on Twitter in 1o simple steps.

Facebook: For a professional page, the purpose has to be clear; you will be judged by the quality and frequency of conversations on your page amongst other factors.

Google+: State your purpose and complete your profile with the desired brand attributes.

Any other channels like your own blog, SAP Community Network, Spiceworks, YouTube, or Flickr: create a profile that demonstrates your intention and expertise to the other community members; a picture usually makes you seem more committed and helps people recognize you.

For a summary, check out this deck on SlideShare: “Your Brand on Social Media“.

Also see: “You on Twitter“.

Posted in SocialB2P | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How to Manage your Time on Social Media

How much time one should spend on social media, on which channels, and where the line should be drawn to one’s private life is a very difficult question, and in a way, everybody has to answer it for themselves.  This blogs attempts to provide some guidance.



Recently, the following (common) question(s) landed in my inbox:

“Lately, I am confronted with certain challenges…the difficulty to keep private and work related issues apart (especially on Fb). In my work environment the offerings exploded and I don’t really know which one of them actually helps me doing my job. If I choose to get active in every offering that we now promote, I can spend my whole day just reading work-related Fb posts, tweets, microblogs, community discussions etc. Honestly I feel overwhelmed by this, as on some days I struggle to get through my inbox, then I don’t even think about other sources. And whats next? Work Tumblr, Work Google+….? Is there a comprehensive overview of which Social Network offerings are available for which purpose?”

Here my Thoughts on the Topic:

The question is a bit like saying, “how much time should I spend being on the phone, having informal conversations in the hall way, on email and in meetings? And how many hours should I put in before I switch off the PC and work phone?”

The answer is: it depends. 

 As high-tech <or fill in your industry here> workers, we are entrusted with the responsibility to figure these things out for ourselves based on our overall objectives for our jobs. But just like with time management in general, of course, it makes sense to discuss this topic with others and see if there are people who have cracked the code better than we have. Begin by asking yourself:

  • What social media channels support me in achieving my goals? Which ones suck up my time and have little impact? (This will likely require some research and experimentation.)

My Personal Experience:

  • I would argue that I have made many meaningful, lasting and enriching connections with other social media professionals (and those interested in social media) on Twitter. I do a lot of DM Tweeting to learn and tighten relationships, and am learning a lot about social media by following the right people, including influencers like the @SAPMentors. This is mainly because I am in social media marketing and it adds value to what I do; but I also enjoy doing it.
  •  For me, FB is for friends and an extended network of people who I like and trust,  i.e. I enjoy their daily updates, care what they are up to and believe I’ll want to connect with them in person (again) at some point. I also trust them not to say anything stupid about me.  Now that Google+ is around, I am tightening up my FB community; especially work-related connections.
  •  I don’t see how anybody in high-tech could not be on LinkedIn as it is your own brand builder; your resume online. You don’t have to do more than that but can also learn and engage in communities. Identify the groups where the right people are talking about the things you care about; lurk or participate. Done.
  •  I also just joined Google+ and am struggling with it. If I were not doing social media professionally I’d probably ignore it for a bit. But I want to know what’s happening there and how it works, so I signed up and am playing with the features and functions sporadically. I am amazed by how many familiar faces are already there (= I am already friends on FB with most of them). But there is a big difference for me to FB, at least that is my initial impression: content shared on Google+ seems to be a lot more professional in nature than on Facebook. But maybe that is because many of my close friends have told me that they are too busy to also be on G+ (only time will tell) :-).

 The bottom line is: it’s a struggle. Just like work-life balance is a consistent struggle (at least for me). You have to actively do something to find a good solution.

My Recommendation: Make the Time to Assess your own Situation

  1. WORK:
  • Which social media channels are you currently on?
  • What are the benefits you feel you get from each of them?
  • How does social media help you reach your work goals? Can you quantify it? Qualitative goals are valid too.
  • How much time would you say you currently spend on each channel?
  • How does the time you spend correspond to the benefits you derive?
  • How much time to you have to give in your day to be on social media?
  • Are there trade-offs you can make? Example: now that you write your own blog, can you forward it on to give answers to questions that come up over and over again? Now that you follow news on Twitter, can you cut down the time you spend on news websites?
  • Do you enjoy using the social media tools you are using?

Looks at all the answers you gave to the above and create an action plan. How much time do you want to spend on each channel each day/week? Don’t forget to factor in what you enjoy. You’ll probably adjust this over time.


  • A lot of the questions above apply, but also ask yourself how much time you want to spend with people online vs. in person.
  • Think thoroughly about how many hours a day you are willing to put in for work vs. spending time with your friends and family; then decide when you should shut down the PC or stop Tweeting on our PDA. Nobody else can tell you where to draw the line between work and the rest of your life. It’s a choice.
  • Do you really need to be connected/available all the time or is your identity too wrapped up in your job?
  • Does spending time on Facebook stress you out or is it relaxing?

I bet that after going through the question, you probably already have a gut feeling of what the right thing to do is; how much time you want to spend in certain channels, what you get out of it and how much free time you want/need. Trust that feeling but do a little deeper analysis to help you compartmentalize your social media usage. Once you have a plan, you don’t have to think as much and can execute. It takes time to establish new habits and the easier you make it, the more successful you will be.

We all know how easy it is to waste away time on the Internet without noticing. I believe that it requires conscious effort and planning to manage your priorities, be productive and happy!

To provide an answer to the question of what each social media tool can offer, I am listing a few selected blogs on the topic below. There is no way around experimenting in social media channels to form your own opinion on which ones work for you, but some quick research can help you decide where to get started and narrow down a short list.

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing, SocialB2P | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Do you Archive your Tweets? (Hint: Twitter Does Not)

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

  • You participated in a Twitter discussion or event, using a hashtag
  • Because there was so much great content in the discussion, you planned to go back to it later to use it as a basis for your next blog.
  • You go to, put in the hashtag and the search comes up blank.

If this rings true to you, here some simple steps to archive your Tweets and quickly create blogs with them.

1. Why are all your Tweets gone?

Sara Perez already said it so well in her own blog on ReadWriteWeb, that I am quoting:

“Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only a matter of days. At first, Twitter held onto your tweets for around a month, but as the service grew more popular, this “date limit” has dramatically shortened. According to Twitter’s search documentation, the current date limit on the search index is “around 1.5 weeks but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow.”

Also, @MartijnLinssen tweeted me: “Twitter limits: max 1,500 tweets or 3-4 days history”. So the availability timeframe for Tweets seems to be a moving target, from all the conversations I’ve had on the topic recently. Even more reason to archive.

2. Is there anything I can do?

Yes, there are many tools on the market that can help you archive your Tweets yourself. One that Sara also mentions in her blog has already found favor with me and my social media colleagues here at SAP, as it also gives you nice statistics on your Twitter activity (you can also archive Tweets for a certain hashtag):

  1. The Archivist: This tool comes as a download as well as a hosted version. Simply create a search and come back whenever you need. You’ll get great statistics on all of your archived Tweets.


2.  Twapper Keeper provides a solid archive but no statistics and simply lists all your Tweets on one page (I have archives with the Archivist & TwapperKeeper; two archives are better than one).

3. Is there an easier way to use Tweets for blogging than to cut and paste?

Yes, while there are options to save your Tweets to WordPress, I was recently introduced to Storify, which makes the Twitter-Blogging process easy and appealing.

Make sure to give yourself some time for your Twitter archive to load (at least a few hours). Then you can create a blog right in the tool by pulling Tweets from a Twitter stream on the page.

 4. And one last tip: apart from the Library of Congress, Google also keeps your Tweets archived. While you can always search for a Tweet, my colleague Brian Rice showed me this trick today that gives you the archive (full disclosure, this search did not pull up all the Tweets, only the ones Google had crawled, which seemed like a small subset to me):

Example: if you want to find all Tweets on the hashtag #SAPWorldTourIT, you can use this search string: Intext:#SAPWorldTourIT

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing, SocialB2P | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Five Myths of B2B Social Media Marketing

For a panel discussion at the quarterly Silicon Valley Enterprise Social Media Council this June, I received the following request:

“Identify some of the major problems that you face as a leader of social media within your organization. I thought it’d be great for each of us to email our top 5 problems to see if there are consistent issues across our teams. It’s OK if you don’t have all of the solutions, that’s why we come together, right? Be honest!” (thanks, Alex Plant from NetApp :-))

After some thought, and reading what some of my peers had already listed, I sent the following response:

  • Myth #1: Social media is free
  • Myth #2: “2,000 Twitter followers” is a meaningful business goal
  • Myth #3: Social media is global
  • Myth #4: It’s easy to find content for social media
  • Myth #5: Marketing people have integrated social media into their tool kit

I could write a blog on each of these myths but let me give you the short rational behind each one:

Myth #1: Social Media is Free

  • It takes significant resources and time to develop social media objectives, find your target audience/build a community for your target audience, to engage, and measure your impact.
  • You always read that “content is king” in social media and that is true. You need subject matter experts who can write and communicate, as well as social media-ready content.

Myth #2: “2,000 Twitter Followers” is a Meaningful Business Goal

  • The number of followers or fans is not a meaningful goal in itself. I read recently read that the average Facebook fan is worth $3.06 for a vendor. I must assume this is mostly based on B2C statistics, but even if not, it’s an average, so you better make sure that you have the right fans or followers to create real value.
  • But the real question is: what will you do with those followers and fans once they have arrived? And how will you measure the value of that activity? How much awareness and engagement can you generate? How much does your social media effort cost and how much ROI can you derive?

Myth #3: Social Media is Global

  • Let me step back for a moment…I recently co-wrote a social media events playbook that helps people extend the reach of an onsite event beyond the physical location; potentially reaching millions of people. The key elements of the playbook strategy are: influencers, Twitter and blogs. IN THE USA, as I learned quickly.
  • Well, everybody knows that China has its own social media channels but there are huge differences in social media usage amongst the European Union countries as well.
  • Yesterday was the SAP World Tour Italy event. In terms of influencers, we had our partner TechEdge support the social media activity with Tweets and blogs. They did a fantastic job #SAPWorldTourIT but there were only very few other people who joined the conversation. And this is only one example…There are other countries where Twitter usage is low or sentiment against social media strong.
  • Everything would be so much easier if everybody just spoke English :-). The reality is that measuring social media activity for a specific country is difficult, especially if they speak a mix of languages (e.g. in Holland you can find English, Dutch, German…). How can a social media tools distinguish which country a Tweet came from? (Contact me if you have the answer!)

Myth #4: It’s easy to Find Content for Social Media

  • Finding content seems one of the most difficult parts of social media marketing. There is a science behind figuring out what content is the most popular with your target audience but even if you know that, getting that content consistently seems very difficult.
  • One reason is that at least at SAP, social media is not yet part of every marketing person’s job.  Another is that just sending URLs to white papers is not a well-rounded strategy. A person has to go and extract the salient points out of a document and Tweet them in a meaningful manner, trying to engage.
  • Content is often not appropriate for a particular conversation that is going on in a social media channel, but subject matter experts are often not at hand (many companies outsource their Twitter handles or have Interns run them).

Myth #5: Marketing People have integrated Social Media into their Tool Kits

  •  I wish I were wrong but social media is mostly not integrated into other marketing activities, even though that would be one of the easiest places to start.  Think about what you are already doing to achieve your business goals and how you can leverage social media to be more successful, e.g. create a video instead of a data sheet and post it on YouTube or Facebook.
  • In my humble opinion, this is partially based on the fact that people are afraid of the perceived risks of social media but the main reason is that most companies have not made social media activity part of employees’ MBOs.  It’s time-consuming to write a blog, so why would you write it if your goals state that you need to produce five data sheets? As a result, your company might be missing out.

I’d very much like to hear your opinions and experience on these topics; particularly if you have found solutions to some of the challenges I listed, or simply don’t share my point of view.

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Social Media 101: The First Question To Ask Yourself Before Getting Started With Social Media

As a social media professional at SAP, I get many questions from colleagues who are new to social media and would like to add social media to their marketing mix. The learning curve on social media is still steep for most people, and in this blog, I have aggregated the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Many of my consulting engagements start with the sentence “My team wants to have a Twitter handle” or “I need to increase the number of fans for our Facebook page”.

To that, there is only one answer: “Why”? And ,”Let’s take a step back”.

Before you get engaged in any kind of social media project, please ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are my social media objectives (these should align with your marketing, and on a higher level, your business objectives)?

  • Maybe you are trying to create awareness for a product offering?
  • Maybe you want to extend the reach of an event beyond a physical location?
  • Maybe you are tasked to generate leads?
  • Maybe…(fill in here)

2. Who is my target audience?

  • I struggle with the answer “anybody who might want to buy my product”. Keep in mind that the less homogenous your target audience is, the more high level your messages will have to be. The more targeted you can get, the better you can address specific business problems.
  • Or in simpler terms, if you are a B2B social media marketer and somebody sent you a Tweet about “The top 10 ways to create a lead”, you’d be somewhat interested. But if they sent you a Tweet saying: “10 tips how social media can be used to create leads that close”, you’d be very interested.  On a busy day, you might click on the on Tweet number two but ignore Tweet number one.
  • An example target audience could be: Retail, IT management, North America.

3. Where does my target audience participate in social media?

  • It is a fallacy to think that “if you build a social media channel, they will come”.
  • I’ve only recently learned that Global 2000 companies in Finland are not very active on Twitter; but they like to engage on LinkedIn. Hence, for every target audience you define, you need to do research where they lurk (= read) or engage (= comment, ask questions etc.). Your audience might frequent existing communities like IT Toolbox or read blogs on Wherever they are, that’s where you want to be.
  • Of course, you can also create your own social media channels on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc., but remember that you’ll need to dedicate resources to manage these channels continuously. The only thing worse than no presence on social media is a social media channel where the last post is a month old.

Once you have answered these basic but often not easy to answer questions, you will need to develop an editorial calendar to feed the channels you have selected and define a cadence (e.g. blog once a week).

You’ll also need to define metrics to measure your success. For example, if your target audience likes to read blogs, you can measure views and comments on your blog. But you can also measure things like click-throughs to media (e.g. YouTube videos) embedded in your blog, referrals back to your web site, or the completion of a registration form; to only name a few.

I hope you found this blog (written during the summer solstice) useful, and I’d appreciate it if you could add your own “most asked” social media challenge or question and how you have addressed them.

Posted in B2B Social Media Marketing, SocialB2P | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment