Social. Should You Try Again?

“Linked In” is clearly the tool of choice for sales to do homework, or as my daughter would say… “stalking.” Yeah, that sounds a little creepy; let’s call it business intelligence. But you get the point. We like to use Linked in to find, to learn, to connect, to make introductions, to be smart. But can “in” be a performer for B2B marketing?

The results are trickling in and there are some questions to ask.

Nadia Cameron in a recent CMP article, “B2B marketers splurging on content and digital; struggling with ROI”, wrote this:

Proving social’s worth remains a challenge, however. Only 20 per cent claim to have chalked up strong results from social activities last year, while 25 per cent saw some results but found these to be “not cost effective or consistent”. Twenty-eight per cent also admitted there was no emphasis on being able to measure ROI on social media activities in their organi(z)sation. For those engaged in social, LinkedIn was the B2B platform of choice.”

Of the three numbers I find none particularly compelling. It is surprising to see the 28% who are stating a lack metrics. If anything my experience is that business people tend to claim focus on metrics because they know they should! SO what is the real number? Bet it’s higher, maybe 60-80% who “do social” but di it with no measurement…only out of a peer pressure need to participate.

So why Linked In? Well again, my experience tells me that “in” has business cred with upper management. So in turn, business leaders can satisfy the emotional peer driven need to be participating in social but still appear to be serious business people.

What if business gave it a try, again? Test multiple networks! Measure, and then focus on what worked. It’s exactly what you would do in other areas of your business!

Step 1: Think

Step 2: Explore

Step 3: Test

Step 4: Measure

Step 5: Repeat

YOU need to expand your vision of what is available. We all tend to focus on 5 or so “bug guys.” Google +, Twitter, Facebook, ‘in’, Pintrest, Instagram, etc… But I recently read an article on the 800+ networks that expand the vision of what can work for you. Move past the big five, explore and learn what works for your customers. Are you focused on Asian markets? Do you use Renren? WeChat? Webio?

Remember, if those three names are new to you…you have 789+/- more to learn about. Explore. Think, explore, test, measure, and repeat what works.

15 years ago I would have gone to one of the SRDS books and reviewed the 40,000 trade publications to look for a fit. Then I would have tested, measured, and repeated what worked. Is this really any different? Other than, frankly, it's a whole lot easier to measure results NOW!

Congratulations! It's time to try, again. Otherwise, inconclusive results on social media ROI will remain the norm.