B2B marketing, whether online or off, is all about relationships. With longer sales cycles, and often, larger purchase amounts, it’s the relationship that a customer has with a business that really determines whether or not they’ll make the sale. This also means that how the customer thinks and feels about the B2B company is vital to understand, throughout the relationship — especially in customer service after the purchase. eMagine has a good article on B2B online marketing tactics for 2014: The B2B Online Marketing Quick Checklist for 2014, and while they mention Facebook and LinkedIn, I think that social media marketing has to be one of the top tactics for any B2B company in 2014 — and that means finding the social networks that make sense for your particular business (which may mean publication or association social networks or even creating your own). Also vital to the success of any social media marketing efforts are being able to track customers throughout the sales cycle — which means a CRM that can be tied to social networks and campaigns and can find customers who are on social networks to know what they’re saying.
Everyone and their grandma is writing a post about the trends for social media in 2014… which is good, but I think we may be on the brink of something different. Social media is definitely mainstream — that happened a couple of years ago. But we’re starting to see more people become annoyed enough with sites like Facebook that try to control information that they’re seeking alternatives. Facebook isn’t going away in 2014, but I think we’ll start to see other ways that people try to communicate with their friends. Snapchat and Instagram are all the rage right now — but that just proves the point. People will go where their friends go and to places that let them communicate the way they want. Be on the lookout for new sites and technologies that let people communicate — that’s where the trends will take us in 2014.
Eric Tung over at Social Media Explorer has a great round up of more macro trends to watch for:
While some folks are still figuring out SoLoMo, Social Graph or Owned-Paid-Earned, these are the larger trends at play. Businesses and marketers need to understand how these trends affect users to be prepared for these major shifts in Social Media. — THE SIX BIGGEST TRENDS IN SOCIAL THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND by Eric Tung
Topsy is a real-time search engine for the web that also provides nice information about what’s trending in real-time. A hidden gem is their Social Analytics which allows you to compare up to 3 different queries over time (in graphical format) for mentions. Topsy only includes mentions that are what they call “significant and valid,” meaning they take out bots and only include posts that have a link or have been passed on. Topsy’s Social Analytics will definitely be on my regular list of tools. Here’s a closer look…
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