Tag Archives: content is fire social media is gasoline

The Social Media Jumpstart

At DataHive Consulting, we talk about doing “Social Big Data for Human Insight.” And the most common response is “That’s great, but what do you actually DO?”

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Let’s start with a basic problem. Everyone in the B2B world is being asked to use social media, but few know how to build a quality B2B social community. Even companies with thousands of followers don’t necessarily understand how those followers are useful or even if they’re even the right people to talk to. In contrast, DataHive has built up a systematic process over the past 15 years to build social communities that matter. We know that the end goal of B2B social media isn’t just to be liked

but to improve your business.

Our basic starting point with clients is the Social Media Jumpstart, which we use both to boost new accounts and to resurrect dead or struggling accounts. Through the jumpstart, our clients learn how to improve the quality of their B2B social media efforts to support PR, marketing, sales, and potentially even HR based on your business goals. In the social media jumpstart, we will:

  • Conduct a content audit of your website and internal resources to find appropriate content to share on social media
  • Go through an analysis of your current products and services.
  • Identify the current strengths and weaknesses of your social media approach.
  • Align your social media efforts to the correct platforms, which may include one or more of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, or specialized industry forums.
  • Identify appropriate content strategies associated with each social media platform.
  • If necessary, create content to fill in necessary gaps.
  • Benchmark your current performance against several of your peers.
  • Document opportunities to leapfrog your peers in multiple social areas.
  • Introduce the client to multiple social tools that can be used to enhance social media activities.
  • Connect the client to B2B thought leaders and media sources on social media.
  • Teach the client all of our secrets over the course of a day, a month, or two months.

Here’s how we break it down our products into recommendations:

1) For beginning clients, we recommend a 2 month period where we will start with a breakdown of your current approach and teach you the basics of Hootsuite. If you have used social media in the past, but haven’t gotten results, we’ll point out opportunities for improvement.

Over the first month, we will improve the quality of your social content, which may involve the creation of content and social assets that match your corporate tone. We will not make wholesale changes to your current marketing approach, but will make suggestions based on the best practices of B2B social marketing.

Over the second month, we will focus on audience acquisition in a focused B2B manner. We know that it doesn’t help you to gain thousands of followers that don’t care about B2B technology. We care about finding hundreds of followers who genuinely find value in your services. This means both that the client needs to provide social value and attract the right audience. (This is one of the key challenges we find. Too many B2B companies collect followers without thinking about the quality of their audience.)

During the course of this two month period, we will hand off knowledge to the client so that an internal resource or another external resource can take over for our efforts. We can also continue to manage the account after this two month period, but our goal is to teach the client how to fish

and not just to give the client fish indefinitely.

This two month managed service costs $6,500 and can be augmented with additional content creation efforts.

2) For intermediate clients, we will go through a social media practice audit to determine which of our best practices have already been implemented. Based on our findings, we typically recommend an abbreviated one-month consulting period to fill in the gaps. For instance, if a client already has thousands of followers, but has had trouble converting these followers to new channels, we can specifically work on social conversion tactics based on audience respect and avoiding social faux pas. If a client already has a sophisticated social media outreach strategy, but isn’t collecting the right followers, we can show you where the missing link lies.

In short, we’re smart enough to know that you’re smart as well and may just need a few additional tips to be implemented. In this abbreviated program, we will provide hands-on support for 2-3 weeks followed by a final week of knowledge transfer.

This one-month jumpstart costs $4,500 and can also be augmented with additional content creation efforts.

3) For advanced clients who may just need new tips and strategies to further engage a community, we also hold a one-day educational workshop where we provide all of our tips and tricks at once. This is best for clients who already have tools and methods for content creation, use multiple social media platforms, and are using social media to augment one or more business tasks already. This deep dive into B2B social media includes all of the growth hacks and strategies that Principal Hyoun Park has used to become a top Big Data, Social Media, and Enterprise Mobility thought leader during his time as an industry analyst and is recommended for companies seeking to create or support industry thought leadership.

This one-day deep dive costs $2,500 and can be delivered in-person (with T&E covered by the client) or remotely.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Social Media Jumpstart services, please email us at connect@datahiveconsulting.com or call us at 415-754-9686.

A Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest, 2014

Pinterest: Not Just B2C Anymore

Pinterest: Not Just for B2C Anymore

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing places to be on social media now, and there’s a lot you can do on it. If you’re thinking about starting a Pinterest account for your business, though, you’ll get more out of it when certain things are already in place:

  • a website on your own domain that Pinterest can verify. This will let you take advantage of Pinterest Analytics for all images hosted on your domain. With such a website, you can also implement rich pins, which will make pins of your content stand out on your followers’ Pinterest feeds.
  • prior content, especially content that can be hosted on your verified website. This includes images, slideshows, videos, audio recordings, reports or whitepapers, and blog posts (especially those with accompanying images; if you’re not already including relevant images in your blog posts, start thinking about doing so!).

As Jay Baer (no relation, as far as I know!) said, “Content is fire, social media is gasoline.” But what can you do if those parts of your content strategy aren’t ready yet? You can still get started on Pinterest!

  • Create your account. Fill out your bio and add an icon (ideally at a 160×165 resolution). Keep your bio simple, but readable; use keywords so that you can be found in Pinterest search but write for humans, not for Google search. Use your company logo for your icon, if you have one. The red and white pin icon is the Pinterest equivalent of the Twitter egg icon. It’s important to make your Pinterest page look like you’re participating in the community.
  • Follow relevant people and companies.You can connect your Twitter, Google+, Gmail, and Yahoo accounts to your Pinterest. This will let you see if any known-to-you colleagues are already on Pinterest. You can also use Pinterest’s search function to find new-to-you people and companies to follow. Type in relevant keywords and terms, click on pertinent results, and then you can choose to follow all of an account’s boards, or just specific boards. What are boards? More detail on boards in a little bit.
  • Be conversational. When somebody comments on something you’ve pinned, respond! If somebody you’re following posts an interesting pin, comment to their pin and participate in the discussion. A repin doesn’t necessarily require a response, but it’s worth paying attention to what the pinner is saying about your pin, especially if they’ve taken the effort to change the text you originally pinned with. You’ll get the most out of Pinterest by being social and community-oriented.

This is a familiar idea from our previous Twitter for Beginners post; create your account, follow, comment, share (whether by retweeting or repinning). The big difference: in order to share things on Pinterest, you need to create boards on your account.

What’s a board? A board is a collection of pins, usually created with a specific theme in mind. It can be run by just one account, or it can be a group board. There are boards for social media, big data, data warehouse, Platform as a Service. (The first three of these links have primarily relevant results. The last one, Platform as a Service, has a fair number of results, but not all of them are relevant. It’s a good opportunity for someone in the PaaS space to get in there and create a quality PaaS board!)

Following other companies’/peoples’ boards is good fodder for thinking about what sort of boards you’d like your account to have. What are others pinning? What kinds of boards are they creating? Who are they following? Does any of it resonate with the type of content your followers would like to see and the message you would like to share?

What should you share? Again, similarities between what you can share on Twitter and Pinterest; just slightly different approaches. You have more space in Pinterest descriptions (up to 500 characters); use it wisely to provide guidance and recommendations that you can’t provide on Twitter.

  • Share relevant things that you create. You can create boards specifically to showcase your own content; you can even pin said content to multiple boards. And you’re not limited to images – you can pin videos and slides, too. You probably have more images as part of your company content than you think – charts and graphics from existing whitepapers and blog posts, screenshots of your website or images of your product or service in action, photos from events, staff photos and bios.
  • Share relevant things that others create. You cement your business’ reputation as an expert in your industry, and you show that you’re a member of the community by pointing out when others have made awesome things. It’s also a great way to supplement your own content. Just be sure to credit properly generously share the wealth.

Once you’ve started pinning content to your boards, it’s also worth considering following some of the people who comment to your pins, and those who repin your pins. Look at their boards and take their comments to you in context – are these potential or existing customers? What do their interests tell you about them, and why your products and services are important enough to them to interact with you?

So if those are the similarities, what are the big differences between what applies to Twitter and what applies to Pinterest?

  • Images. On Twitter, image dimensions and orientation don’t matter that much, nor do you have to include an image with every tweet. On Pinterest, you cannot pin without including an image, a video, an audio file, or a slideshow. And tall images will display more prominently in Pinterest feeds than wide ones will. You do want to be careful with ultra-tall images such as some infographics – Pinterest will hide a portion of those images behind an “Expand Pin” trigger if they’re really long. Their proportions can also affect your followers’ ability to repin and to comment on those images – if your image’s width-to-height ratio is less than about 1:3, it may be too long for easy repinning. Still, infographics are quite popular on Pinterest.
  • Hashtags. Pinterest search does not currently support hashtags. Adding hashtags to your bio, board descriptions, and pins doesn’t help your account show up more in search results; it’s the keywords that matter. Make sure that you use appropriate keywords in your descriptions, and in the file names of your blog posts and associated media. Hubspot wrote a great guide to Pinterest SEO about a year ago (it’s the #1 Google search result for “Pinterest SEO”), but some things have changed since then – especially around hashtags. Their example of the #KnowlesChapel hashtag search only yields five results today; searching for the two words “Knowles Chapel” yields 104 results. Time for an update!
  • Using Pinterest on the go. With 75% of all traffic to Pinterest coming from mobile apps, there is a lot of pinning activity being done on phones and tablets! However, on mobile Pinterest, you cannot change descriptions of repins, or add your own description of pins of web content. So, be aware that many of your followers will likely be pinning on the go and only able to use your text description! The more complete your description, the more likely your pin will place high in relevant Pinterest search results.

So you’ve already set up your Pinterest account and are pinning, repinning, and conversing away, great! If you haven’t yet, get started – at last count (July 2013), Pinterest had 70 million users, and you probably have an opportunity to own your niche. If you’d like to learn best practices for using these tools, or have further questions, please contact us at connect@datahiveconsulting.com to schedule a free consultation.