Archive for October 2008
Virtual everywhere around the world and creating domestic problems …http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5002721.ece
This story is a bit much but it’s an example of our changing world and what’s to come. It’s all over the internet today popping up in many places. I was saying at a recent event that social media also creates an arena where others without good intentions can make personal attacks online against individuals. People could attack one’s character, credibility with no grounds and make a public statement across the Internet where it’s difficult to remove those comments. Let’s say one person may have had poor judgments about an individual for some reason or another and makes it’s known publicly in many places online. If you didn’t know that individual personally and you came into contact with him/her, had a chance to “Google” them, and you happen to see a few negative comments about this person’s character…. Wouldn’t you shape an opinion about that individual based on what you read? You may.
When in fact if someone knew that individual first-hand or had a personal encounter face-to-face, this person was NOTHING like what someone on the Internet described. We know how rumors spread and are we going to live in a world where people sue others for defamation of character or slander someone online? In this new virtual social world, one can make poor comments online about another person and get away with it! Another area of concern is that people could steal the identity of someone else online, pose as that person, potentially destroying one’s character and reputation, not to mention their credit. We’ve all become celebrities online where others can make positive remarks or share good experiences, while others could potentially take negative hits against each of us. It can become the social media paparazzi! It’s scary to think it will be a challenge for each of us to not only protect our true identity in the real world but also in the virtual world. If someone makes a negative comment online about someone with a personal attack or accusation, we will have to manage those responses. People should also be managing the credibility of their brands and taking away new insights from the communities online. Sometimes it’s best to dispute those claims, learn something new to change your behavior, or handle them with a positive response to shape a better outcome. I still value personal relationships, but I do enjoy what other opportunities the virtual world can bring. We have to be cautious, pro-active and aware of how things are changing in this new world.
“Social media and community marketing will fundamentally change marketing’s role in customer communication. The need to foster deeper social interaction and intimacy requires B2B marketers to look far beyond the front of the sales pipeline and use Web 2.0 tactics to engage customers in mutually beneficial business activity. Instead of heaping social activity onto an overflowing plate, socially savvy marketers use technology to streamline lead management; close the loop with sales; and free up time to listen to, talk with, and embrace community members for the long haul.”
Making Social Media Work in B2B Marketing , Laura Ramos, Analyst Forrester Oct. 2008)
“Effective online marketing is not about buying access through advertising or begging the media to write about your company and its products and services. Instead it is about creating great content (websites, press releases, blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.that the search engines reward with high rankings, which will drive people to your stuff. I suggest that when people are faced with the inevitable push back from executives about “the ROI thing” to ask the executives a few questions: 1) Have you answered a direct mail ad? (Nearly all answer “No.”) 2) Have you used Google or another search engine? (Nearly all answer “Yes.”).”
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott, it has been the top selling PR and marketing book since its release in June 2007)
Although B2B companies are lagging behind their B2C counterparts, more and more B2B companies are starting to take notice of the value of Web 2.0 and influencing buyer decisions. People are seeking the web for information about businesses, products, reviews and first-hand accounts from others in the industry. The more B2B companies that start using the new means of social media technology and look to connect with people should reap the rewards. The lack of use from some has been around the validity of the metrics to measure the viral influence and connection to sales. “While they see webinars, microsites, and rich media apps delivering qualified leads, respondents scratch their heads about the value that viral video and social network marketing provide, with 31% saying it is “too early to tell” for social networks and 68% saying the same for video marketing (Making Social Media Work in B2B Marketing, Forrester Oct. 2008).” Yet, one can’t let all the metrics in the world take precedence but it’s also important to speak and reach out directly to your customers, provide a two-way dialogue to learn more about their emotional attachment and use of your brand. Think of ways of incorporating new technology to spread the message, but also don’t get too carried away with all this new knowledge and developments on the horizon. Test and see what works best for your brands and become the expert in your market. Make a point to read and learn about what others are using and what new trends are shaping on the digital frontier in your industry. Don’t be afraid to try and encourage your advertisers the same with your products and services.
There is growing interest for B2B marketers to rely on the creation of widgets for greater reach to audiences, as well as using better targeting strategies that include segmentation based on behaviors and understanding the different uses of information. B2B professionals are starting to see the value for their brands with blogs, forums and RSS feeds and how it can create better reach to influence audiences. Yet, as far as your advertisers’ dollars and your brands, publicity can be FREE across social media or absorb little cost for online exposure. It’s those companies that develop interactive functionality to incorporate their audience into the development of their online product and services, build the right community and listen to other communities in their market. The companies that can offer the right mix of useful tools, widgets, audience engagement tactics to reach the right person at the right time, will help their business stand out. In return, others will take notice and marketers would be willing to pay extra for the added value and service.
Allow reputable bloggers in your market to contribute to the development of your new online experience. Use bloggers as your focus groups to offer suggestions for your future business development and/or marketing strategies. Consider new ways to build loyal bonds with your community. Partner with advertisers, as well as bloggers to provide further reach and value to your audiences. Recognize your bloggers, listen to their thoughts, and don’t be fearful to reach out to them. Respond to their comments, learn from their insights and don’t ignore them. Your audiences are likely to tell their friends, write about it, share the links on Facebook, Linkedin, or may use Twitter to tweet to others. All of this will gain more attention and create buzz for your brand.
Six Free Tools for Online Reputation Management: MarketingSherpa Provides A Glimpse Of What People Are Saying About Your Brands