Last week, I had the honor of attending Oracle OpenWorld to participate on a panel about successful B2B social media. With every conference or event I attend, I always come back with tons of ideas swirling in my mind and this was no different. Whether you're a seasoned B2B social strategist or just getting started with B2B social, there was something for everyone. Here are my top takeaways from the event.
Rome wasn't built in a day.
Social media is a fast-paced medium. If you're not staying on top of trends and changes, you could be left behind. That said, don't expect your content to go viral or that results will be immediate. It takes time and optimization to grow and scale your presence. Oracle Social Cloud's Listen & Analyze console gives you the keys you need to determine what content resonates with your audience on a platform and post-level basis. Study that data, and refine your strategy around the insights you surface. Are certain topics or post types not garnering engagement? Pull them out of your rotation and see what happens.
Not all innovation is external.
One thing kept popping up repeatedly, and that's the idea that sometimes innovation comes from within. Michael Nagel, my co-panelist from Cummins, talked a lot about how becoming a Six Sigma organization has transformed their social media strategy and how they handle social customer care. At Zebra, building a solid operating model and guardrails for how we utilize social for demand generation campaigns, including designing an intake process for handling project requests, enabled us to grow our followers and engagement by over 150% in just 2 years. All of these things would never be fully visible to our audience but certainly have a significant impact on how we're perceived in the social space.
Success doesn't always mean sales.
Not every company sells their products online, which can make it challenging to prove why social is an important part of your marketing mix. If you're in that boat, what can you do? Consider measuring how you use social for customer care, whether that's by number of customers served or response time. How long does it take for a complaint to be resolved via social media versus a call center? Sometimes, all it takes to de-escalate a situation with a frustrated customer is to let them know you're checking into their problem and will get back to them with a solution as soon as possible. Isn't that a better feeling than the one invoked by hearing on-hold music for an extended period of time?
Especially if you're just getting started. If your initial results aren't great, keep trying. If you're having trouble getting buy-in from your organization, take the opportunity to educate your stakeholders on how social media can help them. (I have no shame and will invite myself to meetings where I think social media might be beneficial.) Embrace the idea of "piloting" something you've never tried before, like a new paid advertising unit. Just don't give up!
It was a great few days in San Francisco and I'm already looking forward to learning more at Modern Marketing Experience in April. Did you attend OpenWorld? I'd love to hear some of your top takeaways!