Why Social Media Is So Important

Posted on 8 October 2013

By Damian Corbet

As a B2B marketer you have a lot on your plate: brochures, advertising, exhibitions, website updates, dealing with distributors… the list goes on.

You’re now told to add social media to the mix. Where will you find the time? And why is it so important anyway? Surely it’s only relevant to B2C companies?

From a B2B point of view it’s important for two reasons:

  • Getting your message out to a wider audience
  • Driving traffic back to your website

So what’s the hold-up?

Nearly every B2B marketer I speak to cites time as the hold-up. No time to look into it; no time to set it up; no time to do it.

Perhaps if you understood just how important social media is – and how much more important it’s becoming  – you’d find the time.

The simple fact is that social media has moved beyond just connecting with friends and like-minded people. It’s now an essential business tool. Just because you may not use social media is not a reason to dismiss it.

Did you know:

  • 59% of all journalists globally use Twitter to find news (up from 47% in 2012)
  • LinkedIn is the most popular social network for senior executives
  • YouTube is now the platform of choice for companies to share videos

So, if social media is now a mainstream business and news tool, how do you use it?

The strategy I recommend is very, very simple: post content on your website; share it on social networks; drive traffic back to your website. The Virtuous Circle.

For Halma subsidiaries, the PR Department can now write a lot of your content and blog posts for you. All you have to do is come up with ideas. Here are some content suggestions.

Have a look at my post ‘Using Social Media – Some Practical Guidelines’ to help you get started.

Social media is no longer a luxury, an add-on or something to assign to an intern. It’s something that should be at the core of your marketing strategy.

Posted in B2B, Blogging, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Website, Websites | Leave a comment

Why every company should be on Google+

Posted on 9 September 2013

By Damian Corbet

Social media is evolving – quickly.

For companies this has a number of implications. To start with, social media is no longer a ‘marketing’ responsibility – it’s a company responsibility.

It’s also no longer enough to simply have a LinkedIn page and a Twitter account that you don’t use. You should be using these two platforms to their full effect. And you also REALLY need to get onto Google+.

Google (which owns YouTube) as a company is changing so rapidly and its reach throughout the online environment is now so all-encompassing that every company needs to grasp the opportunities that are emerging.

So what’s so special about Google+?

  • Google+ helps with SEO on Google and YouTube – a lot. This should be reason enough for it to get your attention
  • It’s popular with technical people – many of whom may already be your customers, installers or distributors
  • Communities – like LinkedIn groups but better. They are a bit like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook combined, allowing you to interact with like-minded people with a lot less self-promotion and spam
  • Hangouts – a free video chat facility that allows you to chat to up to 20 people, privately or publicly. Great for distributor or sales meetings, product demos and even live event streaming
  • Circles – once you set up an account, you can segregate your contacts in separate circles, allowing you to share content with clearly defined groups
  • Authorship – Google now allows you to claim authorship of your blog posts. This is significant and it greatly enhances the visibility of posts. If you’re blogging, use authorship
  • Places – Many people search for local businesses, so having your company listed on Google Places gives you an immediate advantage. It also increases your chances of coming up on the first page of search results
  • All of these features are completely free

The business environment is changing at incredible pace and so are your customers. When people search for information, they do it online. By using the opportunities offered by Google+ and the other main social networks, you will be getting your message out to a wider range of people than has ever been possible.

And don’t for a minute think your customers aren’t online. They are. Even in the most traditional industries they are using Google and YouTube to find information. By making your company visible on these platforms you’re giving your customers a helping hand.

Posted in Google+, SEO, Social Media | 2 comments

Using Social Media – Some Practical Guidelines

Posted on 5 September 2013

By Damian Corbet

Signing up to social networks is one thing; using them effectively is another. Here are some guidelines to make sure you get off to a good start with social media.

Who should have access?
Always ensure more than one person has access to the login details of any social media channel. I’d recommend the following people:

•    All marketing people, including the sales & marketing director/VP
•    Product managers
•    Key technical people (designers, engineers, etc)
•    Key customer service people
•    Managing director/president. (They may not want to get their hands dirty with social media, but it’s no bad thing to sign them up make them aware of the basics)
•    Keep a record of all login/password details!

Social media committee
•    Set up a ‘social media committee’ that includes a representative from each of the above departments
•    You could have a brief meeting once a month/quarter to come up with content ideas and discuss issues that have come up.

What should you say?
For most Halma companies, social media will be used as an extension of marketing/PR:

•    Share all press releases
•    If you write blog posts, share them
•    Talk about upcoming exhibitions or events
•    Share interesting general industry or company news
•    Don’t sell – be helpful instead; that’s why people follow you
•    If you’re serious draw up a calendar with input from all committee members

Interaction
•    Be prepared to interact – that may be obvious but many companies don’t bother to respond to questions or complaints on social media
•    Let customer service people deal with complaints
•    Let technical people deal with technical queries
•    Always be friendly and helpful and never be defensive or negative

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Posted in B2B, Social Media | Leave a comment

Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO

Posted on 26 June 2013

By Damian Corbet

An overview of why Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO are now inextricably linked.

Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO

SEO all starts with Google…

The way Google ranks websites is based on a constantly evolving set of algorithms which take several factors into account, including:

  • Content – unique, well written and constantly updated
  • Social Media – well-managed, consistent activity on relevant social networks
  • Website architecture – standards-based code, regularly updated, no Flash

The best way to improve your website’s SEO is therefore to keep it regularly updated with relevant, keyword-rich content, shared on relevant social networks, with links back to the website. Not only will this help with SEO, it will also drive inbound traffic to your website. Continue →

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Posted in B2B, Blogging, Content Marketing, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, SEO, Social Media, Twitter, Website, Websites, YouTube | Leave a comment

Content and Social Media

Posted on 1 May 2013

By Damian Corbet

The way online search works has changed.

Websites are now ranked on the quality and relevance of their content. The best way to improve your SEO is therefore to keep it regularly updated with keyword-rich content. Simple.

Content is anything relevant about your company and your industry:

  • Press releases
  • Technical articles and white papers
  • Blog posts (general company news, industry issues, etc)
  • Contributions by external experts
  • Photos (company events, happy customers, products in use, etc)
  • Videos (instructional, product demonstrations, etc)

Regularly updated content on your company’s website, shared via social networks with links back to the website, not only helps with SEO – it also drives more traffic to the website.

A content-rich website is also important for your customers. Giving them interesting information about their industry will keep them coming back.

Are you ready to incorporate content marketing and social media into your marketing strategy? It’s not as time-consuming as you might think.

We can get you started, so please don’t hesitate to contact your press officer if you want to find out more!

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Posted in Blogging, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Website, Websites | Leave a comment

The Main Social Media Platforms for B2B

Posted on 22 November 2012

By Damian Corbet

Unsure which social media platform is best for you? Then look no further!

Blog – Blogging is perhaps the most effective social media channel. Not only does a blog allow you to position your company as an expert in its field, it can also do wonders for your website’s search ranking. A blog is a must for any B2B company these days.

Twitter – Twitter is uber-networking. Don’t expect to sell products on Twitter; that’s not what people sign up for. But do expect to find interesting people to follow and interact with – experts in your industry, competitors and, yes, potential customers. It’s also great for market intelligence. But keep it personal.

Facebook – You can sell on Facebook but, like Twitter, people don’t really sign up to be sold to. What you can do, though, is talk about your products in an interesting way: post case studies, customer endorsements or videos. You can also run competitions and offer special discounts for people who ‘like’ your page or share a story with their friends. Think of it as the personal side of your company – a nice counterpoint to your corporate website.

LinkedIn – The ‘boring’ social network. Boring it may be, but for any business person it’s essential that you have a LinkedIn profile. There’s also a lot more to LinkedIn than meets the eye. There are literally thousands of special interest groups – there’s sure to be one for your industry. Join up and start a conversation – it’s another fantastic way to network. You should also set up a company page and populate it with as much information as you can. Professionals use LinkedIn, so make use of it.

YouTube – Does your company have a YouTube channel yet? If not, why not? Making informative, instructional videos has never been easier. And don’t forget that YouTube is the web’s second largest search engine after Google.

Google+ – As a social network Google+ took a while to catch on, but catch on it has, especially with techy people. Google’s search engines also place a lot of emphasis on Google+ posts and ‘+1s’ (the equivalent of Facebook ‘likes’). So get yourself and your company on there and just re-post what you’re already doing on Facebook and Twitter.

Forum – Is a forum social media? I believe it is. Most businesses can benefit from having a forum open to their customers, installers and distributors. It’s a great way to control the conversation in a secure, password-protected environment. Companies that use forums successfully can quickly position themselves as real experts in their industry.

I hope this helps to clarify the benefits of each platform. Pick and choose what you want – and don’t be afraid to experiment and mix things up a bit!

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Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Forum, Google+, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube | Leave a comment

PR Manager Appointed for Halma China

Posted on 9 October 2012

By Damian Corbet

 

I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Joshua Shi as the new PR Manager for Halma China. He started on Monday, October 8, 2012 and is based in Halma’s Shanghai Representative Office. Continue →

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Posted in China, PR | Leave a comment

4 Reasons Why You Should Have A Company Blog

Posted on 3 October 2012

By Damian Corbet

 

Let me clarify what I mean by a  company blog.

It isn’t an essay. It’s not even a paragraph. It can be just a few sentences. It’s also free.

There are four simple reasons why you should have a company blog: Continue →

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Posted in B2B, Blogging, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Website | Leave a comment

What is Twitter?

Posted on 14 August 2012

By Damian Corbet

What is Twitter and why should B2B companies use it?

 

“If your business has any kind of content it wishes to share with the world, Twitter’s virtually a necessity for getting it out there.” (Chris Bucholtz, editor-in-chief of the CRM Outsiders blog).

“My company can trace about 75% of its business back to relationships that initially began on social media, and the vast majority of those relationships began on Twitter. That’s a pretty compelling business case for me.” (Heather Whaling, founder of Geben Communication).

Twitter is a deceptively simple application with remarkably powerful uses. People are only just beginning to tap into its potential as a business tool.

So why do so many companies still have a problem with Twitter? Continue →

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Posted in B2B, Social Media, Twitter | Leave a comment

Introduction to HTML Basics – guide part 2

Posted on 13 August 2012

Part two of this guide to the basics of HTML coding will list and explain a bit about some of the most commonly found and most useful elements of HTML: the tags and attributes you need to write your own HTML web page or email with no software more advanced than Notepad. Continue →

Posted in Guides, Websites | Leave a comment