Marketo's B2B Social Media Guide

One of the best take-aways I gained from the Online Marketing Summit 2010 conference in San Diego a few weeks back was a whitepaper called, The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media  by Marketo, who also had a strong sponsorship presence at the conference. It includes sound bytes such as:

"Social validation, or social proofing, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous situations when people do not have enough information to make opinions independently, and instead look for external clues like popularity, trust, etc."
"Social networks play an influential role when it comes to mitigating the feeling of risk that overcomes B2B buyers when trying to solve a problem or purchase a solution."

 Some tips from Marketo on social media marketing are listed below - some are techniques I had not considered before. Many of these topics were heavily covered at OMS.
  • Mark tweets about your product as a “favorite”on Twitter, and provide a link or feed to these favorites on your website alongside the product information. Essentially, you are including product reveiws without having needed to solicit them!
  • Start with goal-setting. You have to know what you want to accomplish before you set out to do it, and if you don't know what you can potentially accomplish with social media marketing, a white paper like this one is a great place to start. Page 14 and 15 of this document list out all possible goals and objectives you could have. "What do you want to accomplish and what are your distinct action items for each goal?"
  • I still see bloggers trying to hard to push their products on their blogs or across social media. I personally tune this out, and Marketo agrees that the only way to be effective in social media marketing is to "stick to the topics your prospects and customers will find most compelling and avoid the hard sell."
  • Not blogging yet? Why not??! Interesting stat: “Now visited by over 67 percent of the global
    online population…social networks and blogs…have become the fourth most popular online category – ahead of personal e-mail.” – Global Faces and Networked Places, The Nielsen Company, March 2009
  • I've seen a lot of research and data surrounding what types of content in micro-blogging (Twitter) most often gets "re-Tweeted." Rather than obsessing over types of keywords that get re-Tweeted most or times of day that tend to lead to the most re-Tweets, I like Marketo's advice because I've seen it work in action: "Research has shown that asking for a retweet actually increases its chance to be retweeted. Just don’t do it with every tweet—save it for those that are
    most important or relevant." Twitter and other social networks are largely populated by curteous professionals who desire to help one another out. Take advantage of this properly and respectfully.
  • I love this point: A natural advantage to getting engaged on Twitter? It almost happens without you even having to try, as long as you gravitate toward the types of content and people that interest you most:
    You will "associate yourself with a specific group of industry experts and thought leaders, and
    demonstrate your interest in the space."
  • Why does Twitter make sense for business? Especially B-to-B?
    "Microblogging gives people real-time insight into your business in a digestible way. You present timely information without making people visit your website or conduct a search. Microblogging automatically supports permission marketing." I love that quote!
Also from this white paper:

Best ways to use LinkedIn for B-to-B:
  1. Use LinkedIn Answers to ask thought-provoking questions or become an “expert” by providing valuable answers and demonstrating thought leadership.
  2. Promote events on LinkedIn.
and I've seen this stat before but haven't yet delved into creating this medium for my business.

“55 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to consume white papers and analyst reports if they were delivered as podcasts.”
– Research: Podcasts Penetrate B2B Mainstream, MarketingVOX

Do people use podcasts that much? Is it the iPod and iPhone that people are using to subscribe to podcasts from companies about topics they are interested in? I'd like to know more about this before going through the effort of creating podcasts and submitting to Apple (for example.)