ATLANTA (January 4, 2011) – Calysto Communications, a global public relations and social media marketing firm focused on the broadcasting & cable, mobile and telecommunications industries, today urged business-to-business (B2B) companies in the communications industry – both large and small – to incorporate social media activities into their 2011 marketing strategies.
“Despite what many companies think, business-to-business communications technology buyers are using social media in their purchasing decisions,” said Laura Borgstede, CEO of Calysto Communications. “Past studies have shown that as many as 75 percent of those who make technology buying decisions in B2B use social media for business reasons.”
In fact, a recent research report by technology media company TechTarget found that 98 percent of IT professionals say that online IT communities are an integral part of their research and/or purchase process.
Business-to-business marketers are starting to take notice. According to a study by the research firm AMR International, B2B advertising spend on social media and lead generation sites is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 21 percent and 17 percent respectively through 2013.
But many smaller players in particular may not know where to start. To help your company get started, Calysto revealed five tips to help you achieve social media success in 2011.
Tip #1: Start by asking yourself “Why?”
With all the buzz surrounding social media, many companies have created Facebook pages or Twitter accounts without ever looking at what they hope to accomplish with such activities.
Your goal might be to drive traffic to your site or to build and communicate regularly with a list of potential customers, and different strategies can help you accomplish these very different goals. You do not have to launch a blog, start tweeting and build a Facebook or LinkedIn community all at once. And that relates to the next tip…
Tip #2: Stay focused.
“If your goal is to drive traffic to your Web site, by far the most effective tool is to create a blog on your site – one that provides relevant information to the audience you are trying to reach,” said Borgstede.
In contrast, if the goal is to build a database to increase the effectiveness of your media marketing campaigns, then your social media activities might involve trying to build a following on Facebook or Twitter or trying to capture email addresses or wireless numbers to support email or mobile marketing campaigns.
Tip #3: Get buy-in from key executives.
A blog is only as effective as the content it provides – and you need help from your executives to create that content. So getting support for your social media efforts across the organization is critical.
"A well-thought out social media marketing strategy engages a cross-functional team with representatives from several departments, making social media 1 percent of 100 individual’s jobs rather than 100 percent of one person’s job," said Dorothéa Bozicolona-Volpe, a Calysto Communications social media director.
Tip #4: Measure your results.
If you are measuring the effectiveness of your social media program, you are likely light years ahead of the majority of high-tech marketers out there. There are a number of free web analytics tools like Google Analytics, but these do not work for every company. One paid tool that Calysto likes is Clicky, a real-time analytics tool that is easy-to-use and presents your data in real-time.
The bottom line is that your web analytics tool should present the data you need in an easy-to-read format, allow you to drill down to see more detail and allow you to track traffic based on its source. Other key capabilities to look for in a Web analytics program include the ability to track key words and phrases on sites like Twitter.
Tip #5: Work with an expert.
“If you’re just writing blogs, tweeting or creating a Facebook following without a strategy, then you’re likely wasting your time,” said Borgstede. “Not only do you have to create relevant social media content for your audience, you need to do it strategically – for instance, by including the key words your potential customers are searching for online and by making sure you’re writing using your ‘brand voice.’”
“One of the big myths about social media is that it’s expensive to do it right,” Borgstede said. “An investment of just a few thousand dollars can, for instance, improve your site’s search engine rankings dramatically. But you need to know how to complete tasks such as key word searches and tagging correctly – or all your efforts will be for naught.”
For instance, this year, Calysto spent less than $3,000 on SEO to improve its ranking for specific search phrases such as “telecom PR firm” and “public relations firm specializing in wireless.” As a result, Calysto climbed from a ranking as low as 81 for some of its identified keywords to the number one listing – and is ranked in the top 10 listings of most of its target keyword search phrases.
As part of its $3,000 investment, Calysto embarked upon a link building campaign that has established more than 814 inbound links to the Calysto domain, which should further improve its search engine rankings in the future.
About Calysto Communications
Founded in 1999, Calysto Communications (www.calysto.com) is a global public relations and social media marketing firm focused solely on the specialized needs of the technology industry in the broadcasting & cable, mobile and telecommunications sectors. We provide a full suite of services to emerging and established business-to-business and business-to-consumer organizations. Our all-senior management team uses an award-winning approach proven to help Calysto clients drive sales, create value for shareholders, move toward liquidity or raise overall awareness by directly reaching market influencers. In the last three years, Calysto has consistently ranked among the top PR firms in the technology industry, according to an independent survey of technology journalists conducted by PRSourceCode. Calysto also publishes a free e-newsletter, PR VibesTM (www.prvibes.com), which provides industry players with insight into media and analyst moves around the industry; industry events and tradeshows; and trends in marketing and public relations.
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