4 Steps to an Unforgettable Social Media Strategy for B2B Companies

I’ve successfully used Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter to generate leads and sales for my digital marketing agency, The Media Captain. Social media has been one of the most instrumental marketing tools for my company’s growth. I’ve also deployed successful social media campaigns and strategies for hundreds of other B2B companies.

For those that say social media can’t be profitable in the B2B community community, my response to the naysayers is simple: You aren’t deploying the right strategy across the right channels with compelling content.

Social media is about storytelling and distribution. My job is to explain to everyone in the business to business community how simple generating business from social media can be.

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Don’t Believe Those Reports You’re Hearing About the Death of Social-Media Marketing

Is social media marketing really dead? That’s one question business owners, marketers and leaders are currently struggling to answer. According to recent reports, social media platforms are losing their momentum, with the likes of Snapchat losing subscribers and Twitter losing the conversation appeal. This, in turn, is affecting the impact social media marketing has on business.

In a study of B2B buyers, only 19 percent of those surveyed said that social media played an important role in their discovery process. This report, among others from industry influencers, has sparked a new concern about the future of social media in business. But don’t be alarmed.

In reality, social media isn’t dead. In fact, it’s not dying anytime soon. It is very much alive and remains an effective tool for marketing your products and services. This is why 78 percent of companies have dedicated entire teams to social media and others have reported more than a 700 percent increase in social media sales from their efforts on social media.

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Coca-Cola, Dell and PayPal Share Their Influencer Marketing Secrets

Every day, a story emerges about brands doing influencer marketing wrong. Often, the reason for these brands’ errors is inexperience with the marketing tactic. Big brands like PayPal, Dell and Coca-Cola have been in the influencer marketing space for over the past decade, and that depth of experience has created best practices for how not only big brands, but entrepreneurs and small businesses, can succeed in this fractured marketing landscape. As the Fyre Festival and other examples of #influencerfails make marketers cautious, these brands are continuing to grow their programs and to refine how to best succeed in the influencer space.

Start early.
The biggest tip that all the marketing experts interviewed shared was to start early with your program. Kate Hartman, the group director for global brand PR at Coca-Cola, ran the influencer program for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She and her team began hiring influencers 18 months before the campaign started and started reviewing potential fits for the program three months before that.

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What Social Media Influencers Worry About Most

From free merchandise to all-expense paid vacations — being a social media influencer sounds like a dream job. But how do you really make it as an influencer?

Influencer marketing firm Open Influence surveyed more than 400 influencers who have followings between 75,000 to 500,000 people to uncover surprising information about the social media world.

Unsurprisingly, if you want to find social media fame, turn to Instagram. A whopping 88 percent of participants reported that they were most active on that photo sharing network.

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It’s Not Good Enough to Say You’re Sorry—You Have to Do Something About It

Great leaders aren’t remembered for what they do when everything’s fine. They shine when times are tough by embracing adversity and shouldering the blame.

A true leader—somebody who is in charge of the culture and the organization—has to be very quick to apologize and very slow to blame. The reality is that bad things happen, sometimes things that are beyond your control. Sometimes they result from bad decisions made by people who work for you.

But the leader is ultimately responsible… for everything—for the environment of the team and for building a culture that allows people to realize that you’re not perfect, that you make mistakes every day. If you create an environment of fear and reprehension, people will cover up mistakes because they’re scared of you. Instead you want to create an environment in which people know you’re not perfect so you don’t expect them to be. Yet you must have high standards of accountability and responsibility so when something bad happens, they own up to it.

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7 Ways to Lead People Who Don’t Want to Be Led

Leadership used to be a top-down, pyramid-style structure. The journey to the top was clearly marked. A student graduates college, finds an entry-level job sorting mail or going on coffee runs. They pay their dues, work their way up and in 15 or so years, they’re the ones ordering the coffee.

Today the leadership model resembles something like herding cats. People are no longer OK with the status quo and with paying dues. They want their opinions valued and their contributions celebrated. They want to change the company with their ideas—not 15 years in the future but now.

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How To: Build New Leaders

For any business that lasts, it’s incumbent upon current leaders to build a deep farm system of developing leaders. Mentorship programs are one answer.

Mentor programs may sound like a cozy addition to your company-culture mission statement, but they’re also powerful business practices. A 2013 study by the business analytics firm Vestrics looked at participants in Sun Microsystem’s mentoring program and found worker retention rates jumped 69 percent for the mentors and 72 percent for the mentees over seven years, saving the company $6.7 billion in staff replacement costs.

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5 Must-Live-By Rules From History’s Masterminds

If Shakespeare, Alexander Hamilton or Sophocles taught an MBA class today, what would they say on the subject of leadership?

Now we might know.

In my forthcoming book, The Greats on Leadership: Classic Wisdom for Modern Managers, I explore the best leadership ideas of the past 25 centuries, using timeless authors such as Plato, Churchill, Shakespeare, Austen, Hamilton and Lincoln as guides.

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9 Things Every Aspiring Leader Should Know

It is universally understood that the road to success is paved with failure. And although all great leaders experience speed bumps, detours or head-on collisions, every leadership journey is unique and provides valuable lessons to pass on.

These nuggets of advice from nine members of Young Presidents’ Organization range from thoughts on hiring practices to self-empowerment, running fast to drinking beer. You might agree with some things and disagree with others, but it is always enlightening to hear from those who have gone into the fire and come out the other side.

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Why You Should Make Friends With Everyone on Your Team

Over the years I’ve learned that success is about more than taking charge. It’s also about creating an environment where people want to succeed. To do that, you have to build a culture of honesty, accountability and shared vision.

And that starts with knowing your people.

I think it’s a myth that leaders can’t be close to their employees and that familiarity can get in the way of making tough decisions. In my former career as a co-CEO, we had around 300 employees who had been with the company for 30 years, some of whom I once reported to as I was rising through the ranks. So when I was steering the company through the Great Recession and trying to execute a very difficult initial public offering, I knew I was fighting not only for my employees but also for my friends. And I believe that made me fight even harder to succeed.

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