Shiny Object Syndrome, Part 1: 3 Social Marketing Trends Your B2B Company Can Skip

Erin Funk Erin Funk
July 24, 2013
Digital Marketing

If your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too? Recently, some B2B companies are answering that question with yes. B2B organizations are trying social marketing and tools just because some companies had success with it. Social marketing is still a relatively new and shiny tool but that does not mean it will help you reach your market. Here are three trends that a lot of consumer and B2B businesses have started implementing and why you might not want to follow their lead.

  1. Vine/Instagram Video - With Instagram rolling out video and Vine building a community for the past months, some brands started trying their hand at the new medium. Honda has had the best example so far, incorporating Twitter into the commercial effort. However, short videos probably won’t work for your B2B plan. Instagram gives viewers the option to play and stop their videos, unlike Vine, which repeats videos until you scroll to the next. These are two very different tools that require well thought out content. Just because it's six seconds and easy to make doesn't mean your business should start capturing messages and displaying them to an audience that doesn't connect to your client list.
  2. Pinterest – Not to sound stereotypical but most women have their weddings and future houses pinned. So why should a B2B business hop on the site? They most likely shouldn't. In order for a B2B to be successful on the platform they need to remember the three C's. You have to be Creative enough to market the Pinterest page as a resource to clients or perspective clients. You need to have great Content, with rich visuals that people will want to click on with little explanatory text. You have to be Consistent in your branded message. Don’t allow the platform to change your brand, change the platform to fit you brand. "At present, Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined," SocialMediaExaminer.com explained." What a great reason to try the new tool, right? Wrong, only try it if you can stick to the three C's.
  3. TV Hashtags - When Who's Line Is It Anyway came back I was parked in front of my TV. During the skits, as soon as something funny happened, a hashtag would flash up on the screen, prompting the audience to socially share the event. I have no problem with this cross platform marketing. It's smart, but don't turn your audience into mindless zombies. I was watching the first show to see if it was still funny and as the audience I didn't appreciate being told which parts that I should have shared with people. A more general hashtag like the show title or company name (more on that in Part 3 of this series) would provide the reminder to tweet without shoving the idea down the viewer's throat. When communicating with your audience through social make sure the hashtag or tool is adding to their experience, not taking away from it.

Now that you know which tools to be cautious about, our Shiny Object Syndrome Part 2 will cover three trends your business should dive into. After that, we will go over how to decipher through the wave of new social tools and help your B2B avoid the bandwagons in Part 3 of our Shiny Object Syndrome series.

Have you seen a B2B use these trends and receive results? Share the shame or success stories with us!

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