Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Digital Conversationalist

As a B2B marketer, social media success may still be allusive.  You blog, tweet, post on LinkedIn and Facebook. You are vested in the conversation.  But, are you really ready? How are you executing?

I am no expert.  By far, this is my most vexing question to date.  What I have done is really to start looking at what other companies seem to do, talk to fellow marketers, and try to figure out what works to build a vibrant community.  Here is what I’ve seen and taken away in my quest.

Entry level marketers and interns have typically been tasked to take on the social media effort.  In B2B, this can be a real challenge and barrier to realizing value from your initiative.  There is significant finesse, knowledge, and networking ability that is required.  Simply putting your brand, subject matter expertise, and yes, promotion out there is not for the inexperienced.

You can leverage a PR agency.  However, do they really know your business?  They do a great job of triangulating your message with experts and media.  They may even be there to ghost write.  This approach can get your effort up and running more effectively.  Over time, it is costly and slows the conversation.  Conversation is not sustained or maybe not achieved at all because of the bureaucracy to produce and eventually turns the social media effort into direct marketing and promotion or worse yet, the promotion and branding of external experts, not you.

You may have created a social media or blogging bureau and established a set of social media guidelines.  Subject matter experts are tasked with writing blogs and tweeting.  How is this working for you?  Do you have the steady stream of content?  Many times it is difficult to get people to commit to contributing if they are busy (I admit to this trap) or don’t see the value and return.

My conclusion is that what B2B companies need to start thinking about is how to be the Digital Conversationalist. Don’t just pay this lip service.  The best social media efforts are balanced between thought leadership and a vibrant customer driven community.

Here is my Digital Conversationalist job description:

This person is already versed and experienced in what you offer, is a good writer, but can also “pass the beer test” with a wide audience in your customer base.  This person can work the digital room and get discussion going.  They can balance thought provoking contribution with the ability to ask questions and get responses.  They utilize and test social media tools to illicit the most and best discussions.  They can turn lemons into lemonade, addressing discordant views and complaints in ways that promote your brand and give you insight you didn’t have.  A Digital Conversationalist knows they are only part of the conversation and not the center of attention.


Filed under: blogging, networking, social media, social media marketing, ,

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