There has been a lot of debate on how to use and measure the impact of social media in B2B marketing. Other than the fact that Facebook is probably a waste of time, there is still little consensus on the impact of Twitter, LinkedIn and other, more industry-targeted options (that probably ultimately want to get bought by LinkedIn).
There have been some success stories with the ability to target LinkedIn ads and track conversions or at the very least, inquiries. And many people leverage corporate Twitter accounts to promote a new piece of content or a key press release (the challenge there of course is you have to have a large following or an ecosystem of media personalities with large followings willing to retweet your post).
But I think we are missing the big picture here if we focus solely on just a metrics approach to understanding the impact. The real story is the democratization of knowledge.
We are living at a time when the internet gives us more access – directly and indirectly – to knowledge than ever before. If you child’s math teacher isn’t up to snuff these days, Khan Academy is a great resource, as is simply checking out videos on YouTube.
If you’re a marketing professional and you have questions about content marketing, or different marketing strategies and tactics, there are a number of places to look for information and engage your peers – most commonly LinkedIn groups, which include:
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. Take advantage of this!
And that includes groups related to your target market – whatever it is. In your quest to understand the market, you cannot ignore key discussions and topics going on in key LinkedIn groups. They are no longer related to the rants of jobs seekers. There are real discussions that you should be aware of even if you don’t always chime in. It’s an important aspect of market exposure and presence that cannot be ignored in most tech-related industries.
And while all this might not lead to a cascade of trackable leads and conversions, it does open up opportunities for showing thought leadership and engaging with others around the world that may have the same problem that you are trying to solve in marketing, product marketing, or product management.
OK, so there is one penalty. After you join a group you will no doubt start receiving curated daily e-mail digests of group activity. And that may start to crowd your already overloaded mailbox. The solution is to go to the group page, click the little “i” for “information and settings”, and change your settings to either get e-mails only weekly or not at all.
You have very little to lose and a world of knowledge (and potentially key contacts and job opportunities) to gain. So let me channel the Scotts lawn guy and say “Feed your brain! Feed it!”