Gaining control of the conversation

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Jonathan Block is VP-service director at sales and marketing consultancy SiriusDecisions and the company's social expert. BtoB: For some who are new to social media marketing, the time commitment that seems to be required is daunting. What are your thoughts? Block: Some of this will work itself out from a generational perspective; 20 years from now the people who grew up with social media will view it as second nature. Email was first viewed as an annoyance, and today it's an accepted tool. People need to look at their own jobs and roles, and acknowledge that social is meant to be part of their tool kit. You might even want to make social media part of the hiring process, that this is expected as part of your job. In addition, social is an essential competitive business intelligence tool. Social does two things well: It offers people who already are interacting with you another way to interact, and it also helps get in front of an audience that's probably ignoring you for now. If they see content that's compelling, they'll stop ignoring you. BtoB: Do you have some thoughts on social ROI and measurement? Block: One of our customers, marketing automation company Eloqua, had thousands of Twitter followers but didn't know what that meant. They determined that those people who were engaged with Eloqua on social channels had a Net Promotor score 450% times higher than the company's average Net Promotor score. That's a great measurement and obviously implies an impact. Some organizations are good at collecting followers, getting useful information and have all these indicators trending upward. But that doesn't tell you impact. That's why we looked at Net Promotor score, which assesses whether someone is likely to recommend your company to a friend or colleague. —C.H.
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