IBM & Social Media: 7 Tips for Midmarket Businesses
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Posted by: Loraine Kasprzak, CMC, MBA
I recently had
the opportunity to talk about social marketing with Leslie Reiser, Program
Director of Worldwide Digital Marketing for IBM General Business. Leslie and
her team built IBM’s infoboom online community as a way to collaborate with
mid-market B2B companies. The community has since merged with other IBM
midsized business social media channels, which include a Facebook page and
shared seven principles you can apply to your own social media/digital
marketing efforts. Using even one or two of Leslie’s insights can make
developing your company’s social marketing a whole lot easier.
where people are already getting their information, where conversations
are already happening. Get involved in these discussions first. Understand where
the client base is going before you try to direct the discussion.
that social marketing requires an investment. You’ll need to have
some level of investment to grow your social presence. For example, you may
want to have a community manager added to your staff who will drive online
After you’ve been listening to discussions for awhile, you’ll have an idea of
what’s needed, what’s missing in the marketplace. Make that your niche. Create
a new concept for that niche and make it your own.
something insightful to say. You have a short window to engage your
audience because there’s so much competition for their time. What value are you
giving in exchange for their time?
When you keep it simple, you’ll make the best use of your investment. You’ll
want to focus on sharing your content on the social platforms where you find
the discussions most relevant to your company. IBM, for example, simplified and
consolidated its midmarket interactions into five relevant social spaces, and
made content easier to find with tags and indexing.
your employees to be social marketers, and do it in the context of your
market. The Watson success on Jeopardy is a good example – IBM people were all
over the place – on both social and traditional media. For example, on
Reddit.com [the social bookmarking and sharing site], there is a small,
enthusiastic Watson audience, and IBM employees contributed to that discussion.
– there are many. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars, but be
thoughtful and be prepared. [For a good list of free social media tools, check
Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master].
Author’s note: This article is based
on the last of a series of posts found on The Marketing Advantage
Kasprzak, Founder and Managing Director of
Advantage Marketing Consulting Services, is a Certified Management Consultant
(CMC) and MBA with over 17 years of hands-on experience in marketing
communications and strategy. One of Loraine’s strengths is her ability to help
her clients clarify their thinking so that they can focus and fine-tune their
message for the marketplace. Loraine holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and
an MBA in Marketing. She is past Executive Editor of the IMC USA Connector and
a NJ Chapter Distinguished Service Award winner. Loraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.