Hashtag Team: Pinterest power for B2B marketers, inside the B2B buyer journey

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Wednesday means it’s time for another report of B2B News Network’s weekly Hashtag Team report, in which we recap what’s trending in the B2B Twitterverse.

To bring you the latest buzz, we sift and sort through countless tweets using innovative social analysis platform Nexalogy.

In this week’s edition, we take a look at some insights into the B2B customer buying journey, ways that B2B content marketers can use Pinterest to get the most out of their campaigns, why employers should stop policing their workers’ social media use, and more. Enjoy!

TRENDING TOPICS

B2B Social Media/Content Marketing:

How can B2B content marketers use Pinterest to get the most out of their campaigns and measure their effectiveness? In the second installment of a two-part blog series, Jamie Heckler at Business 2 Community explains how Pinterest isn’t just for B2C marketers anymore, and admonishes B2B marketers to pay more attention about this valuable “visual search engine with a social twist.”

Pin optimization—commonly cited as 735×1102 pixels—and captions that work for each pin are critical. Proper board structure and keyword adjustment are also very important. Selecting the right keywords, and testing their performance, are as important as choosing the right things to pin. To demonstrate the worth of your brand’s promotional channels, Heckler advises users to take advantage of Pinterest’s free analytical tools offered to business accounts.

Click-through value and follower trends should be closely monitored. “Pinterest offers unique opportunities for B2B content marketers to engage with new audiences,” writes Heckler, and by offering quality visual content, marketers can drive successful engagement and click-through for extended periods, even for years.

B2B Marketing:

Lori Wizdo at Forrester Research offers insights into the B2B buyer journey, starting with knowing your buyer and relying on customer behavior instead of statistical averages. Wizdo advises B2B marketers to build marketing strategies around facts, not factoids. Again, while headline-grabbing B2B marketing factoids might come in handy for vendors, marketers should avoid running marketing programs on averages.

Buyer journey mapping is a useful tool here, a “technique B2B marketers can use to understand your buyers’ path to purchase,” according to Wizdo. While some buyers prefer to engage with sales reps who can guide them as they craft their vision, other buyers prefer to go the route of self-education via professional contacts and peer-created content. Others prefer to do their research on vendor websites. But these processes are always customer-driven, and the B2B marketer forgets this fact at her own risk.

B2B Social Media:

In an article originally published in Fortune, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes asserts his strong belief that employers must stop policing workers’ social media use.

Many employers are “often guilty of taking social media policing too far,” argues Holmes, who believes “trust in the workplace rests squarely on honesty and realistic expectations.” People have private lives outside the office, and the expectation that employees’ social media accounts “reflect some button-down ideal of an office drone” is unrealistic and ignores the fact that workers are people first, employees second.

“I want my employees at Hootsuite to live out loud on social media,” writes Holmes. “The last thing I’d ask them to do is sanitize their accounts or create a false professional facade to please the company.”

Fortunately, more companies are beginning to understand that it is perfectly normal and acceptable for people “to show emotion, vulnerability, joy, silliness and the whole gamut of human experience on social media.” Holmes says the tide is turning, making for “a more open and more fulfilling office culture” and building trust “in a profound way.”

TOP MEDIA

B2B Infographic/Big Data/Marketing:

This infographic examines the Big Data you need to successfully drive your B2B sales. Hint: data analytics is the key. Did you know that companies that utilize analytics are five times more likely to make decisions faster than their competitors, three times as likely to execute those decisions as intended, and twice as likely to improve their financial performance? By collecting and analyzing internal and external data sources, B2B marketers greatly improve their odds of succeeding. b2bsalesgraphic B2B Infographic/E-Commerce Sales:

This infographic was published right here on B2B News Network and offers a preview of a B2B e-commerce sales market that’s projected to be worth a staggering $1.1 trillion by 2020. Indeed, B2B online sales is “the next battleground.” Fully 88 percent of executives are purchasing business products online, with nearly half of execs buying competing products because they are easier to buy online than other products which might have been first-choice items that were harder to order from the Internet.

Fully 94 percent of B2B executives want to know where and how to make immediate purchases. An identical percentage want to see peer reviews and view products in action. In order to learn about business products and services, three-quarters of execs rely upon corporate websites or social media, while only a third rely upon distributors and a similar percentage depend on word of mouth.

If you didn’t catch last week’s edition of our Hashtag Team report written by Sarah Dawley, click here to enjoy it.

And as always, if you have any buzz worthy B2B content you feel deserves our attention, let us know and we might share it in next week’s report. Until then, may your conversion rates be high and may all your campaigns be successful!

Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.