March 21, 2015

3 Ways Your B2B Social Media Marketing Needs to Be Helpful

R-chie double structure arc diagram by Daniel Lai, Jeff Proctor, Jing Yun and Irmtraud Meyer by Duncan Hull

Illustration by Duncan Hull

Post by Daniel Kushner
Founder, Oktopost

The rise of social media over the past decade has forever changed the way businesses go about capturing, pursuing and closing leads. Nowadays, B2B purchasing only takes place once prospects have begun to truly trust a vendor that they’re looking into, as relationships are now formed far earlier in the purchase cycle, with buyers investing heavily in self-service research – often across several digital channels.

For vendors, this changing dynamic calls for enabling the research process. Today’s digitally connected B2B vendors know that educating and being generous with helpful advice on social media is the most effective way to position their companies as valuable partners. Continue reading

March 5, 2015

Gary Vaynerchuk at Launch: Traditional media holding on for dear life


Gary Vaynerchuk at Launch: “We adore human interaction.” (Photo by JD Lasica)

JD LasicaThere were lots of remarkable moments at the eighth Launch Festival, which ended a three-day run Wednesday at Fort Mason in San Francisco: Investor legend Peter Thiel exhorting entrepreneurs to find a space and “create a monopoly.” Pundit Glenn Beck declaring, “We don’t need the media. I trust my neighbors.” Forty or so founders taking to the stage to launch interesting new startups.

But there’s only one Gary Vaynerchuk, and he made his first appearance at Launch a lively one.

Turns out garyvee is a big fan of the Taylor Swift brand of social media marketing. When Swift randomly sends gifts at Christmas or shows up to interact with ordinary fans — to their delighted screams — it all gets amplified through social.

“We adore human interaction,” he told about 2,000 attendees at Launch. “It’s real.” And it’s what the most powerful kind of social media marketing consists of — even if it’s a fleeting 14-second video message. It’s the personalization that makes it real and leaves a lasting impression. Continue reading

February 27, 2015

Why community & marketing should be best buds

community-building
Maria Ogneva of Sidecar, right, with Evan Hamilton of Zozi and moderator Irene Koehler (Photo by JD Lasica).

Target audience: Community managers, businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaHere, in the year 2015, the term community building no longer seems to command the heft and respect it once did. Today it’s all about growth hacking and social sharing and co-creation.

But, old school or not, community building still matters. For startups. For small businesses. For brands. For corporations.

Yesterday, we put on the 25th Social Media Breakfast East Bay in Oakland, sponsored by Lithium — I was the guest speaker at the first one, six years ago this month in Berkeley — and tackled the topic, “Secrets/Myths/Opportunities of Community Building.” Continue reading

February 12, 2015

Startup Grind: ‘Find your golden purpose’

Jeff-Hoffman
Jeff Hoffman, who was part of the founding team at Priceline and now runs ColorJar.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, businesses, anyone who cares about innovation.

JD LasicaI‘m back from Startup Grind 2015 in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, an annual two-day affair that attracts thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of 47 shots from the conference, which featured Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Bill Maris of Google Ventures, Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison and Houzz co-founder Adi Tatarko, among many others.

But the talk I was most taken with was by Jeff Hoffman, a veteran entrepreneur and public speaker who was on Priceline’s founding team and now runs ColorJar. Jeff encouraged the assembled startup founders to “find your golden purpose.” Continue reading

January 12, 2015

How to track customer data for your business

big-data

Are you using Big Data effectively to grow your business & sales in 2015?

Post by Susan Payton
ChamberofCommerce.com

Ever heard of Big Data? Probably. Are you using it? Maybe not. Big Data represents disruptive new technologies that capture and track customer information. The data is a goldmine for your business if you know how to use it correctly.

With eMarketer anticipating more than 1.75 billion smartphones to be purchased globally by the end of the year and 25% of the world on a social network, there is more data available than ever before.

To show how new all of this data really is, IBM found that 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past four years.

Companies use data to look ahead and track what customers need before the customer knows herself what she needs. With so much information available, are you using it as effectively as you can to grow your business and sales? Continue reading