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By Randy Mitchell   “I hate social because my customers hate social. They’re engineers. They deal in facts, not fluff.” - Industrial Product Director   “Social media is a popularity contest. We don’t need likes. We need leads.” - Entertainment Services Company Owner   “Our products are SaaS. That’s a big investment. We sell to the C-Suite and they are not on Twitter.” - Technology Marketing Manager   “Social is for branding. Social is for buzz. Social is not for B2B.” - Food Ingredients Regional Sales Director   Sound familiar?   If you believe social media is a waste for your B2B marketing mix, you’re not alone. Many B2B decision makers are devout social haters because they think it’s not substantial, serious and it doesn’t drive

By Randy Mitchell   Editor’s note: This is the first article in an occasional series covering the turbulent world of social media for businesses. We’re calling this series The Social Sandbox. This time we dig in to the shifting perceptions of LinkedIn.   The vitriol is pulsating from the comments. A highly vocal section of the social community is up in arms and they are storming the castle from all sides.   “What happened to my LinkedIn?” “I thought this was the PROFESSIONAL network.” “When did LinkedIn become Facebook?” “I hope Elon Musk buys this network and shuts it down.” “If anyone wants me, I’ll be on GlassDoor.” “#LinkedOUT”   Why is LinkedIn under fire from the people who used to cherish it as

By Randy Mitchell There are some moments when the world of B2B does not make sense. Thankfully, these meltdowns are few and far between. I had one of them last week and I’m still reeling.   My moment of madness happened because I read the following statistics from Hubspot: 73 percent of B2B firms have increased their marketing spending in 2022 63 percent of B2B firms do not follow a formal marketing RFP process   The first stat made perfect sense. The second one is stupefying.   Let’s say you work at a B2B firm that’s planning a major marketing initiative like a social media program launch, website redesign, video production or full-on rebranding. What’s the first logical step

By Randy Mitchell   What are your go-to resources for the latest B2B marketing trends?   Popular options include HubSpot, Digiday, Forbes, the ANA and LinkedIn. But those industry experts only represent the top level of available insights. If you truly want to dive deeply into emerging B2B marketing trends, there is a data deluge just waiting to wash away a few hours of your day.   For the sake of brevity and your busy schedule, I’m proposing an entirely different approach to trendspotting. Let’s call it: “B2B marketing trends among friends.”   That title is appropriate because the driving forces behind these particular trends are our clients and contacts, and all of the topics we’ll cover are

By Randy Mitchell   It can crush budgets, trample timelines and smash strategies.   It has a nasty habit of monopolizing planning meetings, status calls and your lunch hour.   It packs about 13,000 pounds of angst, and it just landed squarely on your shoulders.   What is it? The marketing elephant in the room.   Every B2B marketer has one. I’m talking about the massive program that gets assigned to you as coworkers sigh audibly and avoid your glance. From that day forward, your pachyderm of a project will follow you around the office, onto the bus, and sometimes, it even comes home with you.   Maybe your elephant is a social media program. It can be a beast to develop

By Randy Mitchell   First, a painful confession.   Seven years ago I was a hater. For a number of reasons, I simply could not take social media seriously, especially when it came to B2B marketing.   That cautious thinking seemed to make sound business sense at the time. Our agency accounts were global companies. We worked with top-level decision makers that had ironclad objectives. They needed to grow market share, not followers.   In short, ROMI was the mantra and every campaign demanded tangible results.   If I had actually dared to suggest using social media to that C-Suite group, their first reaction would have been laughter. That would have been followed by this bottom line challenge: “If you’re really

by Kathryn Brill, Social Media and Content Marketing Specialist Is social media really valuable? How can you prove social media ROI? These questions are on the minds of many clients. Before they invest money in a social media program, companies want to know that it will deliver. But measuring social value can seem like a slippery business. It’s not as easily tied to sales or revenue as many other marketing programs. Connecting the dots on social engagement and business benefits is complicated. And not everyone agrees on what makes for strong social media performance. Most of us have an instinct that social media is part of a great marketing strategy. But how

by Kathryn Brill, Social Media and Content Marketing Specialist Are you burnt out on B2B social media? It seems like marketers are becoming increasingly disillusioned with social media, and wondering what purpose it truly serves their business. And who could blame them? Many marketers were sold on social with grand promises—millions of followers, thousands of leads—only to discover that the reality was much different. The powerful influence that social media has on B2C brands was tempting, but social doesn’t always produce the same results when it comes to B2B. In addition, social media itself has been overrun by bots and fake followers, mired in data scandals, and ruled by algorithms that

Foodservice is much more than an industry or an occupation. It’s a culture, a passion and a lifestyle for operators and decision makers. Foodservice is also a very insular world. Operators frequently consult each other, their customers and trusted sales representatives before making important purchase decisions. But that structure is changing, and the perfect example is the evolving relationship between social media and food industry decision makers. To truly understand the new dynamic between social media and food industry purchase decisions, a new food industry research study consulted operators about their buyer’s journey and what influences them along the way. The “Media Consumption Behaviors and the Decision-Making Journey of Foodservice Operators” Study

Is Google+ dead? As far as social media networks go, it’s never been as robust or popular as Facebook or Twitter, so some people have been asking this question for a while. But this time, there might be some truth to the reports that Google+ is on its last legs. Google has made some changes to Google+ over the past year that should affect your B2B social media strategy and change the way you use the social network. Over the past year, Google has taken many steps to distance itself from the network. The main champion of Google+, Vic Gundotra, resigned in 2014, and his successor, Bradley Horowitz, announced that he