InMaps is a cool tool from LinkedIn that allows you to visualize all your connections in your network. Watch the video and then try it yourself at LinkedIn Labs.
- Best use of Facebook
- Best use of Twitter
- Best use of LinkedIn
- Best use of viral video
- Best corporate blog
- Best closed community
- Best social media integrated campaign (across more than one social channel)
Nominations from marketers and agencies are being accepted through Feb. 19. There is a $50 fee per submission. Winners will be announced in the April issue of BtoB. For more information, visit: www.btobonline.com/socialawards.
I was reminded of how fast some of the simple tactics of business-to-business (b2b) public relations are changing when I read a post by Sarah Skerik of PR Newswire.
Skerik makes the point that we now need to create “tweetable” headlines in our releases or pitches that reporters and others can easily tweet. [Email me if you want her post, which requires registration.]
It’s all part of the changing nature of media that feels like it’s moving faster than a speeding bullet. And, yes, we do need to be somehow superhuman to keep up with it all. And, yet, at the same time in our rush to embrace the new, we should not disband what’s old and still working.
Press releases, which have been around for a mere 93 years, still work. They’re a quick, effective way in the b2b sphere to tell the news. And, with a little updating for a web 2.0 world still work fine, thank you very much. However, you need to do more today than simply writing up a quick announcement. You need to insure your release:
- Is optimized for the engines. That means having a headline and keywords (typically three is recommended) sprinkled within your release. It means having a short headline that will be visible within the 65 characters Google displays. It means having hyperlinks and a call to action. Your call to action can be a special offer or the opportunity to get a new article or white paper or book chapter. Ideally, you’ll have a landing page connected to your call to action making it easy for someone to get to and easy for you to track your results.
- Has a social media version. We find a good way to do this is to use PitchEngine, which not only lets you quickly create a social media release but lets you propagate your release online via sites like Delicious and Stumble Upon. This makes it easy for others both to find and share your release.
- Have a Twitter and LinkedIn version. For Twitter, we’re talking about having a headline that’s eye-catching and fits within Twitter’s 140-character limit. Skerik makes the point that to stay within the limit it’s also helpful to use a service that shortens your URL or in web lingo “tinies it.” Here are two sites that do just that: tinyurl.com and bit.ly. The headline for this particular post is just 39 characters (counting spaces). And yes, please feel free to Tweet it. For LinkedIn, it’s helpful to post releases in the “news” section of relevant groups. There are thousands of groups devoted to b2b topics. To find groups, simply search under the drop down “groups” on the LinkedIn search bar. Be sure if you link to your release it includes a compelling summary, which LinkedIn will pick up.
At the end of the day, none of this of course matters if you don’t have an interesting, compelling story that will make a difference to your target audience. If you add a new manager, no one but you, the manager’s mother and maybe your local paper cares about. However, if you can tie your new position to an overall growth or expansion story that’s indicative of your success in a down economy, that gives your story a little context and interest. Add to that what you’re doing differently that is making you successful and you have the beginnings of a story that will resonate.
So what are you doing to get the word out about your b2b business? I’d love to hear from you.