Tuesday, March 12, 2013

We’re Recovering, but Not Fully Recovered

Why B2B marketers need to be on LinkedIn

Social media doesn’t kill businesses. Lousy posts do. So whether you love it or hate it, you can’t ignore social media. But at the same time, you can’t be all things to all people. If you’re overwhelmed and a little frustrated by the amount and time and effort it takes to keep up with all your business and professional networks, we suggest keeping LinkedIn on your “must save” list before you start trimming. A recent HubSpot study of more than 5,000 businesses found that, LinkedIn was 277 percent more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.

We’re not bashing the other popular social networking channels, but if you have to “heavy up” on a single social networking channel, then LinkedIn will probably give you the best bang for your time buck if you’re at least reasonably well-established in your profession or industry.

As Wall Street Journal’s Kate Mitchell reported yesterday, “the quickest way to earn respect and build a reputation on all social media, including LinkedIn, is to showcase your knowledge on topics relevant to your business. Don’t confuse this with only pushing your own agenda, but rather contributing a distinct point of view on topics relevant to your industry.”

LinkedIn has an extensive network of groups where thought leaders post discussions relevant to a particular market or topic. Furthermore, you can create your own groups to lead discussions. For example, a  report by Forrester and LinkedIn notes that nearly three in five (59%) IT decision makers “rely” on social networks for purchasing decisions, yet many companies don’t take advantage of the lead generation that can come from customizing their LinkedIn page.

Macro View

With all the hype surrounding the record stock market highs, the one number that jumped out at us the most was that CBOE Volatility Index. That’s the so-called “fear gauge” and it just fell to its lowest level since February 2007. Market watchers say this indicates the market is no longer as easily unnerved by small corrections or by turmoil in other parts of the world. For now, the recovery in housing, the stock market and the overall economy has gained some solid footing, even though economists argue the Big 3 indicators are not specifically related to each other.

So just as we kept telling to maintain hope throughout the dark days of 2008-2009, now we’re telling you to keep your eyes on the road as there are plenty of potholes that could derail this recovery (i.e. perceived recovery). Congress can’t seem to make any progress on the budget crisis and the national debt. The full impact of the March 1 sequester won’t be felt immediately and hot spots in Europe, Asia and the Middle East could easily deflate the confidence of businesses and consumers large and small.


You can’t stop marketing right now just because you’re flush with leads and cash. Just choose your investments wisely and pick your fights where you can win them. And by all means, if you haven’t given your best employees the raises and promotions they deserve. Do so ASAP or they’ll be out the door before you can say, “brain drain.”

A recent article in the New York Times shared the harrowing tales of job seekers who’ve had excessive interviews with companies that never hired them (or anyone else). We have a couple of important takeaways for both job seekers and companies if anything like this sounds familiar to you:

1) For employers: There is no such thing as a "perfect candidate" because businesses (and non profits) have to evolve much faster than they did before. A perfect candidate today, may not have the skill set (and right cultural fit) for your organization a year or two down the road.

2) If you are a job seeker and have been invited back for interviews half a dozen times or more, that's probably a red flag that the hiring company cannot make decisions in other areas of its business. Chances are you will be stifled in that kind of inertia-driven environment if you're "lucky" enough to get the job.

Disregard our advice if you're applying for Supreme Court Justice, CIA head or Fortune 500 CEO. More on that later.


TAGS: LinkedIn, lead gen, B2B, CBOE volatility, fear gauge, Forrester Research

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