Why You Need To Work #SocialMedia Into Your Marketing Strategy


Do you remember what life was like before the pound sign was referred to as a hashtag? Or when the acronym “FF” stood for fast forward? Social media has become an invaluable tool for B2B marketers, allowing them to connect with buyers, spread brand awareness and generate leads. However, the majority of B2B organizations have yet to master the art of social media. Without this piece of the marketing puzzle in place, your business will miss many opportunities to connect to consumers.

So, if you’re having trouble navigating the sea of social networks, it’s time you got schooled on the must of social media:

  1. Have a strategy: You wouldn’t launch a new product campaign without a solid strategy in place would you? The same goes for social media. It’s important to set clear objectives and targeted goals. Most important, don’t forget to measure the ROI of your social media efforts.
  2. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media. Find out what type of content resonates most with each platform’s audience. The more you understand your audience, the more targeted (and effective) your content will be. Be sure to leverage updated, comprehensive data for insight into customers and their specific needs and preferences to effectively engage them.
  3. Chose the platform that makes sense your company: Just because Instagram has more users than Facebook, that doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. Every social network is different; it’s your job to understand which platform will yield the most success.
  4. Don’t be MIA: What’s worse than posting too much? Not posting enough. Don’t neglect your followers. Budget enough time during your day to update each platform. The key to generating leads is getting your brand noticed and heard.
  5. Have a purpose: Don’t tweet or post just for the fun of it. Whether it’s promoting your latest white paper or an event, make sure there’s a purpose to your post. If it doesn’t add value, users will have no reason to connect with you.

With social media part of consumers’ daily lives, it’s just as important to regularly engage target audiences through appropriate social channels as it is through more traditional means like email and events. With good data, B2B marketers can easily determine who to reach with which content through which platform and when. By coming up with a solid social strategy, B2B marketers will be able to get their messages out regularly and easily – creating a stronger relationship with customers and prospects to ultimately boost business results. So what’s stopping you? Get on board with #socialmediamarketing.

7 Steps to Exceed your B2B Pipeline Goals this Quarter

Man Running Reaching Finish Line

With the US athletes exceeding their goals in London right now, we thought we should keep the winning momentum going with a post originally written for Business2Community by NetProspex VP of Marketing, Maribeth Ross.

 1. Assess the quality situation – Your marketing database of prospects and contact records is at the core of your future pipeline. How accurate is the contact and company information in this database? In 2011, 37% of the workforce changed jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. NetProspex research shows that an individual contact records degrades in quality at the rate of 2% each month. Is poor data mucking up your marketing and preventing your pipeline from growing to its full potential?

2. Assess the targeting situation – Ensure that you have crossed the “T” in targeting. To ensure you have all the right targets in your database, look at historical purchase data. Identify as much as you can about the target buyer and other influencers that were involved in the buying process. This is a great time to append missing contact info (phone/address) and demographic/firmographic info (industry/title) or append installed technology data. In addition, take note of the length of the buying cycle. It will tell you a lot about what you need to do today to hit future goals.

Once you’ve confirmed your target buyers and influencers, you’ll need to evaluate your prospect databases to confirm that it has these buyers, both the primary targets and influencers. The shortest path to a sale is to involve all the influencers from the beginning to get them aligned and marketing can play a key early role in doing this.

3. Play the volume game – To really understand the volume of marketing activity you’ll need to hit your target for the quarter, run numbers through a marketing waterfall or marketing funnel. (Try this handy demand-gen funnel calculator: http://bit.ly/funnel-calculator) Using conversions at all stages (either your own or published averages), you’ll be able to predict how much activity you’ll need to generate in order to hit revenue numbers. Sometimes, marketers will find that their prospect database does not support the amount of volume they need to generate. This is a great exercise to help identify the need to augment the database with new, targeted contact data.

4. Line up your messaging – Double check your messaging. Is it truly matched to your buyer persona’s pains and needs? Does it clearly show how your solution can alleviate their challenges? In order to resonate with buyers, your content needs to address the challenges they are currently facing in their business.

It should be clear that you understand their challenges and have experience solving challenges for others in similar situations. Ideally, your audience will understand th

at your solution is in a unique position to help them meet the challenges based on a combination of your understanding of their issues, your experience with others, and your ability to sell the way they want to buy. Finally, ensure your message is carried throughout the entire buyers journey, from the marketing website to call scripts

5. Qualify your leads – are all of your marketing leads being qualified? Fully qualifying your marketing leads into sales ready opportunities via teleprospecting can dramatically improve the amount of leads that end up in your sales pipeline.

More often than not, many marketing leads are never followed up on (as much as 80% in some cases), as sales folks who are also responsible for closing business do not have the cycles to fully qualify and convert marketing leads. However marketing leads that are fully qualified into sales ready leads are followed up upon, particularly if sales and marketing sit to agree on what constitutes a fully qualified sales ready lead.

With tougher economic conditions, sales teams are under more pressure, have bigger quotas/territories, smaller average deal sizes, and even less time, so it really does not make sense to provide them with any leads that are not fully qualified sales ready opportunities.

6. Get Feedback – Close the loop on all the leads and opportunities passed – how else will you be able to truly assess the level of success of your marketing programs? Set up a process to close the loop on all the leads and opportunities passed to the sales team, as getting their feedback is essential to ensuring success. This feedback will allow you to optimize the process, ensure all the leads are being followed-up (or added to a nurture campaign if appropriate), and will provide you with a complete data set to measure your results.

7. Measure and Analyze – measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in real-time, and adjust to ensure you are meeting your goals. With the tools available today there is no excuse for not being nimble and adapting in real-time. This analysis will not only allow you to more effectively meet your goals, but it will enable you to plan and scale for growth.

This article was written in partnership with AG Salesworks – a B2B teleprospecting and marketing services firm that helps technology, media, financial services, and communications companies si

gnificantly increase their sales pipeline. With NetProspex contact data services, AG Salesworks offers AG Pipeline Connect, a solution guaranteeing fully qualified sales leads.


B2B Social Media Examples (From SocialMediaPlus 2011)

Mike Bird and Ben Grossman

Click here to view our Prezi about B2B Social Media in today’s SocialMediaSummit, where Michael Bird (NetProspex Chief Revenue Officer) and Ben Grossman (Digital Strategist) revealed:

  1. The State of B2B Social Media
  2. Examples of B2B Companies Embracing Social Media
  3. Actionable tips to get started with Social Media

To download the NetProspex Social Report, visit http://www.netprospex.com/np/social

CleneStep: Three-Dimensional Verification

NetProspex CleneStep

Jimmy Becker, SVP Content, NetProspex

In a prior blog post,  I offered some specifics about how we approach quality. In this discussion, I wanted to continue that discussion by specifically describing how we verify our data.

I started out that post by defining what quality means to us. It is worth re-stating:

Can you connect to this person via the phone number and/or email address that we have provided in our business contact record?

 Other B2B contacts providers rely on the crowd to verify their data. That is, users may chose to indicate which records are current and which ones no longer are. This approach is fraught with challenges and shortcomings. How many users contribute to this data cleansing effort? Are their motivations selfless or selfish? Are consistent standards applied? What quality control procedures are used?

At NetProspex, we verify our database records in a very different manner. We take a scientific approach that is both more rigorous and more comprehensive, and re-confirmed through continual testing.

Our framework to verification is what we call CleneStepTM – a set of initial screening algorithms, combined with our proprietary three-dimensional verification.

First, we screen out all records that are:

  • Incomplete (do not contains all the necessary fields)
  • Duplicates (of what we already have)
  • Personal emails (eg, domains such as gmail, yahoo, hotmail)
  • Generic emails (eg, prefixes such as sales@ or info@)
  • Invalid postal addresses
  • Invalid phone number formats

Next, we apply our three-dimensional verification:

  • We make 1 million phone calls per month to ensure the contact is phone-connectable
  • We test 1 million emails per month to ensure the contact is email-deliverable
  • We compare our networks to social media to confirm the contact’s company affiliation remains current

This verification framework allows us to repeat the process and re-verify at regular intervals.  In addition, because each of the three tests is verifying a different dimension of quality, we can integrate the test results and triangulate to a higher level of insight and quality for each record.

That is, we know a lot more about the quality of each record by integrating all three dimensions than if we just used any one or two of them. The result is a higher level of overall quality than other contact databases, for both email and phone.

We welcome your comments and questions about our verification process, as we aim to constantly provide B2B demand generation marketers with targeted prospects that exceed their quality standards. 


Social Media Savvy Cities: The 17 Most ‘Social’ Cities Ranked By NetProspex

NetProspex in Huffington Post

By Bianca Bosker, Huffington Post, 09/10/10 10:49 AM ET

NetProspex, a sales and marketing database company, has released its “Top 50 Social Media Report” analyzing the social media presence and activity of professionals around the U.S.

Among other findings, the report ranks the top 50 “most social” cities in the country–the “parts of the US are filled with the most social businesspeople.”

What metric was used? The company writes in its report that it based its ranking on what it calls the “NetProspex Social Index (NPSI),” a score that takes into account “the number of employees
with at least one social media profile,” “the average number of connections per employee across major social networks,” and “the average number of tweets, number of followers, and number of following.” Activity across nine social networks–Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, Flickr, LiveJournal, hi5 and Flixster–was considered.

See the top 17 most social media savvy cities in the U.S. in the slideshow below (Fun fact: four of the cities are in California). Are you surprised by the list? Do you take issue with it? Weigh in below.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/10/top-social-media-cities-r_n_711902.html?#s137573&title=1_San_Francisco

How to Create B2B Marketing Buzz: Part I

NetProspex Social Business Report

The Buzz Marketing Formula

Alice Farmiloe – Marketing & Katie Martell – Director of Buzz 

What is buzz? For marketers, buzz is the amplification effect that happens when great content meets great promotion.

In B2B marketing, buzz-building incorporates content marketing, PR and web 2.0 platforms including email and social media.

Buzz-building is one of the many tools for marketers today who want to create positive association, awareness, excitement, or anticipation about their product, message or service.

In this two-part series, we’ll explore the content and promotion strategy behind a successful buzz-building campaign by NetProspex.


PART I: The Buzz Formula Part I: Buzz-worthy B2B content

Part I of the buzz formula is developing something worth the buzz. “Let’s give ’em something to talk about” should be your mantra!

[ Great content ] + [ Great PR & Web 2.0 Strategy ] = BUZZ

How to create buzz-worth B2B content:

1. Do your research. 

Just as markets can be saturated with similar product offerings or services, the media your audience consumes can be overwhelmed with lookalike content. Write and create something different, something valuable, and something new.

2. Tell a story

We’re inclined to relate to and digest stories, with characters, settings, and plots. This style is a surefire way to write your content so it hooks and engages your audience.

3. Be entertaining

What is the most viewed content on the web? Funny cat videos and silly memes like dancing hamsters and people laying face-down in unexpected places. There’s enough distracting your audience, even your technical B2B buyer, so don’t waste your (or your readers) time with boring content.

4. Be informative

Is your content useful and valuable to your reader? Will it help them do their job better today or next week? Does it position you as a brand to trust and work with? Let’s hope so. So much marketing is fluff, BS, jargon, and gobbledygook. Knock it off. If it’s not useful, don’t try to pretend it is. Be a resource, be informative, and always create value.

5. Relate to your bigger brand picture. 

Your brand story connects your company mission to your products/services in an engaging, relatable way. Your content should add to that story, and speak to what kind of company you are and how you can help.

How NetProspex created buzz-worthy contentThe NetProspex Social Business Report

As a business prospect database, we have millions of records containing job titles and social media profiles for contacts in thousands of industries and geographic markets. This asset was the foundation for our Social Business Report.

1. 12 million contacts with social media profiles in our database were analyzed.

2. We told a story of the evolution of business communication by illustrating the widespread adoption of social media within the US business community.

3. The data was easy to digest visually with stellar-looking infographics.

4. To maximize relevance, we categorized our findings by company, industry, job function, and city.

5. Our branding story was the key here. As the first B2B prospect database to incorporate social data in our records, the report reflects our dedication to helping clients reach new customers with the latest aspects of business communication, including social media.

Read the full report — and check out Part II to find out how we created buzz around the report and its findings.

NetProspex Just Got Seriously Social

NetProspex in Huffington Post

Social companies


Here at NetProspex, the last 2 weeks have been pretty exciting. Following the success of our prior Social Business Reports, we just released the Summer 2011 edition . Our aim was to illustrate the widespread social media adoption in the US business community.

It is our most comprehensive study to date, with more research, insights, and data than ever before. Our team analyzed 12 million businesspeople from the NetProspex database of crowd-sourced business contacts to provide a snapshot of social media activity and trends among employees of the nation’s largest corporations, industries, cities, and job functions.

This is definitely the LARGEST focus group we have ever seen.


The findings were gathered by using the NetProspex Social Index (NPSI). This was used to score and rank social network activity across the top social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

This score comprised of social media presence (the number of employees in a category with social media profiles registered under a business email address), and social connectedness (the average number of connections per employee across major social networks).

In this fourth edition, more contacts were analyzed, more granular categories were targeted, there was a focus on Twitter use, and the methodology was substantially updated, with several new, comprehensive categories added to the analysis.

Key Findings

Our report ranks the top performers and breaks them down by company, industry, job title and geographic region and includes eye-catching infographics and data visualization.

The most notable findings include:

  • The New York Times is the most social company, with Intuit close behind, both zooming past Google & Microsoft
  •  Technology companies dominated the Top 10 rankings
  • The Computer Technology industry is the most socially savvy industry in the US
  • Recruiting ranked as the most social job category, bypassing even communications and marketing professionals
  • The Silicon Valley takes the crown for the most social cities, with San Francisco and San Jose taking 1st & 2nd place respectively. These contributed toward the West coast beating the East coast in the Top 10 list.

Media Coverage

Our previous three reports all earned coverage in hundreds of media outlets, and have been used as reference material in business and educational presentations, studies, and reports. The 4th edition has seen a phenomenal response within the first week of launch.

The findings were published in The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many other regional publications and technology outlets. Our very own Mike Bird appeared on Fox News last Tuesday, discussing how roots of social media are really taking hold within the business community.

Here at NetProspex we believe social media to be a natural evolution of B2B business communication. As B2C companies know well, businesses have to be where their customers are (after all, if you’re not, you quickly become irrelevant.) In a B2B world, brands must acknowledge that their buyers, whether the Director of IT or the HR manager, are active on social networks in their day-to-day workplace.

Today, businesspeople are having conversations in a public forum, about brands, solutions, trends and opinions.

This was reflected on Twitter where the news of our Social Report spread to almost 1 million accounts (analyzed by TweetReach).  Feedback included repeated comments such as; ‘great insights into social business’ and ‘interesting stuff you guys are doing’ with requests to even expand this study to examine global social media trends!

This social media frontier needs to be continuously embraced by B2B companies worldwide as they realize that being social is not just personal, it’s business.

You can see the full report here.


Alice Farmiloe – Marketing @ NetProspex

Twitter Town USA

NetProspex in Mens Health

Researched by Wanda Lau, Posted Date: March 7, 2011

When we first decided to crown one town America’s Most Socially Networked City, our money was on Palo Alto. As home to the headquarters of Facebook, Palo Alto might as well be called Zuckerburgh. But the title instead goes to Washington D.C., a city where staying connected can get out the vote, and virtual handshakes help shape our nation.

We started by calculating the number of Facebook and LinkedIn users per capita, followed by overall Twitter usage (NetProspex). Then we looked at traffic generated by the major social networks, including Myspace, Friendster, Reddit, and Digg (analyzed by ad network Chitika). Finally, after factoring in the percentage of households that check out chat rooms and blogs (SimplyMap), we had the results you see below. Go ahead, tell a friend.

Most socially networked
1 Washington, DC     A+
2 Atlanta, GA     A+
3 Denver, CO     A+
4 Minneapolis, MN     A+
5 Seattle, WA     A+
6 San Francisco, CA     A
7 Orlando, FL     A
8 Austin, TX     A
9 Boston, MA     A
10 Salt Lake City, UT     A-

11 Cincinnati, OH    A-
12 Raleigh, NC    A-
13 Burlington, VT    A-
14 Portland, OR    B+
15 Madison, WI    B+
16 Dallas, TX    B+
17 Portland, ME    B
18 Sacramento, CA    B
19 Aurora, CO    B
20 Boise, ID    B
21 Charlotte, NC    B
22 Wilmington, DE    B
23 Oakland, CA    B
24 St. Louis, MO    B
25 Las Vegas, NV    B
26 Columbus, OH    B
27 San Diego, CA    B
28 San Jose, CA    B
29 St. Paul, MN    B-
30 Plano, TX    B-
31 Tampa, FL    B-
32 Nashville, TN    B-
33 Los Angeles, CA    B-
34 Phoenix, AZ    B-
35 Newark, NJ    B-
36 Miami, FL    B-
37 Norfolk, VA    C+
38 Richmond, VA    C+
39 Chicago, IL    C+
40 Durham, NC    C+
41 Colorado Springs, CO    C+
42 Des Moines, IA    C+
43 Jersey City, NJ    C+
44 Indianapolis, IN    C+
45 Milwaukee, WI    C+
46 Fargo, ND    C+
47 Columbia, SC    C+
48 Houston, TX    C+
49 Philadelphia, PA    C+
50 Birmingham, AL    C+
51 Cleveland, OH    C+
52 Kansas City, MO    C
53 New York, NY    C
54 Greensboro, NC    C
55 Reno, NV    C
56 Manchester, NH    C
57 Providence, RI    C
58 Baltimore, MD    C
59 Little Rock, AR    C
60 Louisville, KY    C
61 Sioux Falls, SD    C-
62 Omaha, NE    C-
63 Pittsburgh, PA    C-
64 Baton Rouge, LA    C-
65 Lexington, KY    C
66 Wichita, KS    C-
67 Anchorage, AK    C-
68 Lincoln, NE    C-
69 Cheyenne, WY    D+
70 New Orleans, LA    D+
71 Tucson, AZ    D+
72 Buffalo, NY    D+
73 Honolulu, HI    D+
74 Santa Ana, CA    D+
75 Charleston, WV    D+
76 Oklahoma City, OK    D+
77 Virginia Beach, VA    D+
78 Winston-Salem, NC    D+
79 Tulsa, OK    D+
80 Albuquerque, NM    D
81 Fort Worth, TX    D
82 San Antonio, TX    D
83 Jackson, MS    D
84 Chesapeake, VA    D
85 Jacksonville, FL    D
86 Riverside, CA    D
87 Memphis, TN    D-
88 St. Petersburg, FL    D-
89 Toledo, OH    D-
90 Corpus Christi, TX    D-

Least socially networked
91 Billings, MT    D-
92 Fort Wayne, IN    D-
93 Bridgeport, CT    D-
94 Detroit, MI    D-
95 Fresno, CA    F
96 Bakersfield, CA    F
97 Lubbock, TX    F
98 Stockton, CA    F
99 Laredo, TX    F
100 El Paso, TX    F

Charity Begins at Home Page
We know that social media sites are abused by stalkers and cheaters, but they can also be used as forces for philanthropic good. For example, the Facebook app Causes raised $12 million in donations in 2010. “Unlike giving anonymously, contributing through social networking sites increases concern about the issues and encourages friends to donate,” says Robb Willer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. If you’re not on Facebook, go to SixDegrees.org and click “Create Charity Badge” to register, choose a charity, and place donation links on your social networks.

A Click Fix
If you check Twitter not once but, say, seven times an hour, you may be looking for an addictive hit. “Our brains release dopamine when we receive a notification,” says Carolyn Lin, Ph.D., a professor of communication at the University of Connecticut. “It fuels our innate desire to feel connected, in the loop.” Think you’re becoming hooked? Try downloading time-limiting software onto your computer. We like CyberPatrol (cyberpatrol.com, $40).

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/social-networking-cities?cm_mmc=MagURL-_-Apr2011-_-metrogrades-_-socialcities#ixzz21ZGHEa3v



Q&A: Twitter co-founder and former-CEO Evan Williams

NetProspex in Denver Post
POSTED:   01/16/2011 05:37:15 PM MST
UPDATED:   01/16/2011 11:00:08 PM MST

By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post

It started as a side project with a fair share of skeptics: who wants to read what someone else had for breakfast, even if it’s shared in 140 characters or fewer?

Four years later, San Francisco-based Twitter has become one of the Internet’s top destinations for breaking news. With 175 million registered users, it is also a source for real-time commentary and an outlet for businesses to interact with customers.

Denver is among the nation’s leaders in using the microblogging site, ranking No. 7 for social-media savviness, according to a study by NetProspex.

The Denver Post recently interviewed co-founder and former chief executive Evan Williams (@ev) about “new Twitter,” the site’s most significant makeover to date. Williams, who now focuses on product development, also touched on how some Denver organizations are using the service and revenue generation plans, among other topics.

Q: What did you envision for Twitter when it launched in 2006 and what’s the vision now?

A: It’s evolved over time as we’ve discovered what Twitter’s really good for. At first, we launched it as a side project because we thought it was fun. There was a big focus on SMS (short text messages) at the beginning because that’s what made it particularly interesting. That’s why there’s the limit of 140 characters. The way we think about it today is it’s the best way to share and discover what’s happening in the world.

Q: What is “new Twitter” and what drove the update?

A: It’s the biggest change that we’ve made to the website ever. There were two main goals with it: One is to make everything faster and more efficient. There are little things, like the fact that when you get to the bottom of the page, you don’t have to click a button to get more tweets, it just infinitely scrolls for as long as you want to read. The second goal was about driving more discovery of the information within Twitter. Because there’s so much information bolting through the system, one of our big goals is to help people find the stuff that’s most interesting to them. That’s why there are things like “related tweets.”

Q: How are you generating revenue?

A: We have an advertising platform that includes a couple of different products. One is what we call promoted trends, which is a topic that a company may want to promote. There are promoted tweets, which are currently showing up in search for certain keywords. The promoted tweet is a real tweet that a company may have sent out that they want more distribution for. They will buy key words for it. If people are looking for something related, it will show up.

Q: Who are some Denver-area Twitter users that have caught your eye?

A: We looked at a couple that are kind of interesting. The Red Cross in Denver has an account (@redcrossdenver) where they do kind of standard Red Cross stuff, like disaster relief and prevention and information about responding to emergencies. There’s an account called Denver Fun Times (@denverfuntimes), which has local information on concerts and festivals and plays and other kinds of events.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209,avuong@denverpost.comortwitter.com/andyvuong

Twitter BASICs

•After registering for an account, you canfollowother users to read theirtweets, which are posts of up to 140 characters and can include a link to a photo, news article or other content. Their tweets will show up in yourstream, a running list of updates from the people you follow.

•You can send a tweet or read other tweets by signing into your account atTwitter.comor using third-party desktop and mobile apps, such as TweetDeck and HootSuite.

•If you like someone’s update, you canretweet, or resend the same message to your followers.

•Legitimate celebrity accounts have a blue and white checkmark next to their names to indicate that they have been verified by Twitter.

•Your Twitterusernamecan be expressed astwitter.com/usernameor simply @username.

Read more:Q&A: Twitter co-founder and former-CEO Evan Williams – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_17114109#ixzz21Z5UVbeu