Getting started, measuring results, what to do next

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Last year Dave wrote an inspiring post on this blog that included information on how Kinaxis is successfully re-using and promoting content in social media channels. At Blogworld in Las Vegas, I saw Kirsten Watson from Kinaxis on a B2B social media panel, where she shared even more about the supply chain company's successes with social media marketing. Her discussion included tips on getting started, measuring results and what to do next.

Getting started

To get started in social media, Kinaxis followed Forrester’s POST process, as outlined in Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff book. They approached social media in this order:

  1. People: Who do they want to reach? Where are they already congregating? What are they already saying? What do they want that you can provide?
  2. Objectives: What do you want to accomplish?
  3. Strategies: What is your strategy for reaching those objective?
  4. Technologies: What technologies can you use to accomplish that strategy?

They decided to focus on developing thought leadership content and they "got religious about SEO," says Kirsten. The four pillars used in their efforts were the company blog, the corporate Web site, their own supply chain community and LinkedIn. In each of these channels, they’re focusing on engaging with the right people.

Practical tips
Kinaxis uses LinkedIn very strategically. They take the time to research groups that relate to relevant issues and disciplines for their customers. Kirsten says they studied LinkedIn groups for about a year before they chose the top ones. Now, they’re currently active in 48 LinkedIn groups related to supply chain that have memberships that range for 10-100 thousands of members. Their goal there is to repurpose, distribute and publish blog content on to LinkedIn groups.

“Every time we publish a blog post, we put two thirds of the post into the LinkedIn groups and then provide links to our supply chain community where readers can find the rest of post," says Kirsten. As a result, 63 percent of community members are driven there from LinkedIn. Keys to making this work:

  • People who post the links to LinkedIn are also group members who participate in the LinkedIn group in other ways.
  • The content is not promoting their products but is thought leadership content.

Another tip from Kirsten is the old adage, “Patience is a virtue."? She says the biggest challenge is to create engagement. They saw more success after hiring a community manager who is also domain expert.

Kinaxis’ goal is to make their community site the place where members want to log in every day. They're serious about measuring results and using the site for lead generation, though, too. Kinaxis collects more information on site visitors with each touch or download. This helps them qualify leads and works to convert downloaders into community members.

What's next?
As final takeaways, Kirsten offered these two pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t sell. Try to appreciate the human-to-human idea.
  2. Consider how complacent you’ve become with a 2 percent click through rate for ad dollars. Now, reconsider what could happen if you took all that money in your ad budget and paid third-party writers to provide really good content instead.

Kirsten says she heard this advice recently at a digital marketing presentation, and Kinaxis is taking it to heart. They've seen enough success with their content marketing efforts in social media that they are planning to move a lot of that budget around in the future.

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About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

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