As a B2B marketer, what are your most successful social media platforms?

I collaborated on this answer with my friend Adi tmdPineapple, and it is part one combined with this answer: Alex Glenn’s answer to What is the most effective Quora marketing strategy?

 

Listen to the episode here:

The top B2B social platforms: 

First, let me explain how social media ‘bots’ work. This will help add context to our answers;

Stage 1 (of a social media startup/platform):

Growth hackers are invited to create anywhere from 20 to more than a few hundred fake accounts, most of us do this using a combination of python and JavaScript or some other code to automate it. The founders of the startup give us what we need, so we can create the scripts hella fast.

Stage 2:

The social media platform founders go to their next investor meeting boasting about all of the new accounts on their platform. They get more funding and everyone is happy.

Stage 3:

Real people begin to use the platform. The startup team that created the platform engages with the new human users, but also showcases the growth hackers as influencers on the platform. (Ex: if John Pineapple was invited to participate in stage 1, he will be a featured platform influencer, but all of the fake accounts that he created, will not be). The growth hackers continue to use the fake accounts to make themselves seem hella important on the new niche platform.

Stage 4:

The platform gets traction and passes critical mass. There are now more humans than bots and 100s of new users are joining every day. The platform has “gone viral”. People who are less experienced with using bots covertly start spamming the heck out of human users on the site.

Stage 5:

The human users get annoyed with the bot users and the platform’s founders have to determine if it’s better for public perception and key stakeholders, if they shut down the bots (hurting the people who first helped to grow their platform) OR ignore the humans who are annoyed with the bots. Usually, they shut down the bots that are newest to the site, but let the bots created in stage 1 stay on.

This is why Twitter had a ton of people lose followers a few weeks ago. But this was not the first time it happened. It is the circle of life in the startup world of social platforms.

Linkedin

  • Reach – last reported, approximately 470M members
  • Tools – Lead capture, scrapes, automations….

Adi’s favorite tools:

In the early days of my company I tried out a few automation tools that are no longer around. This morning I was speaking with a fellow growth hacker who informed me that the easiest tool on the market for this now is Home – Meet Leonard – Lead Generation & Growth Hacking Tool For LinkedIn

Alex’s favorite tools:

My personal favorite tool is hubsell – sales automation which allows you to add a LinkedIn connection request to the start of you cold email sequence. I like LinkedHub for automated messaging sequences.

Linkedin growth tactics

Adi’s favorite Linkedin Growth Strategy

  1. at this point in the game, 80% of my clients come in via referral, so do not look at my LinkedIn and copy what I do, we do not have the same goals.
  2. For those new to the LinkedIn growth games, I’d suggest forming a pod with members you can collaborate with. A lot of people make the mistake of just adding a bunch of random people on LinkedIn, hoping this will get them somewhere. This tactic yields less than 8% success. Meaning that for every 100 people you randomly add (if LinkedIn doesn’t shut your account for spam activity) a maximum of 8 of them will actually acknowledge your existence.
  3. So what does work? Social media algorithms measure your content’s value by looking at your engagement to follower ratio. (How many of your connections engage with each post). The more connections you have, the more people you need to have engaged with your post, in order to trip the algorithm. So the best thing you could do, forms a group on telegram where you all agree to engage with each other’s content. The size of the group should be equivalent to at least 10% of your total number of connections. Post at the same time each week and cross-promote, like and share each other’s posts. After a few weeks you should begin to develop a following.
  4. Once you have 30% of your following engaging with your post, then strategically add specifically targeted people. Watch your engagement: follower ratio. Once it drops to 10%, focus on boosting engagement until it reaches 30% again. Then just rinse and repeat.
  5. Again, don’t just look at my profile and copy what i do, I don’t have the same goals as you. I’ve worked with over 300 startups across 5 continents, at this point in the game, startups apply to be my client, I’m not chasing people the way I used to have to.

Alex’s LinkedIn tips

Use LI to build channel partnerships, recruit, or connect to prospects so they see your posts… but not to sell to them. LI is at a stage in it’s business life cycle where those of us who have been using LI for client engagement have done more than abuse the platform. And this has caused most LI members to ignore any persistent attempts to sell. So, my strategies are meant to be used to connect, build thought leadership, create channel partnership or referral relationships, and cross-promote with like-minded individuals.

  1. Never send inmails. Ever.
  2. When sending connection requests, don’t add anything about you or your company. Keep it about them.
  3. Your goal is to connect so you can nurture the relationship, so mention something about them or simply that’d you’d like to connect.
  4. Then, the real strategy is nurturing the relationship through publishing thought-leadership-showing content on LI and other platforms your prospects are active on. See What are some good lead nurturing strategies and proven tools?

Now let’s discuss the bell of the ball, my personal favorite social platform for B2B marketing:

Quora.com

Here are some facts about Quora:

As of April 2017, Quora has claimed to have 190 million monthly unique visitors, up from 100 million a year earlier.[8] By most logical guesstimates, we are above 300 million monthly uniques today.

Adi, why don’t you fill everyone in on how Quora’s algo works?

Quora’s Algorithm:

Quora has developed its own proprietary algorithm to rank answers, which works similarly to Google PageRank.

Currently, Quora has different ways to recommend questions to users:

  • Home feed questions recommendations with “interesting” questions that are relevant to the user’s preferences.
  • Daily Digest email containing a set of questions with one answer that is deemed the best answer given certain ranking requirements.
  • A set of questions that relates to the current questions the user is viewing.
  • A user can request another user to answer a question.

Quora User Demographics:

According to Experian Hitwise, a large share of Quora’s audience is college-educated professionals living in college towns.

Quora for SEO:

According to Alexa – 63% of Quora’s visits were generated from searches.

Are links in Quora answers nofollow? Yes, Quora links are marked as “nofollow” which means they don’t pass any “link juice” to your site.

Then why would I post on Quora? Quora answers rank everywhere – for specific long-tail keywords (questions). Therefore, if you answered a question that is ranking, your answer could be seen by those searching for that term. Further, if the reader finds your answer valuable, they are likely to click your CTA link to learn more.

We are all now acquainted with the stats on Quora and on the same page that Quora is a great place for you to promote yourself and your business. So, let’s talk strategy… This next section is dedicated to effective marketing strategies for Quora.

 

What is the most effective Quora marketing strategy?

On Quora I look for backstage access doors to people’s brains by answering unconventional questions that I know my target market would be most likely to ask on a personal level, but my competitors wouldn’t think to look for.

I don’t waste time on questions that have already been answered and I give short answers, but my goal is to have their curiosity lead them to my blog for the long form in depth answers. If this is your same goal,

Alternate between personal and professional answers. The personal answers are what get people clicking to view your profile. The professional answers are what get people clicking from your profile to your website.

In recent years there’s been a flood of business owners flocking to Quora to get the attention of their target market. It is not enough to just answer questions there anymore. You need to find a way to cut through the noise. Look for the backdoor by targeting people on human and emotional level.

A lot of people forget that business owners are human. I’ve found that when I target them on a human level by answering more personal questions, related to non-business elements, I’ve had exponentially more success than when I submit the 19th answer to a business question.

BUT if you goal is to have your profile claim that you have a ton of answer views, this is horrible strategy. In that case, you actually want to be the 19th or 80th answer on that page, the likelihood of someone actually reading your individual answer is low, but quora will still reward you one answer view.

Now, with regards to my profile, what would you suggest doing to make sure I appear as credible as possible when people do click back and view who’s behind the answer?

Alex, you’ve actually done very well at playing the quora field with your answers. So let’s up your profile for people to look at as an example. You have a ton of answer views and something you do brilliantly that everyone listening to this podcast should consider copying, is attaching an audio file of your long form answers. As this allows you to link to your other content without breaking quora’s community guidelines.

Make sure your “knows about” section features whichever 5 topics you want to be an established thought leader in. As you answer questions on Quora, sometimes they will automatically change what you know about so you want to check this on a regular basis to make sure it works.

Other things that I would suggest for an optimized bio include

  1. Having only one CTA and one super sexy credibility boosting stat, in your description
  2. Talk about your brand in your tagline

Aside from this, you do want to be mindful of your ratios, as these have a direct impact on your credibility:

  1. Your following : follower ratio
  2. Your follower : engagement ratio
  3. Total answers per topic – as these numbers will be printed next to the five featured “knows about” topics on your profile.

 

 

Quora for lead generation

  • Using quora to actively-target individuals you know are ideal clients or users.

Step 1 = Choose a topic

  • Strategy: I start with the focus keyword for your product/service. For an example, I am about to focus my attention on the keyword “thought leadership” because I want to find those most-interested in building their personal brand recognition and credibility in a field (i.e. a Quora topic). For a founder of a platform or saas, this would probably be the pain point your tool solves – i.e. if you have a software that solves payment processing issues or reduces costs, your topic may be “online payment gateways and processing.”

Step 2 = Create a sheet with question links, total answers, views of the top answer, average views per answer (if you have time), and followers.

  • Strategy: You need a formatted database of the potential for your content on quora so you can prioritize your time.
  • How: https://data-miner.io, but I employ a team of data specialists trained in grabbing the right content from the right places on Quora, and then going about enriching that data to grab linkedin profiles and email addresses.

Step 3 = Create a sheet of all followers of the question

  • Strategy: The followers of your topic are anyone highly-interested in the keyword for business reasons (if it is a business-related keyword). This means they could be competitors, but also that they could be prospects who know they need a product or service like yours. We’re after the latter.
  • How: You will need VA’s or an intuitive script for this – hire someone for the job. Or, call use ours. The sheet should include these rows:
    • Profile URL, Name, Tagline, Links in description, Location, Linkedin profile, Title, Company name, Email

Step 4 = Clean and enrich that data to find their LinkedIn profiles and emails.

  • Strategy: You will not be able to scrape for Linkedin profiles or emails on Quora. Some people offer it up, most do not. Now, when you have Linkedin profiles, get rid of anyone representing a competing product or who does not have the appropriate title.
  • How: Again, you will need a human being for this.

Step 5 = Load the names/emails into your retargeting campaign audiences – LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora.

  • Strategy: I talk a lot about lead nurturing on this podcast and on right2revenue.com – the purpose of retargeting these prospects is to serve an initial brand impression to introduce your product/service in a non-intrusive manner (ad in their newsfeed). This way, when they see your face answering Quora questions, they will put two and two together.
  • How: Start by setting up your LI/Quora ad accounts. I recommend these two for B2B for obvious reasons. Then, you can create a csv of just names/emails – in the audiences section of these two ad dashboards you will be able to ‘match’ an audience by loading names/emails.
    • Note: Make sure your ads are not ‘selling’ your service. Intro them to your brand with a piece of quality content. And do not require an email to download this content. You have their email.

Step 6 = Begin answering the questions you gathered (which the above list follows) in a google doc.

  • Strategy: This is so you can make copies of the content and turn it into multiple types – i.e. a linkedin article, an article for your blog, a number of tweets… Also, if you have collaborators (editors), you can simply give them access to this doc.
  • How: Simply create the doc and share it. One doc per question.

Step 7 = Edit and publish related answers as an article on your blog

  • Strategy: You want to have it on your blog and indexed first so you have attribution and the chance to outrank the quora question with the same headline, or at least be close to it.
  • How: Add the version of your answer to your blog.

Step 8 = Submit that article URL to google to be indexed using your webmaster tools (search console)

  • Strategy: As mentioned, you want google to crawl/index your answer on your site before they index the same text on quora.
  • How: Head to your webmaster tools

Step 9 = Bring your friends and colleagues into the mix using a Quora ‘Pod’

  • Strategy: You need initial engagement to ensure exposure of your answers. The first 24 hours are key, so find a group of people who also publish on Quora and create your own pod.
  • How: Reach out to colleagues, ask if they answer questions on Quora. If so, start a WhatsApp or Telegram group and invite them. Post links and share there.

Step 10 = Publish the answers to Quora

  • Strategy: Now that the answer is on your blog, go ahead and format it for Quora. A video is ideal, but at least add some images.
  • How: Head to http://Quora.com

Step 11 = Share the links to the answers with your friends and colleagues.

  • Strategy: This is where you post to your pod or email/message friends to engage immediately after posting.
  • How: Any way you prefer.

Step 12 = Launch your cold messaging campaign on LinkedIn

  • Strategy: You want to serve another brand impression and introduce them to you (not your company). Ideally, you would use a tool like Hubsell.com to combine your initial Linkedin message with your first cold emails in one automated sequence. The other option is a tool like Dux Soup to automate connection request + ‘add note’ messages to this list.
  • How: Load your lists into your app and write a connection request message. Make sure, again, you are not selling anything in this initial message. Your goal is to connect, that’s it.

Step 13 = Repost all of your Quora answers to Linkedin as you publish them.

  • Strategy: The reason for this is tl make sure your new connections to those in this followers audience see you posting about the topic they follow – i.e. thought leadership and credibility-building impressions.
  • How: I suggest summarizing the answer into an LI post, adding an image, and linking to the Quora answer in the comments. Also, if the answer was very robust, publish it as an LI article too.

Step 14 = Start your cold email sequences to this same audience.

  • Strategy: Now that these topic-followers have see your brand (through your retargeting ads), seen your face (through an LI push notification when you asked to connect), it’s time to hear your ‘ask.’
  • How: Choose the best cold email platform for your use case and budget. Do NOT use an email platform like mailchimp, yesware, or campaignmonitor because they are built for blasts and not for cold emailing. Read a comparison of the top cold email platforms here. Load your sequences and start. If you used Hubsell.com, this step is already in progress.

Step 15 = IF it’s a part of your sales process, now would be the time to cold call.

  • Strategy: For high-priced SaaS or anyone targeting enterprise, you may have a cold calling system/team as a part of your sales process. The strategy here is simply to close the prospect on a demo or account. A strategy would be to start with those who have opened but not replied to your emails. Then call anyone who has engaged with your content posted on LI or Quora. Finally, everyone who has not unsubscribed.

That’s that. You have a complete lead gathering/nurturing process focused on a specific topic you know your prospects would be interested in.

 

Adi, would you like to leave them with anything before we conclude?

Alex, thanks again for having me on your podcast, I always enjoy the projects we work on together and I look forward to working on whatever crazy successful idea you come up with next.

Ladies & gents, thanks for letting me join you all today feel free to reach out to me via linkedin, quora or my blog.

Check out Adi: Adi tmdPineapple
https://themilliondollarpineappl…