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Webinar: Social media has changed the game for marketing professionals. Have you changed yours?


The authors of 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing will present:

  • Three hot social media treands you cannot afford to miss
  • Rule 31: Influencers amplify your message
  • Rule 3: B2B social media is different
  • Rule 6: How to integrate social media into your marketing plan
  • Rule 39: How to make social media part of your job
  • Rule 40: Start Small and Build
  • Find out how to get a free eCopy with 5 rules from the book.



  • Wednesday, January 9, 2013
  • 10:00 am PT/ 1 pm ET




Register here.



Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 11.39.06 AM

Happy 2013!


Save yourself from (potentially a whole lot of) trouble and streamline your online activity by following the three essential steps below. You really can't afford not to.


1. Change your passwords

Hate changing your passwords for your social media, online banking, Amazon.com. and many more online accounts? So do I - but having someone invade your privacy, social channels, or even financials could be even more annoying and time consuming - possibly even devastating.


Change your passwords today and then about every 3 months to lower the chance of getting hacked:

  • Don't use the same password or similar password that you slightly modify for each account.
  • Make each password unique, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters - at least 6 characters, ideally 9.
  • Don't use any real words, your pet's name or anything people could Google about you.

One solution to make changing passwords less of a pain is a password storage tool. My husband just got me a license for 1Password.


All I have to remember now is a single password. You can feed 1Password every time you go to a site that requires you to log in and store the details directly through the 1Password browser extension. Say you are going right now to change your Facebook password, when you are done doing that, 1Password can automatically record and encrypt the details for you.


From now on, changing your password once a month is a piece of cake. And the password generator enables you to create super-secure passwords that are extra hard to crack. Of course, your one password has to be very complex.


You'll have to invest $99.99 for a family license or $69.99 for an individual one, but I think it's worth it as cyber security is one of the main challenges of our time. Of course, there are other products than 1Password to do the same job.


2. Check and update your social channel settings


Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels periodically change their privacy options or add options without making users explicitly aware of it. For a good and safe start into 2013, visit at least your key channels - in my case Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn - and check your privacy and notification settings.


While you are there, it might make sense to tweak your profile information, in case you can add a new accomplishment, job, or other new detail.


Things that stood out to me when I did my 2013 maintenance:


2.1 Facebook (for personal use, not business pages)

  • Under: "Who can see my stuff ?" Make sure you have "Who can see your future posts" set to "friends" (or friends minus acquaintances) instead of "public".
  • I also have "Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?" set to "No One". (It's the face recognition software part that is illegal in Europe).
  • Look at all the apps you have enabled and disable any that you don't use. Apps on Facebook often share information not just about you but also your unsuspecting friends, e.g. the networking tool BranchOut. Also, avoid the birthday app - you don't want your birthday available on social media anywhere; protect your identity.
  • Make sure in "Facebook Ads", you have all sharing options set to "No One". Or FB reserves the right to possibly share your stuff in the future.


2.2 Twitter

  • Like for Facebook, check and revoke access for apps (that have access to your Twitter account) that you are not using (under "Settings").
  • If you haven't added a "Header" picture under your "Profile" yet, it's time. If you don't have access to fancy Photoshop tools, just make sure that your "photo" displays nicely on top of the background "header" picture you choose.


2.3. LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn now lets you add links to videos, presentations and other assets to many sections in your profile. I am experimenting and added a Slideshare deck.
  • I turned off "Partner InMails" under "Account"/"Email Preferences". And under "Advertising Preferences", I unchecked " LinkedIn may show me ads on third-party websites".
  • If you don't have your Twitter account connected yet, I recommend it, as it allows you to simultaneously tweet LinkedIn status updates with one click.


3. Download your Twitter archive

Twitter writes on their blog: "Go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom to check for the option to request your Twitter archive. If you do see it, go ahead and click the button. You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access your archive when it’s ready for you to download.


If you don’t see that option in Settings today, know that it’s on the way! We’re rolling out this feature slowly, starting today with a small percentage of users whose language is set to English. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll make it available to all users around the world, for all the languages we offer."


Having all your Tweets in an archive will be useful if you have to look up old Tweets or get involved into any kind of legal action (my prediction for 2013, it's going to get uglier).




And in case you missed the news: G+ Biz Pages can now share with all G+ users. New analytics for G+ are coming up too and Google Communities could turn out to be a serious threat to Facebook! Watch Google+/Communities as the B2B social media space in 2013!


Liked this post? Read more here.

The Perception

There seems to be a general perception that social media is better suited for B2C versus B2B marketing.  This view is supported by a general lack of easily accessible social media success stories in the B2B space; on the Internet and at conferences.  But it is a misconception.


The Reality

Without a doubt, there are countless impressive B2C success stories, including the funny Bodyform video created in response to a disgruntled Facebook post, and the successful OldSpice video campaign. But social media is also extensively and successfully in use for B2B marketing. We simply might not hear about it as much because the examples are not as entertaining.


B2B social media is best suited to generate awareness.  To just pick a few examples, social media can help build thought leadership, increase the reach of events, or strengthen your brand. But social media can also foster action and engagement. Used right, the social tool kit can help you leverage advocates and influencers to spread your message, generate content for you, and even generate leads.


When a B2C campaign goes viral, you are likely to hear about it. When a Global 2000 company manages to increase reach, action, and engagement with their target audience, they either keep it quiet, as a competitive advantage, or it simply is not an entertaining enough story to get much coverage.


The B2B vs. B2C Marketing Difference

B2B marketing often requires a different approach than B2C marketing, mostly due to the difference in sales cycles. The B2B sales cycle is generally more complex and of a higher dollar value; and the purchase decision is less emotional.


For example, my co-author Michael Procopio writes in our upcoming book “42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing”: “A car is the most complex thing I buy in my personal life, and yet it seems very manageable. When buying the car, I do all the research on a few web sites, check with some friends on Facebook, and then finalize my decision with a test drive. My choice is as much emotional as based on facts. Once I pick what I want, I just need to get my better half to okay the purchase. Done.”


In B2B, on the other hand – especially with increasing deal size - multiple people with potentially different pain points need to agree to the purchase. And, the sales cycle typically runs several months with different stakeholders participating at different points in the process.  Unlike selling a piece of consumer electronics, many people can say "no," and the "wow, this is cool" factor is minimized by the many meetings to discuss the purchase.


B2B vs. B2C Social Media Tactics

B2B marketers have a smaller set of social media marketing tactics available than B2C folks, and generating immediate sales from a great campaign is rare.

Some social media sites have higher success rates for B2C than B2B marketing and vice versa. For example, Facebook has been most successful for B2C in terms of lead generation. This is true to a large degree because B2C marketing can provide instant discounts and offers that do not make sense for the sale of complex B2B products to large corporations.  Conversely, LinkedIn is one of the most successful sites for B2B social media marketing but is not used much for B2C.


It has become common knowledge  - under the term pull marketing – that the majority of B2B buyers search for a solution online instead of waiting to be contacted.  Social media can play a key role in improving the “findability” of your information.  Fact is, as confirmed by the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, that “those investing a minimum of 6 hours per week in social media marketing saw improvements in search engine rankings. Marketers selling to other businesses were more likely to achieve this benefit (59%) than those selling to consumers (50%). “


What B2B and B2C have in Common

It is equally difficult for B2C and B2B marketers to create a viral video. According to Chris Wilson in an article in Slate “you might have better odds playing the lottery than of becoming a viral video sensation. “


What is also common between B2B and B2C marketing is that both must create and frequently update compelling content, focus on engagement, and interact directly with their audience to be successful. The main difference in B2B is that you must think about the overall sales cycle, who is involved, and how to address each individual's needs with the right content at the right time.


I think there is no doubt that there is a lack of available B2B social media use cases. The upcoming book “42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing” (due in December) is hoping to close that gap.

Monday December 17, 2012

11:00 am-12:00 pm PT / 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET


In this live webinar, the authors of “42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing” will discuss the latest trends in social media and how to use it to advance your company’s goals — and your career.


With over 20 years of combined experience in social media, the authors will share success stories and best practices for mixing social media into your marketing plan, leveraging the top social media channels, and generating leads


Register Now!

Key Take-Aways


  • The key differences between B2B and B2C social media and how to use this information to your advantage
  • How to engage more effectively with your customers, partners, and prospects
  • How to build a “social-first” approach to marketing that increases effectiveness and reduces costs



Michael Procopio is a Social Media Strategist who blogs at MProcopio.com.  Michael is an author, speaks internationally about social media and is a member of the Society for New Communications Research. He has more than 25 years experience in high-tech organizations as a business leader, and technology and marketing manager. As a social media strategist he consults with companies from startups to Fortune 1000 on social media and social intelligence. Previously he managed HP Software’s overall social media presence and direction where a social media lead gen activity yielded a 2500+% ROI.

Peter Spielvogel is the Senior Director of Marketing at SAP.  Peter has been a high-tech marketing executive since the early 1990s and a business-to-business social media practitioner since 2005. He uses social media extensively to understand market requirements, build awareness among current and future customers, engage in online discussions, promote events, and generate targeted leads. Peter leverages wikis to share fresh content among marketing, sales, product management, and various technical teams. In his current role at SAP, he provides product marketing and product management expertise to SAP’s early stage teams. Previously, at HP, he led a global product marketing team. Prior to HP, he held executive-level marketing roles at several startup companies. Peter’s education includes an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BS in Engineering from Princeton University. He is based in Silicon Valley, California.


Natascha Thomson is the Owner & Founder of MarketingXLerator – a B2B Social Media Marketing Consultancy – with a focus on using social media to connect people for business impact. She is also a co-author of the book 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing.




Register Now!


Monday December 17, 2012

11:00 am-12:00 pm PT


You might also be interested in: Webcast Replay & SlideShare: Separating Social Media Fact from Fiction.

In my last blog, Foursquare Part II: Using Foursquare at Live Events (Or Not?), I explored the suitability of Foursquare for MarketingCamp Silicon Valley and came to the conclusion that Facebook was better suited to our purposes. I also promised to do some testing. The results are in. Spoiler alert: things did not quite work as advertised.


Michael Procopio and I spent hours setting up events in Facebook and trying to check-into them, using the little location icon next to the the photograph icon (when you upload a picture). Our events never showed up in the list of locations to pick from. Michael heard that we needed to set up a place on Facebook, which turned out to be something that is not really supported anymore. Well, and it still did not work.


So we went over to plan B, using FB as outlined below.  BTW - Checking into the place/event I set up on Foursquare worked really well, but you might remember that we decided to focus on #FB to engage our existing FB community vs. building a new one on Foursquare for a single event .

The following is a blueprint you can copy for your own event(s) to add  Facebook's location-based functionality. (Note: Read this blog to see if Foursquare is better suited for YOUR purposes).

These were the steps at MCSV to enter the "Be a Marketing Hero Contest" (copies this as appropriate for your own event):


You had two options: Enter via Facebook or via Twitter

  • Take a picture with @MarketingHeroSV.
  • Take it. Why is your picture more fun, crazy, marketingy, outstanding, awesome than the others? What is your USP?


Entries via Twitter: #MCSV @MarketingCampSV

  1. Go to Twitter
  2. Upload your photograph with @MarketingHeroSV
  3. Post a message to @MarketingCampSV using the #MCSV hashtag, stating that you are entering the @MarketingHeroSV contest.


Entries via Facebook: #MCSV

  1. RSVP that you are "going" to the event on the MarketingCamp SV Event Page on Facebook
  2. Open the Facebook App on your mobile device.  Then slide your screen to the right or navigate to the page that links to your events. This is a screenshot from my iPhone:



3. Click on "Events" where you should be able to see the MarketingCamp Silicon Valley event you RSVPed you were "going" to:



4. Click on the "MarketingCamp Silicon Valley" event (above) and upload your picture with the #MCSV hashtag. Example:


   Winners were announced on the day of the event. We had cool 'Be a Marketing Hero" T-shirts.



NOTE AS OF NOVEMBER 07, 2012:  At the event, it turned out that we COULD see the MarketingCampSV event through the little location icon on Facebook, next to the picture upload. But, it was not there consistently.  You might also be interested in reading Foursquare Part I – The Basics on Points,

Badges & Mayorships.


Also, make sure to promote a contest way in advance to gain enough traction.


PS: I have since uninstalled Foursquare. Just don't see the point :-).


Your experience?

Should we use Foursquare for MarketingCamp Silicon Valley? This is the question I was aiming to answer with this blog in October 2012. It chronicles my research journey and findings. Let's go.



The criteria for a "yes" or "no" decision: the location-based solution had to be fun, low-cost, easy-to-implement, and achieve the goal of getting people more engaged onsite. If we could promote our sponsors as a "by-the-way", that would be nice too. Can Foursquare connect people at the event? Is it a tool attendees would use to network and exchange information?


Side Note on Foursquare & B2B

Ever since writing my blog Foursquare Part I – The Basics on Points, Badges & Mayorships, I had been keeping my ears and eyes open to learn how to use Foursquare for B2B and events. At one point, I heard a radio report saying that Foursquare is losing traction. I could not find proof and definitely see a lot of people in my network posting regularly. But then again, I know lots of people who do social media and, hence, try many popular apps.


I do wonder why I keep using it, personally, as there is no reward for being the mayor of Downtown Yoga but somehow it is strangely satisfying every time I see that I am still the mayor. My excuse is that I do it as part of my job, for research. (My husband has asked me NOT to check-in at restaurants anymore.)  Personally, the most useful experience I have had with Foursquare so far has been when I checked in at SAP in Palo Alto and got a tip displayed: "SAP has a cycling club - click here to learn more".  As I have learned since, once you set up a venue, you or others can leave tips. Of course, this would only reach people physically checking into your location.



Foursquare and Events

While my network that I quizzed on Twitter, FB and Linkedin, told me they have all heard about using Foursquare at events,  nobody had any  actual real-world user experience of checking into an event, only stores.  Here the summary of my findings on using Foursquare for events:


  • My friend Jim Van Dyke, said about Foursquare: "I've used it a lot...but since Facebook and LinkedIn added location-aware capabilities (and Groupon and others added merchant connections) I couldn't see the value anymore." When I asked him how to use it with Facebook for events he said: " I think the one way would be to download a created app, specific to the event or hosting company. There could be some long term benefits if you want to do follow-on marketing too." He also pointed out that having a signal/WIFI access is obviously key and not always a given. An app sounds great, we just don't have the money.
  • A University is using Foursquare to unlock hard to get badges (think of encouraging 250 people + to check in at the same time). They hoped local businesses would give students showing the badge on their phone a discount. A second University is using it to get their students to attend the inauguration of their new president. People who check in can win one of 11 prizes.
  • My friends from @Sprinklr responded to one of my tweets asking for input: " Sprinklr @nathomson This post doesn't compare tools but gives some nice tips and ideas about incorporating foursquare at a trade show: spr.ly/6013pDjP". It's a good blog, focusing on how to use Foursquare instead of a scanner, to give out perks, like VIP tickets to a party, and for sweepstakes. There is an option to ask attendees to give you permission to email them when they check-in, which sounds useful for lead generation.
  • This is a very good article on how to get yourself set up on Foursquare for events and with ideas for basic activities.  To add a venue to your event, you have to search for the location and if it does not exist, scroll to the end of the search result page and add a new venue. Took me a while to figure it out. Not exactly user friendly. For a location-based service, should "add a venue" not be a button or in a drop down?
  • Also got a Tweet and email from @sniths who shared his knowledge around the future of location-based check-ins and the cloud. Tweet him if you want to learn more. #future


Here some general information on Foursquare for an event:

  • "You won’t have the ability to create a custom badge unless you are able to partner with the foursquare folk."
  • "You can offer benefits to your attendees for checking in to various locations or functions at your event. Give your mayor a treat. Offer a private gathering for your users. All of these bonuses can be managed as ‘Tips" and can be easily setup."
  • "Allow exhibitors to offer their own incentives for a visit to their booth. Give speakers a chance to encourage new audiences."
  • "Set up a private landing page weeks in advance of your event and offer a tease towards some of the tips and incentives for their participation. "
  • Clean up and flag your venue  as "closed" after.


Use Cases from My Network


Syed Kashif Ali, who is on the MarketingCamp Social Media team shared this sensible idea: why not tag people on Facebook instead of using Foursquare? 


Next, my co-author Michael Procopio found a great example of Facebook being used for a live event.  Here his email to me:  "I just remembered that Adobe Echosign did donations for pictures uploaded to FB.


Here is the page - look for pictures of a person standing next to a robot. If the person has  location ON, in their device, that will come thru when posting  a pic as seen below:




You can also use a location-based posting as below with an event:



In the blank post dialog notice PLACE.  You will see in the post further down that I "checked in" to the 3rd Annual Aloha Coffee & Culture Fest. I did this on my laptop. If I were at the coffee fest I could have used my phone and GPS."  How to check into an event is explained in this  Facebook article.


As Michael says above, when you are at the actual location, you can upload a picture to your own Facebook page from your phone and click on the little location symbol,  on the left to the camera symbol. When you hover over it it says "Where was this picture taken?".  At the event site, you can simply upload the shot, type the event name and the event should pop up in your location listing. Select it and upload.   


The Solution for MarketingCamp Silicon Valley


From here, we pretty quickly decided to use Facebook instead of Foursquare for MarketingCamp Silicon Valley, as we didn't need to drive any traffic to booths at the event and didn''t have the time to create an interesting app or badges - but rather wanted to create some fun engagement amongst the attendees.  Facebook is a lot more popular than Foursquare, so most people will be able to participate: FB with  900+ million vs. Foursquare with 25+ million users.


We planned acontest where attendees were asked to take a picture with MarketingHero Silicon Valley and upload it to Facebook with the hashtag #MCSV. They needed to have location services turned ON and choose MarketingCamp Silicon Valley as the event.  The best 5 pictures would win prizes.


According to this Facebook article this should post all the pictures on the event page.  (I was wondering, if you check-in from Pinterest, Instagram etc. can you still get your picture posted on the FB event page or only on your own page? Answer - it does not work).  We also allowed people to enter the contest via Twitter, using the hashtag #MCSV.


The Experiment

As I was going to the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference, I created a venue/event on Foursquare at the location. I wanted to test checking in from FB and Foursquare. to test if I could location-tag the event from Twitter and all other places to post the pictures to the Facebook event page that I also set up for testing. Read the results in my blog "Foursquare Part III".


I'd love to hear your experience and tips from using Foursquare for events and B2B!




PS: Here a bonus event tip from Syed Kashif Ali:  "Check out "Tout." It's a brand new iPhone app that allows you to capture 15-second videos, and a lot of brands and celebrities have been using it for UGC (you can easily upload to both Twitter and Facebook). It's free to download and maybe we could use it to quickly capture testimonials at MarketingCamp SV, how people feel about the event, their favorite sessions, etc. It's something the volunteers can help with by quickly asking a speaker or attendee a question and much more affordable and seamless than lugging around video/audio equipment. Thought it was worth passing along."

Please find the slides and recording from the webinar Social Media Marketing: Separating Fact from Fiction below:


  • Learn proven applications of social media in marketing that bring results.
  • Hear cautionary tales that help you avoid social media pitfalls.
  • Add your own examples in the comment section of this blog.



*** The slides on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/NataschaThomson/webinar-social-media-marketing-separating-fact-from-fiction-b2conline

(Sorry, just don't seem able to make SlideShare embed work on SCN).






You can watch the recording here.

  Jeff4Justice and Social Media


The story began with a blog that Jeff 4 Justice wrote to raise funds for his podcast show.  I saw it in one of my social media newsletters and was intrigued.  Jeff describes himself as a "social justice activist".


As an online talk personality, Jeff has interviewed people including: Nobel Peace Prize, Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Grammy Award nominees and winners. He also speaks out for and creates interviews about homelessness, gay marriage, LGBT rights, and the US two-party system.


What You did NOT Expect


Turns out, Jeff lives in a car, like many other people. Something I don't (like to) think about too often. What is different about Jeff's story is that he has taken to social media - blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter - to help him get his message out.


While crowd-funding is nothing new for businesses, I had not heard of a crowd-funding approach by a homeless man using social media. Right now, Jeff is on food stamps and hopes his podcast business plan will get him out of poverty in the coming year.


Here is Jeff4Justice speaking for himself



Direct URL: http://youtu.be/yv7SOWFqYx0


Questions I Had

  • How does a homeless person living in a car have access to the Internet and social media? Answer: Visit places that have free Internet and a mobile device.
  • I don't know this Jeff guy, how do I know he is going to do with my money what he says he will = create a podcast business? Answer: I don't, just like I can't be sure my Kiva loan will be repaid, or that the family getting an animal from Heifer is going to take care of it. Plus, even if Jeff abused my trust, I could absorb the loss. I can afford to have some faith.
  • Do I want to support what he is promoting? Answer: I've been a member of Amnesty International for many years and feel strongly about human rights. I believe in philanthropy and open dialogue.


Twitter Rules & Account Blocking


Turns out, Twitter has shut down Jeff's @Jeff4Justice  account as he has contacted users that met his search criteria to help with his crowd-funding. This inspired me to read Twitter's terms of service (T0S) which have a sub-link to the "Twitter Rules".


I don't know what Twitter is accusing Jeff off, maybe he had complaints, but I was quite amused to find that the Twitter Rules are constantly broken, without consequence.


A selection on what is defined as spam:


  • "If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile.
  • If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following.
  • If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates."


If you check out  some of Jeff's channels, it's obvious that he is frustrated, and I can understand that. I don't agree with all of his comments and ideas but I applaud him for making an effort to get his voice out, and not just for himself, for others. Here a survey you can take to help him focus


Jeff's Current Goal


Jeff is looking to create a podcast series that will "help towards the advancement of alternative political parties to overcome unfair election laws, media bias/blackout, and a lack of voter familiarity." He would appreciate contributions to cover website expenses, and better audio and video equipment.  But most of all, he is looking for you to help him get more publicity.


And that is where social media comes in - again. If you are on social media and want to support Jeff in supporting others, you can use the following channels to send him a message, promote his appeal for contributions, and his blogs and videos. If you have more questions, you can ask him!  From my email exchanges with Jeff, I know that he cares most about getting the message out.


Here are his social media channels:


It would be amazing for Jeff 4 Justice to be picked up by news sites or talk shows like the stories of the homeless guy with a golden voice or the homelessman who made headlines handing out resume in downtown L.A..  

For my upcoming social media webinar series, I'd like to get your input on what topics you would be most interested in. Use the comment section below or simply click on the short survey here.

The following topics are suggestions. Feel free to phrase in your own words what you'd like to get out of a webinar. Or, describe your current social media challenge if that is easier.


High-level Topics:

  • Social media strategy
  • TweetChats & Tweetups
  • Events & social media
  • Build your brand
  • SEO & SMO
  • Audience identification
  • Social channel creation & growth
  • Influencer engagement
  • Measurement & reporting
  • Blogging
  • Marketing 101
  • Tools
  • Should I/my business be on social media?
  • Your pressing topic


Specific Social Media Channel "How to'  Workshops:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • G+
  • Facebook
  • Blogging
  • Other


Complete the 3 questionn survey or feel free to post any other comments about the best timing for a webinar, length, format etc.in the comment section.


If you need answers right now, please browse the list of blogs on this site for tips and tricks. Or contact me  directly via the contact form.

I am honored to be part of the blog it forward chain via Audrey Stevenson, Tom Cenens and Tridip Chakraborthy. Three people who embody the best of SCN and I am proud to call friends beyond SAP.



I am a yogi, social media marketing consultant, and happy wife. Some of you know me from my time at SAP, starting in 2007 until this summer. During this time I had the great pleasure to become a part of SCN – even though I am a marketing person. And I will never forget the great honor of being an SAP Mentor in 2011. Running with the wolf pack was an unforgettable experience.

I will very much miss not being at TechEd this year but already submitted my entry for the #SCNotties (with Dorothea SieberPLEASE WATCH THIS ON YOUTUBE if you don't see the captions here:


I started my own business – MarketingXLerator - in 2011, reducing my hours at SAP to a 3-day-week. It was my luck to work for Rick Fleischman who made it all possible.  Working part-time in Silicon Valley and having an interesting job is difficult.  Now I have been a full-time small business owner for three months and it’s been an amazing learning curve and experience. I know for sure that I could never do it without the support of so many wonderful folks around me; and I mean providing me with mental strength, know how, as well as actual leads. My first client was SCN member and SAP partner Eric Vallo of EVTechnologies: thank you for the faith and getting me started on my journey.

While social media can be overwhelming, I think that it matches with my personality. I’ve been a connector all my life, loving to socialize and bring people together. Frankly, I think the social media hype will subside and social media will be similar to email marketing (which I found exciting in the 90s). Luckily, my current job has been a serious brush up on the 101 of all marketing areas, so I think I’ll be ready to move on to whatever is next.


Things that come to my mind at this moment as important are my husband Allan (who is originally from Scotland), my sister, my friends, my cats, travel, nature, skiing, the New York Times, human rights, movies, volunteering, and meditation; sleeping is underrated too.


A Fun Fact about Myself

Currently my main hobby is practicing and teaching yoga. Here a picture taken on a sabbatical I took with my husband this April in Hawaii (my favorite place on earth), on the Big Island:



A cool picture of Myself or My Homeland/Town

While I was born in Germany, I have lived in the USA for over 15 years and am a US citizen.

I’ve moved away from California a few times to live on the East Coast and in Scotland, but it seems the old Eagles song Hotel California true for us: “You can check out any time but you can never leave”.

Here a picture of a recent trip I took to Norway.  The place is called Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock and the most popular tourist attraction in Norway. It’s a 3-hour round-trip hike if you are going up with a group of goat-like Norwegians who don’t seem to slip or need rest.



Questions that were Blogged Forward to Me

  1. Tom Cenens:  What is your favorite place in the world?
  2. Tridip ChakraborthyWhy does the SAP Community Network matter to you?
  3. Audrey Stevenson: What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why? 



1. What is our Favorite Place in the World?

That is a tough question, as I love California very much and I feel quite fortunate to have been born in Germany. But my heart is probably in Hawaii.

If you have never been there, let me explain it like this: the temperature is perfect, the natural beauty is breathtaking, and the whole place has a spirit that connects you with nature and the circle of life.

I’ve been to most Hawaiian islands and Lanikai on Oahu took my breath away. Then again, I always like the island best that I am on. The Big Island is definitely the best place to completely unwind while Oahu is a place I could probably live. Here a picture of Lanikai beach:




2. Why does SCN Matter to Me?

It’s a good question, particularly as my current role does not require SAP expertise. So what do I get out of the community? I have always felt a little bit out of place on SCN as I don’t have deep technical expertise on SAP products. As a marketing director for SCN, I got my feet wet in the social media area. The job I had applied for and accepted was a partner marketing role, but the day I started it all changed and I was suddenly helping grow and improve BPX.

I have always felt that the SCN community is warm and inviting. People have been incredibly supportive when I got started and along the way, until today. I will never forget #NataschaToTechEd – an experience and fun I can’t even describe (Thanks especially John Appleby). Of course, there are always a few who have a bad temper or push their own agenda at the expense of others, but that is just life; and I think I have gotten much better at not taking it personally.

What amazes me is how many times people from SCN (ok, I admit, in particular mentors), have reached out to me to support their projects, provide them a reference, collaborate on a blog, or just check in on how I am doing. My first SCN member friend was Jon Reed – as a vendor who produced podcasts with me. He gave me a lot of good advice and I really enjoyed working with him.

From the SAP inside, I can say that working with Marilyn PrattAudrey Stevenson Keith Elliott, Oliver Kohl (my first Twitter mentor!), Matthias Steiner, Kieran O'Connor, Frauke Hassdenteufel, Aslan Noghre Kar,  and so many others (sorry I can’t list you all) was amazing. These people really care about the community and work their butts off to make things happen, put things right, and keep it interesting.

So why does SCN matter to me? It’s all about the people. And SCN has some amazing people.

3. What was the Most Fun Project you ever Participated in and Why? 

#SCNotties: Maybe because it’s closest in my memory but I truly enjoyed the SCNotties in Las Vegas last year.  It was great to go as an SAP Mentor and meet so many amazing folks, but just planning the event with Jim Spath, Greg Myers, Mark Finnern and the fabulous Sylvia Santelli was a treat.

After weeks of getting funny videos in every day, Mark Finnern pushed us to wear Elvis costumes at the #SCNotties Awards in Las Vegas. As our budget was small, Greg and Mark ended up in the full costume while Sylvia and I wore Elvis wigs (and no, I am not going to post THAT Video here).



A close tie is writing a book on social media with Michael Procopio from HP and Peter Spielvogel that is due out on Amazon in December: 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing.  It has been much harder and time-intensive than I could have ever imagined but so worthwhile. Jonathan Becher and Mark Yolton have already read the book and provided wonderful early praise! You can pre-order now :-).


Blogging it Forward to…

  1. The one and only Michelle Crapo. Not only is she an expert in her field, I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging some very long emails with her on all topics of life.
  2. Our beloved Aslan Noghre-Kar who is so caught up in his new role in the Start up area of SAP that when I asked him if I can blog it forward to him said: “Blog it what”? As the ex-Mentor handler, he needs no further introduction.
  3. Rachna Lal is somebody less famous in SCN, so I think this is a great chance for more people to get to know her. We met in a SV Social Media Aficionados Meetup Group that I host with nancy uy and it turned out that she worked for an SAP partner. She is early on in her career but already quite experienced in marketing and social media.
  4. Joseph Kelly just commented on my blog on LinkedIn that he is ready to BIF it, so I added him :-). Joseph is a top writer and content editor, we've worked together around #SMW12 events at SAP and now we are leading social media for @MarketingCampSV with a host of other great folksMarketingCamp is on November 3rd, 2012 at Nokia in CA. The first Marketing Unconference. Topic submission is open.


Please Blog Forward 2-3 of the following questions (or make up your own if you don’t like mine)

  1. Why are you a member of SCN?
  2. What 3 things would you tell a newbie to do to get started on SCN?
  3. What are your favorite social media channels? Or if you don’t use social media, why?
  4. What is a topic you feel strongly about and would like to address here?



"Social marketing advice today is predominantly geared to B2C organizations which are fundamentally different from the B2B world.  Yet, we know that business-to-business commerce and interactions can benefit greatly from social business practices, and that B2B organizations can have exponential impacts on the global marketplace. 


‘42 Rules’ offers valuable, practical guidance for B2B marketers at all levels. The content is well organized for easy reference, includes quick ideas to implement, and is supported by real-world examples."



Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President of Digital, Social and Communities at SAP


COMING SOON: 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing

With a foreword by Ray Wang.


All author book royalties  are going to be donated to the Khan Academy, an organization committed to providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.  The publisher, Happy About, is matching our contribution dollar for dollar.


The Journey

I've always wanted to write a book, I just always thought it would be a novel. But here it is, only weeks away from release: a social media marketing book. It's targeted at B2B marketing professionals but useful for anybody who wants to integrate social media into their tool kit.  I am blessed to have been invited by my wonderful co-authors Michael Procopio and Peter Spielvogel to embark on this  book writing journey. It's been a lot more time-consuming than I expected (think part-time MBA) but it has also been one of the most rewarding things I have ever attempted. I sincerely hope you will learn as much from  reading the book as I have learned from writing it.



So What’s it About?


This book helps the reader to stay relevant as a marketing professional and avoid common mistakes. Social media is changing the way people think about marketing. It’s much more than pushing out the same content through new channels.


1. Start Listening

The biggest shift: marketing communications has become a bi-directional discipline, where you can (and must) listen to your customers rather than just talk to (at) them. But, with so many social media channels and new rules of engagement, even seasoned marketing professionals sometimes get stuck on where to begin.


2. Know the Difference in B2B

This book was created for business-to-business (B2B) marketing professionals who need to move quickly towards a marketing mix that now includes social media. While B2B marketing is still the commonly used term to differentiate it from business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, social media – and the future of marketing – is about people-to-people (P2P) communications.


3. Learn Practice vs. Theory

Learn from a combined 20 years of hands-on social media experience. We provide you guidance on how to understand market requirements, engage in conversations with customers, build awareness for solutions, and generate targeted leads. Using a combination of best practices and use cases, it will quickly become clear how to maximize your return on investment with LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other popular online channels. Michael and Peter are amazing resources and I have learned so much from editing their chapters.


4. Implement Quickly

The phased approach used in the book will enable you to make steady progress as you move into social media without getting overwhelmed by too many options.  Providing small, well-defined chunks, the book makes it easy to integrate what you learn into your existing marketing strategy and day-to-day execution, step by step, while avoiding classic mistakes like over-committing resources., If you want to remain relevant as a marketing professional and avoid common mistakes, read this book.   


What’s in the book? A Sample of the TOC
  • Section I – Mixing Social Media into Your Marketing
  • Section II – Creating Social Media Content
  • Section III – Leveraging Key Social Media Sites
  • Section IV – Engaging Effectively in Social Media
  • Section V – Using Social Media in the sales cycle
  • Section VI – Putting Social Media into practice



My Wonderful Co-Authors


social mediaPeter Spielvogel uses social media extensively to listen to customer sentiment, build awareness, and generate targeted leads for SAP. @peterspielvogel



social mediaMichael Procopio consults with Fortune 1000 customers on social media and social intelligence. @MichaelProcopio  



The Foreword


Ray was so kind to write a thoughtful foreword to our book. THANK YOU, Ray! Ray's blog.




Stay tuned for more about the book on this blog and on our official book site: B2BSociaMediaMarketingBook.com.


We'll be re-directing and adding a lot of additional social media resources to the site in the future.        

MarketingCamp Silicon Valley is an Unconference for marketing professionals in Silicon Valley to share, learn, develop "togetherness", and hopefully innovate around marketing. http://bit.ly/Regpage


Register here, seats are limited.  I must be really excited about it as I have agreed to help with the social media effort around the event, together with a killer team.



What is an “Unconference” and what should You expect?


We’ve all been to a “conference.” So we all know what that is, right? Or do we? I think you’ll agree that in common experience, a conference has a set, sometimes rigid, agenda—with pre-ordained speakers who are not necessarily addressing topics that are most germane to the audience. Even if a presented topic is perfectly on-target, it is one-way communicating that represents only the speaker’s perspective.


Most conferences are sadly missing “discussion” and they are decidedly lacking in the “togetherness.” Most people report that they get the greatest value from conferences they’ve attended out in the hallway actively compensating for what the set conference agenda lacks: in the halls, they get together and hold their own discussions!


New to some of us, but not a new concept, Unconferences have been extremely successful for many years in bringing together people from diverse motivations and backgrounds to self-organize topics of greatest interest to the group, with an emphasis on interaction, discussion and debate.


The unconference meeting format dates back to the 1980’s and the development of a meeting scheme called “Open Space Technology” by Harrison Owen.  In an Unconference, topics of presentations and discussions are selected by participant voting - every attendee is able to set their own priorities and is free to attend or leave any topic session, or even depart the entire meeting, at any time.


This assures that each person takes responsibility for what they get out of the meeting—and that each topic is attended by those that are the most interested.


The result is an astounding increase in leadership, participation and inspired results compared to what conferences have become. Discussion and Togetherness are maximized! …and so is satisfaction of the attendees, who are no longer passive listeners, but active participants in the Unconference.


So what is MarketingCamp?


Innovative marketing is what has made the Silicon Valley what it is today, and marketing movers and shakers benefit from interacting, cross-pollinating and learning from each other.


The MarketingCamp event is a single-day meeting that is designed to provide a great opportunity for anyone passionate about marketing to spend a day—at no charge and with no obligations—having fun sharing and learning from peers and mentors.


The MarketingCamp Silicon Valley team has selected the Unconference format to assure that the MarketingCamp meeting maximizes participation and focuses on topics that are most of interest.


There is no set agenda, no requirement to sit quietly during long presentations.


We very much want active participants—not passive attendees. And everyone will have an opportunity to Share what they have experienced, to Learn from their peers and mentors and to Grow from the day’s sessions and from the personal contacts gained.

  • Topic submissions opens on September 8th, so put your thinking hat on and submit a topic for yourself or another presenter.
  • Topic voting by registered participants begins on September 29th.


You can already follow the buzz and participate in discussions via the MarketingCampSV social media channels: Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on Twitter  Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on Facebook  Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on Linkedin Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on YouTube Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on Flickr Follow MarketingCamp Silicon Valley on Four Square  Hashtag: #MCSV   


Learn more first or or go directly to registration! Seats are limited and this event will fill up quickly.

Here another good tool that adds a lot of value in understanding your Twitter following, followers, your relationships with them and let's you manage all of it.


One Twitter handle is free, more come for a fee. Don't expect guidance in the tool on how to use it - to get "how to" information go to the blog.


Here 5 Steps to Manage your Twitter Community with Commun.It


Step 1: Install Commun.It (free)


Step 2: Look at who your high-value "members" are: "most engaged", "supporters", "influencers"

  • Looking through each list, I got valuable good insights on the circle of people who constitute my core network on Twitter. There were some surprises.
  • Conclusion: great people & connections, but how do I expand my network to the right people to increase my influence? This tool helps me monitor that progress (of course, I have to have clear goals to know what I am trying to achieve).


Step 3: "Consider to Follow" and "Consider to Unfollow" suggestions

  • I found good value here in people worthwhile following but especially in unfollowing inactive members or people that don't seem to play a part in my Twitter life.
  • Be careful here, you'll want to go through this list one-by-one to ensure you are not unfollowing people whose Tweets you enjoy but don't interact with or who you are in contact with rarely but when it happens it is meaningful. Obviously, Twitter does not know about your relationship to people off-line either; which might be why you follow somebody.


Step 4: Looks at your "New Follows" and "New Unfollowers"

  • The tool shows you recent engagements you have had with anybody in this group and whether you follow them or not.
  • Keeping an eye on "unfollows" is particularly s important. If you see unsubscribers who are in your target audience, rethink what you've been Tweeting. Why are they not interested? But don't be disheartened. Many people just follow others, hoping to get followed back; if that does not happen, they unfollow. This is a good thing! My theory is that it can pay to not follow somebody back right away - if they play the game "I follow you s0 follow me back" they will unfollow you after a few days and you end up with a higher quality following.
  • Good feature: you can see for each person if they are following you back or not.


Step 5: Monitor & Leads

  • Monitor engagement around certain items. In my case, I entered my blog URL & company name to be monitored in Twitter conversations. You can only monitor items that directly relate to your own business. Will monitor to see how useful this is. Probably valuable if you get complaints or direct questions on a high traffic account.
  • I could not figure out how the Lead function works. The people provided in that view did not seem to make any sense. Could find no information about it on Google.


I've now been using this tool for a few weeks on my personal Twitter account and @MarketingCampSV. I've found it quite useful, in combination with Crowdbooster and Buffer. Some people have responded well to thank you emails that Commun.It had suggested for my top influencers and engagers. I am satisfied with the value of this free tool and it's pretty easy to figure out if you invest 15 minutes of your time.  


Are you using any similar tools or this one? Please share your experience.

After catching bits of a conversation on Twitter and getting curious, Michael Krigsman was so kind to forward me his article in CIO Journal titled: Social Media for the Innovative CIO, featuring SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann.


Having worked at SAP in social media for many years, I know that Oliver does a great job at social media, especially on Twitter. Hence, I'd like to quote from Michael's CIO Journal article to share Oliver Bussmann's 4 Phase approach to CIO Success in Social Media:


"Phase one: Find your community. Open an account, identify people with relevant interests and then take time to observe.


Phase two: Participate in the community. Share links, engage with those in your interest group and become part of that community. Sharing and engaging are the operative terms at this stage.


Phase three: Deepen the connection. After participating in your social media community, consider starting a blog to expand your voice in the social media ecosystem.


Phase four: Become a trusted brand and thought leader. By combining these activities with excellence in IT delivery, you can become a genuine industry influencer.


Reaching this stage strengthens your own credibility and benefits the entire organization.  Although starting carefully makes sense, it’s also important to avoid delays and to begin."


Apply this advice to your own area of expertise and fine-tune as you learn.  Read the rest of the article herehttp://www.linkedin.com/in/mkrigsman


Michael Krigsman is the president of Asuret, which advises CIOs and IT organizations. He also writes frequently on topics of interest to CIOs.




PS: Since I left SAP, I've been unable to change my SAP employee address on SCN to my new business, so if you comment on this blog, I won't get notified. I will check in periodically for comments though. Hopefully, it gets fixed soon.

B2B Social Media Marketing Consulting Services


This article focuses on learning the basics of Foursquare, how to get set up, use it, and why.  I finally decided to get serious about Foursquare. Before I can understand how to use it for B2B marketing, step 1 is to play with the app and test it for personal use. Once I understand how it works, I will apply my learnings to B2B usage. This will be covered in a future blog.


First, sign up for an account,  I had already done this but needed to retrieve my password and update my profile. This happens under your picture/name in a little drop down under "Settings" on  the Foursquare web page. Of course, you can do all of this through the app, but personally, I don't like setting myself up on a tiny little screen. Your choice. 


YOUR PROFILE (Update under Settings)


Simply upload a picture, write a description about yourself and decide how much other information you want to provide. 




Make sure to go through the notification settings and privacy settings so that they can meet your needs and comfort level. I don't need to get notifications every time somebody likes my check-ins, but I'd like to know when I get mentioned by somebody else, for example. 




From my friends, I have seen them share their locations on Twitter and Facebook via Foursquare. The question here is, why are you using Foursquare? Probably you want your network to see where you are; maybe so you can connect or simply to share your preferences (e.g. Starbucks vs. Peet's). In my case, I simply want to test the app, nothing else. I decided to check the option of sharing selective information on Facebook, but not on Twitter, as I mainly use Twitter for business. 




There seem to be a ton of apps that add additional features to Foursquare, like Sonar: Informs you of your connections to interesting people nearby (note: I installed Sonar via iTunes & it then showed up in my "Connected Apps" tab on Foursquare).  More details on the latest connected apps here. I will review individual apps in a future blog post in more depth. This is my general recommendation for clients: to avoid getting overwhelmed, start small, gain a comfort level and then build on top of that know-how. 




Obviously, Foursquare is useless if you don't install the app on your mobile device so that you can check in at the different locations you visit: there is an official app for the iPhone, Droid and Blackberry, plus some other unofficial apps. You can get the official app here or simply install it through iTunes or other app stores. 




To check-in, launch the phone app and click on "check-in". Using your GPS, the app suggests locations around you to pick from. You can also add comments for your friends, maybe a note if you thought the place was good or where to park.  I picked a coffee store close to my location to check-in and was rewarded with a pop up: "You unlocked your first badge. Newbie". I can now see who of my friends have checked in at the coffee store in the past. There is also some verbiage that sounds like advertising from the coffee shop disguised as "Popular Tip". 


When I click on explore on the app, I see a map of my town with a list of pins that show stores that Foursquare has decided to recommend to me. It's called "Top Picks". It includes a shopping mall, restaurant, movie theater etc. I see my favorite Peet's store and "save" it, then there is an option to add it to "My-to-do-list". I assume this is for restaurants or places I want to remember to check out in the future. Under "Top Picks", I can choose from eight different categories to explore. Next to "Top Picks", I can click on my current location, which takes me to a map. There I can click on the current location and do a search for a different location, e.g. San Francisco. My "Top Picks" are then displayed for San Francisco. 


Under Natascha, I see widgets with my friends, stats, photos (empty), tips, badges and lists. I have one badge, 34 friends and one item (Peet's) on the list. Under stats, I see my points, and a comparison to two of my friends who have points sightly above and below me. I also see where I checked in and which categories I have so far explored most = coffee shops. 




As I can see it, the main purpose of Foursquare for personal use is to stay connected with friends by letting them know where you are at a particular moment, to leave recommendations for friends, and to use Foursquare to locate restaurants and places. There is a list function that shows recommendations from other users.  If you are the competitive type, you'll enjoy getting points, badges and mayorships for your check-in.


It's like playing a game with your friends. You earn at least one point for every check-in. The person who checked in the most at a place via the past 60 days becomes the mayor. To be eligible for mayorship, be sure to upload a picture. Badges are for a bit of extra fun in particular categories. Then you can compare your "accomplishments" with your friends'.  Finally, and here is the part that I find most appealing: some businesses provide rewards for frequent check-ins, e.g. a 10% discount for a coffee. Ask at your favorite places what you can earn for being a loyal customer.    


If you are an avid Foursquare user, I'd love to hear about your experience, tips, does and don'ts.


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