Social Media Spotlight: TMCnet.com

21 Sep

progressive media concepts, social media marketing, social media management, social media outsourcing PMC’s Social Media Spotlight is proud to introduce TMCnet.com! Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is a global, integrated media company helping clients build communities in print, in person, and online. TMC publishes Customer Interaction Solutions, INTERNET TELEPHONY, Next Gen Mobility and InfoTECH Spotlight magazines.  TMCnet.com, which is read by two million unique visitors each month, is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries. Additionally, TMC is the producer of ITEXPO, the world’s largest and best-attended IP Communications event. ITEXPO West 2010 was ranked #3 on Trade Show Executive’s Fastest 50 Award List. PMC was fortunate enough to have TMC’s marketing team give us some insight to their social media marketing strategy. Here’s what they had to say…

What social media platforms do you currently use?

We currently use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Each department within TMC utilizes these sites in various ways (events, products, news). For product marketing, we use HootSuite to share content, start discussions and monitor mentions.

What value, if any, has social media provided for your business?

Social media has helped spread the word about our company, share our resources and content, and position us a major news source in the communications and technology industry. The 3 main benefits it has provided us are:

  • Events:  Social media helps our event participants “meet” each other before the live events, and stay up-to-date on trends within their industries. We also use social media as a way to gather feedback on our live events in real-time, live-tweet during sessions and speeches, promote our exhibitors and sponsors, and get our event participants connected onsite.
  • News & Content: Social media has allowed the news, press releases and content featured on TMCnet.com to be shared more quickly and to a much broader audience. We’ve been able to build our community of online readers and site visitors by giving them the tools to share articles, comment on pieces, and contribute their own content. We also allow guest bloggers to syndicate their industry-related blogs on our site. Finally, we use online communities based on industry or subject matter to bring groups of visitors together to learn more about the topics they’re interested in.
  • Products: Social media has helped us spread the word more broadly about the types of products and services we offer (online communities, sponsorship, online ads, webinars, white papers, etc). We are able to promote our customers and clients more broadly, sharing their case studies and stories, as well as promote and build our brand more broadly. We also use our online sites on LinkedIn and Facebook to engage with our clients, giving them a place to start discussions, share marketing best practices, and ask TMC questions.

Which social media platform works best for your business? Why?

It depends. For events, content-sharing and syndication, it’s Twitter. Twitter is short and to the point, and people react faster to it.

For community-building, LinkedIn has proven to be quite effective. Not only do we host groups for our events and products, but also join other groups and engage in them, starting discussions and commenting on other people’s questions. This helps build our reputation as thought-leaders.

How has social media impacted your business in terms of marketing and sales?

Social media has greatly helped with the marketing of our events. Since they are technology events, participants (including exhibiting companies, speakers, attendees) are always connected.

We are very careful to use social media for marketing and sales. We promote our educational content (white papers, webinars and case studies) and use our social media sites to start conversations around them. We’ll provide something educational and ask the community to contribute their own lessons learned or best practices on a particular subject. We avoid using social media to share sales pieces or media kits as not to deter people from engaging with us. We think that the more credible, quality information we provide people, the more they’ll trust us and want to work with us. Social media is a great place to share testimonials, and gather customer feedback as well.

Do you have any advice for companies who are on the fence about social media?

Test out everything and remember that social media is great, but you need to know your audience. Some industries do better with one form of social media than the other, and some do not really take to social media at all. For example, one event may have a great Twitter following, and the other a better Facebook following – it all depends on your participants. Testing different approaches will help you hone in on what’s truly effective for a particular market. Also, you shouldn’t compare your social media stats to other companies. Every company and audience is unique. Just because you don’t have a higher number of followers as someone else doesn’t necessary mean it isn’t working. Understand what you’re measuring, how engaged your audience is with you, and then measure you’re success.

Finally, make sure all your sites are “talking” and consistent. Your social sites, online community and company website should all have a similar tone, style and message. The more consistent your band is, the more trustworthy you’ll appear.

Is there any social media strategy that you would like to improve or do differently?

We are continually working on being more proactive and spending more time testing the market out with different social best practices. We’d like to focus on using the hashtag on Twitter, for example, more diligently rather than having multiple social media accounts to maintain brand consistency, and also nurture our community a bit more to get them comfortable contributing to discussions on LinkedIn and Facebook.

TMC definitely has a wonderful social media strategy in place and have brought up many important points throughout their survey. It is extremely important for a company who hosts numerous online events to be active on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it is great to see that their social strategy depends on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is usually an overlooked platform when it comes to social marketing, but it is vital for joining and creating discussions, as well as networking with other professionals. For more information about TMC, visit www.tmcnet.com and visit TMC Events for a complete listing and further information on their events.

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