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Using Emerging Social Networks to Increase B2B Productivity

Posted on Feb 23rd, 2015
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    From James: Today’s post is the third in a series of four articles on social media marketing – all part of a contest within TopRank Marketing for a chance to attend Social Media Marketing World. Watch for the next post in the series on how to create impact with Instagram.

    While many businesses ban social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube at work, there are some unconventional social networks that may actually increase productivity, especially for those in B2B. A couple networks really pop out in this regard.
    Cyber Dust and Yo App are fringe startup social apps that, while gaining dubious fame for their apparent uselessness, have grown to have very practical utility.

    While social selling is catching on as a productive way that B2B professionals use social media, using an unknown social app might be too much for companies that can get clunky when adopting new technology. These two apps have attributes that can make adopting them easier than others.

    Cyber Dust


    image: Apple iTunes App Store

    Cyber Dust is a messaging service very like Snapchat in that received messages are meant to expire, but with Cyber Dust they actually do. While this emphasis on personal security might trigger visions of users with impure intentions, there are many cases in business where communications should be considered privileged. This app has become the first one you can depend on for the highest level of messaging privacy.

    Here are some concrete reasons you might like to work with Cyber Dust:

    Your Messages Convey Urgency – The service could serve as an internal messaging system – an alternative to the insecure email and texting services available. It would be a free alternative to enterprise messaging services.Features allow you to choose how long the messages last, share your location, and to send text or video messages.

    Interesting For Prospects – As you meet new prospects and contacts you can invite them to add you on Cyber Dust. As long as they’re up for trying a new service that is easy to use, they’ll be likely to at least remember you as the person who introduced them to a cool new tool.In addition, they’re more likely to look at your follow-up messages because it could be the first on the new app they just downloaded.

    Broadcast to a List – Separate your contacts into lists such as colleagues, customers, and prospects. You can send broadcast messages to a whole list just like an email or mass text with this feature.Using this feature, you can send special messages such as unique marketing to customer segments, sneak product previews to prospects, and private messages to your internal team all at once. All of these messages convey more urgency than a typical text or email.



    image: Yo

    Yo is a bit different. It combines features of other apps, but in a very unique way. The premise is simple. You download the app, add contacts – such as your colleagues, prospects, and third party services – then tap any of them, and they will get a notification that you sent them a Yo. Yo has recently added more features and gained traction with major brands joining to publish unique content.

    Here are some concrete reasons B2B marketers might like to work with Yo:

    Simple Communication – If you need to get someone’s attention discreetly and quickly through their phone, Yo sends direct push notifications. You can also use it to send your location or a URL with a quick tap.This is useful for coordinating sales teams (send a location Yo when you arrive at a prospect site), event teams (send a Yo to signal speaker time limits), and even hinting at others in a meeting (send a Yo to remind your partner to speak up).

    Customizable – Do you have a tech savvy internal team and customer base? Yo has an API available to develop your own use of the service for utilizing within the app environment as a marketing channel, or for some other creative service.Once users follow your brand account, you can send them push notification messages with rich media including gifs, images or video and accompanying marketing messaging. Some interesting brands doing this now include General Electric and the NBA as well as media outlets Mashable and Marketwatch.

    Productivity tools – Some of the uniquely developed accounts can provide you with helpful – and fun – reminders and notifications. There are useful accounts with the following functions:

    • Yo you when your package has arrived – usable with FedEx, USPS, UPS, and LaserShip
    • Keep track of time worked on a project by linking to Google Sheets
    • Yo you when your daily meeting starts
    • Yo you the nearest Starbucks location
    • Yo you at pomodoro intervals when writing content
    • Yo you when a stock hits a target price
    • Calls your phone to get you out of awkward situations
    • Yo you when a flight price reaches a target
    • Turn certain apps and some external hardware on and off
    • Yo you limitless uplifting and cheerful content including cat and puppy pictures

    While there is everyday fun and utility from these apps, taking advantage of the business-angled features of these apps could reap benefits for your B2B marketing team. Have you used either of these or another fringe social app for your business? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

    Can’t get enough of the latest social media techniques and tips? Come watch TopRank Online Marketing at Social Media Marketing World 2015, coming up in San Diego from March 25-27, and rub elbows with dozens more social media and business leaders.

    Top image: Shutterstock