10 great insights on social media marketing from Dell's Social Business Think Tank

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Dell's Social Business Think Tank, a roundtable discussion organized by Dell on how brands can deeper integrate social media into all the different parts of the business, (and not just sales and marketing.) 

Altimeter Group CEO Charlene Li moderated the discussion, which included professionals from every corner of the social media business world, including marketing tools, analytics, social selling, brand marketing and social media platforms.

Participants included:

The session covered the best practices for social media business through data and analytics, tools and technologies, and finally people and culture. You can watch the entire discussion on the Livestream video embedded below:

But in case you don't have that kind of time, here are ten of the best observations and comments from it:

1) "92% of B2B buyers start their search on the web, 82% of the world's online population can be reached via social networks, and buyers are getting way further down their buyer journey before they're willing to be engaged by sales. As a result, salespeople are getting replaced by search engines and social networks. Buyers have changed but selling has largely stayed the same, and if we don't change the way we sell, there's going to be a total revolt against salespeople." - Jill Rowley, Social Selling

2) "There's no time left in the day to think about your personal brand, to think about monitoring and listening, to think about building relationships with your customers, and that's where I think a lot of tools come in, so that organizations can give people the time back to think about what they do." - Russell Glass, LinkedIn

3) "Today's social seller isn't optimizing their LinkedIn profile for the recruiters, they're optimizing it for potential buyers and customers." - Jill Rowley, Social Selling

4) "We're not seeing too many conversions directly coming through social, unless you have an incredibly disciplined tagging system within the organization, the consumer uses only one browser, there's some very sophisticated attribution method, and the company doesn't do any offline activity during that period. Instead we need to understand the things that are moving people from ignorance to awareness, awareness to consideration, consideration to decision making." - Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group

5) "As much as we'd like to believe that the world of web analytics is really helping us understand the customer journey, the truth is most of the time we're flying blind and we have to start to learn what customers want in a very different way." - Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group

6) "If somebody comes out with a tool that can do a little bit of social listening, little bit of engagement, little bit of customer care, little bit of social CRM, that's a great disruption opportunity for someone to own that platform and sell it to the small and mid-market businesses." - Shree Dandekar, Dell

7) "Social is one of the great equalizers today, smaller guys can become really important players because of the level playing field. Small businesses are so focused on growth and customer acquisition that they're willing to take a lot more risk and are less concerned with the needs of the larger businesses. Whereas the big guys have to think about things like brand and how external communications are going to be perceived externally." - Russell Glass, LinkedIn

8) "You really have to understand what your voice is and what you're trying to say on social. If you say compelling, smart and impactful things, that's how you build that massive audience. It's not by being part of the noise and not just by commenting on things that are trending." - Rebekah Iliff, AirPR

9) "Being innumerate in marketing is no longer an option. You can't be just be the idea guy, you're not Don Draper, and you have to put on the green visor and be the bean counter as well. However, as a marketer, there are things you need to do that are simply brand awareness and there isn't an ROI associated with it, and you can't fall into the danger of measuring everything." - Jason Rose, Datasift

10) "The companies that are the best at social are usually the ones that have undergone some sort of horrific crisis because that builds the organizational focus and muscle needed to deal with the next time it happens." - Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group

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