Business, Interviews

Q&A with Oktopost on the Value of B2B Social Media: 'Screw Likes, Get Leads'

 

BSN*: What counts toward “true business value” of a company’ s social media marketing?

DK: Leads. This is the most important objective of any B2B marketing team. We can of course drill down in to the lead funnel and measure lead quality. Leads to MQL (marketing qualified leads) to sales can be accurately measured. Anything else is just fluff data. This includes likes, retweets, shares, comments, followers. Unless you can put a conversion ratio between a like and lead then likes don’t mean diddly-squat. My social media motto is “Screw likes, get leads.”

BSN*: Facebook is venturing into enterprise, with the rumored Facebook for Work. Any comment on this? Do you think Facebook can easily overtake LinkedIn, Yammer and even other collaboration solutions that are currently popular among business users?

DK: LinkedIn has such a large eco-system it will be hard to take down – period. As for Facebook for Work, it’s yet unclear (at the time of this writing) if it’s going to be an inter-company social network for something similar to LinkedIn. If it’s the latter, and indeed FB is going after the LinkedIn market then we’ll see some interesting changes in the market. I did mention that the size of the LinkedIn eco-system is too big to bring down, but FB has a much stronger and more loyal developer community than LinkedIn has. LinkedIn doesn’t make it easy to develop applications using their API and their communication with developers is very limited. Facebook has better developer community management and foster third party applications to access their data.

BSN*: Tell us more about your team. What makes your team work well? Is there any particular activity that you share, or any goal that you want to reach that helps you work well with each other?

DK: We strive to have a super flat organization with no hierarchies. There are no team leads or managers. Everybody is working towards a common goal that is easily understood across the whole staff. There is also “extra curriculum” that everybody does in addition to their standard day job. Marketing does Sales, Customer Success does Marketing, Development does Support, Support does Community Management. At the end of the day, everybody is doing what it takes to make Oktopost the leader in B2B Social Media Management.

BSN*: Your company is based in Israel, right? Is there any particular edge in running the company from the country and the region in general?

DK: It about the people, not the location. We can take the team to any place on the earth and be able to execute as well as we do here. One of the benefits is actually from the development point of view because we can do the large application releases on Sundays, when there are less users on the platform. Since it’s a regular working day for us, employees aren’t burnt out from working on weekends and strange off hours.

BSN*: How about disadvantages? Do you think that startups in Asia are at a disadvantage when it comes to reaching out to a global audience, compared to your Silicon Valley counterparts?

DK: Every start-up location has its advantages and disadvantages. Being close to Silicon Valley means being close to your customers, potential biz dev partners, strategic alliances, etc. Other locations might have better talent pools or work-life balance. There’s no one best place for all start-ups.

BSN*: What can you say about Israel as a hub for tech startups? What is the country’s advantage, compared to other regional startup hubs? Companies like Waze and Viber come to mind here.

DK: Israel is called the Start-up Nation for good reason: the combination of entrepreneurship, technology education, the survival for the fittest, and the passion for doing the impossible in the bread and butter of the technology sector in the country. The main advantage is the above traits of Israeli founders that puts Israel at an advantage.

BSN*: How about the venture capital community? It has been said that some regions are not as favorable when it comes to funding, networking and mentorship. Is this the case where you are from?

DK: The VC community in Israel has limited resources, much less of that overseas. This is why many entrepreneurs are seeking funding elsewhere, where there is more supply and generally the deals are much larger in size. Most of the Israeli VCs do have good connections with key executives in global companies and from my experience they are always willing to make introductions, even if they are not invested in you.

BSN*: What is your opinion on crowd-funding, especially for startup companies that fund their products through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.?

DK: Crowd Funding is great when you have a product that speaks to the emotion of the consumer. This way, the end-user can understand why it makes sense to make an investment in the company. For the founders, it’s an all win situation – they are able to raise funds without giving up any control of the company, at a very early stage. Crowd-funding is mostly in the B2C products because of the emotional connection between the company or product and the consumer.

In contrast, B2B investments are normally done with more established and professional investors. By nature, B2B startups need to be understood on the benefits of the product, business model, distribution model, partnership eco-system, etc., and these are more difficult to get across in an emotional way via a 2-minute video clip.

Featured images credit: Strategic planning & Speech Bubbles / Shutterstock