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B2B and Social Media – Does it blend?

December 7, 2010

B2B and social media sometimes seem at odds with each other.  The other day I was talking with a colleague about B2B and it’s use of social media.  He just doesn’t see the value in it for this type of model.  Only ‘the kids’ are using social media and no serious ‘business person’ would use Twitter for real business.  Well, I disagree and think there is a value for social media in B2b, but just as with everything you need to be smart about it in your approach.

1. Go Fish – We’ve all heard the saying ‘Fish where the fish are.’ – This is still applicable today in social media.  Are your customers in Twitter or in LinkedIn?  Don’t get sidetracked by the popularity of a social media channel and leave your customers at another ‘pond’.  Know your customer and your customers’ social media preferences.

2. ‘Hi! Nice to meet you. Here’s my business card’ – Don’t sell me every day – Sales are relationships and so is social media. What information or expertise can you provide for your customers? If you’re not providing a value, I’m not going to Follow/Friend or even Like you.

3. Social Search – Social media marketing has positive effects on your search performance.  These inbound links improve search rankings in search – an important function whether you feel your customers are active in social media sites or not.  Customers use search as a way to discover information.  Search results will be heavily weighted on social media links so where will your company rank?

4. Commitment/ROI How much time does this take?  I found a great post from Aliza Sherman on how much time should be spent on various social media activities and I think it’s worth a read.  ROI has always been a tough struggle for me because there are so many intangibles, ‘soft’ metrics and costs associated with social media.  This, at least, helps provide some guidelines for the time cost metric.

Social media is important in B2B, but do some research before you jump in and find someone in your organization that is interested in this space.  It does take commitment and consistency.

Have you used social media for your B2B company?  What has worked?  What has provided you with some ‘learning opportunities?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 7:38 pm

    Hi Dear,
    Your effort for providing such useful information is truly appreciable. This information is really very useful and one should go through these details for keeping their B2B marketing from turning away customers.
    I truly agree with your point of view, social media and interaction with the public is indeed very necessary as the best way to understand customers is direct speaking to them and that is the most reliable source of feedback. 🙂
    keeping these things in mind we have developed a new e-marketplace e-marketplace http://www.qalixa.com based on a unique concept of B to A which is business to all…providing a better source for a wider approach to the people, based on B2A, B2B, B2C and B2G concept which will make things easier for B to B people.
    We hope you will like our unique B2A concept, which is simply Business for All….
    we hope to hear from you….

    Regards,
    Isabella.

    • January 20, 2011 12:53 am

      Isabella,

      I did check out your site and had some thoughts. Your site is completely user driven. It will only succeed if you are able to create a community to provide content and support. Do you have a community of people you can draw upon to add content? I checked to see what content you had, but wasn’t able to find things in many locations. Also, your social media links reference Swedish accounts that have dated content. This is extremely important information that you’ll want to address right away for a US market. Good luck with your new company and keep me posted on developments.

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