B2B Social Media: Looking for People Like Us

Wow! Have I zoomed (okay, I admit sometimes I crawled) up the learning curve of social media in the past couple of months. This all started one day when a friend and I had a long conversation about why and how social networks matter in B2B marketing. Although both of us have been in B2B marketing for 20+ years, the benefits from and need for social media had not quite solidifed in our brains.

So I set off to get smarter, and have shared a lot of my new found knowledge with my friend. Now I share it with you.

Why should we care?

First, why does social media matter to B2B companies? A hard lesson to learn was that it’s not about marketing. What? Not about marketing? Isn’t everything about marketing in some way? Yes, but social media is really about dialogue, it’s about starting and participating in conversations about topics we care about. It’s about finding PLUs (people like us) who have interesting opinions, ideas and questions to share. It’s about being a good listener.

But there are certainly marketing implications. Marketing is all about being tuned into customers, and here are some reasons that B2B customers are drawn to social media:

  • Customers want to have easy and convenient ways to stay in contact with the companies who supply them with technology solutions.
  • Customers want to be part of a community with PLUs who have common interests – products, problems, job function, etc.
  • Customers want an easy way to learn from others, exchange ideas and information. They want to share ways they are overcoming technical challenges with their deployments.
  • Customers want an easy way to share their ideas, suggestions and critiques with peer customers and with their technology solution providers.

Are social networks and social media one and the same?

No, they are not. Social networks are Websites that enable computer users to create online networks and communicate with friends and colleagues (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace). Social media encompasses social networks as well as other online tools (blogs, podcasts, wikis, newsreaders, bookmarking services) that enable people to share content (posts, videos, photos, etc.)

The three social networks B2B companies should consider focusing their attention on first are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. More on this in a later post. Until then, if you too are climbing the learning curve on social media for B2B companies here are some resources I found helpful:

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: