B2B: The Business Side of Social Media

B2B Social Marketing

  • “You can’t do social media from a standing start.”
  • “You don’t have to pull your kimono completely open.”
  • “Content is the catalyst of the social web.”
  • “Be helpful. That’s the magic pixie dust.”
  • “Where there is no margin, there is no mission.”

One of my favorite things about social media is what I call “serendipitous discovery” — the process where you begin by reading something which leads you to something else , and that leads you to another thing, and so on until you wind up finding some tasty nugget that you hadn’t intended to look for at the start. You just follow the trail.

And so this morning, while checking the Twitter stream of a friend of mine, CK Kerley, whose expertise in B2B digital marketing is second to none, I noticed one of her Tweets thanked someone unknown to me (Allen Silveri) for an “awesome article”. Being a fan of awesome articles on B2B marketing I checked out his Twitter stream hoping to find that link and, not finding a reference to an article, went to his agency’s home page, Schubert.com. That led me to their blog and this entry, Social Media Truths in B2B Marketing by Schubert’s PR Director Brian Courtney, regarding insights gleaned while attending the Social Media @ Work Conference in Harrisburg last October.

Whew! Got that? Brian identified five takeaways from speakers at that conference which I believe make sense for anyone engaging in B2B social media: (click for more)

  1. “You can’t do social media from a standing start.” — Mark Schaefer
    Many businesses are just coming to the realization that they should, indeed, add social media to their business toolkit. That said, they have no idea what that means. One misconception is that you create a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter page and you’re all set. Umm, no. Social media needs curation, and curation takes effort applied on  a consistent basis over time.
  2. “You don’t have to pull your kimono completely open.” — Kristie Wells
    Transparency in social media is a topic I’ve written about before (see “Accuracy; Integrity; Transparency — A Social Media Lesson For Anthony Weiner (and Everyone)“). That means being honest and upfront, but it also means to use judgment when deciding what information to disclose in the social space.
  3. “Content is the catalyst of the social web.” — Mark Schaefer
    Content is one of the “Four C’s” of Social Media along with Community, Commerce and Context. Providing useful, relevant content via social networks is a constant for success.
  4. “Be helpful. That’s the magic pixie dust.” — Kristie Wells
    Social media is not a broadcast platform. It is an engagement building tool that requires a dialogue — give and take. Benefits are proportional to participation.
  5. “Where there is no margin, there is no mission.” — Kathleen Pavelko
    Business is business, and that means generating positive ROI in everything it does. While difficult to measure the return on each action in social media, the cumulative effect needs to be positive. That requires forethought and analysis, like any other business action.

Understand these insights to make engaging in social media good business sense.

About Ron Casalotti
I am part of that lucky generation that started out when watching TV meant choosing from three networks, three independents and PBS. Now, I work in new media for businesses and organizations - but these thoughts are my own.

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