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) Read more of this post

Social Customer Service: The ROI of Social Media

Respected marketer Paul Dunay writes in his Buzz Marketing for Technology newsletter that the true ROI of Social Media for B2B marketers is found in what he terms Social Customer Service. I agree and take it one step further — it’s not just the secret sauce for B2B but B2C as well.

Simply put, social customer service is keeping your customers happy. Makes sense, right? And just as applicable to both business and consumer targeted customers. So why do some companies feel that listening to their customers, especially when they are talking about their products or services, is not worthy of serious budgetary (dollars or time) commitment?

The trap is when in-house (or agency) marketers see social media as primarily another distribution point to market the company’s wares. Turning social media ROI into a statistical analysis of views, clicks and conversions misses out on the most valuable aspect of this social science: deepening engagement between your brand and its customers resulting in less customer churn, more customer satisfaction and creation of a viral army of brand evangelists who will praise you among their peers

This is why companies need a social media professional on hand to champion the customer within its walls and represent the company wherever its customers gather online.

Dunay has it right:

“The downside of poor customer service has been well documented on the web more and more people are taking to the web to warn other would be customers of their dissatisfaction so don’t let that be your company! I never read a Social Media case study that started with “we completely ignored this customers issue they were blogging or tweeting about and everything worked out great” in fact it is always the opposite.”


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