21 Apr 2008

Social media and B2B

I’m a social media enthusiast. I am also a communications consultant working primarily with business-to-business clients. I used to think the two couldn’t complement each other. My opinion has changed. Gradually.

There are two key arguments that have made me see the shiny interactive light: perception and individual decisions. A company that is active in appropriate social media tools can build brand perception on a wider scale. Think in terms of influencing traditional media and search engine optimization. As a complement to this, a company can target specific niche influencers within their industry; be it telecoms, mining or construction equipment rentals.

The bottom line is that behind every purchasing decision is one or more individuals. These individuals represent a company, sit on a company budget and are looking to solve their company’s problems. The fact that they are not deciding on facial lotion or where to buy their fast food doesn’t change the power that individual voices make in a company’s purchasing decisions.

The next time you hear someone, possibility even yourself, argue that social media is not for your company, stop. Remember that you can use these tools to shape the perception of your brand and you can reach the individuals that could decide the financial success of your company.

Viral campaigns and instant consumer feedback demonstrate the benefits of social media for business-to-consumer companies. Great examples can be found by googling Dove, Guitar Hero in Sweden or the Subservient Chicken.

At last weeks’ Disruptive Media conference, keynote speak Neville Hobson promised me a blog post on social media and business-to-business.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being a boring old f**t, I just thought I'd also point out the opposite.
Readers of this blog and readers of most blogs are generally pro social media in whatever form. But we can't forget the basic fundamentals, ie communication's role and purpose.
Social media for the sake of it is not worth much. At the time of the dotocm boom at the start of this decade, there were hundreds of ridiculous ideas about the brave new world of the Internet and plenty fell flat.
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of social media applications that can be used across the board in a variety of ways today but I'd rather see them being used for their need and because of their value-add to communication rather than seeing them forced into a company's communications policy because they now exist for example.