Ten Reasons B2B Enterprises Should Embrace Social Media Now

16 08 2009

I have been hearing questions like, “Isn’t this Social Media stuff just for consumer brands?” and “Isn’t Social Media just another over-hyped business fad, headed for the ‘Trough of Disillusionment?’”

The answers: Yes, Social Media applies to Enterprise B2B and, emphatically No, it is not just another fad.  We have all heard the horror stories about companies venturing into Social Media only to crash and burn in a very public manner.  But, if you think about it, the cost of not “showing up” and actively engaging in Social Media is even greater.

Ten Reasons B2B Enterprises Should Embrace Social Media Now

1. Customer Engagement:  Your customers want an ongoing relationship with your company, not “drive-by selling.”

2. Complex Message:  Your brand has a complex message.  Social Media provides several more ways to reach your target audience.  And several new mediums (podcast, video, blog, etc.) to communicate complex ideas.

3. Complex Product: Your company has a product with complex deployment and management.  Here are several great new ways to communicate with your customers, and even better, to empower your customers to communicate with and support each other.

4.  Innovation:  Your customers are full of great ideas.  Innovation can come from anywhere.  Do the people who have the first-hand knowledge of your product in the field have a feedback mechanism to tell you what they really think?

5. Reach:  Social Media enables you to reach a much broader audience and to make your message much easier to find.

6. Evaluation: Believe it or not, your sales cycle probably begins with your target customers going out to Google and doing a search on your technology.  Social Media provides many ways to make sure that they find the information they need.

7. PR Issues:  Social Media and related sensing technologies can enable you to pick up on issues and address them in a positive and proactive manner before they become “PR disasters.”

8. Marketing Research: Are you tired of paying for expensive market research?  Why not listen directly to your customers?  It will cost very little and it will get you past the filters.

9. Competition: Your competitors are going to do Social Media eventually, if they aren’t already.   Does your company want to lead or lag the industry?

10. Inevitability: Social Media is happening with or without your company’s involvement.  Do you want outside sources to control your corporate message and brand positioning or do you want to be positively engaged with your community?

The important thing to remember is to have a Social Media strategy and objectives, start small, be focused, and make sure that your company and executives are actively engaged.  And then, make sure that you are committed for the long haul.

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