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SO WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA AND B2B? | Part One

June 15, 2016

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SO WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA AND B2B? | Part One

Social media encompasses the entire digital landscape where core content is user generated and the community often dictates the evolution of the space (e.g., brand communities, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and social networking). The key success factor is a high degree of participation.

Contrary to what one might naturally expect, business-to-business (B2B) is a sector that should be critically reliant on the key capabilities delivered by social media participation (content generation, community building, and decision support). Forrester, for example, notes that 91 percent of B2B decision makers participate in social media, and 69 percent use this technology for business purposes. B2B customers and prospects also tend to maintain much longer relationships, and in sectors such as enterprise software, ongoing upgrades and service contracts are often the key to profitability.

Somewhat surprisingly, many B2B businesses have already been involved with social media for years, but out of the public eye and under different names. While B2C companies have been recently building up very visible external networks, B2B companies have had a long run with developing internal networks. Employee intranets, client extranets, supplier sites, and customer forums were all early precursors of social media in terms of community building and user-generated content.

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