Friday, February 11, 2011

B2B Social Media Strategy - 3 things to consider

Whenever I give a talk about my work in the B2B social media space I get a some consistent questions about it.  There always seems to be a perceived chasm between social media for B2C online behavior and B2B online behavior.  I say perceived because we need to remember that no matter who is interacting with social media and how they are doing it, its a person plain and simple.  The same person who can click "buy" for a $100 digital camera is the same person who can sign a $500k check on a piece of equipment for their business.  In keeping with that thinking, it would be a mistake to think that there is no place for B2B in social media.

Here are some things I have learned along my journey:

  1. Don't force it on people - by "it" I mean any social channel(Twitter, Facebook, etc) and by "people" I mean executives.  While it would may be great for your company's image if the CEO jumped right into Twitter and became a star, if it hasn't happened yet, it probably never will.  Its hard work to maintain a solid presense on any social media channel.  It won't happen by accident, or by force.
  2. Have a keyword strategy - don't think "how does SEO fit with social?"  Thats the wrong question.  Always focus all online content on your most important keywords.  I mean everything.  That should drive every tweet, video and blog post.  Think of all online content as perminant(Thanks Google!) so while that blog post that a subject matter expert wrote about how to optimize your print shop for a better printing workflow may not have brought in a ton of initial traffic, it gets indexed by Google and lives for a long time.  Even if it only gets a trickle of traffic over time since the B2B buying cycle is long this post will have more legs than almost any other outreach.
  3. Align with others - make social media a "normal" part of the marketing/PR mix.  Condition people to include it at the beginning and not at the end as an afterthought.  This is another channel to work in with a different set of rules.  Just like you would not make a radio commercial the same as a TV one, you wouldn't create a blog post the same as a YouTube video.

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