B2B Social Media: Ignorance is not bliss

As Cormac Foster points out in his Readwrite column today about Zeno Group’s new infographic, B2B businesses lag behind their B2C counterparts in Social Media participation. The reasons may vary. B2B businesses often argue that their audiences are more targeted, concentrated, and specialized than most. That’s likely true. But if “we know everyone” then where’s the value in Social Media? While a Facebook page may not be the answer, Social Media is more. Customers and prospects are engaged — somewhere and with others if not with you. And those others are influencers and competitors then not being part of the strategic disadvantage.

If you know your customers, find out where they’re engaging. Okay, not Facebook. Maybe Twitter. Or LinkedIn groups, trade media forums, or industry (or function)-focused blogs. Go there — and get into the discussion.

Moreover, Social Media is more than marketing. It can build a company’s public relations, including industry leadership and brand reputation, goodwill, and influencer and media relations. It can support customer service, recruitment, website ranking and search engine optimization (SEO). Strategically and tactically on a variety of fronts, Social Media can, and is, provide business value. Any (and all) are reasons for B2B companies not to ignore Social Media.