Just How Social Is B2B Social Media

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A colleague of mine recently shared a brilliantly funny, but poignant video from Coke on removing the “social” from social media.  It got me thinking about an issue that I’ve been grappling with when it comes to B2B social media.  How social is social media… really? Not so much, when you watch the video. The same can be said for the lack of “social” in B2B social media.

What compels people to become social? Often it’s content that impacts them in such a way as to elicit a response. They share, comment or “plus” your content. People are also compelled to respond based on who provided the content. “Who” could be someone you know and like or someone you know but don’t necessarily like or agree with.

If you remove the social media channel, you’re left with a basic communication tenet — the message and the messenger influence response or lack thereof. Notice how some content always seems to get you to respond. Often, it’s the direct result of knowing the sender and knowing the quality of his or her content.

The primary goal of a B2B social media strategy should be first to build relationships with influencers, prospects, customers, or partners. Then the content you produce will be better received and likely elicit a response. Of course, the content must be engaging and thought-provoking.

Social media can sometimes get in the way of a good relationship. It’s important to remember a tool, like social media, is only as effective as the the people using it. In B2B marketing, it’s easy to become caught up in the “we need to be on social media” bandwagon.  The allure of cheap or free, easy access to social media tools causes some B2B marketers to jump in without having a strategy. Remember… social media without a strategy is just media, and of that we have plenty.

 

By: Joan Damico

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