As marketers, we think of ourselves as social. So why is it that almost 50% of B2B marketers surveyed say that they primarily use social media as just another channel to push messages to their target market?
And those are the ones who are attempting to use social media for demand generation. There are still many who are not. One marketer I talked with recently believes that social media is only useful for marketing to consumers and the gimmicks that B2C marketers use would never work for B2B. To some extent that's true, but B2B and B2C marketing are both about people-to-people communications and eliciting emotional responses, which social is perfect for doing.
I was giving a presentation to a marketing team a few weeks ago, and one of the senior folks in the room said that his buyers are too old, too senior, and too busy to be on Facebook. But we were able to show him that his demographic of buyers does use social media when learning about solutions the company sells. Forrester's B2B Social Technographics data shows that business decision-makers use social media for business purposes, and when it comes to creating content and sharing opinions, they do it more for business than personal reasons.
Social media can be harnessed for generating demand, but you have to recognize how it's different from your other channels and use it differently.
Social media is about relationships, so it requires you to engage in two-way conversations and participate consistently.
Social media is real time, so you need to be monitoring the conversations and taking action on them in real time.
Social media enhances and amplifies other channels, so it cannot be used in a silo.
Here is a picture of a cute cat doing something Internet related!
(Click image to see larger version)
That got your attention didn't it? Something else which gets a lot of attention is when customers share stories of exceptional customer service online (if those examples include cats that's just a bonus). This fantastic forum thread taken from UK ISP Be Broadband is currently doing the rounds. In it the customer complains his wireless network is frequently disrupted by his cat's fascination with the router. After some playful banter that issues with feline "agressors" are a known problem the customer was supplied with a tactical decoy router. Subsequent images of the clearly fooled cat were posted by the customer showing success.
Wow. If you were currently feeling disatisfied with your ISP what would your brand perception of Be Broadband be right about now?