Four Case Studies: How These (Very Different) B2B Organizations Are Succeeding With Social Media : MarketingProfs
Here are four examples of how SAP, Business Week, Equation Research and Radian are using social media to generate leads and business.
If you are a small business and a B2B company, selling to other businesses, your marketing strategy is relationship, not transaction based. Social media, indeed most of the Web 2.0 tools, work best with relationship marketing. None of the examples in this article are small businesses, but they do provide a stepping off point for business people to consider. The marketing professionals at these companies stress two basic principles of using social media I find worth repeating again and again. They are:
(1) It doesn't stand well alone.
Joe Westhuizen, VP of education strategy at SAP, stresses the value of experimentation: "Don't be afraid to apply B2C disciplines within a B2B framework. Try a range of tactics but use your analytic tools to watch them closely. When one takes off, get behind it with your other marketing channels. For example, if a direct marketing promotion is strong, amplify it with social media. And if a social media promotion works, amplify it with promotional codes, direct mail, or online videos."
(2) It isn't one way communication about us-us-us
Reflecting on Equation's foray into social media, Chris Burke, director of business development, recommends the following: "Use Social Media as a way to create new streams of value for audiences, not as another means to broadcast a marketing message. Especially when targeting B2B professionals, the first step in engagement should be asking the question, 'How can we add real value to the conversation?'"