By Mike Stiles
Are businesses still debating whether or not there’s a role for social in B2B? Sure you’ll still find pockets of resistance (and nostalgia), but the amounts of marketing dollars being moved to B2B social marketing say the debate is all but over. It says at the very least, serious businesses do not intend to get left in the dust if their competitors start building relationships and having ongoing dialogues with buyers via the social networks.
Better that you be the one to beat your competitor to the punch in establishing a comprehensive, integrated social marketing strategy. But if you’re going to do it, it’s best to descend from the mountaintop with some basic rules etched in stone.
I. Thou shalt know who you want to talk to and where they are. If a community doesn’t exist for your targets, thou shalt create one.
II. Thou shalt use the social networks to offer something your buyers want or need, thereby making their jobs and lives easier.
III. Thou shalt track results so thou canst prove to thy superiors your social efforts are getting pleasing leads and conversion rates.
IV. Thou shalt hire exceptionally qualified community managers to run your social marketing efforts and invest in the technology tools to make those efforts efficient and effective.
V. Thou shalt pursue sCommerce and the ability for your buyers to conduct transactions right within the Facebook environment.
VI. Thou shalt actually respond when someone reacts positively or negatively to what you post.
VII. Thou shalt be a thought leader and educator in your area of expertise.
VIII. Thou shalt be consistent. Don’t start something you’re not going to keep up.
VIX. Thou shalt use social to supplement your overall marketing efforts, and shall integrate your efforts with other departments and personnel in thy company.
X. Thou shalt listen and get feedback from your targets on their impressions of your offerings.
Keeping these things in mind should give you a solid foundation on which to build your B2B social marketing society. So don’t drop them.