by Richard Harris, Senior Manager-Social Media, Seagate
While B2C and social media are a perfect fit, if you are in the B2B space for any industry, it’s hard to know where social media can effectively play a role in a relevant, frictionless manner without feeling forced or out of place. In B2C, the nature of social media is about discovering, nurturing, and maintaining public relationships with every-day customers.
So what do you do if you are a business who’s bread and butter comes from a B2B customer landscape and all the behind-the-scenes activity with your channel partners? Asking your B2B customers to “follow you on Twitter” or “Like your Facebook” page doesn’t really do much for them because most of the time the content shared on those channels is intended for your brand’s end users and the general public. Sure, it keeps your partners abreast of where your brand is headed, but at the end of the day, just the act of following your brand online does NOT bring them revenue.
As most experienced B2B/channel sales professionals are aware (or should be), the value of B2B business is all about the deeper relationship with your partners. It’s all about your brand’s ability to empower these customers to sell more of your products or services so that we all make money at the end of the day.
So how do you do that with social media?
The social media holy grail for any brand in any industry is leading key online discussions/threads with relevant, compelling content that a brand’s competitors don’t have. In the consumer space, you create something cool and you share it across your channels. Your brand becomes the leader and gets all the attention. It’s about your brand being the rock star.
Social media looks very different in the B2B space. Social media benefits your brand when you empower your customers by making THEM the rock star. Find ways, use platforms, or put processes in place enable your partners with the meaningful branded content you are creating, or finding, and sharing yourself.
Being a compelling content creator is one of the biggest and most important challenges now because it’s so noisy out there. Where you can get an edge is to use social media as your secret weapon for converting your channel customer/partner base into your own branded echo chamber. Chances are your partners are all scrambling around to find compelling content to share. Help make that part of running their business easy for them so they can concentrate more on selling you!
About the Author
Richard Harris, Senior Manager-Social Media, Seagate
Rich Harris manages Seagate’s social media marketing and social data analysis. He played a key role in developing Seagate’s global social media strategy. He is also a former ZDNet Blogger for their Social Business Column.