How to Get Your B2B Company Using Social Media

The connection between businesses and social media is growing noticeably stronger every day.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and various blogging sites are hosting accounts for big, and small, businesses reaching out to their customers, both of the present and potential.

Although business-to-consumer companies find it easy to take on the social media marketing and PR world, many business-to-business (B2B) companies are finding it hard, or unnecessary, to move forward into this unfamiliar world.

As an aspiring journalist and self-proclaimed social media addict, I understand the importance of using social media. I’m still surprised by how slowly many organizations are moving towards leveraging social media, particularly B2B companies.

In a meeting between PR Newswire and Standard Register, a large B2B printing company, I realized that Standard Register faces a problem that many other B2Bs may be facing right now. In an effort to help lagging B2B companies adapt, I’ve put together the following steps: [Read more…]

B2B Social Networking With LinkedIn

With more than 50 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest online business social network and is used almost exclusively for business purposes. From a B2B perspective, having a presence on LinkedIn can be instrumental for influencing a broad range of audiences—from prospects and potential employees to industry peers.

The first step on LinkedIn is to create a profile for your executives and business. But there are other ways to increase your visibility and following. LinkedIn’s Groups feature lets you create and join “gated” groups – whether around a specific industry, expertise or product. Joining groups relevant to your business and taking an active part in them will increase networking opportunities. [Read more…]

Before You Start a B2B Social Media Program…

Why get involved with social media in the first place? That’s the question on the mind of a lot of B2B marketers right now. If the answer is “Because my competitors are doing it,” you probably should wait until you have more concrete goals.

These goals can include:

  • Better engaging prospects, customers and others
  • Finding additional avenues to market your views, products and culture
  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader on a subject

Today, large companies such as Microsoft and Sun have heartily embraced blogging as one way to establish themselves as thought leaders and to better engage customers. Other large companies such as Oracle, meanwhile, have used video-sharing sites for promotional and educational purposes. One 2008 Oracle YouTube video on customer relationship management software, for example, has received more than 1,900 views. [Read more…]