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August 15, 2010

Using Social Media for B2B: The Top 10 Wish list

b2b social media unlike b2c social media is more subtle and focuses on creating a creating a thought leadership rather than cool monikers. While consumer b2c digital marketing is at a slightly more evolved stage ,b2b marketing is a greater challenge to marketers due to the limitations on their brand communication and the digital execution. Unlike a b2c , a b2b audience is not focussed on direct impulse purchase..but use it as an activity to analyse and shortlist potential vendors.

However today many b2b marketers have taken a lead as far as using social media to establish not only a thought leadership in its vertical but have also use the digital platform to engage,interact and also use it as a lead generation tool.

Adam Holden of socialmediab2b lists some of the wishlist which b2b marketers need to keep in their mind

This digital social layer allows companies to connect and engage with your audience across multiple channels along with the “Four W’s” of your audience

Who: demographics, occupation, location and more
What: interests, brand affinities, lifestyles, and influence
Where: social sites used and online hangouts
With Whom: friends and associates

Reasons why you should map your customers and prospects to social media:

1. Determine if you should be on social networks
If you are unsure about whether or not you should be marketing via social media, using social appending tools will help you understand the social activity of your contacts.

2. Determine which channels to use
Learn which channels your customers or contacts use most frequently and speak to them where they are most comfortable.

3. Determine where to best devote resources
Optimize the time you spend engaging and identify potential new channels to engage your key contacts.
4. Identify influencers
Do you know who your most valuable brand advocates are? Use the number of Facebook friends, tweets, followers, etc. to identify and engage your contacts with the most marketing influence. Create content or VIP offers to target and reward this very important group.
5. Increase relevance.

Gather insights from a Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile: This is essential to provide marketing intelligence which can be used to create more personalized communications. Those communications can then be distributed to the most relevant segments of your database.

6. Compare prospects to customers
If you know the social behaviors of your customers, compare that to your prospects. Learn about the differences between the two groups and adjust your prospect messaging accordingly.

7. Target new customers
Once you how your customers behave in the social networks, use that information to go after others with similar profiles or behaviors.

8. Be more effective with sales and retention
Provide your sales team with prospect or customer social profile information and allow them to learn more about the contact which will promote a more authentic conversation and sales experience.

Some companies that provide social marketing intelligence or influencer identification services are:

Rapleaf helps you better understand who your customers are so you can personalize communications and boost interactions while lifting conversions. Using Rapleaf can help you reveal and understand your customers’ demographics, interests, occupation, social media memberships, friend connections and more.

Netprospex is a directory of user-contributed business contacts verified with their proprietary CleneStep technology. Quickly find, view and download business contacts including phone and email addresses. NetProspex has a large database of 14 million verified B2B contacts.

Klout allows you to find and engage Twitter influencers based on topic or hashtag so you can understand their network value.

When you have an email address, Flowtown allows you to find which social networks your customers are on.

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