Is the social web the future for your business?

I have been talking to my team recently about the need for them to be engaging online, especially on Twitter. Of course, most of us in any kind of business today are busy. Having one more thing on the to-do list is not particularly welcome.

But I think that social media is a tool that cannot be ignored and it is just as important for people working in a B2B environment as those selling consumer products in the B2C space.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the importance of engagement online for those of us working in a B2B environment – let’s make this a conversation about how it works best.

If you want my opinion though, I would suggest stepping back from the social media hype and asking a simple question: where does your customer get the information that convinces them to purchase from you? In the B2C world that’s often advertising or word-of-mouth, but with businesses that sell to other businesses there are various influencers helping buyers to make business decisions.

A manager will be influenced by their peers, by the general business press, the trade press in their field, the industry analysts producing research in their field, and by consultants paid to give advice on how to make the best purchasing decision.

I’m just talking about this in simple terms, but that is already five distinct areas of influence – and all those influencers need to gather data on the market from somewhere. These days a lot of that research is done online, with tools like Twitter now being very useful places for influencers to gather information on what service suppliers are up to.

So even if you are a business selling to another business, it is not a waste of time to be engaging in the social web – it may even be critical for the future of your business.

you

Photo by Paul G licensed under Creative Commons

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