3 Responses to Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships

  1. J. D. Lasica "open media"

    Field guide to the Social Business In my consulting work at Socialmedia.biz, I still run into executives and top-tier managers who think of social networking as an employee productivity drain. For anyone who shares a similar point of view, run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer” by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman.The book is chock full of meaty, real-world examples of how to grow your business using B2B and B2C strategies and tactics. The authors show how companies can use social media to forge deep, productive relationships with customers and lure new customers into the fold.Channeling Shel Israel in “Twitterville,” they cite a Dell senior manager Richard Binhammer’s admonition: “Don’t waste your time trying to convert atheists. Work on the agnostics in the room — doubters who might be turned into believers through conversation.”The authors explain how a Midwestern distributor of solar panels could use Twitter’s advanced search feature to scout out anyone discussing the term “solar panels” within a 100-mile radius of Chicago.In devoting a chapter to search, the authors reveal some of the tactics that social marketers use to suss out keywords that customers are using to discuss your business — and where they’re discussing it. Sometimes it calls for a shift in the language you use on your own website or blog. “If you’re blogging about `solar cells’ but your customers are searching for `solar power,’ you’re speaking two different languages,” they write.Social media platforms and services — LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts — are covered in depth. Businesses’ use of Twitter is more robust than you might imagine. By the beginning of 2010, some 70 percent of B2B marketers were using Twitter compared with 46 percent of B2C marketers.While you can find zillions of “social media gurus” online who can set up a Facebook Page or Twitter account for your business, you’re really not going anywhere unless you have a strategy. And Gillin and Schwartzman deliver with a deep dive into identifying business goals and mapping them to metrics. “Setting a goal like `increase sales’ is too general because there are far too many ways to attack the task,” they write. “A better goal is `increase sales of left-handed finambulators by 50 percent by expanding distribution channels.’ “The authors also offer a timely look at how companies can take advantage of crowdsourcing to improve their products and internal processes. Brands using customer forums include Dell’s IdeaStorm, Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop, BestBuy’s IdeaX, Starbucks’ MyStarbucks Idea and Salesforce.com’s IdeaExchange. UserVoice has developed a number of innovation forums for customers for companies such as Nokia and Sun (now part of Oracle).Influence, decision-making, lead generation — it’s all here. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to get your arms around social media, a senior manager at a Fortune 1000 business or a marketer trying to pick up tips about this dynamic new landscape, “Social Marketing” has something chewy to offer.

  2. David Verchere

    Must Read Resource For Business If you work in marketing for any size company there are three reasons you need to buy AND READ this book.1) You’ll gain the knowledge you need to spend your dollars wisely.2) You’ll learn the technical terms that will let you ask the right questions in the right way with the right words.3) You’ll see that you absolutely need to stop whatever you are doing immediately and get a social media strategy. The world is changing before our eyes!Thanks Paul and Eric for your bravery and willingness to go to market with your book first. I wish I had your foresight and your courage!

  3. Should be required reading for every B2B company I just started to read this book but I can tell you already that it should be required reading for any B2B company, especially for folks in upper management. The funny thing is I found this book totally by accident, which was a pleasant surprise. I went to Barnes and Noble looking for some books on other business topics and I happen to see this one on an end cap. Frankly, I was actually a bit shocked as it never crossed my mind that there might already be a book out on this subject. I assumed it would be another 3 years or so for a book of its nature to appear, if it ever did.Anyone who has been involved in social media for the past few years, whether for business or pleasure, already knows the value of it however what’s not apparent at first is how it may apply to B2B relationships. Not only does this book put your mind at ease on the value of such interactions it also provides great examples. The section on ROI is one of the first chapters I read and the authors really did a great job on covering this topic. ROI has always been a tough topic in relation to social media but they tackled it better than anyone I’ve seen so far.I cannot wait to finish reading the whole book!

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