Thanks to business social networking channels like LinkedIn, it is easy to identify potential B2B prospects based on criteria such as industry, role, and seniority. Organisations that are not taking full advantage of this tool are missing out on the opportunity to generate more leads, often at a significantly lower cost than traditional outreach methods.
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When I run my free, two-hour Orientation to B2B social media event every month in Sydney and Melbourne, I point out the dangers involved when companies focus on driving audiences to social media properties rather than their own websites.
There’s a simple reason for this advice. You don’t own your presence on social networks – and your pages can be taken off you, sometimes with warnings, sometimes with none. It’s a bit like building your family home on a block of land you don’t own – it’s not a good idea.
Everybody loves instant gratification.
Social media, email, mobile phones and credit cards have no doubt contributed to the current culture of instant gratification! I know I do it myself. I’ll send a quick text or email anytime rather than waiting, I’ll tweet or Facebook my thoughts from my mobile rather than waiting to share with someone in real life. We get pleasure from doing something now and getting instant feedback and results.
What’s wrong with that?
There are so many benefits of social networking. Personally, I love keeping in touch with friends, family and colleagues. I have recognised that for me it’s a great way to maintain contact with people. Social networking is also a great way to maintain contact with my professional network to help maintain and build my business reputation by keeping reminders in the market about my areas of expertise.
More than a year ago I began running orientation to social media sessions for B2B companies as I found (and still find) that many businesses don’t understand the benefits of social media or how to use them.
January is a great time to look at things with fresh eyes. I know I have been doing this not only for clients but also in my own business.
- What are we currently doing?
- What is delivering results?
- What should we improve?
- What’s our strategic goal for the year ahead?
- Is what we’re doing now contributing to that goal or distracting us from the things that can contribute to that goal?
- Do we have the right people, in the right seats on our bus?
- Have we given those people the right tools to help them succeed?
As more businesses venture into social media, the questions that business managers are asking is shifting.
The most common question I get today is ‘How do I manage my staff’s use of social media?’
It seems that no matter where you go, people are talking about this new phenomenon called social media, and what it means for businesses.
The conclusion from the circles I have traveled has been “not much”, or “we’re waiting to see”, or downright skepticism that there will be benefits for business-to-business interactions.