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Social Networking for B2B Companies

I recently started using several sharp consultants that are peaked in social networking and reputation management. Since I work with a fairly mature B2B audience, I did not immediately see the applications for these tools beyond LinkedIn – something I’ve used for 10 years now.

Since I hired them for some fairly standard Google campaigns, I asked them also to do some reputation management and social networking experiments for me with some of my high-tech clients.

I learned some interesting things:

  • Social networking was being used by my competitors much more than I thought
  • Social networking does not have to be time-consuming work
  • For B2B, I found it easiest to start by working it into existing marketing plans
  • Tradeshows are a good place to start tweeting about to get awareness
  • Press plans can involve social networking avenues and improve reach
  • Channels and sales groups can make effective use of Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Reputation Connect (see NSI Partners about this) is an amazing tool that allows you to monitor social networking communication and see the effects of your efforts

I’m still learning a lot, but I would encourage those in B2B marketing that view social networking as a technology for teenagers and consumers, to start learning and experimenting now before your competitors eat your lunch. 🙂

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