There is currently a lot of hype about social media and its application in B2B and B2C marketing. The statistics are fairly compelling – number of users, time spent engaged in social media etc – but I have yet to read many examples of tangible return on investment. My observation is that people are generally more sceptical of its use in B2B marketing than B2C.
However, whatever your view on social media I don’t think it can be ignored and I would suggest adopting it as part of your marketing mix.
As an initial starting point I think it has the following uses:
- It enables you to continue networking online with people you have met offline and to develop relationships.
- It enables you to build relationships with new contacts.
- It enables you to demonstrate your personality rather than just your identity. This is particularly important when you are selling a service, which is predominantly about relationships.
- It provides a platform for you to promote (but not sell) your business and its services.
The main attraction to developing a social media strategy is that, apart from the time you invest, it is currently free. As with everything in life I believe that you only get out what you put in but it’s worth investing some time and seeing how you get on. It is also advisable to have some form of strategy in place before you dive in so that you at the very least know what outcome you are trying to achieve by your social media interactions.
As a fledgling business I have decided to engage in social media, alongside more traditional methods of marketing, and see what it does for my business. I have now updated my LinkedIn account, set up a Twitter account (@AlisonJobson) and am going to blog every week.
I will report on my progress every now and then through my blog. In the meantime I would love to know what other people’s experiences are. Are you a social media sceptic or a true believer? What are your views on the value of social media marketing in the business environment?