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Top social media platforms for businesses

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10 reasons to get started

Every day, marketers share the latest statistics, best practices, and case studies from and for consumer-focused brands. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable void in terms of similar content for business-to-business (B2B) brands. Unfortunately, the lack of information is seen as a testament to a lack of efficacy of social media for B2B applications. In the following article, I'll outline a compelling case for B2B marketing that disproves this assumption, as well as a list of B2B-friendly social media platforms.

Those of us who have experience with B2B marketing understand there are nuanced differences between talking to a consumer vs. a businessperson. Business purchases are typically more complicated, require longer sales cycles, include a variety of influencers and decision makers, and (allegedly) rely more on features and pricing and less on emotion and brand experience.

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Benefits of social media for B2B
That being said, there are significant similarities in terms of reasons for engaging in social media, regardless of audience. Based on an earlier blog post, I've outlined 10 reasons for B2B companies to engage in social media:

  1. Your customers and competitors are already there or will be soon. They are joining in droves every day and can't be ignored.
  2. Social media offers an excellent resource for R&D. Your constituents are helping evolve your products and services, and social media offers the world's most affordable focus group -- if you're listening.
  3. Social media offers an affordable and effective customer service and support medium, comprising do-it-yourself videos and photos, employee blogs, knowledge-base wikis, and more.
  4. Social media provides an excellent competitive research vehicle, as it enables you to follow competitors on LinkedIn, monitor trademark and industry terms via Google Alerts, and more.
  5. Social media platforms are effective tools for managing your reputation online.
  6. Social media offers a proven platform for customer engagement and empowerment via customer-managed online communities, mobile and social apps, and more.
  7. Social media offers proven ad platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn, which offer highly targeted and segmented audiences.
  8. Social media is highly measurable, yet it's difficult to measure. (You win either way, by making your case -- or glossing over the early stage tests if management isn't paying close attention.)
  9. Getting into the game as soon as possible can enable early adopters to leverage a lack of competition.
  10. According to research from ENGAGEMENTdb, socially engaged organizations are more profitable.
 

Comments

Jon Caddell
Jon Caddell May 3, 2011 at 10:25 PM

does social media really warent any more publicity?

elias shams
elias shams April 28, 2011 at 6:51 AM

Kent, It's no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it's time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

This glut of information reminds me of the early 90's when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That's when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It's free!

Elias
CEO & Founder
http://awesomize.me