B2B Social Media: it’s ‘people-to-people’

Social Networking for BusinessMany companies are still sceptical when it comes to adopting social media as part of their digital marketing mix. However social media is impacting on business, and the way we do business, more than ever. Thinking has also progressed beyond segmenting between B2B and B2C – it’s about  “P2P: people-to-people”, a way of thinking that not only applies to clients and customers but also to employees.

The video following this post shows that a “connected business is a social business”, one that inspires people. As well as connecting with customers through social media companies now need to connect with their employees. It’s about connecting with as many people as possible both internally and externally.

Virgin, especially Richard Branson, are big social media adopters and place a high value on allowing staff to take control – “At Virgin, everyone own’s social media”. This is a big step for many companies and given the recent HMV Tweetgate story, one that may scare companies. However given the right strategies, social media policy and training, handing staff the social media reigns can pay dividends; staff can be key players when it comes to “finding those stories – those one off moments” and engaging your brand online.

But the largest element of social media in business is in creating content and thought leadership. Creating online content also “augment(s) and accelerate(s) offline content” so shouldn’t operate in a silo – it should act in part as a catalyst and driver for offline, as well as online, enagagement.

Social media in business should not be pushed aside and seen as a fad for the consumer market. We’re social beings and social media and online engagement are a natural evolution for marketing and messaging, one that businesses need to utilise in order to engage with the conversation.