Social media has single-handedly changed the way companies do business. This statement cannot be refuted. One look at the publishing industry, and one quickly realizes just how true this is. Never before have publishers, publicists, book sellers and readers been able to interact on such a personal level. Huge things are in store the book industry thanks to Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools, without a doubt.
What is unclear is how social media will impact other businesses. Companies that sell directly to consumers are at a distinct advantage because they can use social media to target the consumers directly. However, what about those businesses that sell only to other businesses? How can they use social media to improve their market presence?
This is the question many companies, including my own, face today. We all recognize the power of the Internet and the growing influence of social media. What we do not know is how to harness this power to benefit our company. If a company makes one component of a product and only sells those components to other manufacturing companies, how should that company use social media? Is it even worth it? Is social media only limited to business-to-consumer transactions?
So, I throw these question out to my fellow bloggers, as you are all among some of the most creative people with whom I have ever had the pleasure to interact. If you are working in a similar business-to-business environment, how do you envision the use of social media helping your company? If you are not, do you have any suggestions or ideas on how companies of this ilk can proceed?