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?
My company is doing the same thing right now. We have a presence on Twitter, but it isn't used in the right capacity. We also have an unofficial page on Facebook. There is lots of talk about the justification of the time and effort spent to build a presence online through social media and the monetary paybacks. It's frustrating because I see the benefit and am trying to make people realize that sometimes there are no direct correlations to monetary gains.
I appreciate your comments though. Your comment about social media being the present and future is exactly how I feel about it, which is why I am championing it for my company. We need to find a way to use it effectively though. I'm sure we'll find a way.
My company uses something called an e-mail blast, but I believe we are just sending out headlines from other publications about trends. You have definitely given me some great ideas and comments to take back to my Marketing department. Thank you so much!
We're evaluating it right now. I'm not certain about tweets or blogs, but I personally feel Facebook may be a viable option. I received a publication about B2B businesses that have quite a bit of success with Facebook. My company's concern is always how it is going to impact the bottom line. I like the idea of the social element.
We have decided against using social media in general, as a business to business IT provider, as it seems no one will likely be interested in blogs/tweets from us + we operate a highly byspoke pricing system so can't do things like tweet discount codes. Very unlikely that someone is going to read a business to business blog, unless it features really top notch technological content/has a social element to it (look what our employees are doing for the community/charity).
My recent post The Happy Island – Dawn Powell