March 18, 2011

Review: ‘Social Marketing to the Business Customer’

Social Marketing to the Business Customer
by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman
Wiley, 250 pages, hardcover, $16.09 on Amazon

JD LasicaIstill run into executives and top-tier managers who think of social networking as an employee productivity drain. For anyone who shares a similar point of view, run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer” by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman (disclosure: I’m friends with both authors).

The book is chock full of meaty, real-world examples of how to grow your business using B2B and B2C strategies and tactics. The authors show how companies can use social media to forge deep, productive relationships with customers and lure new customers into the fold.

Social-MarketingTo take a few examples: The authors explain how a Midwestern distributor of solar panels could use Twitter’s advanced search feature to scout out anyone discussing the term “solar panels” within a 100-mile radius of Chicago.

Channeling Shel Israel in “Twitterville,” they cite a Dell senior manager Richard Binhammer’s admonition: “Don’t waste your time trying to convert atheists. Work on the agnostics in the room — doubters who might be turned into believers through conversation.”

The authors devote a chapter to search, revealing some of the tactics that social marketers (including our merry crew here at Socialmedia.biz) use to suss out keywords that customers are using to discuss your business — and where they’re discussing it. Sometimes it calls for a shift in the language you use on your own website or blog. “If you’re blogging about ‘solar cells’ but your customers are searching for ‘solar power,’ you’re speaking two different languages,” they write. Continue reading

December 14, 2009

Why B2B companies should be using social media

It’s about targeting the right few, not the undifferentiated many

SMBs

Ayelet NoffMany B2B companies ask me whether social media is right for them. This post is all about why social media and B2B go hand in hand.

Social media is all about conversational marketing, and that’s why it works so well with a B2B strategy. Social media is not about the masses. It is about reaching your target audience. Listening before selling and hearing before talking. Continue reading