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Social Media for B-to-B Companies

social-networksAs much as we love social media, we’re the first to admit that it may not be particularly useful for some businesses. But we do believe that it can be very useful and even powerful for many companies – even in some surprising segments of business.

B-to-c businesses (companies that directly serve the consumer) can clearly benefit by a well-managed social media presence. But what about b-to-b’s? Does social media serve any valuable purpose when the client is another business?

BtoB magazine and the Association of National Advertisers conducted a joint survey of b-to-b professionals earlier this year. The results were unexpected. Fifty-seven percent of b-to-b marketers use social media, up from 15% in 2007. Eighty-one percent of those b-to-b marketers use LinkedIn.

A greater percentage of those b-to-b marketers using social media use Twitter (70%) than b-to-c marketers do (46%). Seventy-four percent of online b-to-b marketers use Facebook.

While there seems to be an online debate as to the accuracy of this data, it seems that most agree that b-to-b marketers are actually using social media. And, it certainly makes sense that they would. Social media is ultimately about listening, creating dialogue and engaging others in relevant conversations. B-to-c businesses haven’t cornered the market on conversation.

If the right social media outlets are used and good monitoring is implemented, there’s no reason that social media can’t have the same benefit for a b-to-b company as for a b-to-c company. People are people. Business buyers rely on relationships and trusted recommendations. Social media, when used well, can help build those relationships and build that trust.

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