• Storytelling Drives Social Media Marketing

    Even though Facebook (and Myspace) seem to have started the trend, the notion of communities and social networking has arguably been around longer in B2B than on the consumer side.

    Whether it started with support communities, technical communities or developer communities, many tech and business services companies have used the concept of “social” within their organization for a while.  Given this, the idea of social marketing should be easy to apply to B2B – right?

    Sort of!  But only if you play by the rules of the community and consider the key differences between B2B and consumer social marketing. In business purchases and social networks like Spiceworks, influencers and experts play a more leading role than they do in typical consumer purchases.  And while it’s easy to buy access or media in these marketplaces, being credible and authentic as an expert is so much more effective and essential to being welcome as a member of the community vs. just selling into it!

    Establishing the context and platform to demonstrate expertise is critical, and our Webinar 3.0 is a good example of how this can work. When you are part of a virtual panel, and plugged into social interactions, it’s a great vehicle for connecting with a new audience, while leveraging your current connections. It’s also a way to groom future experts and get community feedback – and keep you honest in terms of providing information vs. giving a sales pitch  Check out this video for some further thoughts about the challenges and opportunities in B2B social media.

    The bottom line: within business-to-business sales and marketing, it has always been critically important to establish thought leadership and connect with other influencers, and provide useful information to the marketplace.  This is even more the case on social channel as every reference, experience (good or bad) and review is amplified.

    Allen Bonde is the CMO of The Pulse Network and can be found on Twitter or email abonde@thepulsenetwork.com.

    Tyler Pyburn is a host at The Pulse Network and can be reached on his Twitter or e-mail, tpyburn@thepulsenetwork.com.

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