What’s next for large companies with Social Media? Less broadcast more engagement.

The trend in 2009 for large corporations in the B2B space has been to learn how to listen via social media. Also, they’ve started opening a one-way channel by largely using social media as a broadcasting mechanism.

2009 was the year when big companies…

  1. Paid attention to social media albeit not in depth
  2. Started getting their act together and claiming properties (IDs) across social netwoks like Twitter and Facebook
  3. Got stuck in their old ways of  “controlling the message” thus using social media as a one way broadcasting channel. There are some outliers such as Mckinsey and Intel
  4. Started thinking about social media as a real part of their marketing mix
  5. Started listening to their customers via social media

2010 should be the year when B2B companies…

  1. Understand that “controlling the message” is a labor intensive and alienating exercise where ROI is low. Just look at the Tiger Woods example. As much as brands like Nike and Accenture would love to control the message, it is completely out of their hands.
  2. B2B companies understand and apply the power of engaging customers and prospects online
  3. Customers demand a higher level of engagement from their vendors in real-time
  4. B2B companies use Twitter as a broadcast and engagement channel
  5. Social Media spend (labor and media buying costs) grow at the expense of search engine marketing programs
  6. SEO takes backstage to Social media in marketing programs as the real-time web grows and SEO becomes too complicated to control

Outliers

Besides some outliers such as Mckinsey Quarterly, corporations across the board have kept to themselves by only transmitting branded messages and staying away from a more in depth interactions. That’s where big corporations are missing the boat in 2009.

What is social media strategy for B2B?

Strategy in social media is less about thinking through the perfect tweet structure and more about the level of engagement and support you can provide.

A company needs to show that they truly care about their clients not only by sharing important highly branded links but by giving service and support customers can count on. This, in a sense, is very old school common sense business practices that somehow don’t resonate.

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