Thoughts on B2B marketing and social media …
I posted this as a comment on a LinkedIn discussion forum in the group “Marketing Your Printing Company.” I’ve pretty much thought of this as my approach since I started down the social media marketing path for the bleedingEDGE. It’s kinda nice to have down a paper though.
I think we need to look at the entire process of a sale. The old adage is you need seven impressions on a prospect to make a sale. When I was a headhunter I tracked numbers and found this more or less accurate.
With social media – what constitutes an impression. We know back in the “dark ages,” an impression was a phone call or personal letter. With the advent of the internet, emails were also thrown into the mix. But does an email carry the same weight a letter? Probably not. And for that matter, does a word processed letter carry the same weight as one hand addressed. Again, probably not.
When we bring social media into the equation, we have to also look at the weight factor. If you’re receiving the same tweet as 400 other people – what’s that worth. Minimal at best. If the tweet includes a @yourname, then it’s worth more. And if the tweet gets your prospect or customer to go to your site or blog (and hopefully stay there for a few minutes) it could be worth as much as a phone conversation. Social media just another avenue to make impressions. And after enough quality impressions, the goal of gaining and retaining business … should be attained.
I’m not a big believer in social media as a lead generation tool in B2B world. But then again I’m not a big believer in any campaign that doesn’t start with a targeted prospect that you know at least some information on. We’re in the printing industry and the digital printing industry for that fact. And with digital printing comes the potential to do 1:1 marketing.
But back to social media. My methodology is not to generate leads, but to build a relationship and credibility with potentials. Through my blogs I hope to portray somebody that people will entrust with their business well-being … in whatever capacity that may be. And I hope to attract people that I want to business with, not just the other way around.
Now my business is different than most of the people in this group. Whether or not this approach is worth the time for your typical digital printer – I don’t know. I would suppose the more unique the company is, the more remarkable, the more applicable my methodology would be.
Regardless, as in any marketing effort, results take time. This is no easy solution. Whatever the road you take to your company’s “Perfect World,” it’s going to take work and persistence. It’s kind of like Thomas Edison said, “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Take what you can from it.
If you like what you read … please Tweet and follow me on Twitter @variable_edge.
~ by Clay Forsberg on September 4, 2010.