With all the hype regarding Facebook’s IPO, business and marketing professionals are once again buzzing on the subject of social media marketing. Since the days of Friendster and Myspace, more and more businesses are using these social media platforms in order promote their brands and engage customers. This applies to everyone from regular consumer brands to high-end B2B products such as BI software.
However, not everyone is eager to jump on the bandwagon (or at the very least, the Facebook bandwagon). What people are forgetting is that Facebook does not comprise the whole of social media. There’s also Twitter. There’s also LinkedIn. And just recently, business2community.com has released an article that further confirms the shape of the online landscape for social media.
Now the internet has long been hailed as the new frontier for businesses to conquer and yes, the rise online marketing and online businesses are showing signs that this frontier already has territories established. These territories are of course the websites and domains where companies choose to establish their presence.
In the case of social media, think of it as one area of the map where everyone gathers. Each area has a certain population of a certain market. For a long time now, people have been considering the use of Facebook as a marketing tool to have a heavy B2C bent. The article only goes on to confirm this:
“When Facebook began allowing companies to set up their own profiles, the real boon for brands was the ability to occupy the same online space as consumers’ friends and acquaintances. After all, online space very quickly translated to occupying the same mental space. Consumers could think of their interaction with brands in the same way they thought of their interaction with people: they could have conversations, share content, and exchange information. They could have a relationship with their Fans”
Translating that into some sort of landscape, the region of Facebook is rife with consumer brands and with the consumers themselves. On the other hand, this does not sound like the ideal environment for B2B leads. As stated before though, Facebook does not necessarily stand for the whole of social media. For B2B businesses, there can be other places to go such as LinkedIn:
“LinkedIn’s special place in the social media pantheon has always been professional networking. Additionally it has been a central source of truth for corporate information, and many companies are encouraging their employees to connect their profiles to the company profile in order to bolster their presence. It is not surprising then that large corporations would dominate the LinkedIn leaderboards.”
Needless to say, this is the ideal B2B region of the social media realm. With a population comprised of professionals, corporate executives, and discussions on big business, LinkedIn is a good place to get information needed for a lot of lead generation methods such as telemarketing and email marketing. Unlike regular B2C marketing, there is greater emphasis on establishing relationships and connections with prospects before attempting the sale. Conversations and exchanges of information are highly encouraged, leading to the heavy use of everything from outsourced telemarketing to webinars.
Ultimately however, this should teach you the importance of mapping out the virtual landscape of social media so that you can set allocate your resources to the proper area.