Social media strategy requires action AND interactionNovember 13th, 2009 by Heather Clancy
I imbibe pretty much every research report that I can get my hands on these days, especially those pertaining to strategy in social media.
There’s a great piece from Forrester Research, from about one year ago actually, that I find really useful in helping think through the potential impact that a social media strategy could have when it comes to business-to-business relationships. The report is called “Making Social Media Work in B2B marketing,” and I suggest that channel managers consider this information not just from the point of view of the ultimate end-user customer but in how you should use social media to engage channel partners more meaningfully than may be possible through existing partner portals or partner relationship management systems.
From Forrester’s point of view, these are the objectives that should guide any B2B social media marketing plan:
- Listening: Sort of like live market research in which you can generate new ideas, prioritize programs that are already in place (or that you’re planning), send up trial balloons about new concepts you are considering or ask out-right for feedback.
- Talking: Create buzz for events, get in front of market influencers.
- Energizing: Share successes or encourage people to attend events.
- Spreading: Share best practices, gather contributions for customization or workflow, figure out appropriate service levels.
- Supporting: Create ways to help teach partners and other constituents; alternatively, create peer-to-peer discussion forums where questions and issues can be addressed quickly.
- Embracing: More formal outreach, such as online training or co-development that will help build skills around your products or services and make people feel good about wanting to use them or represent them.
Of course, you may choose to focus on just one of these elements, depending on your priorities. But rather than getting all hung up on whether to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or whatever other tool springs to mind, think first of where you need the most help when it comes to the things listed above and then make your decision.