Chuck Rutledge : Now Market It
Chuck Rutledge
Sr. Mktg & Biz.Development Executive who excels at identifying, and capitalizing, on opportunities that drive revenues & growth. Introduced new products and services, and opened up new markets for Fortune 500 companies & start ups.

October 2009

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B2B Social Media Benefits Are Maximized With A Clear Strategy

October 17, 2009

 Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and all the other forums for social media are all the buzz.  And rightfully so - it is changing peoples' communications habits.  There are now ongoing conversations taking place on-line about every topic, and as a marketer you want to be included in the conversation.   Social media is a great opportunity to communicate with your constituencies and prospects and stay fresh, relevant and top of mind.  Better yet, you can become the topic of conversation.

For B2B marketers, the challenge of being the topic of conversation is a bit greater.  You want to be the topic of conversation in places where buyers go to look to make decisions about products like yours.  Like other elements of the marketing mix, it is critical to view social media as part of an overall communications plan directed by a marketing strategy.  But, as is too often the case - organizations move right to tactics that are implemented without a strategy or cohesive plan.  Social Media is no different than other elements of your communications plan.  "We need to get on LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter" is not a plan.

As with the entire marketing mix, it starts with your target customers.  How are they making their decisions, what information do they need, who influences them?  You want them to have all the information they need at the time they are looking to make a decision.  The ability to do this will be based on your ability to be viewed as a reliable authority.  Being knowledgeable and acknowledged as such by the relevant community provides that credibility.  This requires not just providing valuable relevant content, but being active in the conversation.

Delivering a consistent message in the right places, at the right times, with valuable content and active participation will all add up to success.  This requires having a supporting theme and a coordinated approach in all communications including: the company website, e-mail, blogs and social media, in such a way that they work together, complement each other and support one another.