Wondering Out Loud

Social Media in the B2B space

It’s been so long since I’ve logged into my Worpress account I thought for sure I’d find the dashboard covered in cobwebs. Never the less, here I am.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to spend more time on my personal social media efforts. Twitter is easy because my TweetDeck chirps at me throughout the day and into the night. What’s been difficult for me to maintain is this whole blogging thing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my time hacking out a few thoughts and insights – whether anyone else is interested or not – but finding the time to write and, more importantly the topics, has proved to be a bit of a problem.

Then came Wednesday, March 11.

On that day I was privileged to represent the first B in a panel discussion about the use of Social Media in the B2B space. The event was sponsored by the BMA Minnesota and I do believe I learned more than I taught on that day. You can find some of the audio highlights here.

Having struggled to adopt Social Media practices to the B2B space for almost 3 years, I was still struck at how many companies have yet to take the first step in a journey they know they have to take. I’m in a constant state of belief that I am behind the curve, but am frequently proved wrong. Most are aware of the tools that exist and many of the more than 100 who attended the event are using them to one degree or another in their personal and professional lives. That said, there is still a lot of resistance to leveraging those same tools in an effort to achieve corporate marcom goals.

In some cases the resistance is coming from the C suite or, more likely, Legal. That top level executives and those with a JD behind their name are hesitant is not surprising, especially when you’re talking about a company that has to keep the SEC happy. There is certainly some risk to launching a blog or a company Twitter account. Not to mention, Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr, etc. For others the obstacles are self made.

Leveraging social media tools and tactics is still in its infancy in the B2C world, but for those of us in B2B it is more aptlydescribed as being embryonic. And there aren’t many willing to risk their professional lives on something that hasn’t been fully tested, regardless of how promising it might be. And that brings me to the main point of this post – if you’re still with me thanks for sticking around.

I’ve worked through many of the fears and struggles my peers are dealing with now and I’ve decided to help them through theirs by offering what I’ve learned since I started on the B2B Social Media journey. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I think I’ve taken enough lumps to be able to speak to many of the issues they will face as the navigate their way.

So, from this point forward, with a few exceptions when I deem necessary, WonderingOutLoud will be dedicated to helping my fellow marcom executives – and them helping me – make the most of Social Media in the B2B space. 

It’s a great new world out there and I aim to take advantage of all it has to offer. There’s no reason we shouldn’t do it together.

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March 19, 2009 - Posted by | Social Media

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