Wondering Out Loud

Show me the How

At the risk of making enemies of all who have weighed in on the subject, I beg all of you to please stop blogging, writing, talking & pontificating on the subject of WHY B2B companies need, should, have to use social media. A search of Google returned 492,000 hits on the keyword “B2B needs social media”. At the top was this one from iMedia Connection. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great post with a lot of sound advice: Conversations are going on become part of them, conversations missed is opportunity lost, improved customer relations, etc., etc. But it is one of 492,000 “Why” columns.

Enough already.

I think it’s time to spread our wings, leave why behind and start talking about the next important step: How.

I’ll grant you there are many, many who haven’t figured out the why and the truth is many of them never will. In the meantime there is a sizable percentage of former Whys that have now moved into the How group. The problem is, too many of us are so passionate about social media and the promise it holds to reshape the practice of B2B communications, we don’t want to move forward until we’ve converted each and every one of those who question our sanity.

If you want to continue evangelizing the Gospel of Social Media, grab a sturdy soapbox and plant yourself at the busiest intersection in the nearest metropolitan area and start preaching to the heathens. If you’re in this game for fun and profit it’s time to focus on the converted and put the convert-ables in second place on your list of priorities.

I’m not saying to ignore those who’ve not yet come around, but to put your skills to use on helping those who have. Show them that social media is more than a concept. Prove the value of exposing their brand to the new world of Web 2.0. Let them see that blogging is not to be feared, but to be embraced and, dare I say, loved for what it can for an organization.

Notice the change in positioning – show, prove, let them see. No more pitching, preaching and pleading. It’s all about making it real. Writing the blog, recording the podcasts, putting the videos on line.

I did the dance at SoftBrands for two years. We talked about social media, we discussed social media, but we didn’t pull the trigger on social media until I grew tired of trying to convert the entire gang. After one last meeting that ended with another meeting scheduled, I pulled my PR agency rep aside and told him we were going to launch a blog with or without unanimous support.

Build it we did and 18 months later we have a thriving social media strategy. Some days we thrive more than others, I”m a small group and other priorities divert my attention. 

Bottom line: I stopped converting, sarted practicing and now have a social media initiative that is the standard for other units within the business.

Time to climb off the soapbox and start executing.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Social Media | , , , | 1 Comment


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