With all the chatter about holiday marketing, we thought we’d revisit the concept of B2B Social Media relationships just in time for stuffing your Facebook in that roasted Twitter! Ahem, we mean this in all public courtesy.
Just a recap of B2B marketing and the Social Media marketplace: Businesses on social media are managed by representatives looking to build relationships with their fellow Tweeters/Facebookers. In order to establish fruitful connections, businesses must encourage open communication and not necessarily push the whole “buying” enterprise on potential customers. Revenue will come with good service. A lot of the time, people are just looking for help or advice; if you can provide that, then you’ve just added one more thumbs-up on the customer satisfaction page.
With that said, we would like to reiterate the advantages of social media vs more conventional methods of communication like email. Yes, we said it. In today’s cyber-speed, email is becoming an out-dated and sloth form of communication. Hear us out.
Let’s put the basics in perspective. Maybe the most extreme tweeters post 200 tweets a day (we’re high-ballin’ it here). A majority of people might tweet well below a quarter of that per diem. Now, how many business-related emails are sent per day? Let’s say around 10. In the tweet vs email ratio, the average tweet (140 characters) takes about 10 seconds, from finding a post, responding to it, and having it sent to the world wide web of all tweeters. Factoring in the 200 daily tweets, it totals to about a cumulative of 33 minutes a day of B2B communication. The rest of the day can be spent doing other work. Composing one email, on the other hand, may take up to 15-20 minutes. And each email is sent individually, rather than publicly posted. At that rate, 10 emails will take no less than 150 minutes of the workday. That’s 2 ½ hours!
The point we’re trying to make here is time management and cost-efficiency are key to leaving enough time to focus on nurturing B2B relationships and focusing on refining your product or services. Remember this article? Author Scott Stratten explains how the buying hierarchy works in relation to customer trust and eventually purchasing potential. This guy’s pretty good, too. He knows what the customer is looking for and how to help small businesses understand the needs of their clientele. Watch this interview of the man himself.
So, building relationships. Let’s use a scenario. Suppose we meet at a convention and after introductions we ask you to sign-up for our newsletter. It would go something like this: We talk for 15 minutes, learn some of your interests, you learn some of ours, we talk about some business issues you’re facing, and then we politely inform you that, in fact, we not only have a newsletter that would help you, but we also could help identify other people within our network that could answer any specific questions you had. Now imagine how the scenario would play out if we were to meet on Twitter. It would go something like this: “Hi @You. Read some of your posts. You might find our newsletter really helpful. If you like, we could introduce you to @APersonInOurNetwork* or @AnotherReallyGoodPersonForYouToTalkTo*.” This is a summary of a potential conversation you’d have with the same person on Twitter. (By the way, the @symbol indicates you are mentioning a person who is notified of your Tweet.) Talk about a time saver, eh? Now you can spend your time on other important issues.
You see what we’re saying now, right? Social Media is a platform for which quick and to-the-point communication can take place AND deliver recurring benefit over time. Other networks like LinkedIn may be even more professionally suitable for those wishing to engage in additional conversation-based arenas with extremely high content turnover. But that’s for another post. For now, get tweetin’!
*Both @APersonInOurNetwork and @AnotherReallyGoodPersonForYouToTalkTo are not real Twitter profiles but names we created to make the point clear