Am I a social media laggard?
I frequently get a variant of this question from many of my B2B marketing colleagues and I usually answer it with a big, fat “it depends”. Are your customers using social media? Are important conversations happening online without you (that you should be a part of)?
To be honest, I felt that way about two years ago when I was CMO of a fast growing software company. It seemed like these new social media channels sprung up over night and everyone (except me) was an expert. Without knowing your particular B2B market, I am going to go out on a limb and take the bold position that there is still time to become an “expert” in social media and use it effectively to grow your business. I know, I know, that is a broad generalization but don’t take my word for it. Ask some of your customers what they are doing. Search for your company’s name in Google blog search. Do a few Twitter searches. Check out Twellow to see if any of your competitors are on Twitter.
My experience is that most of the action in the social media world is in the B2C realm. That is not to say that the “enterprise” types are ignoring these new media, but they are no where near a point of oversaturation. Opportunities exist in many markets to become a thought leader. It is up to you whether it is worth the investment in time and money to make it happen.
I’ll give you three simple things to do dip your toes in the social media pool.
- Sign up for a handful of LinkedIn groups. There are many of them. Follow the conversations and drop in an occasional comment.
- Find three blogs in your space and start reading them.
- Check out what your competitors are doing with social media (ie blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, etc)
You will notice I didn’t say “go sign up for Twitter” or “start a blog”. You need to figure out if these media make sense relative to your business goals and competitive environment. In the end, social media is just media. You need to align them with your objectives and ruthlessly test them. Only you can answer the question about how they fit and if you are a laggard.