When we talk social, social media, social business, …. everybody tends to stick to the B2C world…nevertheless “social” should be a part of B2B as well. At the “B2B goes Social” – symposium (at Nyenrode Business University – Breukelen/Utrecht) 5 inspirational speakers offered a frame-work to bring the social into B2B.
Everybody is doing social (media) today, social media is bringing people together, sharing thoughts ideas and is starting the conversation. Social media are building a community around your brand, company or organisation. B2C is doing is this for 3 (-5) years already, but since B2B always tends to lack behind B2C a couple of years it time to act as a B2B company and start building a community around your organisation.
Personal service is the true value of a B2B organisation. You don’t create value in the back office of your company! It’s the person, with the network and community who builds your business. But in a 3.0 environment these persons are in need of specific tools which gives them the power to adapt, react and work in a volatile business environment. The classical business models were fine back in the days but now we need to adapt and react to the new volatile society. This new society is happening outside your company (most of the time)….so take a look around to see what’s happening and try to incorporate this inside your company (step-by-step)!
Try to build an environment in which interact is the key, where transparency is standard and where you can build reputational currency!
(This dynamic & adaptive organisation only needs a simple framework with a simple set of rules – especially for social media, so you can tap into the true power of your employees.)
Every network has a few important hubs who lead the way and build the conversation for your community…Let your employees be those hubs! This way you value your employees…If you can tap into this value, you are using unused conversation potential, which is already in your company (but you don’t use yet…). Making your employees proud really works (and they have a nice story to tell as well!)
The second challenge for each B2B company is value the true data from “social”….it’s not only about fans, and likes (the aggregated data) but try to work with the lower levels of your data; Who’s new, what’s he doing, who’s returning, who’s bringing new customers/leads, …. This big data (overload?) is a true problem for 71% of our CMO’s (IBM CMO Study 2011), together with the fact that most CMO’s don’t know how to start a (genuine) conversation with their customers…you know the problem is (company/industry) culture to bring social into B2B! Company culture should focus on customers to drive the conversation.
Most CMO are still “shouting” at their customers. Something like this:
Instead of listening to our customers we are making decisions on generic research, benchmarking and general analysis. CMO’s in this society 3.0 shoudl really rethink their role. Think like Cisco where your value is measured on your time spend with your customer. Listening and handling their problems, ideas, …. bring on and off-line together, as they are part of the same experience. Share your content AND collaborate with your customer (who knows best: your customer or someone else?).
Don’t search for a best practice, but look for a next practice!
Keep walking…always! Step by step building your conversation company!
This is the story brought to by Henry Robben, Katherine Kucherenko, Rick Mans, Ronald Velten & Steven Van Belleghem at B2B goes social; “Bringing social to B2B!”