Thursday, January 14, 2010

B2B Social Media - in progress...

Ok, so I kind of leave off mid-sentence and needs some editing, but I have to get some deals on holiday cards at Papyrus before I meet a contact for drinks in Alice Tully Hall and then meet a friend at the ballet. By publishing this to the world wide web, I know I completed something tangible today.

Social Media

What Is Social Media? Social media is a collection of online applications, platforms and media that aim to facilitate interaction, collaboration and the sharing of content. It uses Internet and other digital technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). Social media is intrinsically connected with what is called Web 2.0 in that it facilitates the creation and exchange of user generated content (UGC).

Social media may sound daunting, but is really nothing new. The world wide web had its start on message boards, chat rooms and peer to peer communication. Social media tools are easy to access and not particularly technical. They are fueled by innovations in web development, computing technology and broadband proliferation.

Social media is often associated with the “consumer” space, either being used by consumers for their own purposes or used by businesses that are using it to communicate with their consumers.

However, social media is also used by B2B marketers such as Intel. It is used by companies to increase internal communication, involvement and insight. One of the most powerful aspects of social media is that it allows companies to have dialogs with their constituents and to listen in on conversations among those people. Hence the use of internal social media not only facilitates greater coordination among employees, it gives senior management a better understand of their employees and access to how their messages are being received and to what’s really happening “on the ground.”

Social media has also become an integral part of industry conferences, sales meetings, networking events, seminars, webinars and other professional interactions. Here are some examples:

(1) A leading business school recently rolled out a virtual learning series to its alumni worldwide. Participants call into a conference line, where they listen in on a talk by a professor on a topic of interest. They are able to submit questions for the speaker via email – collected and curated by the moderator. And at the close of the call, they are invited to continue the conversation via the alumni LinkedIn group.

(BTW, I would love to create this program for my own MBA alma mater - so if you read this and went to my school and make it happen before I do, please don't forget about me...)

(2) The American Marketing Association hosted a webinar this week about...

1 comment:

Edwin said...

The terminology 'social media' discounts the true definition of the phenomenon. The 'soclal' part of the terminology could (and does) lead to the conclusion that the professional purpose of 'social media' is under-valued.

With respect to virtual learning, the benefits are even greater when combining conference calls with collaboration tools such as Centra or Brainshark. The building of a knowledge sharing library does not only contribute to the 'education permanente' of an organization and its people, it also contributes to the building of a KM asset that over time will be value accretive for an organization.

In particular organizations that are heavily driven by, and dependent on, tacit knowledge benefit from combining such a structured knowledge strategy with the usage of social media. Going forward, this will become an even more important driver in valuation decisions.