Social media is like an ill-considered simile
Well, after years of not blogging, and a couple years of simply microblogging here on Tumblr, I’ve finally been motivated to write an actual blog post.
I just saw the article ”Social media is like coffee …“ by the eloquent and prolific Eric T. Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified posted on LinkedIn by a respected colleague, and for some reason I just couldn’t let it go.
There’s a popular notion - reinforced by aformentioned article - that social media isn’t appropriate for B2B. Having spoken on this very topic to a packed room full of manufacturers just last June, I couldn’t disagree more. So, I’m taking the bait. Well played, Mr. Peterson.
Here are a few snippets and a quick thought on each:
Social media is like coffee, which is to say that it’s great if you love it, but that social media is simply not for everyone. Nor every business.
- What if you are a marketer leading a Fortune 100 company whose primary focus is B2B … how should you leverage Twitter to drive leads?
Social media monitoring, for brand mentions, competitor activity, industry keywords, and perhaps the occasional biz dev opportunity. See here: http://ow.ly/hx4Od
Of course, the more obvious B2B social network would be LinkedIn, for recruitment, networking, etc., but that wouldn’t seem as ridiculous as Twitter, which, as it turns out, can actually be quite handy for B2B, thank you very much.
- What if you are a billion dollar hardware manufacturer whose name is virtually unknown to the public … do you need a Facebook page?
Need? Perhaps not. Want? If you give a hang about the actual world where people exist, yes.
For HR, to build awareness for recruitment purposes. For PR, to establish positive reputation with public ahead of any negative press (see Foxconn).
Again, LinkedIn would come to mind first, but Facebook can indeed serve a B2B purpose.
- How about if you are a slow moving governmental organization … do you need a presence on YouTube?
Public outreach and consultation. Building support for government initiatives. You know, communicating with people whose lives you affect.
This isn’t really that hard. The trouble is that people get hung up on the term “social media”. The sooner the term goes away, the better. We don’t talk about hypertext anymore, or the fact the Web now features images, they’re simply there.
Social media is simply what the modern Web has evolved into. Today’s Web is social. It is no longer simply a broadcast medium.
So, rather than coffee, social media is actually like water. It can easily drown you or sink you, but in appropriate doses, it can sustain you and give you life - or something like that.
(Hmm, I guess that’s why similes should be left to poets. And blogging left to people more capable than me.)