Is there a place for B2B marketing in social network marketing?

As social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter play increasingly large roles for businesses, questions arise about the most effective ways B2B (business-to-business) marketing can be used to generate revenue. We turned to our panel of Zintro experts and asked them to share their knowledge. Here’s what they had to say:
An expert in marketing strategies geared towards individuals in the medical profession, Vidushi Babber, M.D., says that social networking provides the perfect opportunity for B2B marketing because by “engaging in discussions and exchanging ideas with your connections, a level of familiarity and trust develops over time.” In addition, Vidushi explains that because social networking allows the ability to share both personal and professional information, it is the ideal setting for B2B marketing to occur. In fact, Vidushi notes that businesses are most successful when done with people you know and trust – whether it be offline or online. Likewise, Asad Zeeshan, a business consultant with a specialty in social media marketing, understands that B2B marketing plays an integral role for promoting a company name and expanding networking opportunities. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg, Mixx, Technorati, Stumbleupon, and Google Buzz offer great B2B marketing options, and Zeeshan points out that businesses are outsourcing other businesses via social media by analyzing their advertisement and daily updates.
Pamela Lund, principal consultant at PL Interactive, Inc. and author of “Massively Networked: How the convergence of social media and technology is changing your life,” offers insights into how B2B marketing can be used in social network marketing. Lund pictures the idea of social network marketing as an online analog for other kinds of interactions that company representatives have with potential customers – at conferences, over the phone or in respected trade journals and media. Further, Lund explains the importance of creating a blog post that “responds quickly to industry-relevant events in the news and send a tweet that includes keywords relevant to the news event.” The tweet can be read by potential B2B customers, and it can be retweeted by others and potentially referenced in other media – thereby giving visibility to a company’s expertise. In short, Lund knows that anything that a company has been doing to generate visibility, credibility and demand in the offline world can find its analog in the online world of social network marketing.
Damien Somerset, a social media and web video consultant at AFI Digital Content Lab, references his work for a client that is a Forbes International 800 company. For their campaign, he used social media in the form of a video to gather together a diverse group of thinkers from outside of their market vertical to start conversations about the distant future of the market, illustrating that their company was “innovative, thinking about the future of their market, and that they are interested in what the community has to say about trends of the future.” Somerset pinpoints that B2B marketing is not that different from B2C marketing, because at the end of the day the goal is to connect with a person and foster a relationship. Mark Strauss, President and CEO of TOGO Media, LLC, an e-commerce gateway that focuses on boosting its clients’ sales and branding while helping schools and parents better support their educational priorities, explains that B2B is a tool that can drive revenue through a number of new and previously unattainable channels. However, he notes that these channels can be subject to a number of all too often underestimated sensitivities such as personal privacy and aversion to commercialism.

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