Social Business

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B2Bs Can Be Social Too

A research report titled “The Use of Social Media in B2B Marketing and Branding: An Exploratory Study” studied tech companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia and found that several B2B companies were using social media strategically to position themselves as thought leaders, drive the market, and build key relationships with stakeholders. The researchers found that B2B firms in the U.S. were leaders in this area but found that adoption of these tools by B2B firms is “by no means universal.”

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Is Viral Marketing a Myth?

That ideas can go viral is now a given in corporate marketing. But new research suggests the term “viral” marketing does not describe well what happens in the market.

Sharad Goel, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, and fellow researchers wanted to see whether messages spread via social networks virally, “like the common cold, some sort of biological contagion. One person gets infected and their friend gets infected and a friend of their friend gets infected.”
That wasn’t what Goel found.

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Creating a Culture Where the Best Ideas Win

Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at Enterasys Networks Inc., in Andover, Massachusetts, says that social tools created an open, flatter culture where the best ideas, not people with the highest titles, are recognized. By adding Salesforce.com’s Chatter social network, Enterasys created closer connections with customers and a more positive work environment. It uses a system that translates machine language to tweets, so that its social network is now managed both by people and machines.

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Turning Facebook Fans into Product Endorsers

“If you engage customers,” says V. Kumar, “they go and they get their friends” to try out a product, too. Kumar, of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, explains how companies can find their most influential online customers and enlist them to help promote their brands.

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GE’s Colab Brings Good Things to the Company

Ron Utterbeck, the CIO for GE Corporate and the Advanced Manufacturing Software Technology Center in Michigan was vital in getting GE to implement its social network. The Facebook-like network built in-house is called GE Colab and links up the firm’s 115,000 employees from around the globe.

The network has been breaking down corporate silos, helping problems get solved quicker, aiding employees better find internal experts, and making it easier to share files and documents in a meaningful context.

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Nilofer Merchant

How Social Tools Can Help Your Company Avoid Strategic Failure

Although most companies think “social media” when they hear the word social, author, consultant and business executive Nilofer Merchant says firms need to expand their understanding, and think about the transformative ways social tools change how an enterprise operates.

Among the fundamental ways social technologies alter companies include removing bottlenecks in decision making, freeing work from jobs; leveraging customers as co-creators; and getting customers to engage around a shared value.

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No Sales For Social?

Although a company’s social site can do well for branding, loyalty and customer word of mouth, new research from Forrester shows that social sites are not currently creating direct sales.

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Image courtesy of Hokey Pokey.

Increasing the ROI of Social Media Marketing

Marketers know social media should be a powerful way to generate positive word-of-mouth. If marketers can select the right platform, design the right message and engage the right users to spread that message, their campaign should succeed. One successful campaign — which marketers can look to as an example — took place at Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Creations, an upscale ice-cream retailer in India. By following a seven-step process, Hokey Pokey substantially improved its social media marketing.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Peter Hilton.

The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations

Though the use of social media can be a valuable way to enrich a company’s culture and enhance its productivity, it isn’t a sure thing. The main reason some social media initiatives fail to bring benefits to companies is because the initiatives don’t create emotional capital — that is, a strong emotional connection between stakeholders and the company. That’s the main finding of a survey of 1,060 executives about their experience with social media, along with a number of in-depth case studies.

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How Finding “Exceptions” Can Jump Start Your Social Initiative

Many senior executives still think of social media as something you do after hours for fun, says John Hagel, co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge — they haven’t bought into the idea that social can drive the core performance of the business. He’s committed to showing them why they’re wrong.

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