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The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business by David B. Thomas, Mike Barlow

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CHAPTER 10

Social Media for B2B

Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.

—W. Edwards Deming

When we talk about social media for sales and marketing, the first examples that often come to mind are in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space. In October 2010, Coca-Cola had almost 13 million fans on Facebook. (That number has more than doubled since we started writing this book.) Starbucks has more than 14 million. (Up from 8 million when we first looked.) That’s a lot of caffeine lovers who like to show their affection for their favorite brown liquids.

But what about me? you ask. My company is business-to-business (B2B). We don’t sell drinks, you say, we sell things in gray boxes with wires coming out of them that occasionally make a quiet bleeping noise. Why would anyone want to follow us on Twitter or Facebook or watch our videos?

Since you’re already talking to yourself, ask yourself a question. When was the last time you settled down on a Saturday night in your favorite chair and thought, “I can’t think of anything I’d rather do right now than read those product spec sheets I got from vendors”?

Whether we’re talking about B2B or B2C, the Bs are all people, and people like to be engaged. They like to be entertained. They like to make connections with other people.

Jeffrey L. Cohen is a veteran digital marketer and social media marketing manager at Howard, Merrell and Partners, a Raleigh, North ...

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