Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two Social Media Mavens Who've Been around the Block

Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman have been around the block.  And it shows.

Coauthors of the new Social Marketing to the Business Customer, Gillin and Schwartzman have the street-smarts to avoid those golly-gee-whiz, social-media-is-just-awesome sort of statements that have grown so wearisome.

Instead, they've produced a sound—and in some instances profound—little book, filled with tactics and tips that any business marketer should find welcome.

Part One argues, convincingly, that despite the relentless attention paid to B2C social media efforts, "B2B companies actually have more to gain from social marketing than their consumer counterparts." 

That's because social media mirror many of the needs of business buyers (such as their demands for tons of technical information, open communication, and multi-level relationships with suppliers).

But Gillin and Schwartzman are wise enough to state that social media marketing isn't a "panacea." 

In fact, they admit that some B2B marketers may discover social media "has little or no apparent value."

How refreshing!

Part One also provides guidance in two crucial areas, "winning buy-in" and "creating a social organization." 

If you struggle to overcome internal critics, you'll do well to study the two chapters devoted to these topics.

Part Two walks you through all the basic social media tools—blogs, podcasts, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, etc. 

Here, the authors focus on avoiding risk.  And what risk is that?  The risk that you'll waste time and money if you choose the wrong—i.e., nonproductive—social media platforms.

A worthwhile consideration indeed.

Part Three relies largely on case studies to examine the best uses of social media for lead generation, which the authors call the "Holy Grail for B2B companies."

You'll learn from the far-ranging experiences of such organizations as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Avaya, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Indium, SAP and Spiceworks. 

Without doubt, you'll find this the most rewarding portion of a most rewarding book.
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