While Social Media Marketing is continuing to make its visible impact within many B2C and B2B segments and proving to become the leading competitive advantage for a vast number of consumer brands, B2B companies are beginning to see the value of social media within their corporate structures—from R&D to customer service. B2B organizations are following their B2C brethren and begin to refine their uses of social media and parlay them into two major areas of the corporate value chain: sales/marketing and customer service.
In the earlier stages of the corporate value chain, such as R&D and even branding/awareness, the impact and value of social media is clearly demonstrated. Yet for true scalability, two major functions are key: the ability to market and sell the product/service and the ability to adequately, and hopefully superbly, service it for months and years to come.
Any Enterprise heavily depends on the sales and marketing components of the business—from human resources to the sharing of the expertise and engaging clients with post-sales support and training. Yet customer service is not done when the “sell cycle” is over. Larger companies such as Philips Healthcare and British Telecom, smaller organizations such as BearCom Wireless, and other innovative B2B brands are not only experimenting with social media platforms and “conversations” as marketing tools but are beginning to look seriously at employing it to integrate sales/marketing and customer service to seamlessly blend the client-facing phases of the business development continuum.
Scalability is the magic word for every business interested not just in pure growth, but also business optimization and sustainable quality improvement. It’s one thing for Toyota to address quality issues with existing customers (the B2C part of the business) through its customer service function by utilizing social media and other marketing instruments. But in doing so, Toyota also needs to address the entire dealer and customer center value chain (the B2B part of the business) to communicate with, coordinate, and educate service providers to properly deliver the message, fixes, and quality controls down the value chain. Scalability is crucial as never before.
So the question is not whether B2B brands can use social media to gain credibility or make sales. The question is whether they can scale social media within the enterprise effectively enough to make an impact within their customer lifecycle, from sales to customer service.
To address the growing demand in integrating the Social Enterprise, Social2B is offering a number of products and services capable of quickly and accurately assessing the Social Media Viability of a client organization and its entire value chain – from Sales, to Marketing, to HR and Customer Service.
Social Media Effectiveness
- Social Media Maturity Index – the readiness and the ability of any organization to embrace Social Media as an effective toolset
- Social Media Scalability Index – the ability of an Enterprise to scale its early Social Media efforts further, across inter- and intra- company boundaries
- Social Media Engagement Index – the ability for a brand to ‘socially’ engage it’s audience effectively
- Social Media Conversion Index – the ability to convert on the engagement and to further promote sales and marketing of a product/service
The immediate benefits are:
- Creating a more aligned and more cohesive internal organization (whether vertical silo or horizontal business process) involved with social media
- Developing a cross-enterprise social media policy
- Channeling Enterprise Content across the entire organization while using appropriate tools and resources to ‘curate’, re-purpose and effectively manage SEO rich content strategy and execution
- Implementing Reputation Management Architecture
- Hiring – training – more targeted and experienced human resources to effectively channel the enterprise’s social media assets
- Mapping out a better-defined path to enterprise success by assessing the maturity of the organization and its readiness to embrace a new channel (SM) affecting the entire value chain – from customer service to distributor relations to marketing
- Establishing a quantifiable and actionable ROI with defined metrics and measurements