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Social Media VoxPop: Opportunities and Challenges for 2011 and ahead

In spring this year, B2B Marketing held a training workshop to help B2B marketers explore the opportunities and challenges of social media. Marketing Options International were invited along to film the attendees as they took on the subject in their own words...

In spring this year, B2B Marketing held a training workshop to help B2B marketers explore the opportunities and challenges of social media. Marketing Options International were invited along to film the attendees as they took on the subject in their own words – click here to watch the video, and find out exactly what they had to say.

Opportunities

Closed-loop marketing

Many of the marketers at the workshop recognised social media as an unprecedented opportunity for day to day engagement with customers – a chance for instant, continuous feedback, and as a result, improved service and retention. As one interviewee told us: 

“Just by being in conversation with our customers we’ll be able to find out what they like and what they don’t like – and if we’re doing a good enough job.”

 
A new tool for rapid response

Whether you’re facing an unexpected change in the marketplace, negative feedback on a current campaign or a threat to your organisation’s reputation, social media can be a powerful tool for rapid and adaptable response, the workshop’s attendees noted.

 
Buzz creation

This, we were told, needn’t be limited to forums, Facebook and Twitter. One of our interviewees highlighted the ability of location-based services (Foursquare, for example, or Facebook Places) to create buzz around an event without any extra work by the marketers – simply by giving delegates the chance to ‘check in’ virtually and tell the world exactly where they are.

Challenges

Education

A number of our marketers touched on the role education has to play in unlocking the full potential of social media: from educating the board to secure their continuing support, to promoting a company-wide adoption of best practices.

Time

Finally, one interviewee called attention to another substantial commitment required by any B2B organisation choosing to go social:

“Time’s going to be the biggest issue. We’re a small team, and so incredibly busy that to actually get the time to manage it properly – and make it worthwhile – is going to be difficult.”


We left the workshop inspired by our interviewees, and with the sense that success in social media must rely on balancing imagination with education: on seeing the opportunities, and then making sure the right people have the right knowledge to take advantage of them.


If you would like to hear more from our interviewees – including thoughts on social media’s role in lead nurturing, extending campaign reach, and raising brand awareness – remember you can watch the full short video here.