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Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships Hardcover – January 18, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
SPENDING ON B2B SOCIAL MARKETING is expected to grow 21 percent annually through 2013, yet the innovations of successful companies get surprisingly little attention. This book guides the reader step by step through the process of building and executing a social marketing strategy intended specifically to address the unique needs of business customers.
It's no secret that social media tools offer powerful new ways to build and cement customer relationships, but the most prominent success stories in books and the media have been about customer markets. The potential for the same tools to transform B2B marketing has been mostly overlooked.
Until now. Social media visionary Paul Gillin and strategic corporate communications consultant Eric Schwartzman have teamed up to present research, stories, and recommendations targeted exclusively at B2B companies. Social Marketing to the Business Customer presents a compelling case for using social media to revolutionize customer outreach, bringing companies in contact with their customers in unprecedented ways and creating dialogues that drive repeat business and reveal new revenue opportunities.
B2B relationships are inherently social, and Gillin and Schwartzman show how to use the new breed of tools to uncover the human potential in every business and involve customers at every stage of the development, sales, and support process. You'll learn how to:
- Create an organization that integrates online conversations seamlessly and comfortably into its culture
- Develop an engagement strategy that reaches all the stakeholders in a decision
- Plan marketing campaigns that take full advantage of social media tools—separately and in combination with each other
- Find the communities that attract your customers and target markets—and become an essential member of them
- Calculate ROI using real-world metrics that business executives understand
From the basics of social media tool selection, to keyword strategies that get your products and messages on the first page of search results, to the widely varied forums that you can use to build and sustain meaningful dialogues, Social Marketing to the Business Customer makes this diverse and often-confusing world accessible and quantifiable. It is the ultimate primer that enables B2B marketers to create a customized, targeted strategy that maximizes outreach while maintaining your message.
From the Back Cover
SOCIAL MARKETING to theBUSINESS CUSTOMER
"This is the book I was too lazy to write. Gillin and Schwartzman have broken the code to how to approach B2B marketing with social media."
—CHRIS BROGAN, President, Human Business Works, and coauthor of Trust Agents
"Gillin and Schwartzman not only dispel the myth that social media is limited to B2C marketing, they demonstrate how business customers are redefining the boundaries for influence, decision-making, and lead generation."
—BRIAN SOLIS, author of Engage! and BrianSolis.com
"While most of the social media hoopla to date has been in the consumer space, social media will have an even larger impact on B2B companies seeking to build deep, long-term relationships with their customers.This book is extremely timely as a guide on how to do just that. If you're in the B2B space and looking to grow your business, this is the book for you."
—LARRY WEBER, Chairman, W2 Group, and founder, Weber Shandwick Worldwide
"In the old days, the B2B marketer's sole job was to generate leads and hand them over to salespeople to nurture and close. No longer. Buyers evaluate your offerings continually on the Web, and if you're not engaging through social networks, your company is at a tremendous disadvantage. Paul and Eric show you how the most successful B2B companies reach buyers via social marketing."
—DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Real-Time Marketing & PR
"If your company is still blocking access to social networking sites or considering them as a 'productivity drain,' think twice! For many B2B companies,it is THE new way to engage with customers, communicate with suppliers, and generate leads. A solid social media presence is the only way to open and humanize your business and master crisis communication. This books shows you with very practical examples that there is no good reason not to use social media."
—MATTHIAS LÜFKENS, Social Media Architect, World Economic Forum
"If you want truly expert advice on selling the value of social media to the CFO of a B2B concern, stop everything and READ THIS BOOK."
—MARK STORY, New Media Director, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Read excerpts (PDF) from five top social media and marketing books to kick start your marketing and PR strategy: The New Rules of Marketing & PR, Content Rules, Inbound Marketing, UnMarketing, and The End of Business as Usual.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is chock full of meaty, real-world examples of how to grow your business using B2B and B2C strategies and tactics. The authors show how companies can use social media to forge deep, productive relationships with customers and lure new customers into the fold.
Channeling Shel Israel in "Twitterville," they cite a Dell senior manager Richard Binhammer's admonition: "Don't waste your time trying to convert atheists. Work on the agnostics in the room -- doubters who might be turned into believers through conversation."
The authors explain how a Midwestern distributor of solar panels could use Twitter's advanced search feature to scout out anyone discussing the term "solar panels" within a 100-mile radius of Chicago.
In devoting a chapter to search, the authors reveal some of the tactics that social marketers use to suss out keywords that customers are using to discuss your business -- and where they're discussing it. Sometimes it calls for a shift in the language you use on your own website or blog. "If you're blogging about `solar cells' but your customers are searching for `solar power,' you're speaking two different languages," they write.
Social media platforms and services -- LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts -- are covered in depth. Businesses' use of Twitter is more robust than you might imagine.Read more ›
1) You'll gain the knowledge you need to spend your dollars wisely.
2) You'll learn the technical terms that will let you ask the right questions in the right way with the right words.
3) You'll see that you absolutely need to stop whatever you are doing immediately and get a social media strategy. The world is changing before our eyes!
Thanks Paul and Eric for your bravery and willingness to go to market with your book first. I wish I had your foresight and your courage!
Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships
HERE'S SOMETHING I bet you didn't know: spending on B2B social marketing is expected to grow 21 per cent annually through to 2013. And here you thought platforms like Facebook are purely for B2C plays...
But selling to businesses is different to selling to consumers, and Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman (my podcasting colleague from the early days of FIR) outline in a extremely cogent way why selling to business is different.
Take these few examples they give:
B2B marketing is much more likely to focus on value than `experience';
B2B buying decisions are usually made by groups;
Business buying cycles are longer than consumer buying cycles;
Business buying decisions are more likely to be a commitment than consumer buying decisions;
Relationships play a more important role in B2B than in B2C decisions;
Service and Support are essential decision factors;
Channel relationships are complicating factors in the marketing equation.
Social media, as Gillin and Schwartzman point out, is highly suited to addressing many of these issues. As they point out,
"[Social media are] particularly effective at connecting customers with the people behind the products they buy. This barely matters in consumer markets, but in high-dollar transactions that may affect the fate of the buying company, the ability to communicate directly with designers, engineers and support personnel can make all the difference."
Gillin and Schwartzman argue that B2B companies have must to gain from using social tools, more so than their consumer counterparts.Read more ›
So you can imagine the anticipation felt when I opened the book. Now let me share with you the rewards it contained.
If Cluetrain Manifesto is the cornerstone of a social media education, then for B2B, "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" is its capstone. Four reasons why:
1. B2B v. B2C: Finally, finally, finally, someone has done an exhaustive review of the differences between B2B and B2C business models and why they matter in setting out a social media strategy. Many have tried (including myself), but the book just brings it all together and ties it up in a bow for you. One nugget that caught my eye was how given the large number of influencers in B2B buying decisions, you need to have a different social media approach for each one (a financial-focused message for CFOs, an ease-of-use one for the people who actually use the product, etc.). The book also makes clear you'll need an SEO strategy for each one to make sure the content/conversation is found.
2. Gristle: You know how a lot of Web 2.0 pros sell the sizzle of social media steak? Paul and Eric get into the gristle. We've really needed that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very disappointing and dated. Very basic, the tools that are referenced are outdated. I'm already looking to get rid of the book. I didn't find any value in this book.Published 13 months ago by Sa Nguyen
funny how social media works but then it becomes less effective quickly.
good read if you don't pay over $15
info is generic now
Simple and to the point. This is a must book for those interested in social marketing. a book to keep!
Roberto Anez Nava
Fantastic resource for coming up with a B2B plan that works! I found myself highlighting every few pages and referring to it when I'm crafting proposals or presentations.Published on October 30, 2012 by Alexgmnz
Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman render a great service to their readers by compiling in one place the experience that they have gained in using social media in the B2B space. Read morePublished on August 20, 2012 by Serge J. Van Steenkiste
This is the best book I've read on B2B digital marketing. The case studies, planning guidelines, and implementation recommendations will give you a solid grounding in B2C. Read morePublished on May 6, 2012 by Tony Ahn
Whenever I sit down and venture through the pages of any novel, the "ah-ha" moment usually comes at the end or at the climax in turn of events. Read morePublished on March 19, 2012 by AnnaBee134
Excellent classroom guide for newcomers to B2B social media. The book is well organized in a format conducive to teaching MBA students. Read morePublished on December 28, 2011 by Jim Barry