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B2B Social Media Marketing

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We know that word of mouth is the best and most trusted form of marketing. Consumers love to hear from ‘someone just like me.’

But does this apply to BtoB marketing too?

Yes, says a study by the market research firm, Keller Fay Group which was sponsored by experiential marketing agency Jack Morton Worldwide. Word of mouth is the #1 influence on business purchase decisions.

50% of the respondents polled reported that they were highly likely to buy a product or service based on word of mouth; while 49% passed on what they’ve heard to others. The study goes on to say that "Business decision-makers most value communication channels that provide two-way dialog."

So conversational marketing will work for BtoB just as well as it does in BtoC.

There are a slew of social networking sites like Linked In that connect business people with each other.  But can social media marketing be done on a larger scale in BtoB?  Many firms are providing spaces online that create these dialogs with prospective business customers.

Cynthis Trevino at Small Business, Big Image offers this example:

Chordiant Customer Experience Solutions uses wikis (web sites that visitors can add to/edit) to both shorten and improve their new product development process.  They have a select group of customers that collaborate on the private wiki with Chordiant’s product engineers.  The customers help define features for the next product release.

eWeek wrote a good article about how wikis are working in the enterprise.

Sun Microsystems attributes the revival of their brand to  blogging.

There must be something to this online conversation thing.

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