Thursday, February 26, 2009

Data show B2B marketers are active on social networks. Are you?

A follow-up to an earlier post about social media and other Web 2.0 tools, and why it’s important for b2b marketers to be testing those waters.

Some new data from Forrester Research shows that B2B buyers have very high social participation, according to a new post on Forrester’s blog.

Key quote from that entry:

“What does this mean for you? If you're a B2B marketer and you're not using social technologies in your marketing, it means you're late.”

So, how do you catch up?

For starters, as we’ve said before, join the conversation. And it is a conversation—not a one-way communication where a hard sell is appropriate or effective.

Social networks are dynamic communities. You can and should help shape the discussions, but you can’t completely direct them. For example, Forrester recommends facilitating the sharing of technical information related to your products and services among customers.

This freer-flowing dialog can foster a closer connection to and a better understanding of your customers than was ever possible without the Internet.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The latest news: Lots of positive breakthroughs!

Positive Breakthroughs, the LinkedIn group dedicated to sharing and discussing good business news, has gained lots of momentum since we introduced it in the last post.

Seems the “positive breakthrough” movement is striking a chord with business leaders eager to escape the negative loop and refocus on business growth. We now 59 members and 8 discussions going.

Let’s keep it growing. Come join the discussion and add your own positive stories.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Share a Positive Breakthrough

Woke up the other day to a pleasant surprise—some big, positive business news.

“Johnson Controls gets Ford hybrid deal” led broadcasts and topped page 1 of the paper and the business news websites in our Milwaukee market. What a nice break from the funeral march the news cycle has become.

Then it struck me: There must be many more upbeat economic tales out there. And I want to hear them. I bet you do, too.

At Scheibel Halaska, we figured it was time to cultivate some positivity. So we started a new group on LinkedIn called Positive Breakthroughs, a place to spread good business news. Go check it out and chime in.

No need for your stories to be as big as Johnson Controls’ new contract. We’re also looking for the smaller-scale successes, the kind of stuff that’s often overlooked and unheralded:

- The non-profit organization that gets an unsolicited donation that ensures viability for another year.
- The Third Ward retailer that declares commitment to staying in business despite the slowdown in the economy.

Now more than ever, we need to emphasize the victories, large and small. We’re mired in a slump technically, physically and mentally, and it’s up to us as businesses leaders to change the tone and focus.

No, a brighter outlook alone won’t suddenly end the recession. But if negativity breeds negativity, a positive approach is the right counter move. It shows leadership vision and creates business cultures that are strong enough to survive—and thrive. .

OK, then, who’s got good news? The more the merrier, so share your Positive Breakthroughs today.