Posts Tagged ‘online conversations’

B2B needn’t shy away from social media

Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Jon Clements

 

While the digital world is immersing itself in social media, with something else finally overtaking pornography as the UK’s favoured online pastime, companies operating in “business-to-business” remain sceptical.

So says US-based communications expert, Shel Holtz, who appears to have repeatedly heard the refrain: “There’s no role for social media in B2B”.

But it’s quite the opposite: social media, with its focus on creating intelligent, useful and compelling online content and generating mutually beneficial conversations is just right for B2B.  

Holtz goes on to explain how social media makes sense for those selling in the B2B arena, building relationships with niche audiences via online dialogue and creating a community of “customer evangelists”, inspired by your company’s openness and willingness to exchange information and ideas.

PR Media Blog has advocated this before, but with the caveat that dipping your foot in the social media ocean has its fair share of hazards lurking in the depths. In short, it’s not an advertising medium in the traditional sense and brazenly pushing product in the faces of your new-found community doesn’t gel.

Research from Gartner suggests that B2B social media campaigns will fail if companies rush in to an online community “without a mutual purpose” and that firms need to recognise social media as an ongoing activity; a conversation that lasts beyond the adrenaline-fuelled fuss surrounding a product launch.

But companies operating in B2B shouldn’t rule out social media as something just for the kids or those kooky consumer brands.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Facebook for dummies?

Saturday, November 1st, 2008 by Jon Clements

What with hurling virtual food or sheep at your digital friends or being “bitten” by zombies, Facebook- not so long ago – seemed quite innocuous.

How times have changed.

The episode of the Aussie guy who goofed off work, tried to claim it as holiday but was rumbled by the HR department because of his Facebook status on the day in question (and I quote: “Kyle Doyle is not going to work. Fuck it I’m still trashed. SICKIE WOO!”), was, frankly, hilarious and probably caused a mass deletion of Facebook statuses worldwide, just in case.

But a harder edge to foul ups on Facebook was revealed last night as 13 Virgin Atlantic cabin crew now find themselves out of work after posting less than complimentary comments about Virgin passengers (“chavs”, apparently) and planes (“full of cockroaches”, allegedly).

People are paying the price for confusing conversations on Facebook with those they probably have in the relative privacy of the pub with a few mates or over the dinner table with their other half. Look folks, if you post it online, it’s thoroughly and absolutely find-able, whether you like it or not.

The Facebook thing also presents an internal communications challenge to companies, as the Virgin case smacks of stable doors and bolted horses. And sacking the offenders then turns it into an even bigger story.

Having HR policies is one thing, but staff are unlikely to be checking the company handbook while sounding off or making mischief about their working environment. After all, Facebook is personal publishing, giving immediate and unedited voice to millions who’ve been anonymous up to now.

Getting employees to understand the impact their ill-judged comments can have on the company is a communications job. But it’s one that is two-way and needs to be tackled before staff are using Web 2.0 to harm their employers and, in turn, themselves.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

IS THERE ONE AT YOUR COMPANY?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Jon Clements

 

It’s official: the job of handling conversations online is a REAL JOB!

Social media guru, Jeremiah Owyang has started a list showing the emergence of people filling the roles of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers in the larger corporations.

And ok, it may look US and tech industry-centric now, but the Web knows no geographical boundaries (erm, well maybe China) and the conversations about you and your business can be happening online anytime, anywhere.

The trick is knowing a) they’re out there and b) how to handle it.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

BEYOND THE BLOG

Friday, June 13th, 2008 by Jon Clements

Now you’ve got your head around blogs, park that as we’re on to the next big thing: comment tracking. The phrase is my invention (in a futile bid for cultural buzz word fame) but it’s a convenient shorthand for describing the world of CoComment, an online service for collecting in one place all contributions you make to conversations across the web. It tracks comments on your comments and, for bloggers, captures all their extra-blog activity on their own pages.

Leading French blogger, Loic Le Meur, hails this as a new dawn for commentators, who could end up as influential as TV pundits.

His closing comments on the importance of online conversations in consumer choice are a wake up call for brands.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''