The Single Most Important Factor in B2B Social Media

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I have written and re-written the intro to this post 25 times as I try to find a way to express to the reader that THIS article on social media will actually have value versus the 10 million that are written every day by every “Tom, Dick, and Harry.” I have actually thought about creating a website site that just counts that amount of times “social media” is named in the title of a blog post or article.

The problem is we HAVE to talk about social media and how to leverage social in our B2B sales and marketing efforts. If your buyers are on and using social media, then you should be as well. In B2B, we have had some serious trial and error over the years, but I feel like we are starting to break through in our understanding of where social fits and how we should leverage our social efforts with what we are doing today. As a matter of fact, this week, I am moderating a perfect event to hear different perspectives from folks who are in B2B and who leverage social media to enhance their marketing efforts. The event, Social Media B2B Tips that actually work, is Thursday, August 23rd at 1pm PDT with some awesome panelists: Koka Sexton, Carmen Hill, and Brian Rice. Join us as we talk specifics about things B2B marketers and organizations can do from a social media perspective.

In the meantime, I have personally been testing, playing, and watching B2B social media now for a number of years. As people ask for my advice, I have been all over the place, but I have finally come to my social media slogan which I am revealing for the first time in this post: Your social presence should be dedicated to someone other than yourself. I feel liberated!

What I love about this “ideal” is that it’s simple, and there are simplified steps to getting there:

  1. Answer the following question: Who do I want to interact with and what do they care about? (Target buyers, customers, etc)
  2. Deliver content and engagement directed towards that community, including content that isn’t yours
  3. Start to support other media efforts, both yours and others, such as tweeting hashtags at an event.

I tested this the other day with my friend who wants to build a vegan lifestyle business. He asked, “How should I do social media?” We kept it really simple and it worked:

  1. He wants to attract anybody interested in helping their health
  2. He began tweeting when he read something really interesting regarding health issues such as veganism
  3. He followed 50 people he really respected and felt would be valuable to his community
  4. He wrote content directed at this community

He told me: “That was perfect. Now when I am deciding what to do each day, I ask myself whether my community would get value from this.”


Often in B2B, the biggest mistake folks make is to turn their social efforts into marketing broadcast channels pushing out press releases, gated offers, or one-way, “me-me-me” communications. That is the fastest way to fail. By dedicating social to your community, you will build trust – which is the ticket to social media success.

Join us on Thursday at 1 pm PDT for more of this and other Social Media Tips that actually work.