In my blog post My Social Media Experiment, I bemoaned the fact that most of the focus in reporting on the Social Universe has been on B2C examples, and B2B use-cases are extremely rare. Also, it has been hard to know where B2B customers actually ‘hang-out’ in the Social Universe.
Over the last 18 months or so I’ve been trying some B2B models. The core philosophy has been to shape thinking, cultivate customers and earn permission to engage. We now have the answer to Which B2B Social Network is the Most Valuable? (see below) and through our various activities we have also learned 4 key principles:
1. The Social Universe is a great place to listen and learn
2. You Should Give Value First and Expect Nothing in Return
3. You Must Be Authentic, Be Prepared to Fail, and Don’t Give Up
4. It is advisable to be Open, Collaborate, and Co-Create – Let Others Play in the Community
So, as we were planning our go-to-market strategy for 2012 we wanted to determine empirically which of the social networks were most frequently visited by our customers.
Following these four principles, we created the Dealmaker Index so that we could listen and learn. And, if we wanted people to engage with us, we needed to give value first, and expect nothing in return. Dealmaker Index is a free global sales benchmarking service where you can score your sales effectiveness relative to your peers and gain advice on how to improve, and we think that is quite valuable, and it is free to all. The opinion expressed in the advice that is given is real, authentic, and designed not just to please the recipient, but to best the best advice we can give in this automated format. And then, we asked others to participate. You will see on the Dealmaker Index homepage a list of our co-travelers in this initiative – and we are grateful to them for choosing to collaborate with us on this initiative.
So, which B2B social network provides most value to us? I think that will correlate directly with the site that is most frequented. The results are pretty clear – and not at all surprising. The delta may change over time – but for now LinkedIn is the clear winner when it comes to the preferred destination for business travelers in the Social Universe (Tweet This). As I mentioned elsewhere, LinkedIn has been a valuable source of traffic for us.
In the Dealmaker Index study, at 57% (for all industries) LinkedIn is well ahead of Twitter and Facebook. (We measured Active as visiting the social network multiple times per week.) I will delve into this in more detail in a separate post, but I can tell you that for the High Technology industry this Active score climbed as high as 70%.
By comparison, the Active percentage on Twitter was just 22%. (For a detailed breakdown of this by industry you can read my post Which B2B Industries are active on Twitter).
In the case of Facebook, the Active percentage was measured at 37%. (I will follow up with a detail post on this later.)
Do these results surprise anyone? I’d welcome your thoughts.