Are you wondering how you can implement a business to business social media strategy? The 5 C’s of Social Media is a way of describing how, at it’s core, social media affords us 5 base opportunities. The 5 C’s are:
- The ability to contribute – simple sharing of data
- The ability to comment – your opportunity to have your say
- The opportunity of conversation – getting associated with exchanges with others
- The ability to collaborate – work with anybody, anyplace to accomplish a shared objective
- The opportunity of community – building connections on the web
Social Media Contribution
This is really crystal clear and, in the current context, would include posting on websites like flickr, Quora and blogs. You want to supply some type of content for the utilization of others. Content sharing has never been simpler and, with methods of delivery like RSS, subscribing to those shared items is a piece of cake.
Graco – the baby product manufacturer implements a flickr strategy. In 2007, Graco realized it needed to engage active parents over a long term. Their preliminary research pointed to the fact that this target group hated hard sell commercial initiatives; their approach then became to integrate themselves into parental activities.
According to The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, the firm began to hold parental get-togethers, and blog about them using Flickr as a photo-sharing tool. This content strategy has enabled them to build a robust community on the photo sharing site. Using their own metrics, Graco saw a 15% increase in brand perception in 2008, as well as significant positive reviews. The blog went from 59th in the rankings of the ParentPower index within six months of launch to 34th within a year. Graco also began to post user photos of themselves or others using Graco products, as well as candid, behind-the-scenes staff shots – to humanize its brand. By building a vibrant community around, Graco has not only seen an increase in positive impressions, it has also likely mitigated negative ones. Graco has endured several recalls, and has used its social channels to engage with parents – apologizing and discussing solutions.
Not every person utilizing social media is a contributor in this sense, yet may contribute in other ways as we’ll see below.
Social Media Commenting
Social media commenting does not necessarily suggest that you are a content creator but you can still have a great impact through this medium. It gives your brand the opportunity to connect with your audience and to continue to show your brands personality, commitment to customer service and satisfaction. A great example of this is Jet Blue.
Jet Blue uses their brands sense of humor as part of there conversation and commenting strategy on social media.
Bud light shows an example of a business to business shout out to Samsung.
There are also various situations where ‘comment’ is a standalone action and thus warrants its very own classification. A comment is a chance to stand up and be counted or to voice your perspective. While standalone comments may not be seen by some as genuinely within the ‘spirit’ of social media they can prompt intelligent discussion.
Social Media Conversations
The genuine bread and margarine of social media is the discussion it promotes. While we have always had conversation in one form or another, social media broadens the extent of those discussions by increasing the ease with which we can have them with more individuals in increasing diverse locations. In this way, we are able to extend our own ranges of prominence far beyond that which we would be able to by traditional means.
We can continue to have these conversations and align or collaborate with other brands to expand your reach for example.
Kellogg’s gave Bounty a shout out and started a conversation with a complimentary product with the same target audience.
This is a great way of aligning non competing brands with a business to business social media strategy.
Social Media Collaborations
As a direct outcome of enhanced discussion and connectivity comes the capacity to collaborate more effectively. Collaboration tools of all sorts already existed before the present race towards making things more social yet the social component acts as a facilitator. The business implications are evident yet the reach ought to be extended beyond the corporate setting – clubs and gatherings, student projects, humanitarian efforts would all be able to profit from the utility afforded as well as be getting rid of the need to meet up in one physical location.
Make-A-Wish Foundation & Disney Social Media Collaboration
The Make-A-Wish Foundation partnered with Disney for the #ShareYourEars social media campaign. This savvy user generated content campaign allowed the hashtag to reach an even wider audience each time someone shared their photo.
Social Media Community
I won’t apologize for repeating myself – social media is about individuals. The tools exist because people demand them and those individuals, and the inspiration they provide, are the most significant asset that social media brings to the table.
While the meaning of “friend” is distorted we can build incredible online associations with like-minded people from everywhere throughout the world which should supplement (and not replace) our typical face-to-face colleagues. We ought to likewise endeavor to take these new friendships away from the computer, be it by voice or in person, non-typed communication can broaden our associations far beyond that which we can accomplish by keyboard alone.
In life we build a circle of friends in based on our location and experience, the same applies in a social media setting however with the advantage that we are not constrained by those same factors. Not only do we expand our circle but we can gain extra advantages with respect to our reputation.
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