B2B – Which Social Media Platform Rules?

Many of our B2B clients use a number of platforms when it comes to their social media marketing efforts.  In these (relatively) heady days of social media marketing efforts, that’s a good thing.  As this marketing channel matures, however, focusing marketing efforts on the social networks that deliver the best ROI becomes increasingly important.  According to a report by BtoB Online, 30% of the marketers surveyed  ranked LinkedIn as the most important social media channel.  Here is how the others stacked up, as well as some other helpful statistics.

Social Media Network Used Most Often

•    LinkedIn (83%)
•    Twitter (80%)
•    Facebook (79%)
•    YouTube (60%)
•    Blogging (50%)

Social Media Use by B2B Marketers

•    32% are "very" or "fully" engaged in marketing via social channels, up from 21% in 2011. That number is expected to increase to 53% by 2013, according to BtoB:
•    35% began marketing via social media in the previous two years alone
•    Only 13% report using social media marketing for more than 4 years  

For an excellent summary of the report click here. For related information go here.

For more mind blowing research and insights on social media and mobile marketing follow me on Twitter at or email me at michael at

Canada risks missing digital revolution: Google CFO

Last week, Matt Hartley, the National Post tech reporter, interviewed Patrick Pichette, the Canadian-born chief financial officer of Web giant Google Inc., and formerly BCE Inc.  In the interview, Pichette is quoted as saying: “Canadian companies do not spend what would be required to actually capture the [Internet’s] advertising opportunity; they are staying traditional in their behavior and mindset.”  What I find particularly interesting in his comments is the vast amount of analytics to which he has access. Keep in mind that Google currently controls over 85% of global search traffic (Netmarketshare) and is know to meticulously gather every bit of information on each search.  That gives Mr. Pichette a pretty good perch from which to draw his conclusions.

The article is well worth a read. You can find it here –

Your Worst Customer is Your Best Friend

Huh? How can that be? Well, according to the book What Would Google Do?, in a “google universe” most information is both public and transparent. That means you can save a lot of anxious moments down the road (not to mention revenues) by knowing your worst customers and finding out what they have to say. Imagine a world where customers could not pan your products or services with a few clicks of the mouse. A world where bad product and service reviews could not be easily tracked or discovered. In that world, negative news would spread slowly and stealthily by word of mouth and, by the time you found out about it, it could be too late (and infinitely more expensive) to fix.

What’s the lesson here? Leverage the Web and social media tools to get as much feedback from your customers as possible. Give your worst customers the opportunity to speak up quickly and easily so you can fix their grievances in the same fashion. Here is author Jeff Jarvis’s description of a restaurant run according to Googlethink. Once you read it, ask yourself how it applies to your business. What can you do to find your worst customers/best friends?

“What would a restaurant run according to Googlethink look like—other than being decorated in garish primary colors with a neon sign, big balls for seats, and Fruit Loops and M&Ms on every table?

Imagine instead a restaurant—any restaurant—run on openness and data. Say we pick up the menu and see exactly how many people had ordered each dish. Would that influence our choice? It would help us discover the restaurant’s true specialties (the reason people come here must be the crab cakes) and perhaps make new discoveries (the 400 people who ordered the Hawaiian pizza last month can’t all be wrong??? Can they?).

If a restaurateur were true to Googlethink, she would hunger for more data. Why not survey diners at the end of the meal? That sounds frightening—what if they hate the calamari?—but there’s little to fear. If the squid is bad and the chef can hear her customers say so, she’ll 86 it off the menu and make something better. Everybody wins. She’ll also impress customers with her eagerness to hear their opinions. This beats wandering around the tables, randomly asking how things are (as a diner, I find it awkward and ungracious to complain; it’s like carping about Grandmother’s cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving). Why not just ask the question and give everyone the means to answer? Your worst diner could be your best friend.”

What Would Google Do? Trust vs. Control

In WWGD, Jeff Jarvis addresses a number of principles (he refers to them as laws) that have enabled Google to become so dominant so fast.  His first law is: “Give the people control and we will use it; don’t and you will lose us”. He speaks of it primarily in the context of the media business – where the fence between journalists, editors and the readers/consumers was tall and inviolable until the advent of the Internet and the rise of the Blog (not the “Borg”).

If you think about it, it also applies to many other industries.  Henry Ford’s old adage that “people can have a car in any colour they want as long as it’s black”, which held sway for decades, is no longer.  Companies that give their customers choice (read control) engender their audience’s trust and this translates into increased revenues and profits (see Google and Craigslist).

How can you apply this to your business? Engage your customers in the areas that are most important to them: product development and customer service.  For powerful examples, see – My Starbucks Idea and  Dell Idea Storm.  My favorite Starbucks idea: coffee ice cubes – brilliant!

Please share your experiences and post any questions you may about how to apply this to your business.

Side note:  Jeff Jarvis first came to prominence due a critical blog post of an experience he had with Dell and which ultimately led Dell to pay attention to blogs and to begin engaging their customers.  Check one of the posts here –