Not that this is a new subject by any means, but to many of the people I have worked with and work with now, using social media as a marketing tool for B2B or B2C is very strange.

Actually it should not be, after all it is engaging in conversations with your buyers and customers, but in a different manner.  You engage in conversations now, via phone, personal visits, trade shows, etc. Some may ask, "well, why don’t you just pick up the phone and call, if you want to engage in a ‘conversation’."  True, you can do, but through social media, you can do the same thing with more than one person, and at any time of the day or night.  That’s the scary part; social media is 24/7/365 days a year. Some people spend way too much time on on social media and need to get a life, but others do not even bother to check out what is being said about them or the companies they work for or the products and services they sell.

Ignoring those conversations can prove to be costly, just ask United Airlines and the a story of UAL  breaking guitars and not providing customer service to resolve the issue.

The flip side is very exciting. Socil media has help propell companies like Blendtec with its Will it Blend You Tube Series
Here’s a great piece on B2B Social Media Market that is on David Meerman Scott’s blog …

Colin Warwick shows how a B2B company makes the first page on Google

But how do you go about starting a Social Media Marketing program?  First you need to understand your buyer or buyers by building buyer personas.  A buyer is nothing more than a prospect.  Once you understand your buyers, where they "live," what they "do," how they go about solving their problems that your company can help solve, then you can craft not only a program of how to reach them and engage with them, you can also "speak their language."

I do not want to reinvent the social media marketing "wheel" here. Suffice it to say there are many reasons and ways to get involved in Social Media that will not only help you engage with buyers and customers, but also improve your visibility in the marketplace.  You can do so without breaking the bank if you make the right investments up front.