Social media doesn’t appear to be business media

Another interesting result from the Gardner Business Media survey of managers and engineers in manufacturing, which I mentioned yesterday, looks at social media. Bear in mind that the publisher has tried to identify senior respondents, and their age profile turns out to be largely 50+, but then again, that may well represent your typical buyer too.

The question asked here was “What is your general impression of social media as a business tool?” and the answer was definitely skewed to a below average rating. That’s perhaps not surprising, but then consider that the subsequent breakdown of social media channels includes YouTube and LinkedIn, both given an above-average ranking. That doesn’t suggest that other networks, such as Facebook or Google+, have much of a role to play at all in industrial marketing at the moment.

It was interesting to note too, that Twitter and Facebook were blocked at 20% of the companies surveyed, and even YouTube was blocked at 15%. That said, I remember a time when “the internet” was blocked at an even higher proportion of companies than this.

Discussion

  1. Joe Petrie

    SM is can be a valuable tool in B2C but I have yet to hear anybody give me an example of where it has added value in a B2B context (which is arguably 90% of the value chain). I often feel like the kid in The Emporer’s New Clothes being “educated” with examples where marcom departments or consultants claim to have created “awareness” or a “buzz” – which for me doesnt pass the “so what?” test if it cannot be translated to a form of definitive value. (I’d accept brand value if you could show me that the “awareness” was created amongst your potential clients.)

    The adage is “go where your audience is”. Right now at least, for B2B, social media is smoke and mirrors. The new shiny thing to write about…

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