“B2B or bust!” This exclamation could be considered the motto of many firms as companies continue to buy up B2B social media platforms. Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer, a Facebook-style business solution, in late June is but one in a long line of recent purchases of B2B social media platforms. Other examples include Salesforce.com taking Buddy Media, Adobe snatching up Efficient Frontier and Syncapse wrangling in Clickable, to name a few. But why the recent flurry of activity on the B2B social media front? As Mashable noted, the hype around social media partially boils down to Facebook – kingpin of the social sphere.
The extreme buildup surrounding Facebook’s IPO told the industry that social is here to stay, despite the stock’s lagging value post-IPO. Even late adopting B2B businesses are taking the hint; Gartner predicts that more than 60% of Fortune 500 companies will engage customers with Facebook marketing by the end of 2012. Further, more than half of B2B firms plan to increase their social media investment this year alone, while a mere 5% are planning on decreasing this budget. Given these statistics, it’s not surprising that firms are rushing to acquire social media companies to do their bidding.
So what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? If your B2B business isn’t moving towards the gilded social age, you will be left in the dust. By no means does your firm need to rush out and secure the latest B2B platform. Rather, be aware and know the different social channels where you and your competition play; most importantly, know where your customers are interacting with the social space. Determining the best strategy for success involves understanding your audience and fulfilling their needs in a progressively social media-driven world. Just having an active and engaging presence puts your company leaps and bounds above those who are not interacting with their customers socially.
Grab your pickaxes and sifting pans – the B2B social gold rush is on!