The explosion of social media has effects far beyond how B2Bs market. Companies everywhere struggle with the question of how to manage their B2B social media efforts and along with that, how much access they should allow their employees to social media while on the job.
Consider some of these statistics:
A recent 2011 Robert Half Technology study interviewed 1400 CIOs (chief information officers) of companies with over 100 employees.
As a follow-up to their 2009 survey, they found the following results with regard to using social networking sites at work:
- 31% of companies prohibit all access (down from 54% in 2009)
- 51% of companies permit access for business purposes only (up from 19% in 2009)
- 14% of companies permit access for limited personal use (down from 16% in 2009)
- 4% of companies permit any access for personal use (down from 10% in 2009)
However, there are still good reasons to allow employees to utilize social media and one site in particular, is a perfect example.
Foursquare, the geo-location check-in site, has 4 million members and is growing at a rapid clip. It links users and their friends together quickly and easily, and has the potential of being a B2B social media channel that can boost your brand.
So, while it may not be an approved practice for your employees to use general social media at work, Check out these 5 reasons you might want to encourage your employees and your clients to use Foursquare:
- Promote Company Events
Continual comments about event planning help create an excitement level around the upcoming occasion. The employees responsible for the event can give unique and varied viewpoints and create conversations – great pre-event buzz.
This can spill over to tradeshows and conventions, also. Don’t limit the posts to before the event, giving a summary of how things went afterward keeps clients engaged throughout the process and helps build interest for subsequent activities.
- Build Your Brand
The flow of updates by your employees at work shows clients your company has a high level of energy and enthusiasm. One great way to inspire employees to check-in often and with creative comments is to reward the Mayor of the week (the person who has checked in most often).
Clients will get a better sense of the unique spirit and personalities behind your brand. And for those not in your area, they’ll get a better sense of your community, as well.
- Collect Information On Your Target Market
One of the best aspects of Foursquare are the reams of information available to businesses from user interaction.
When you collect a wide group of potential and current customers as Foursquare friends, you can examine their behavior patterns, their likes and even understand their individual personalities (through the “add a comment” feature)
Nothing helps marketers fine-tune content better than really knowing who makes up their audience.
- Give A Nod To Your Clients
Check into meetings with clients to let others know you are active and engaged. There’s nothing like a buzz of activity to ignite sparks of interest.
Using Foursquare as a continual connection to the people in your network is one more link in the relationship chain. Clients who feel connected to you are more likely to recommend you to others.
- Boost Sales Team Productivity
The continuing challenge to increase sales productivity is one that often centers on friendly competition. You need to find ways to keep your sales team enthusiastic in between those sales meetings.
Use Foursquare to create competitions between reps on the road. Reward those with the most check-ins. Provide special incentives to the Mayors who are spreading your brand name the most.
Not only will team members stay more connected with each other and you, they’ll be more likely to use Foursquare to build their own networks.
Foursquare also offers custom versions to limit information for outside viewers so the competition can’t follow your sales tracks.
B2B social media channels and tools that build both marketing and sales practices are ones that shouldn’t be overlooked. Any new way to keep both employees and clients engaged is one that can take your business to the next level.
It makes sense to keep your approach to social media an ever-changing practice. You may find that Foursquare and other unique social media sites might be just the boost needed to elevate marketing efforts and increase sales leads.