Jay Gatz is director of digital customer experience at Emerson – a global company comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial and Residential Solutions. Emerson’s businesses are increasingly utilizing social media channels to connect with their B2B customers.
“There’s no boilerplate for B2B social media like there would be for getting started in PR. There’s no way to know what’s right for a market and the ambiguity is overwhelming for most B2B companies. The key difference is that in social the campaign never ends. It’s one of the reasons why more companies don’t engage – it takes a major commitment of time, and once you start, you can never stop,” he said.
In spite of the uncertainties, Gatz is adamant that B2B marketers must participate. “Credibility comes from social media. If you’re not engaged (there), then you don’t have an ear on the pulse of your customers and the marketplace.”
So why is Emerson so committed to learning and engaging in this arena?
“The challenge for B2B marketers is that we all live in a connected and transparent world. The average American is exposed to hundreds of thousands of brand impressions just from the time they wake up until they get to the workplace. So you’re not just competing with the other supplier, trying to get on the approved provider list, you’re competing for mindshare with every single other marketer out there and the individuals own social network.”
In his opinion, Gatz feels that the adoption of social media in the B2B world is “happening faster than you can see. For every 60-year-old who retires, three or four 20-somethings replace them. And this is the norm for how they communicate and share information.
Some closing thoughts from Jay on social marketing for B2B companies:
- Trust that it’s not wasted effort. People are looking at it.
- If you’re scared of Twitter, use it as a voyeur. Follow competitors and customers.
- The level of honesty and transparency this space creates cannot be taken lightly. You must be at the table or risk disintermediation.
You can follow Jay Gatz on Twitter @VPJay, and check out Emerson @Emerson_news.