Setting the Record Straight on Social Media in B2B

By Christa Carone, Xerox CMO

What a week I’ve had, and I’ve got the social media scars to prove it.  It started last week with my participation in a panel discussion at Digitas’ NewFront.   Fellow panelists and I discussed moving beyond ‘like’ in customer engagement on social media. It’s a topic timely and relevant to consumer and B2B marketers like Xerox. During the discussion I mentioned that we had recently experimented with paid Tweets and that this type of activity was something that a B2B company should consider carefully.   I also cautioned other B2B companies against gravitating to the ‘hot’ new social platform and questioned whether Pinterest was really where a B2B company would engage with its customers?

For the record, I am a supporter of social media and the transparency, honest insights and marketing possibilities it can provide – I am willing to take risk, experiment and push our people to find new ways to engage our many stakeholders in meaningful ways.

I have spent a large part of my career in communications, so I wasn’t surprised to see an article based on my comments posted on ClickZ, reading:  Xerox CMO Not Sold on Twitter and Pinterest.   I know that provocative headlines drive interest, and ClickZ got its SEO worth for sure.

Healthy dialogue is good, and ClickZ reached out to me to continue the conversation next week, so stay tuned. As a follow up interviewed people who had commented on the original Click Z article and wrote its own story which I provided comments for, but when the article went live, the headline read : “Is Social Media Simply a Bad Choice for B2B?”, which is again, umm, provocative.  

I’m happy to see a lively debate on my behalf, and if my comments are used in tweets to drive discussion and debate, then I’m happy to take one for the team.  And for accuracy and clarity on our company’s involvement in social media: Xerox has over 50 Twitter handles, we use Facebook to reach our employees and retirees and our most successful social media platform is YouTube.   Our blogs are where we choose to provide insight and drive deeper engagements and conversations. As I look to the future of B2B in social media, I see great opportunity, on Twitter and on the new platforms of tomorrow to share insightful content that will help our customers make decisions that help their businesses grow and prosper.

Curious marketer & communicator on the hunt for cut through creative… Road warrior and marathon runner, follow me on Twitter @ChristaCarone

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  1. mk May 3, 2012 - Reply

    the article went live – not when live

  2. Theresa Hamacher May 5, 2012 - Reply

    As the president of another organization that uses social media for B2B, I completely understand. Many of the supposed truisms about social media — like “It’s all about the conversation” — just don’t work for us — but try telling that to a social media groupie. We know that social media is working for us, but we’ve been creating our own rule book as we go along.

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