I'm trying to determine the ROI / business value of social media sites for my company. A common assumption is that if one's company is not end-consumer focused, there may be less value found upon social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. However, if you are trying to take the pulse of the "conversational web", these services handily beat traditional web sites. Over the past 24 hours I've discovered the truth of that hypothesis. In my case, I ran Grandma's Marathon yesterday during "black flag" weather conditions (i.e. dangerous heat). I decided to create an animated slideshow with music of the experience.
Being curious about yesterday's race, I queried Google on "Grandma's Marathon". Almost 100% of the first 20 results (farther down that most people would ever read) are traditional news media reports of the race. However, if one runs the same query via Twitter Search, the results are dramatically different, you learn what it's like to actually run in the race. The first tweet was by Graeme Thickins, a web 2.0 reporter who actually linked my video.
Thus, always know your audience and your purpose. One needs to stay abreast of both the traditional and conversational web. You'll be better able to understand the parts to the puzzle.
Pretty interesting Grandma's Marathon test. With Twitter, the value hides behind the "quality" of your followers. People who truly want to follow you or your business are most likely interested in whatever you tweet and act accordingly, so it'll have to be line with other public communication - or go for "less formal" route with Twitter/Facebook can also be an option.
And I wouldn't leave YouTube (or video in general) out of the picture in B2B world, unlike Tony I think there's great potential in YTube for any business, small or big, as there's people behind those B's and people love video :)
Posted by: Zemalf | June 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM
Rich - an interesting question about social media value in B2B world. I think that FB and YouTube are going to have little value for your company. But doing things with blogs, LinkedIn, Ning, Twitter, makes a lot of sense for B2B. Happy to discuss what you are doing - especially since I'm studying this for http://www.browsemystuff.com
Posted by: Tony Karrer | June 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM