Fact is, there are many B2B companies using social media to great effect today- not only for relationship building, but to drive bottom-line sales.
We are emerging from an age of marketing where we talked about the product and our own brand (product centric) to where businesses solve problems and add value to the customer (customer centric). A powerful use of social media for B2B marketers is to influence the customers of your customers, thus generating grassroots (bottom-up) demand.
An example is when we transformed a client’s conversations about their products (in this case orange beverages) into popular conversations around the customers health and wellness (customer centric). This bottom-up approach raised awareness of the product, generating more consumer generated retail store purchases, and thus more demand and sales from their direct retail customers.
A well-known case study of how this works in practice is how American Express used social media to create connections with their small and medium sized business (SMB) owners.
Over the years, this community has gained a large following and increased loyalty among SMB owners to American Express. For your company, if your budget is much smaller than say an American Express, inexpensive and easy-to-implement technologies exist to help facilitate just such an initiative.
Combined with the right customer-centric idea and a smart tactical use of awareness-driving paid media, this type of initiative could help you reap similar dividends. With 955 million active members (at the time this is written), a large advantage Facebook offers is their highly precise, long-tail targeting capabilities. Certainly these strategies are not the only means to success within social for B2B companies, but they are ideas that have been proven to work. A recommended first step would be to identify and gain support from key stakeholders in your organization.
Is YouTube a social media channel that you use to educate and communicate with your customers and prospective clients?
My book – Blogging the Smart Way “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Facebook pages for consumer brands are sexy, they have millions of followers and  they attract all the attention.
This is a sample Business Strategy for a fictitious company that you can reference throughout the business strategy process.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).   The organization’s Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats (SWOT) both internal and external to the organization.
Customer Goals.  The required customer goals which will result in the necessary sales to accomplish the financial goals. Employee Goals.  Goals for the required employee training, development, productivity increases and retention needed to support delivery of the organizational goals.
Above is the  format for the business strategy that I have used in the past that is relatively simple and conveys the essence of the strategy in an easily communicable manner.  Here is a completed, sample business strategy for a ficticious company that you can reference throughout this section. Philip Selznick (1957) introduced the idea of matching the organization’s internal factors with external environmental circumstances. The SWOT analysis is easily conducted with brainstorming sessions with key leadership and personnel.  The SWOT analysis should be revisited as you go through developing the Business Strategy to ensure that as you are thinking about the future of your business you leverage strengths, capitalize on opportunities, address weaknesses, and to the extent you can, safeguard against threats.
GMS is among the very best for creative ideas and insightful marketing strategies to change your business. I have called upon GMS to provide various web and design based services to several of my clients. I moved my Web work over to Peter and Karl in November of 2007, after another firm I hired -“Dropped the Ball”. TRADITIONAL MARKETING STRATEGIES are continuously becoming more costly and obsolete while, at the same time, gaining diminishing returns. Among the most common is from people who feel that social, while interesting, is best suited for B2C brands. AMEX didn’t talk about the advantages of their product (which is a topic that would likely gain little traction) but rather they created a branded community called AMEX Open around a theme that small business owners are extremely passionate about- making money & growing their small business. It works, because it adds value to small business owners about a topic they’re interested in. Consider that your target audience outside of work are just people- and that their usage of social media typically mirrors the population at large, and then it becomes clear that social can be used as a cost-efficient digital outreach channel to reach your audience on their terms. In fact, you could target only qualified prospects based on their company or a single keyword. Each of these strategies can be used by themselves, or in combination as part of a more holistic digital marketing solution.
Armed with the right examples and business case for such an initiative, you can set the proper stage for a results-driving social media solution.

This core idea was developed into what we now call SWOT analysis.   The diagram provides a SWOT analysis template. Any of these examples could potentially be strengths for your particular business rather than weaknesses. So how do your separate yourself from the rest?  While you may provide similar services or products and be comparatively priced to similar businesses in the area, there are some small business marketing strategies you can utilize to set your company apart from the competition.   Read on to learn more about how to win over your customer base.
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I value a relationship with a partner who is cut from the same mold. The team at GMS have taken creative marketing and a solutions driven strategy to a new level. In every instance, I have found GMS to be client focused, extremely responsive and cost and value conscious. Using a highly targeted Facebook paid media campaign, you can communicate with your audience on a one-to-one, highly personalized basis, which combined with the right message, can lead to high conversion rates, increased awareness, leads, and sales. Through social media, it has become very easy for companies to keep track of its potential audience and then make their presence known to us.
I will continue to use their services and recommend them to clients, associates and friends.
Since then, GMS has become my one stop shop for marketing advice, graphic design, printing, website design and maintenance.
I am happy to recommend GMS to my clients as a valuable resource and extension of the strategic services I provide. They spruced up our logo, redesigned our web site, printed new literature, and worked smoothly with our people.
With GMS as our partner we can focus on our core business while they execute on our marketing strategy. Karl Hofmeier and the team at GMS are a tremendous resource for companies that are seeking to grow their revenues and increase profits.

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