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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Understanding the ‘Why?’ in B2B Social Media

Newberry Group Blog | Social Media IconsLast January I came across this post by Brad Friedman, Build Your Social Media Schedule For 2012.  He explains that while more and more business are getting into social media marketing, many get into it for the wrong reasons. I came across this post while skimming through an abyss of opinions on ‘Social media resolutions for 2012.’ What caught my attention was this:

Start with the – "Why?"

Intrigued, I went back and took the time to reflect on what Brad had to say. Early in the post, he gets right to the source of most ineffective social media marketing.

Are you involved with social media to boost your ego?

…do you just want to promote yourself or your product all the time?

Did you join…because ‘Everyone I know is on …?’

Newberry Group Blog | Sharing contentBrad encourages us to evaluate ‘why’ – our motivations for using social media. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the last 9 months. As more research supports the benefits of social media in business, more companies are joining social networks, creating blogs, and hiring social media staff. Although no manager will admit it, their motivations are often as unjustified and misaligned as the questions listed above, and with no consideration of the information security implications. In order to reap the benefits of social media and use it in a way that is safe for the company and its employees, a more comprehensive approach is required.

Newberry Group Blog | image of puzzleThis begins with an evaluation of the business model, value chain, and internal as well as external communication channels. Understanding the information security risks of social media use and, more importantly, how to mitigate these risks is also a critical yet often overlooked step. Once the institutional framework is in place, a company can begin identifying opportunities for social media, developing metrics for evaluating performance, and, finally, implementing social media into business operations. Even if a social media strategy is working for competitors, it doesn’t mean that strategy, or even social media in general, is going to be effective.

The staff at Newberry Group understands this and has given me the opportunity to research and prove an opportunity for social media in their business model. As a social media intern, I’ll be developing a business case for social media use at the Newberry Group. I’m excited by this opportunity, not only because I have a deep interest in B2B social media development but also, because I believe my role is a fundamental step that every business should take, even if it is already engaging social media.

I hope to share some of my work and findings in subsequent blog posts over the next few months. If you have any thoughts on, contributions to, or questions about my work, please do not hesitate to email me: or shoot me a tweet: @R_Steinbach (note: tweets are my own and in no way reflect the views or opinions of Newberry Group)

Posted by: Ryan Steinbach
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