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What’s missing from your social media playbook?

Some people think that B2B and B2C social media are very different. I think they are similar, however. But one thing people often see as the hallmark of B2B social media is actually useful in some B2C situations as well. I am talking about a technique that is missing from many social media playbooks: proving your expertise. Now you might believe that there are lots of ways that proving your expertise can be common between B2B and B2C social media—writing a blog, for example. But I want to tell you that many businesses need this technique no matter who their customers are. It depends more on what kind of offering you have than you whom sell it to.

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Proving your expertise is a well-worn approach, but I still see fewer marketers using it than need it. Any company that makes a high consideration product needs this tool in its tool belt. If you have product that solves a problem, you first need to win the trust of your customer by being the expert in solving that problem. Only then can you hope to win the sale.

You might be selling B2B. You might be selling B2C. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you have information to convey that your customer needs.

Take insurance. Does it really matter if you are selling life insurance to a consumer or professional liability insurance to a business? In both cases you have to prove that you know your stuff. And social media can help you do it in either case. A well-written blog or a well-made video speaks volumes.

And in both cases, specialization helps. Instead of making the video about life insurance, make it about using life insurance as a way of passing your estate to your grandchildren. Or about helping a new parent protect the family. Take a very specific problem and explain its solution, just as you do every day in your office.

Professional liability is a big subject, too. The store owner has very different problems than the consultant. Write one blog post about protecting yourself from customers slipping and falling and a different one about intellectual property problems. Your high consideration product needs to be made real to a customer by solving a problem they know they have.

So, what about you? Do you sell something that takes a lot of explanation? That might be a bit complex? That people don’t buy all the time? If so, the Web is a great place to explain it. But social media is the right place to show off your expertise. If you prove that you are an expert in solving their problems, you’ll persuade a lot of customer to buy from you.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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