B2BSocialMedia.docx

B2BSocialMedia.docx - ENTERPRISE OCTOBER 20, 2010 For...

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ENTERPRISE OCTOBER 20, 2010 For 'B-to-B' Companies, Finding Facebook 'Friends' Can Be a Struggle By SARAH E . NEEDLEMAN Bill.com Inc., a provider of bill-payment services, is trying to market itself on Facebook. But even though the venture-backed company has more than 10,000 clients, it has so far managed to secure only 67 "friends" on the social-networking site. These days, even small "business-to-business" concerns like Bill.com are experimenting with social media, perceiving the popular online hangouts as low-cost, easy-to-use venues for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. But unlike their consumer-focused counterparts—retailers that sell smartphones, jeans, games and other personal products—so-called B-to-B businesses seem to be having a harder time connecting with their target audience. Facebook "is so consumer dominated that it takes time to find a voice that cuts through what's already out there," says René Lacerte, founder and chief executive of Bill.com, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif. A survey released last month of 230 B-to-B companies shows that 24% are using Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and others for marketing, and another 36% plan to try them in the coming year. "It's certainly something that has taken off in the last six months," says Michael Greene, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., which conducted the study. In general, he says B-to-Bs tend to be slower to adopt new marketing technologies than business-to-
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B2BSocialMedia.docx - ENTERPRISE OCTOBER 20, 2010 For...

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