4th October 2011

For Sales in B2B: Social Media or Social Networking the goods?

The confusion about social technology largely hinges on the confusion between these two terms. And this confusion largely accounts for the slow takeup of Social Networking by business.

The two technologies are radically different. Though they both will have, and are already having, major but different impacts on the world. Now clearly the two technologies overlap. For example, there are elements of Social Networking in Twitter, given that people have followers and those followers can communicate together to some extent. And there are elements of Social Media inside Facebook and LinkedIn – e.g. status updates (tweets by another name!).

But here’s the difference:

Social Media is simply a media distribution tool or mechanism. There are numerous social media such as YouTube and Twitter and Flickr, with hundreds of others fighting the war for dominance. Typically, Social Media are the tools that are used by the old style ‘Tell and Sell’ broadcasters who have come from the old advertising industries.

Social Networking is very different and is way more powerful and significant in its impact. It is about connecting and engaging with people of value to your business, not the diffused strategy of disseminating content to a mass audience. It is about developing direct relationships with your prospects.

It achieves this because it addresses our fundamental human need to belong to ‘tribes’ — the fundamental herd instinct that drives us all. Today, we call them Professional Customer Networks.

Social Networking, using the tools of Social Media to help it, is changing the world. Forever.

See how Social Networking and Social Media increase Lead Generation.


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About Toby Marshall

Creating Customer Communities for companies selling B2B is my passion—shortening their sales cycle and building market leadership. My role sets the direction and vision of Lead Creation, tapping into the online experience of our large team of young professionals to implement cost effective strategies for B2B businesses.

2 thoughts on “For Sales in B2B: Social Media or Social Networking the goods?

  1. Thanks Toby, a useful summary however you missed out a couple…

    * Social Media – Catch All Term for this type of stuff
    * Social Networking – Agreed, Facebook and Linkedin
    * Social Messaging – That’s twitter et al
    * Social Bookmarking – So thats Digg and Stumble
    * Social Publishing – Multi-author sites such as Wikipedia and Fast Thinking

    No doubt there are more

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  2. Pingback: LinkedIn doesn’t work!

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