2007 and 2008 were a long time ago.
Part of my reluctance to "twitter" the IAI back then was due to the fact that the online services at the time seemed more targeted to individuals than to companies. With some notable exceptions, the trendy part of the tech industry was focused on consumer rather than enterprise business.
While this persists even today, there are more and more examples of enterprise use of social media. Even my vertical market, the automated fingerprint identification system industry and related industries, is starting to use hashtags. In addition to #99IAI (mentioned here), one of my company's esteemed competitors used a hashtag for its own user conference. Well, sort of - the company used the hashtag once, and a participant used it twice. But that's better than many other companies, I guess.
The big boys, of course, are using hashtags more effectively. Take Grainger, who gets it done:
How did we capture the excitement of the conference? We utilized social media to communicate with event planners and attendees. The Grainger Show hashtag (#GraingerShow) had more than 56,000 impressions on Twitter.
Interestingly enough, the "we" in that passage was not Grainger, but Bags Inc., who supplied bags to the Grainger Show; Grainger's own press release didn't mention the hashtag. Grainger gets it done...by outsourcing to the nimble.
But an online presence will become more important. At about the same time (early 2014) as #GraingerShow, Alex Kantrowitz was discussing future B2B trends.
When compared to editorial content and vendor-created content, social media is currently the least critical source of information for IT buyers, the [IDG Connect] study found. But in two years, buyers expect that equation to flip as they increase the weight given to social media from 31% to 37% for influencing investment decisions. In the same period the weight given to editorial and vendor content will drop to 31% and 32%, respectively.
Kantrowitz further noted that even then (January 2014), 86% of all IT buyers were referring to social media, even if it wasn't a major impact on their decisions - yet.
But if you're in a small vertical, how do you find your B2B information needle in the online haystack?
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