The Long Lunch Is Dead! How B2B Marketers Socialise

The Long Lunch Is Dead! How B2B Marketers Socialise
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In this guest column, Isentia’s CMO Richard Spencer (pictured below) argues that LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat are replacing the boozy long lunch as the new place to do business…

Forget The Wall Street Journal, believe it or not social media is one of the most powerful tools for influence in business. It provides business leaders the unique opportunity to deliver personal insights around contentious issues directly to their audience. Much like the theory behind the age old long lunch, having personal dialogue within your business networks helps break down barriers and forge closer connections.

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Linking in

Take for example when Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s use of LinkedIn to voice his business case for LGBT Inclusion. His audience was very clear – other business leaders, including the 136,000+ who follow his broadcasts. An so was the intent: while this might not be considered a direct B2B campaign, it achieves something very tangible – a level of authenticity that builds trust between Joyce and his followers, and by default, Qantas.

As a B2B platform, LinkedIn provides a powerful opportunity to communicate within the context of three incredibly potent qualifiers. ‘My Network’ highlights powerful connections and the ‘Write An Article’ function allows users to broadcast carefully crafted content to the very people they’re hoping to influence.

How can you use platforms like this to reach the key people in business that you’d like to influence?

With a potential audience of eight million users in Australia and over 450 million worldwide, the most important ingredient is ensuring the content is both creative and compelling.

Cisco has also shown great use of LinkedIn to push content to other businesses. It’s Fast Technology and Slow Waiter Campaign created by VP of Marketing and former David Letter comedy writer, Tim Washer, the epitomises great B2B content. By placing technical members of the team in the comfort of hotel restaurants, the campaign is relaxed, entertaining and humanizing for the technology brand – and manages to creep in a vast amount of technical information along the way.

The power of a tweet

Twitter is another great avenue. Adobe is particularly smart at using the platform as a selling tool. Very few of their tweets go without a brand plug. Their latest campaign turning boring stock images into apparel is particularly commendable. This clever idea was designed to promote it’s royalty-free image service, Adobe Stock to other businesses. The hilarious clichés not only promoted general awareness of the new service within the design industry, it also managed to highlight the benefit of uninterrupted workflow… and undoubtedly bagged a couple of sales along the way.

Get snapping

This may come as a surprise, but given by 2025 Millennials will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce, this segment of the market cannot be ignored. With a 100 million daily users – many of who are Millennials – Snapchat is a great place for brands to start conversations with the future decision makers of business. Like any good BDM knows, relationships take time – sometimes even years of conversations.

Who knows where the Snapchat conversation you start today could lead your business?

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