B2B social media: a long road but worth the trip

kerryandneville How time flies – a week’s gone by since the Dell B2B Social Media Huddle that took place at Dell UK’s headquarters in Bracknell on December 7.

Well over 80 people had registered for the free event which Kerry Bridge at Dell and I had organized. More than 50 showed up – not a bad number considering the event was free, it was an early Monday start, and it was raining cats and dogs.

It meant we had a group of people who really wanted to be there.

There are some great reviews that people have written, including:

Benjamin took some terrific photos, all on Flickr, including the one you see above of Kerry and me.

Interesting views in some of those blog posts commenting on the lack of material or examples that are specifically social media from a business-to-business perspective, with much being presented as B2B actually being B2C. This suggests a couple of things to me: there is a lack of actual examples (likely) and that there’s little real difference in how you use social media in B2B and B2C (also likely).

One other thing that struck me on the day was how far we still have to go to help people in companies really see what social media can (and cannot) do for them. Educating, guiding and mentoring people on topics like social media for business is becoming ever more important.

A phrase I mentioned in my presentation at the start of the day – ghost blogging – prompted some passionate discussion away from the event including by Stuart Bruce, who was there, and Vikki Chowney. It’s a topic that undoubtedly will continue to draw passionate opinion, and on which there’s unlikely to be a clear-cut conclusion any time soon.

Overall, it was a terrific event, clearly a sentiment shared by many of the people who attended as well as many remotely via the #dellb2b Twitter chat. We’ve had some great feedback so far in the post-event survey we’ve asked participants to take (more on that in a later post).

Some of the presentation decks are available for viewing and download from Dell at Slideshare (they’re the ones that start with ‘B2B’ in their titles).

So what’s next? Well, we’re planning another one. From my point of view, working with Kerry is a real pleasure and it will be great to plan a follow-up event for later in calendar Q1 2010. Much depends on the feedback we get which, as I mentioned, is already highly encouraging for doing another one.

Stay tuned!