Why I Lied to a Salesman about B2B Social Media

Twitter Fail WhaleDoing what I do for a living (which is internet marketing, some coding, and web analytics), and working in a relatively small office, there’s very few reasons my phone would ever ring.

People at our plant down the turnpike very rarely need to speak to me, and anyone here who needs me comes and sees me.  My door is always open.  It’s ALWAYS open.

So when I hear my phone ring, I know what’s coming next.  The wind up, and THE PITCH.

Just today, an SEO/SEM/Social Media/Web Site Design/Landing Page Conversion Improver/Maven/Guru firm called me and said they saw us doing some PPC advertising.

My first thought, although I didn’t verbalize it, was “I hope you didn’t click one of those ads….”.  That’s rude when you’re prospecting.  I’m just saying, and I digress.

The guy was nice, asked if I had time to talk, all that.  I explained to him a bit of our strategy and methods (top level stuff), and that we at this point weren’t really looking to outsource any of the services they offered.  After all, that’s MY job, and until the boss tells me I’m not doing it well, I’m not going to spend his money to get help.  Besides, we have a pretty good handle on the scope of our market, and where we sit in it.

Anyhow, after I made an off handed comment along the lines of “we don’t see a GIANT value in Facebook as a custom B2B manufacturer”, (which, by the way, I do care about Facebook… more on that in a second…), he comes with the line that guarantees I’d never call their firm even if I was looking for help.

“So you don’t care about the X million people using Facebook everyday?”

I digested the question and then I lied: “No.  No I don’t.”

A couple of points need to be made here.

One, I’ve been working on PHP code for literally twelve straight hours as of this writing.  Even if he had asked a thoughtful question, he likely wouldn’t have gotten a positive response from me today.

Two, I definitely see a value in Social Media for B2B.  There’s value in Social Media for everyone.

But what flavor of conversation would we be starting as an organization if we outsourced our own voice?

It’s certainly possible that they could write 140 character spam about every single product page on my website.  I get that. They also might occasionally say something insightful about our product set as a whole.  But I’ll bet it’s rarely.

And what if, Twitter forbid, someone… you know… asked them a question?

Twitter responses to customer inquiries and/or concerns should be immediate.  That’s what Twitter is there for.  E-mail is for “I’ll get back to you”.  If you have to call us to get the answer… what’s the point?

So in truth, Mr. Salesman, we DO care about the X million people on Facebook and Twitter.  We care enough that if we’re going to engage our customers and prospects in conversation, WE’RE going to do it.  Not you and your Tweet Farm.

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.