BMA panel addresses social media

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Chicago—The four-letter word that informs b-to-b decisions these days is “risk,” and social media is no exception, Gord Hotchkiss, CEO of Enquiro, said Thursday during a presentation to the Chicago chapter of the Business Marketing Association on using social media.

Paul Gillin, a columnist for BtoB and frequent speaker on how to use Twitter for b-to-b marketing, said the question marketers should be asking when approaching social media isn't how to use it but what business problem they're trying to solve. And then, he said, they should start where their customers are. “It's all about being where the audience is these days,” he said. Hotchkiss moderated Thursday's panel discussion. Joining Gillin on the panel were: Mark McMaster, a Google consultant who focuses on YouTube; Justin Levy, general manager of New Marketing Labs and a Facebook expert; and Steve Patrizi, VP-marketing solutions at LinkedIn. The message from all of them was clear: If you're not engaging in social media, you need to start now.

“It's better to be there and be in the conversation than not,” McMaster said. “Otherwise, you have no representation.”

“You're not selling to businesses; you're selling to individuals, and you're selling to people and helping them be successful,” Patrizi said. He added that it's easier to accomplish that using social technology.

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