So why the Social Media Tool Kit? While Joe and I may have sipped a little of the social media Kool-Aid, we do strongly believe that traditional marketing is broken and that real change needs to take place. With this in mind, while social media isn’t necessarily the answer to everything, we feel that it definitely has an important place within any marketers tool kit.Kool AidDrum roll, please… this is where the social media tool kit comes in.The book and corresponding blog posts are designed to help you navigate through the wild west that is known as social media and give you a foundation for success. We don’t claim to be experts or guru’s (social media is so new that we are all learning at the end of the day), but can bring over 20 years of collective marketing experience to the challenge of demystifying social media. This combined with nearly 10 years of digital experience between us should hopefully allow us to share some valuable insights.The initial chapters etc will follow soon, but in the meantime, we thought it would be useful to spend a short amount of time thinking about why social media is so important.Social media offers B2B organisations the ability to develop greater insight into their customers and with 93% of consumers expecting the companies they buy from to have some sort of presence in social networks and 85% believing they should interact on a regular basis with these social networks – (Quote from Tara Hunt’s awesome book, the Whuffie Factor), we believe that it is now more important than every to place social media at the core of all marketing activities.In the same research by Hunt, 56% of respondents reported a stronger connection and loyalty to a brand that they can interact with through online communities, which further solidify the need to successfully place social media front and centre within an organisation’s marketing strategy.This is further supported within the 2010 B2B Barometer Report which states that ‘social media is perceived to be relevant in a B2B context. Three fifths (60%) of client-side marketers feel it is relevant to them and two thirds (66%) of agencies feel it is relevant to their clients. And social media is not a fad. Approximately three quarters of both clients and agencies disagree that social media in a B2B context is a passing phase’.Despite the responses from consumers that puts engagement over interruption and many marketers being in agreement that social media is not a fad, many marketing professionals, both B2C and B2B, are struggling to fully understand how to embrace the benefits. This point is solidified by Alex Tait, head of digital marketing at the Post Office and chair of the ISBA’s Digital Action Group, who said “there isn’t a lot of understanding of how social media fits into business strategy”.Ultimately, from my own perspective, the style of marketing that I interact with is more based around engagement rather than interruption and social media lends itself very well to that approach.We are going to be going into a lot more detail about how, why and when to use social media within the book, and will ultimately be aiming to help address Alex’s concerns of helping marketers better understand how social media fits into business strategy.What are your thoughts towards social media? Passing fad or here to stay?

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