Social Media is indeed a mass communications vehicle like no other. But now, more and more businesses are finding that social media data can be valuable for businesses, particularly for customer insights. Through our work with independent restaurants and chains on social media strategy and delivering real-time social media "Mystery Shopper" reports via the FOHBuzz guest satisfaction tool, we see how to leverage social data for business insights. This experience has been instrumental to our growth and development as a B2B social media company.
While FohBoh is not a consumer-facing enterprise, we run it like we are. We think what we do is fun, exciting and sexy. Running The Restaurant Social Network is great fun, but first and foremost we are a B2B creature and add value to our industry in a variety of ways beyond our four online communities of practice - FohBoh, FohBoh Chef, FohBoh Wine and FohBoh Brand Central.
As students of business and the social web, we learn about social media and vertical applications every day. This is why we call ourselves practitioners. Without the FohBoh community, we wouldn't have a sense of place or context that the conversations on our community provide us. This clearly differentiates FohBoh from any other company. With our experience listening to C2C conversations we are now able to interpret relevance and gain brand, service and product insights using our recently patented Customer Intelligence System that normalizes massive consumer content into meaningful and useful information. Due to our experience with this we see a big future for B2B social media intelligence application for all parts of our industry: finance, HR, purchasing, F&B, real estate, operations, distribution, manufacturing, farming, brokering, PR, media and development, among others. Listening is still the key to understanding what the customer wants.
FohBoh, like most companies, has evolved and grown. We are a social media insights and social web technology company that pioneered the Foodservice Social Network to bring all of us together in a dedicated community, just for us foodservice folks. We are not Facebook or Linkedin or Google+ for foodservice. We are very unique with rich content, membership profiles and with topical, relevant and contextual B2B blogs and discussions. We are a B2B company just like many of our 40,000+ members and many thousands of restaurants. Naturally, we view social media a little differently. We view business-to-business social media as hugely valuable across all departments, at all foodservice companies from farm-to-fork and even private equity and lenders seeking customer insights about a brand.
Let me share some of what we know about moving data to insights to ideas to execution:
Top 10 B2B Reasons for B2B Social Media
1. Social web customer intelligence is a real and a real-time business insights tool.
2. Customer Intelligence must be targeted, filtered, interpreted and vertically oriented to be useful.
3. Social media is not just the domain of the marketing department.
4. Social media a great way to optimize partnerships and distinguish your value add and point of difference (sales and/or product).
5. Social web customer intelligence's key objective: moving data to insights to ideas to dollars. In other words, the ROI.
6. B2B social media insights are predicated on interpreting C2C conversations.
7. Social media intelligence tools can now provide answers about who, what, where, when and how consumers are communicating interactively about food and beverage products.
8. Food is the essential ingredient for most online conversations - it touches our lives multiple times a day.
9. Social media intelligence offers a unique opportunity to gain insights to your competitors.
10. Social media gives you the ability for real-time monitoring and measuring of campaigns and course correcting, yielding better results.
Benefits and Value:
1. Enables companies to make smarter, faster business decisions.
2. Sharing insights with customers make them appreciate your and they are happier for it.
3. More actionable insights make employees more productive.
4. Moving data to insights to ideas fosters new ideas for products and services.
5. Businesses keyed in to social media and customer intelligence have the competitive edge.
As an early mentor once said to me: "Seek to understand before seeking to be understood." Good advice.