We explored this more when we talked to Paul Gillin for a podcast interview. Paul advises marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media to reach their customers more effectively.
He's the author of three books about social media and online communities, and is now working on his fourth with coauthor Eric Schwartzman. The working title is "Social Marketing to the Business Customer." It looks at social media tools in the context of B2B companies.
Janelle and Paul discuss the most popular uses of communities for B2B companies -- product support and education. "[Using communities] as a way to get problems solved and develop your professional credentials are two of the real killer apps if you will of B2B social media communities," says Paul.
If you're interested in starting an online community at your organization, listen to Paul's advice for getting one going. Also tune in to find out what are the elements of a successful community.
Right now, Paul and Eric are interviewing community organizers, corporate bloggers, HR professionals, salespeople, and others to gather information for their book. They've posted their outline online, and are inviting people to provide feedback. So give our podcast a listen, and then hop over to their outline. You can also read the full transcript on our blog. For more from Paul, hit his blog.