Do online crowds work for B2B companies?

I’ve just read an article in The Marketer (www.themarketer.co.uk) titled Crowd Control.  Muireann Bolger explains how today’s consumers are using social media to make decisions.  People are flocking in the crowds to obtain, check and make decisions on information that has been posted on the web.  Checking if product x will work?  We have seen this with http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk.  But this is all B2C?

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According to Netmums; 72% of mothers are checking reviews online specifically on key topics.  Welcome to smart segmenting!  This is now the new way to blog about things.  Focused segmenting.   

Are crowds important for B2Bs?  Does Mr Joe Blogs of company aviation go online to check if others have used product x on their aircraft?  In my experience not in the industries I’ve worked in but this will change!  It has to! Its a smart way of doing it!

Muireann goes on to talk about Tribal power.  Renewing peoples sense of community??  I agree with this.  Netmums is a great example.  2 or 3 mums saying one thing; you may not agree but millions of mums talking about one thing you would agree!  So… from a B2B perspective are techy companies getting onto the bandwagon and setting up key segments/ communities to focus on key things?  Maybe not?  Not yet anyways…. This will come as companies need to change the way they do things otherwise they will get left behind!

What else caught my attention is the wrong crowd.  People behaving badly or differently online? But does this happen in B2B?  As you can see here I’ve got lots of questions to answer… so what are your thoughts from a B2B perspective?

Personally B2Bs can really succeed with this especially as in 5 or 10 years time; the way we do social media will have gone round another corner.  Innovative B2B companies need to jump on the bandwagon and test it out now!  

Call Elaine