Social Media in the B2b Economy – Make It Relevant!

Anyone who talks about using social media for business use is quickly talking about LinkedIn. With over 2 million people on LinkedIn in the Netherlands, the network is interesting for the B2B market. Eugenie van Wiechen is LinkedIn’s Dutch Country Manager and she gave a presentation at the 2011 B2B Marketing Forum.


According to van Wiechen, the development of social media comes from a number of waves. She explained this in detail:

Wave 1: Portals

CEO Email Lists

Around 2000, the so-called ‘portals’ arose on CEO Email Lists the internet. Portals are the places where a large number of links are shared. Searching for the right information here takes a lot of effort and time. A well-known Dutch example of a portal.

Wave 2: Search engines

The 2nd wave brought us the search engines allowing us to search a large number of sites quickly. Google allows us to search sites for keywords.

Wave 3: Social media


Social media is the wave in which we are now fully developing. The development of social media comes from relevance. “Search engines cannot give us relevant results that are specific to you,” says Van Wiechen. “Social Media respond to subjective needs and thus create relevance for the user.” Van Wiechen cites the example of Suzan Boyle (photo). Without social media she would never have been discovered. Because people liked her talent, relevant, they shared the video with others. A search engine could not have played a role in this.

Every platform is different

In her presentation, Van Wiechen clearly indicates that not all social media are used in the same way. There are big differences between Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. For example, what you do on LinkedIn does not fit on Facebook. This also has to do with relevance. After all, a user on Facebook does not want discussions about business themes.


Three dimensions of relevance

1. Critical Mass

The critical mass is the network effect that arises on social media. By posting a tweet or a post, the message is shared with others. If this is relevant to others, retweets or comments follow.

2. Context

The context in which information is presented is important for its relevance. Van Wiechen distinguishes 3 different levels of context: personal, family and professional.

3. Dates

The availability of data plays an important role. Of course, this concerns data in the broadest sense of the word. Someone who has an address for you of a nice restaurant that is of interest to you can therefore be very relevant.

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