Social Media in the Supply Chain: Still a Long Way to Go

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nasimson   5/20/2012 11:21:09 PM

> 83 percent, said the absence of opportunities to interact with partners through social
> media doesn't hurt the partner's reputation.

Ahem, Ahem. Seems like early adopters have not much of an advantage here. Is somebody from Linked In & Google+ listening? This is one of the next frontiers to work on.

Mitch Wagner
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Hi, Holli! Welcome to The CMO Site. 

Yes, this is another side to the perennial privacy issue on Facebook -- keeping proprietary information confidential when using Facebook for business. 

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Navigating with B2B in mind
holli   4/19/2012 12:40:06 PM
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While there are benefits to using Social Media, the BIG negative on these social platforms is that they are so social. Many distributors rely on the fact that their customer's customers don't know where products are shipping from. Likewise, distributors don't want competitive retailers knowing they're shopping in the same place. It's difficult to navigate Facebook, for example, with this in mind.

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I agree infinity, Facebook is not set up for B2B.  Actually it is barely set up for D2C.  A coupon or discount targeting users might get some interested, but building a customer relationship on the sight for either channel is a strech. 

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Mitch - I'll agree with you i also haven't seen much B2B activity on Facebook. Neither is the platform really well designed for that. In fact i see a gap in that area. If a good social network came up where businesses can interact, it would really work well. For now though, i guess its best to stick to vendor-controlled sites since they are designed for that kind of effective B2B feedback system.

Mitch Wagner
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Anecdotally, I'm seeing very little B2B activity on Facebook. The most popular channel seems to be LinkedIn, and most of that is one-to-one prospecting (we have a blog on that in the pipeline). Discussion-type social media seems to be happening on vendor-controlled Websites. 

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Nice article Mitch, and followup post, Waqas. I agree @waqas: I can see why supply chain businesses don't really see the connect for them with social media. Social media, as it stands now, isn't set up at all for that type of interaction. It's great for offering consumers a coupon or discount, or to talk about a special of the week, but there really isn't much presence for, as you've mentioned, auto parts suppliers and their buyers. Those entities are more likely to call one another or order via secure forms rather than discuss these things socially/in public.


I would suspect that some company who DOES come up with a great business / supply chain version of any social media network has the chance to really cash in with it. The closest thing now (that I am aware of) is alibaba, which isn't a social network at all.

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merging business and social life
WaqasAltaf   4/16/2012 11:25:35 AM

Nice stats collection Mitch.

B2B community can definitely benefit from social media sites such as Facebook. The major problem that may lead them to use social media sites is that vendors and customers in the supply chain might still not all be aware of sites where business communities are exchanging meaningful information that can enhance business. As far as (for e.g.) facebook is concerned, all of them would know what facebook is. If facebook has groups for e.g. a group devoted to automobile parts' vendors and users who can benefit from it are able to easily know about it and access it, it wont take long when that particular group becomes a mainstream transaction forum on the internet for automobile part dealers.

The advantage of social media that many are accessing it for considerable hours of the day, they wont mind using it for business use too. While, devoted B2B sites, may not be a daily use thing for supply chain folks.

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