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And here comes B2B around the bend in the social media horse race. I hope Valeria is right that we will see more well thought out customer communities pop up.

I think B2B needs more hand holding in filtering through information than B2C. So communities and aggregation sites should be a good step in B2B unlocking the value in social media.

This is why it's so frustrating when small business people I speak with locally insist that they don't need to work on their online presence because they already have a web site.

I believe in the idea of customer communities. Not so much those hosted by the company, as that tends to imply a lack of trust, but those in which the company ventures outside the fortified walls and participates in the conversation with their customers.

Nurturing a relationship with an existing customer may be as effective, if not moreso, than attempting to attract new ones. It often takes less energy/resources to maintain that which is already in-hand than to go out and find something brand new. Likewise, it is easier to keep existing customers happy and this continual engagement provides for learning more about them over the long term.

By participating in regular conversations with existing customers, they are continually reminded that their buying decision was not only a smart move, but was genuinely appreciated.

Make a customer feel important and they will reach out on your behalf to attract those new customers.

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