Today I had lunch with a favorite colleague (from my pre-Forrester tech marketer days) who owns a marketing agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. We had a very lively discussion about how his agency is seeing an explosion in demand for B2B social media strategies. He is in the process of adding headcount to his social media team to meet the needs of his clients, and he is excited about the potential he sees in the B2B space. I have heard similar feedback from other agencies and clients who want to take advantage of the opportunities social media has opened for B2B.

Social media is playing an increasingly important role for B2B marketers who want to build improved customer engagement models that drive value. This should not be surprising considering the social nature of individuals who work in a business environment.  Information is constantly exchanged within one's network of colleagues, peers, vendors, customers, and partners. These relationships are critical for success and social media facilitates the interactions required to grow and nurture them.

The lunch I had with my colleague today is one example of the many types of social interactions that are so valuable for building and maintaining business relationships. Whether in person or online, these engagements are necessary because they often lead to positive business outcomes in the short and long run. For more data and trends on this topic, check out my recently published 2011 Social Technographics® For Business Technology Buyers report and let me know your thoughts. Do you agree that social media will become even more critical in the B2B space going forward?