Mobile & Apps

Airtime for B2B: Video Cold Calling, Anyone?

Airtime for B2B: Video Cold Calling, Anyone?Airtime, the newest brainchild of Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, was successfully launched on June 5, 2012. This is one social media channel that reporters and netizens have been waiting for.

For those who haven’t been following social media news and don’t know what airtime is, it’s a “social video network that allows users to share live experiences through content, and expand beyond their social graph to discover new people through similar interests in an environment that is collaborative, fun and safe.”

The user interface is divided into two screens, the left half is where you can yourself (so that you can check if you still look presentable every once in a while) and the right half is where you can see the other user. The users you meet can be friends of friends, people in your locale, or people who share the same interests.

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While most social media sites boast about exclusivity among friends and family, Sean and Shawn’s Airtime promotes connectivity between two completely unconnected individuals. The new social video network is meant to “restore serendipity to the Internet”—according to Parker himself.

But what could this Facebook-powered social video network tool do for businesses? Because meeting people is a matter of chance, using Airtime for specific business appointments is not advised; unless Airtime adds a feature that lets you directly call a contact a la Skype in the future. The site sounds promising, however, for cold video calling. Though the site doesn’t allow for direct calling, you can use your interests to narrow down the multitude of potential users you can connect with. This is a great networking tool for businesses that want to network with companies in the same locality but don’t have the funds to set-up a trade show or seminar. Though there are certain factors that measure your compatibility (such as interest, connections), the randomness of the meeting process will surely let you meet someone worthwhile to connect with. If you do meet a promising business or sales lead, you can easily add him or her to your business connections on Facebook through the ADD button. You can even show them a presentation using YouTube.

For business to business companies who are actively seeking to network, yet are tired of hearing the usual tirade of scripted calls, this tool will be a refreshing change. Business lead generation companies will be required to have skilled agents stationed to receive video calls, however. These agents should be able to quickly think on their feet, or else they’ll be NEXT’ed and lose the rare chance of a business opportunity.

To sum it up, Airtime can be a great tool for businesses, especially for lead generation, because:

1. It allows you to meet the decision maker in person
2. The people you meet using definitive interests like “business networking” or “b2b networking” are most likely to be warm leads already.
3. The cold calling experience will be better for the person receiving the pitch because they wouldn’t have to deal with a “John Smith” who has a suspiciously heavy Indian accent.
4. Scripted sales pitches would be useless unless they are learned by heart, which means they are then delivered in a much more convincing and conversational way; just as they were originally planned to be.

The basic design of Airtime is to help people meet with other people whom they are not already associated with, so whether you use the site for business networking or simply to meet people, it’s all up to you.

This post originally appeared at Smart Business Marketing Blog

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