Jun 16, 2015

B2C Social Media Marketing Best Practices Applied to B2B

Like many industries, misconceptions surround how B2B companies can properly leverage social media to drive revenue. So in the spirit of MythBusters, let’s start to deconstruct some top B2B marketing myths.

B2B Marketing Myths: #1 – “My Customers Don’t Use Social Media, So I Don’t Need To”

If your company is not on social media because you still believe your customers are not on social media, get ready to face the facts …

Recent research by Forrester shows that 81 percent of adults online use social media. Additionally, Forrester’s study of B2B technology buyers found they use social media nearly twice as often as a typical U.S. adult.

Is it safe to assume your customers are online? Even if your current customers are not online, what about your prospective customers? Your potential employees? Your competition? There is a whole world outside of focusing solely on your current consumers.

The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing found, upon raising their online visibility, 65 percent of B2B companies said they acquired a customer through LinkedIn, 55 percent through blogging, 43 percent through Facebook and 40 percent through Twitter.

Now, not every B2B company’s goal is to be fully converged, but a low hanging fruit might be to have established profiles for view when your target audience locates you on a social media platform.

If you are still not convinced, check out these 16 Stats That Prove Social Media Isn’t Just a Fad. The article reports that 92 percent of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses and over 84 percent of participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.

Reasons for social media in B2B:

  1. Social media is low investment, yet high impact

    • Social media accounts are free to create.
    • Have the potential to reach millions of users.
  2. Ability to connect to your audience

    • Your audience is freely telling you more about themselves through their online profiles
    • You can use social media to learn about your audiences’ personal interests, favorite topics to discuss, favorite places to visit, their preferred social networks and more to then apply it to your targeted marketing strategy.
  3. Create an expert reputation for your business

    • Rather than immediately open an account on every social media platform, pick the few that are the best fit for your company.
    • Focus of the select few to build up a following by interacting with your audience and offering advice on your specific field.
  4. Offers variety through text, images, audio and video

    • Each platform has something different to offer. Instagram is photo based while you are more likely to see text articles on LinkedIn.
    • This graph from CMI shows the percentage of B2B marketers who use various social media platforms for content.

  5. Everyone else is already doing it – a study by KnowledgeStorm of B2B technology decision makers the following statistics were discovered:

    • 90 percent participate in video
    • 80 percent participate in blogs
    • 80 percent participate in wikis
    • 69 percent participate in social networks
    • 53 percent participate in podcasts

Social media has become a vital element in today’s B2B industry, and ignoring it means you are missing great opportunities.

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