Social Media for B2B Marketing
As per recent reports, social media marketing may be the only guard for business-to-consumer marketers (B2C). But according to another research about B2B (business to business) social media marketing, it has been revealed that social media would not only benefit B2B marketers, but also be their most competent channel among all others.
A survey that was held comprising of 120 marketing professionals playing different B2B roles, revealed that of the 100%, approximately 80% believed in social media for B2B marketing. About 40% of those professionals accepted that they would spend money on social media if their budgets were revised. This is proof that social media is, indeed, the most powerful channel that can help businesses meet a wide range of goals and objectives.
How Is Social Media beneficial To B2B marketers?
In today’s generation, most of the world is connected online. People are no longer browsing newspapers, and are no longer waiting for business ads on TV. Let’s agree that we are social beings and we’ve always utilized social experiences as a vital part of decision making. Social media is not an exception as it is actually the online counterpart of social relationships and conversations. As to how businesses can use social media to catapult themselves in unbeatable positions, it’s really a no-brainer. If more than half of the world is fishing online, how can a business benefit if all their fishes are offline? If a business wants to drive traffic to their website, it’s important that they ‘speak’ the language of their people, and that can only be done via social media. In the world of B2B, LinkedIn and Twitter are both effective mechanisms which drive people to your website.
A long time ago people were happy with personal recommendations, but now that is not the case. With a wide variety of products and services, a person can only have as many recommendations as the personal face-to-face relationships they have. As a consumer, the first thing you would do, before purchasing a product or service, is to ensure that the company you’re dealing with are worth your time and money. You may want to call for personal recommendations, but what if you don’t find any? This is where social media comes to play. Remember that people usually don’t purchase from companies without researching their name online.
You may have an incredible sales record, but it will not be worth anything if you don’t have an online presence, and in this case, a website and a strong presence on social media. These are perhaps the only way a potential customer can reach out to you, connect with you. Remember again, the more the traffic to your website, the more the chances of you booming your business.
B2B practices for social media marketing
Social media marketing in the B2B world is different from the B2C domains in terms of content, style and goals. There are few challenges that are similar between both domains and some that are completely unique to each other.
Obtaining executive buy-in
The ultimate requirement to ‘be social’ rather than just ‘act social’ can generate fear and worse, it make break your business. A business’s lack of control over audience response can lead to paralysis as well as an infinite doubt of whether social media can catapult a business to success. It can, you’ve read that, but a business has to work hard to be social. Remember the people you’re dealing with online are real people, with real emotions. The only difference here is that you don’t physically see them asking questions.
Problems related to risk and compliance
Risk and compliance can become considerable weaknesses for business to overcome and this leads to the fear of damaging and losing relationships which are built over time.. In order to overcome such a challenge, a business needs to have a strong presence online and offline to cater to both types of customers to ensure 100% visibility as effortlessly as possible.
Believing in a narrow definition of social media
Speaking of the online world, there are some things you, as a business, have to keep in mind. Not all platforms are beneficial to your business and that there are a few channels which more suitable for B2B. For example, as a Lawyer, you will benefit from selling your services on Twitter and LinkedIn instead of Instagram and Facebook. But if you’re an architect, you know visuals are stronger than words.
Having said all this, remember it’s not easy to build relationships, both online or offline and that it takes time to win your customer’s trust and have them market your business for you.
CEO of Artesian, Andrew Yates is of the opinion that if your business is still not doing well, get going. There’s so much that B2B marketers can learn from their B2C counterparts and hence keep looking for examples which your business can relate to.
If you have any comments regarding this article or social media in general, please feel free to use the comment section below.