It is no marketing revelation that social media is a hugely influential marketing platform. Yet, the belief that social media marketing is only for B2C companies, even now, is keeping B2B companies from getting the most for their business communication and collaboration.
B2B is all about long-term relationship building and, to initiate these relationships, businesses will want to research you before approaching. In response, those marketing their B2B brand have taken to platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and their own websites to display all necessary information and data, leading a trail of social platform trawling for the researcher.
In fact, according to a study sponsored and published by LinkedIn;
“75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives and company decision-makers, use social media to make purchasing decisions”
B2B Social Media Myth #1: Social media isn’t measurable or doesn’t have a clear ROI
B2B companies want to see tangible results to judge whether they are successful or not and often stay away from social media as they believe it can’t be measured or provide observable ROI.
However, when it comes to measuring social media metrics the focus shouldn’t be on how to measure these metrics, but instead, what goals are you achieving by using these social platforms.
Ask yourself; what leads have I generated through social media? Calculate the revenue you’ve generated from these specific leads and then remove the cost it took to acquire those leads. What are you left with? A glimpse into ROI, perfect for judging the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
B2B Social Media Myth #2: B2B customers don’t use social media
A huge percentage of adults who have access to an internet connection use social media. So it stands to reason that within this large number of social media users, there are B2B employees and decision-makers who also use social media on a regular basis. So, why not target this B2B crowd where they natively spend their time?
Making B2B-related decisions is an overall higher risk than making B2C decisions because they affect an entire business as opposed to a single customer. This higher risk means that B2B companies are heavily researched before any contact is made to discuss a potential purchase.
B2B decision-makers can easily gain access to reviews, recommendations, case studies and more with a simple internet search of your company. So it is vital for you to make sure your company is active on social media for the purpose of potential customers’ research.
B2B Social Media Myth #3: LinkedIn is the only social media platform for B2B marketing
Similar to the perception that B2B customers won’t be found on social media, it is also common to think that when social media platforms are used for B2B marketing, it is on LinkedIn, sometimes Facebook and Twitter and never visual-heavy platforms such as Instagram. But this is all changing.
While it is true that LinkedIn is the top social media platform for B2B marketers and professionals in general, if you’re limiting your efforts solely to LinkedIn, then you’re missing out on key industry players who happen to spend the majority of their social media time on other platforms.
Enabling users to get visually creative in ways that other platforms don’t, Instagram posts not only showcase data and results through images and links for leverage but also create a much-needed human element behind B2B business through authentic content and “behind-the-scenes” glimpses. This means that an engaging, well thought out feed can elevate your brand story and help you connect with customers, employees and followers just as well as any B2C brand.
Pioneered by the likes of Mailchimp, IBM, Microsoft, Hootsuite and others, a focus on consistent interaction, content marketing and creative applications has faced B2B with a shift in the way it attracts, educates and closes sales with leads.
B2B Social Media Myth #4: B2C social media tactics don’t work for B2B
No matter whether you’re catering to a B2C or B2B audience, in both instances you are communicating with people. In this sense, B2C and B2B are not much different.
It has also been shown that tactics like free gifts, contests and so on work just as well for B2B as it does for B2C. The only difference between the two is the type of content that you present to them. B2B customers want to see whitepapers, case studies and research papers on social media which is of no interest to the B2C audience. However, the common thread for both audiences is a human angle.
Telling real stories about actual people has catapulted a B2B influencer marketing style at the forefront of business marketing success, while B2B marketing, in general, has also continued to embrace the importance of storytelling.
Social media is such a powerful for lead nurturing and developing relationships. A salesperson can view your B2B profile to learn more about you. To build a relationship through shared interests and learn more about elements in the lives of the team behind the brand, as ultimately, businesses don’t buy from companies, they buy from people.
Using social interactions is a way to build trust between buyers and sellers, which is critical for making the sale. Communication across social platforms can help erase misunderstandings, provide support and act to bind the buyer and seller more closely. It can also allow you to gain insight into what potential customers are talking about and to get real-time feedback on the services you’ve provided.
Sure, measuring the results achieved from social media won’t always be easy. It’s important to have the right social media strategy in place to be able to monitor what your company is getting out of it and what you need to do for any improvements.
Our social media marketing service helps you and your business to engage and connect directly with your audience. Feel free to give us a call on 08450 740 068, or contact us to discuss the best social media marketing plan for you.