Social Media Within A B2B Strategy

Many are those who believe that social media does not fit within any B2B online marketing strategy. In a recent presentation I’ve given, there was quite a debate amongst the audience. The sales cycle in B2B is longer and more complex than that of B2C. Before I go any further in this subject let me show you some recent figures related to social media.

Twitter has 7 million accounts and has 27 million tweets every day.
LinkedIn has over a 100 million users
Facebook exceeds 640 million users
Flikr hosts over 4 billion images
Wikipedia hosts over 14 million articles from 85,000 different contributors.

The above figures will get any CEO think twice before discarding social media. Through social networking the company can bring forward its visions, products and services. Content marketing will be the right tools to do so where the company creates and shares content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer base.

One of the first steps that a company must make is to assess its market. In this assessment one will identify the demographics of its customers and then match the social media platform that will fit best its customers. It may be the case that LinkedIn will be more proper than Facebook as it is more B2B oriented. This way the company will draft the strategy around LinkedIn format. It is recommended that such assessment takes place every six months or every year as the social media landscape is continuously changing and what is good today may not be good in six months time.

The company must then set its objectives clear. The platform selected must fit in the corporate communication strategy where it will act as an additional communication tool of its company objectives. Unlike other media, social media gives the customers to communicate directly with the company.

A fault that I see happening frequently in the B2B sector is that companies set up their page, they maintain it for a couple of weeks and then forget all about it. If a potential customer visits a page that was not updated for the recent months, it is most likely that this customer will not return back to this page and will get a negative notion about the company. Before embarking into social media a company must ensure that it has the right resources in hand to maintain it and keep a dynamic communication. It may be time-consuming however if properly planned it should no be so. Make a lost of all engagement work you need to be doing and all the content that you need to be developing and then assign it on a daily calendar over the course of the month. This way time will be managed better and the strategy will be implemented smoothly.

In due course of the social media strategy the company must always measure its efforts. It must evaluate the type of interaction it is getting and how it is impacting the online traffic. As highlighted in previous article, always direct social media followers to a central online presence being it a website or a weblog. As the online marketing world is always changing, B2B strategies must also reflect this change. One cannot keep doing the same thing for a long time. The B2B online marketing strategy must be based on four main pillars that are content, connection, communication and conversion.

In my opinion, every B2B entity must have a social media presence in the format that fits best its corporate and online marketing strategy. I understand that many still believe that social media is not for B2B, however I will be pleased to receive constructive comments in this respect.

I wish you a great day – you deserve it.
Joseph Cale