Social media is often perceived as a marketing tool that performs better for B2C businesses rather than B2B. Many B2B businesses don’t believe they can achieve the same impact as B2C businesses with social media. This is a myth that needs to be debunked. B2B companies can really benefit from social media marketing initiatives. Get it right and a B2B company will achieve a greater impact that their B2C counterparts.
We’re going to bust the myth of B2B social media marketing and firmly establish measurable value can be achieved. We’ll take a look at some of the myths of B2B social media marketing and why you should ignore them.
Myth: social media is best suited to B2C brands
The assertion that social media is best suited to B2C brands is simply not true, its the complete opposite that’s true. B2B customers will seek out reviews, recommendations, and content. Yes, they will be looking at your competitors too, seeking out personal recommendations and reviews in exactly the same way consumers investigate consumer products.
B2B companies are often targeting a smaller number of potential clients. And, the value of each customer is higher. They tend to have longer buyer journeys, involving many more stages and interactions. A B2B buyer journey will typically involve more stakeholders, influencers and decision makers to conclude a purchase.
If you ensure you are active and current in your online communications and activities, you will stand a better chance of staying top-of-mind for your buyers.
Myth: LinkedIn is the only social media channel for B2B companies
For many years that statement may have been true. And yes, many B2B businesses were slow to adopt other social media channels, or see the value they can contribute to business goals. Today B2B companies from many industry sectors are seeing and measuring the value other channels can offer.
B2B companies see the positive impact of social media through brand awareness, audience interaction, customer service, lead generation and talent acquisition. Big brands across all industry sectors are active across many social media channels.
And leading B2B brands such as IBM, Schlumberger, IBM, HSBC, JP Morgan, Cisco, and Oracle are exposing a softer, more human side to their big brand image. Its an approach that can be very powerful, with positive outcomes.
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Brands embracing social media channels are reaping the rewards, by engaging with their audiences across channels such as twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
Myth: my target audience aren’t using social media
There are over 80 billion social media users around the world, spending on average 2 hours and 24 minutes per day. Check out the Essential social media stats.
Those are numbers you just can’t ignore and demonstrates that your audience are using social media. You may be selling B2B, but it’s important to remember its still a human to human transaction. Its worth searching out your target companies on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others.
By completing this exercise you will understand which social media channels your target companies are using and where they are active. You’re trying to answer these key questions
- Where is my target audience?
- Where is my target audience active?
Myth: social media won’t drive lead generation
The B2B buyer journey is often much longer, more complex and probably involves more stages and interactions. It includes more stakeholders and decision makers to conclude a purchase. Your audience may be smaller, but the price point is higher.
Buyers often undertake more research and verification which is where social media can support the journey by sharing relevant content, case studies, testimonials, thought leadership aligned to your buyer.
Social media is a great tool to engage and nurture buyers from initial curiosity or seeking out solutions to challenges and problems, right the way through to purchase. Buyers can choose their own pace, and social media will generate leads for your business.
Social media will increase traffic to your website, where you can make appropriate use of gated content to help capture lead information. Offering access to premium content such as white papers, reports, e-books and webinars will really engage your prospective buyers. And generate leads for your sales team.
LinkedIn has consistently proven to make the largest contribution to lead generation. A Hubspot survey shows that LinkedIn is 277% (3 x) more effective for lead generation than other social media networks.
Myth: you can’t measure results on social media
Social media is one of the most straightforward tools to measure results with each platform offering numerous reports and analytics. The real challenge is understanding what you should measure, what that tells you in terms of outcomes and how that influences future actions and activities.
Social media channels offer intelligence around engagement rates, reach, click through rates, audience growth, influencers, comments, shares, impressions. By identifying what’s important to measure, you can determine if the investment is delivering the outcomes and results you want.
Its important to set some goals and measure performance against those goals. You;ll need to be patient, sometimes seeing your ROI can take a little time.
Myth: social media won’t improve my SEO
The direct tie between social media and SEO are vague, as this article in Forbes highlights, pages on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Faceook can be crawled by search engines. There is a lack of transparency on how much these pages impact search algorithms and rankings. However, this does show a direct relationship between social media and SEO performance.
Consistent, reliable, and relevant content shared on social media channel, that directs audiences to your website will improve your ranking and website performance.
Social media reality
Increasing your B2B company’s exposure online using social media will increase brand awareness and establish trust and credibility with your target audience and buyers. This will directly contribute to your buyer journey and your lead generation. Create opportunities to engage directly with them.
Reach your prospects and customers through social media channels where they are active. Be active and be seen, where they are. Create opportunities to engage directly with them. Be interactive and share, comment and like their content that’s relevant to your business.
Achieve positive, increased brand visibility with social media. Audiences will see your company in a variety of different, yet cohesive ways. It will reinforce a prospects view of a company and increases credibility and trust.
Here are a few tips to help you increase the success of your social media:
- Share relevant, high-quality relevant content. If your content is considered valuable, your audience may share it
- Post consistently and frequently, avoiding feast and famine
- Set yourself for success – commit to whats achievable
- Use a mixture of created and curated content
- Encourage interactions, comments and dialogue with your audience, and respond and reply
If you need guidance and support building a social media strategy, get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org.