Using Social Media for B2B Marketing

14 Nov

Today most B2B companies are decreasing their offline marketing dollars and spending it on online marketing strategies. A survey by B2B Magazine revealed that over 48% of those surveyed were increasing their online marketing spend. According to another study by KnowledgeStorm of B2B technology decision makers it was found that:

90% Participate in Video
80% Participate in Blogs
80% Participate in Wikis
69% Participate in Social Networks
53% Participate in Podcasts

In the same study it was shared that of 69% of B2B buyers use social networks primarily for business networking and development.

At a minimum B2B businesses should at least be involved in communities and social network where their customers are present. It would also pay to explore the opportunity to reach out to key influencers in their target market segment and optimize their content and social media applications for syndication. There is enough data available online which proves that social media marketing has made a mark and is here to stay!

B2B Social Media Marketing Present Usage Trends
The 2010 B2B Social Media Benchmarking Study found that those B2B companies already using social media were much more active in the space than their B2C counterparts, especially when it came to microblogging, participating in discussions on third-party sites, blogging and monitoring company mentions on various social media.

B2B Social Media Marketing Trends
2012 Outlook indicates social media marketing will be of rising importance for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. Website, e-mail and search spending were at the top of the list for online tactics to increase, but social media was not far behind. Six in 10 B2B marketers planned to up spending on social in 2012.

Fifty-four percent of respondents currently use social media for marketing. That was up 9 percentage points from November 2008 and about 4 points from June 2009, showing a steady increase in B2B participation.

How B2B lead scoring companies use social media varies but what is important to note is that companies use different social media platforms depending on their end objectives, which could be creating brand awareness, lead generation or just customer engagement.
Social media coupled with other marketing campaigns both online and offline can give any brand awareness or lead generation program the much needed impetus. The best part is social media can don multiple hats, same accounts and profiles can be used to promote products, to attend to customers, generate new business leads and respond to customer feedback.

However, getting into social media marketing requires a change in mindset by the company adopting it. It involves the risk of putting out all that the company has to offer on a platter for comments, complaints and compliments. If the company ideology can facilitate that, social media can change the way it does business and interact with customers.

Social media marketing can be considered as one of the best lead nurturing best practices as well. Through constant interaction prospects can be nurtured as part of the companys lead generation effor

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