Article

William Yates
William Yates 8 September 2015

B2B Social Media And Social Marketing: Really An Effective Business Tool?

Social marketing creates awareness of your enterprises' products or services long before prospects and customers visit your website.

Many b2b marketers still perceive social media and social marketing as purely the domain of consumer marketing programmes and dismiss them as (probably) an ineffective business communications channel.



And this is interesting, because in the b2b space, prospects and customers may be up to 57% of the way through their purchase decision process 1 before ever contacting your sales team. So where does that leave you?

Reaching Out Further, Faster

This means that while reliance on a well search optimised website with skilful on-page key phrase placement is good practice and will certainly provide visibility, a huge inbound volume opportunity is being overlooked.


Let’s look at some hard statistics:

40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important in researching technologies and services for purchase; 19% say the same for Twitter 2

45% of B2B marketers have gained customers through LinkedIn 3

43% of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook 4


Don’t Wait To Be Found

What social marketing will do is start creating awareness of your enterprises’ products or services long before these prospects and customers visit your website. Why? Because through the use of social media, you have reached out to them, rather than waiting for them to find you.

And this is where many B2B marketers lose the plot. There is for some reason, a perception that any social media presence must be light-hearted and fun. Well, it can be; but it really doesn’t have to be; and your social media presence can be as business-like as you wish.

Creating Relevant Messaging



B2B social marketing doesn’t have to have offers; gimmicks or funny cat videos – it just needs to guide prospects and customers – through the delivery of relevant messaging – to your website or marketing automation (MA) system.


If you believe social media and social marketing requires a different communications strategy to web content, then you’re right. The difference with social is the narrative is constantly moving forward, so needs to be treated a bit like storytelling.


That is to say, in social, your story is being revealed piece by piece in a blog or post – revealing one fact at a time – and therefore requires careful strategic planning. The trick is, using that one fact approach to point readers to web content that builds out that message.

Planning Makes Perfect


To extend your reach, and reach out to potential customers beyond your competitors and before they even find you, sound planning and the development of a solid communications strategy is essential. And this strategy has to fully align will your marketing plan.


Because using social channels – whichever they may be – will require you to roll out an engaging, regular and episodic story – single fact, by single fact, that aligns with your communications strategy and may run over many weeks or months.



Feeding The Funnel

This regular, episodic storytelling guides prospects to your website where marketing content takes up and embellishes the story, guiding the visitor along their sales journey and towards the sales funnel and a transaction.

In B2B marketing where high value transactions are common, the sales journey is often a long one, as decision-making takes place, with many divergences and digressions as B2B procurement teams and other decision-makers would expect.


Using social media, you will have got to B2B prospects earlier than most not using these channels, and if you are using an MA system, no matter how basic, you’ll be able to interact with these prospects in exactly the way they would anticipate ahead of a transaction.


So, maybe social marketing is much more appropriate to B2B marketing than it might look to the uninitiated first-timer.


1
CEB best practice insight and technology
2 Social Media Today
3 Social Media Today
4 HubSpot: State of Inbound Marketing

Original Article

Find out more on the future of Content Marketing at our DLUK - Trends briefing on the 24th September 2015

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Life of a Twitter Influencer [Infographic]

Life of a Twitter Influencer [Infographic]

The following infographic Illustrates the life of a Twitter Influencer and includes everything from earnings, cheatsheets and social movements started on Twitter. While Twitter may not be the most popular social channel it is still one of the most powerful channels to spark online conversation. If you're a Twitter influencer, this infographic is the ultimate guideline to your future tweets.

Chiara Di Rago
Chiara Di Rago 30 November 2016
Read more
50 Chrome Extensions That Will Boost Your Productivity

50 Chrome Extensions That Will Boost Your Productivity

Today you can find Google Chrome extensions for almost anything that you can think about. In the sea of available extensions, it can be a hustle to choose which one are the best for your type of the business.

Aleksej Durdevic
Aleksej Durdevic 29 November 2016
Read more
Digital Marketing - The Wave of the Future

Digital Marketing - The Wave of the Future

With social media platforms like Facebook holding well over 1.6 billion users world-wide (and counting), these digital platforms have become the new marketplace. In order to properly promote business brands and products or services, an online company needs to employ the services of a specialist known as a digital marketer.

Mohammad Farooq
Mohammad Farooq 29 November 2016
Read more