The fact that you're reading this article indicates that either you are interested in learning more about how B2B companies use social media for marketing or you are an experienced B2B marketer who is considering incorporating social media into your current marketing strategy. If it's the former, congratulations! You will not find a better guide than this one.
If it's the latter, you're probably still here because you are not convinced that social media can really be of any use to your company. The truth is that it has changed the way B2B companies market their products and services and there are statistics available to prove this!
Social media is an online platform where people interact with each other. This interaction takes the form of sharing information, ideas, and news as well as engaging in discussions. Social media has changed the way we communicate and due to its ability to reach out to a large number of people at once, it has revolutionized marketing strategies for B2B companies.
Moreover, social media has revolutionized marketing strategies for B2B companies. This is because it allows the companies to stay connected with their target audience. Social media has enabled small businesses to take full advantage of targeted marketing techniques, which are cost-effective and efficient.
Is social media good for B2B marketing?
Yes, it can be used when treated as an investment with long-term benefits. However, using it in isolation without other traditional marketing strategies won't bring much success to the company. Marketers must research before implementing any strategy and keep in mind that people don't like advertisements on social networks. Social media alone cannot help a company gain massive success overnight rather it is something they should work towards over time while enhancing their products or services based on feedback received from viewers or users.
So, while social media can prove beneficial for B2B marketing strategies, it is not without its drawbacks. There are several disadvantages of using social media in your B2B marketing strategy. Let's take a quick look at the top 10 reasons why using social media in B2B marketing can be challenging, or even problematic.
Top 10 Reasons NOT To Use Social Media for B2B Marketing
1. Social media might not be right for all B2B marketing strategies
While social media has the potential to help market any product, service, or company, its effectiveness depends on your target audience and how it will relate to them. For example, you may find that tweeting about how great your products do not induce a response from customers who do not use Twitter as a primary mode of communication. Similarly, using a LinkedIn group as a platform to discuss brand success stories might be ineffective because LinkedIn groups allow only one discussion per thread which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and confusion among participants who have different views on the topic at hand. In such cases, direct email marketing messaging would prove more effective as it lets you contact specific customers rather than an entire social media platform.
2. Social media is unpredictable
When you are using social media in your marketing strategy, it is impossible to know what will grab the attention of the target audience and whether or not people will engage with your content. The unpredictable nature of social media means that you have to spend a lot of time making posts, moderating discussions, etc which can prove costly especially if you are looking to market an e-product or service—it can be difficult to recoup your investment in such cases.
3. Not every B2B business needs to use social media
While the attractiveness of using social media for B2B marketing reasons may seem clear, companies should ensure that they are doing so because it makes sense for their business and their target audience. Social media has become a necessity for some B2B businesses such as those that provide services to consumers (e.g. retail banks, e-commerce websites) but for other B2Bs such as those that offer business-to-business services (e.g. management consulting firms), social media may not be necessary and what you currently do may prove effective enough.
4. It is difficult to measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media
While social media can help increase brand awareness and visibility, it is difficult to determine how much these benefits are worth in terms of actual revenue your company gains from using social media because there are several intangible benefits which cannot be measured easily or at all. The same applies to costs involved in using social media—you may end up spending more than you gain for example if you are using it very frequently (i.e. post on Twitter every hour).
5. Social media can lead to damage to your brand's image
You want people to see your brand in the best light possible and while this is not always easy with traditional marketing methods, social media makes it even harder. This is because there exists a very thin line between the right amount of self-promotion and over-objectification of one's company which can lead to backlash from your audience who may view these actions as being 'too corporate' or 'trying too hard. Even an innocuous tweet about how great the cafeteria at work is can be viewed as a desperate attempt to appear cool and hip which will earn you some dislikes.
6. It is difficult to protect your brand on social media
Since the nature of social media means that anyone can post anything about your brand or company there is a risk of defamation or libel if someone posts something derogatory about your business without any evidence for their claims. In such cases, you have limited recourse because even if you win the legal battle, the damage has been done by then because people have already seen it online. Thus, using social media in an B2B marketing strategy involves taking a risk that might not pay off in terms of benefits gained from it.
7. There are security risks involved with social media
Today, it seems like you are never more than a password reset away from losing all your data, and if that isn't scary enough, there is also the risk of hacking when you have to deal with dealing with passwords, usernames etc. Although social media sites offer some protection against viruses and malware for example by being cautious about what they allow on their platforms, there are still many risks involved in using various platforms.
8. The same content can be posted elsewhere
Since most platforms are pretty similar in nature (e.g. Facebook has practically become another version of LinkedIn), people who use these sites tend to get bored easily because they can't tell them apart anymore—they end up sharing similar posts or updates across different sites without realizing which of their connections will be interested in it. This means that you are not reaching out to the people you want to with your message—you might end up sharing useful information with useless connections for example, which is why it is important to consider the type of content you share on social media before doing so.
9. Social media can take away resources from other marketing channels
While using social media in itself may be easy enough, managing a good presence online takes time and effort which could be taken away from creating better content or finding new ways of promoting your company. Thus, the more active you are on social media sites, the less time there is for experimenting with new ideas about how to promote your business better because they have already been tried by others.
10. Social media posts are difficult to link with traditional marketing campaigns
It is very difficult to use social media in support of a traditional offline campaign for example, getting people to your store by posting about it on Facebook—it is hard to track how users arrived at your website or store after seeing your post online which means that you cannot measure the direct impact of these posts on sales. Thus, even though there is a lot of potentials when it comes to using social media sites for B2B marketing, they cannot be depended upon completely, and more importantly, they need to be included among other channels such as email marketing and promotional offers if they are going to be effective.
That said, the power of social media in B2B marketing is impossible to neglect and with that, let's take a look at the top 10 reasons why B2B social media engagement is the way to go.
Top 10 Reasons Why Social Media Is Critical for B2B Success
1. It allows for more personalized marketing
The best thing about social media is that it gives you the chance to interact with your target audience on a one-on-one basis. With just about any business, customers want to feel like they are being heard and this is something that can be achieved through social media engagement. You can post new product updates or company news and immediately get feedback from customers before you go ahead and release them so you know exactly what they need before spending money on them.
2. Builds better products
On social media, your products will be judged by the people who matter most – potential consumers! They'll pass around word if a product really performs as promised, which means you'll avoid releasing things that may not live up to expectations.
3. Increases brand awareness
Another benefit of social media is that it has a huge reach and allows you to get your content in front of more people. It also helps if your content is sharable, which means people like and want to share the stuff they find interesting. Not only does this help increase your visibility and credibility, but it can also lead to even more people engaging with your business on social media!
4. Works as an SEO tool
People love sharing great content online and when you publish unique, useful information on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, chances are good that they'll link back to your website or blog (wherever that great information is coming from). This will improve your site's ranking in search results, which is great for those looking to do B2B marketing.
5. Helps you track and monitor your competitors
You can use social media to gather intel on what other businesses are doing, too – and that's not just limited to their products! You can find out about new product releases, see how they're marketing themselves, and learn a whole lot more by simply following them on social media sites like Twitter or LinkedIn. This helps you better understand the industry as well as improve your own strategies for future B2B leads generation.
6. Generates leads
When you know what people want before releasing it, chances are good that it'll be received well – which means you'll get more leads from social media. You can also present yourself as a thought leader by engaging with customers and other businesses online, which helps position you as a reliable source of information for potential B2B clients.
7. It drives sales
When people share your content on social media or otherwise engage with your brand, it helps build trust – and that goes a long way to make sure they choose you over the competition! Social media is also an excellent platform for promoting discounts and other offers, which means you have the chance to sell even more of your products.
8. Improves customer service
Social media allows you to stay in touch with consumers as well as provide answers to questions quickly so they don't have to wait for days to get a response. If you can engage with consumers on social media, they'll come to know your brand well and are more likely to feel personally connected with it – which means repeat customers.
9. Opens up new business opportunities
With social media, there's simply no excuse for ignoring the huge market out there that is global B2B leads generation – and if you know how to make it work in your favor, you'll be able to build even stronger relationships with clients and lead them down the path of conversion.
10. Provides competitive intelligence
Perhaps one of the best reasons why B2B social media engagement works is that it gives you access to information about what other businesses in your industry or niche are up to. You can see what their strategies are, where they're getting the most visibility and engagement, which platforms they seem to be thriving on...
And if that weren't enough, here are 7 BONUS reasons to double down on using social media for B2B marketing
7 Bonus Reasons
11. Increases brand loyalty
Once you have the trust of consumers through social media, your business is bound to see an increase in repeat customers who will come back time and again for more of your products or services. This helps generate even more B2B leads because loyal clients are always worth their weight in gold!
12. Helps build authority
Sites like Quora that allow people to ask questions about topics they're interested in mean that you'll have a place where people can learn about different aspects of your industry. If you consistently post informative content on social media, you'll not only build trust with consumers, you'll also position yourself as an authority figure in your industry.
13. Increases customer engagement
Social media makes it easy for customers to engage with businesses – and that means more B2B leads! Consumers can easily give feedback on products after they've been released, whether good or bad, which can help improve not just one product but other items your company offers as well. That's a big deal when it comes to generating leads!
14. Helps generate leads from other platforms
As I mentioned earlier, social media is a great place for content promotion – so if people see what you have to offer and like what they see, chances are good that they'll head over to your website to find out more. This helps generate B2B leads by making sure that the first step of the sales funnel is completed before they even pick up the phone or send an email.
15. Saves money on marketing
When you know your target market well, it means you don't need to invest as many resources in things like advertising – and since social media doesn't cost nearly as much as other channels, it can save you a lot of precious cash.
16. Promotes contests and giveaways
If you want to generate more B2B leads, there's nothing better than offering something for free! Giving consumers discounts, coupons, special offers and gifts is one way to attract new people to your business – but if you want to keep them coming back for more, it's important that your offers are relevant and enticing. Running contests or giveaways on social media is a great way of doing just that because it encourages people to retweet or share posts with their friends.
17. Quickly changes strategy
Social media allows you to see what consumers are interested in on an ongoing basis which means you can easily change your marketing strategy if necessary...in fact, some businesses even use software like Hootsuite where they can schedule social media updates automatically! This means if something isn't working one week, you don't have to wait until the next month's B2B leads report comes out – you'll already know within minutes so you can quickly take action!
So, the answer to the question "Is social media good for B2B marketing?" can be concluded as a yes provided it is used correctly and in line with the company's strategy. The only aspect that marketers need to keep in mind is that social media should not be treated as a shortcut that will increase sales overnight since this approach has rarely worked in the past or will work in the future either. It needs to be approached more like an investment with long-term benefits rather than short-term gains.
The key to success is to have a well-crafted B2B social media strategy in place. A good social media presence will develop trust amongst the target audiences and lead to increased customer loyalty which can translate into higher sales numbers at the end of the year.
What Does The Data Say About Social Media Marketing?
If you still think that using social media for your business is not worth it, then let us give you a list of statistics that will change your mind:
• According to a research study by McKinsey, companies with strong social media presence tend to be 3 times more profitable than their competitors.
• The same study revealed that one unhappy customer is enough to cost a company $3,500 and 16 loyal customers can compensate for that one unhappy customer.
• Companies that use social media for B2B marketing have 16% higher search engine rankings which is good news for SEO experts.
As mentioned, social media can be used to start conversations with your customers, communicate the company's core values and build up brand awareness. The best part about social media is that it can be used jointly by human resources, sales and marketing departments. By using the right B2B social media strategies, you will be able to increase sales, strengthen brand loyalty and interact with your customers on a personal level which is not possible even if you have an office of 100 employees.
In addition, companies must also ensure they handle customer complaints on such channels appropriately otherwise their reputation could take a hit which would make them lose existing customers along with attracting new ones. Since most users tend to post reviews after using a product or service, ignoring the complaints could lead to further damage that will be difficult to repair or rectify.
It is also important for B2B marketing managers to understand that social media alone cannot bring success, their content marketing must be unique and of high quality so it engages viewers and makes them want to share it with friends. Furthermore, marketers need to keep in mind that people don't like advertisements on social networks so they should refrain from taking this route since it can hurt their image among users which would eventually result in loss of potential customers due to word-to-mouth publicity.
The bottom line here is that social media has become an inevitable part of our daily lives and businesses are no longer able to avoid using these channels if they want their brand name to spread across the web. However, this approach cannot be applied in isolation and companies must use other traditional marketing techniques along with social media to ensure their campaign has a mix of online and offline activities so they can gain maximum benefit from it.
Finally, understanding that social media has become a popular platform for businesses to promote their products and services can help companies devise an effective strategy to achieve success in the online world. Social media is not only cost-effective but also allows them to engage their audience directly which will prove beneficial in the long run.
The Balance Between Traditional Marketing and Social Media Channels
Social media can drive traffic to a company website and increase sales but marketers need to understand that it cannot be a replacement for traditional marketing strategies. B2B marketers must find the right mix of social media and other offline activities so they can gain maximum reach and exposure.
Both traditional marketing channels and social media are effective in their rights, however, the former tends to provide a higher return on investment. Therefore, B2B marketers should identify their target audience's needs before choosing the right channels for the promotion of their products/services.
For example, if a company is targeting professionals via LinkedIn then they can share job postings on the social networking site since it would help them gain greater visibility. However, the same cannot be done on Facebook where users are more interested in the personal lives of others rather than making business-related connections.
Therefore, B2B marketers should use traditional marketing channels to promote their company's products/services and popularize their brand name before entering the social media world where they can engage with their audience directly.
The Verdict: Is Social Media Marketing Good for B2B Marketing?
Social media marketing is good for B2B marketing to an extent and businesses must understand that social media has become a key resource for online activities, but it cannot replace traditional marketing strategies. Businesses must choose the right channels to promote their products/services so they can gain maximum exposure and reach their target audience. If they fail to do so, they will end up wasting their time and resources.
What are the benefits of social media marketing for B2B companies?
Social media is a great way to build relationships with your prospects and engage them on various channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. If you can create a positive brand image for yourself, you can convert your prospects into paying customers. Social media also allows businesses to connect with people on the same level because it is not bound by geographical limitations, making it easier to strike deals with potential clients.
What are the drawbacks of social media marketing for B2B companies?
There are many B2B marketers that feel that social media is not an effective way to promote their business because it can't replace traditional marketing strategies. Most of them fail to understand the importance of social media and end up ignoring it all together. If you want to use social media as a tool for promoting your products/services, you need to create a page or group on these platforms and provide information about your business. You must also make it easier for people to share the content you post on social media with their friends and followers. You must also make your posts interactive and engage your audience through polls, contests and discussions.
However, you must understand that social media is not an advertising platform and you cannot expect people to visit your site by clicking on a link posted on social media platforms. You need to have a strategy in place if you want to promote your business online. If you fail to plan your marketing strategy in advance, you will end up wasting a lot of time and resources. You must always be on the lookout for new opportunities that can help you increase your sales and generate more leads.
How can B2B businesses get more value from social media?
Social media has become an important resource for online activities and is considered by marketers as one of the best tools to promote their products/services. It is also a great way for businesses to engage with their prospects and give them an insight into how they work. This allows businesses to connect with potential clients on a personal level and build relationships that can prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Those are some tips on what you should consider if you're thinking of using social media for B2B marketing. It's not something that can be taken lightly and requires planning, research, and working in collaboration with other professionals within the company. By following the correct approach from start to finish, marketers will be able to see a positive impact on their business as well as have an idea about where they need to improve further.
Thus, it can be said that social media is good for B2B marketing as long as it is used correctly since it allows companies to engage more directly with their target audience and gain insight into how they market their products or services so they can enhance them based on the feedback received. However, this platform cannot replace traditional marketing techniques nor will it help a company succeed overnight. It is simply another tool that they can use to convey their message and reach a wider range of potential consumers.
Finally, social media is not a one-stop solution for all your B2B marketing needs. It has its benefits and drawbacks depending on the type of industry you are in. You may use it to engage with your customers but should refrain from using it to sell products or promote brand awareness directly. Social media is only beneficial if it's part of an overall B2B marketing strategy that includes other traditional channels among others.
Social media is one of the best tools for B2B companies. It allows businesses to find out what their prospects are looking for and how they want their products/services to be marketed. However, social media cannot replace traditional marketing techniques and requires proper planning to get the most value from it.