Why do so many people think B2B’s don’t get social media?
Well, have we proven them wrong yet? True, an increasing numbers of businesses
in the B2B world use social media, but the number pales in comparison to the
numbers who still don’t get it. Companies going about it in the right way are
learning the importance of being a B2B and social savvy. These businesses know
their options and how social media fits well into their marketing strategies.
B2B companies using social media find the entire world exists
at their fingertips. They see the opportunities to easily network with people
all over the world…and, even better – the potential ability to do business
with them. With more company decision-makers seeking and finding their vendors
online, a B2B company should be there as well. It makes sense, right? B2B
companies successfully using social media in their marketing mix demonstrate to
their more tech-savvy prospects how they ‘get it,’ as they engage and interact
in their social spheres with them. B2B companies who are social successfully
understand it’s not about selling – it’s about being real.
B2B’s Should Educate – Not Sell – Through Social Media
B2B marketers know educated buyers become their best
customers. Social media offers the easiest and least obtrusive way to develop
relationships with potential customers. According to Joel Book in an article
for ExactTarget, “effective
use of social media for B2B marketers is more about creating increased brand
awareness than it is about lead generation.” Potential clients often
abandon the businesses who go on social media channels to tout their own
self-promotional and sales pitches. These same potential clients feel
comfortable engaging with businesses whose message comes across as educational,
useful and helpful. In other words, these companies are B2B and socially savvy.
The difference comes down to the way prospects perceive the business.
Where to Be B2B and Socially Savvy
Businesses should accept there is no “one-size-fits-all”
solution to being socially savvy. Two businesses within the same industry may
join the same social platforms, but one may gain a significantly higher number
of loyal followers than the other. Any guesses why this happens? One reason is
the business with the higher number of followers understands social. As Philip
Paranicas explains in a post for MarketingProfs, “LinkedIn,
Twitter, Google Plus, blogs… they’re dialogues—just like the conversations
you have at industry events. They’re an opportunity for you to influence
thinking and perspective and bring new ideas and new solutions to the
table.” Socially savvy B2B’s do their research – they learn where
their prospects hang out online and know how to speak their language when
interacting with them. In other words, it’s not the social platform, but how
the business uses the social platform, when engaging with its
prospects. Being B2B and socially savvy is possible and yes – it’s achievable.