B2B Social Media Marketing
B2B Social Media Marketing is about the various avenues of the social web (blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, social networks, Wikis, etc.) as they refer to business-to-business communications and interactions. Prospects, customers and businesses use the social web to research, listen, communicate and engage with each. While the expression “social media” refers to an assortment of online communities, B2B social media focuses specifically on using the social web to drive engagement and revenues in the B2B sectors. In 2009, B2B Social Media Marketing began to gain acceptance by many businesses that market to other businesses.
“New research: B2B buyers have very high social participation.” ~ The Social Technographics of Business Buyers, Forrester Research, 2009.
One important reason why B2B Social Media Marketing saw gains, was because B2B C-Level Executives began to venture in greater numbers into the social media venues. Social media is no longer the exclusive domain of teenagers, college students and young consumers. Mature professionals are participating in social media more and more, as is proven by the following statistics:
“Some 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds indicate that they use any form of social media. That share falls to 78% among those ages 30 to 49, to 64% among those ages 50 to 64 and to 37% among Americans 65 and older.” ~ Pew Research Center, 2018.
B2B Social Media Marketing is having a real impact on the B2B sectors. The business-to-business selling/buying process has fundamentally changed. Prospects spend more time doing independent research on the web, gathering information from their peers via social media. Traditional marketing no longer applies, and today’s sales teams should seriously consider engaging in social selling, or use Web 2.0 technologies to better listen to and interact with prospects.
Citing a recovering economy and increasing marketer interest in the space, research company eMarketer recently raised its 2010 spending forecast for advertising on social networks by nearly 30% to $1.68 billion domestically.Within the social media world, however, a number of trends are dictating how, why and where money gets spent — trends that will push the industry past the $2 billion mark in 2011, according to eMarketer’s projections.
Business.com evaluated where companies were focusing their attention and resources. The study surfaced that not only are a greater number of B2B companies experimenting with social media, they are also extending their presence across multiple networks. B2B companies cannot afford to keep themselves out of the conversation while their competitors engage in it. B2B companies should seriously consider taking advantage of B2B SMM (B2B Social Media Marketing) as an important part of an integrated marketing communications strategy and connect with prospects and clients in a methodology that proves advantageous.
There are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers (Source: <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/posts/10156250899685177″>Facebook</a>). 4 million of those businesses pay for social media advertising on Facebook
More and more B2B prospects are relying on the content they find in social media channels to educate themselves about a company’s products and services. Thus, social media plays a highly influential role in the B2B decision-making processes. Therefore, smart B2B companies should use social media to monitor what prospects are saying about their company, capture interest from prospects looking for their products and services, and synchronize the marketing and sales follow-ups to social media interactions.