Social Media Delivers Big Results for B2B Sector
Posted on August 14th, 2012 by The PointBurst Team
While the B2C community may have beaten their B2B counterparts to the social media marketing dinner party, they had better order more food because B2B marketers are turning up in droves! In fact, social media marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular marketing strategies for the B2B sector and Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from $11 million in 2009 (reported via eMarketer).
There are many reasons that B2B marketers are turning to social media marketing, including lead generation. Results published in the Aberdeen Group’s recent report, “B2B Social Media Marketing: Are We There Yet,” shows that top B2B firms generate on average 17% more leads through their social media channels than their peers. The same report also found that the top 20% of B2B markers in social media lead generation showed a 20% increase in revenue for 2011. Those are results that would bring anyone to the social media marketing dining table!
Here are some of the top reasons why your B2B firm should use social media :
- Performing Market Research and Gathering Market Intelligence – Social media networks are effective tools for everything from introducing a new product idea via social channels to test market viability before investing big, to listening to what the market is saying about your product and that of your competitor so that you can proactively respond and innovate
- Create Brand Awareness – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare are the most popular B2B social media networks (Pinterest, Google+, and others are all growing) and company blogs are seen by CMOs as increasingly “critical” in delivering marketing success. by the low cost of entry for social compared to more traditional marketing channels makes it a great tool particularly for SMBs who usually have limited marketing budgets
- Customer Service/Customer Support – Today’s digital world requires that companies are able to reach and react to customers where they are, and increasingly both B2B and B2C customers are turning to social media channels to voice or address customer service issues and to seek customer support. The viral nature of social media means that a proactive approach by your company here can actually boost your brand’s reputation, or harm it if you aren’t there.
- Boost SEO So You Show Up In Search Results – Search engines are increasingly incorporating a social element in their search results and rankings (see our earlier post on social search) and company blogs, social mentions and activity all work to boost your place in organic search results.
- Address the New Social Research Buying Habits of the Connected Consumer – Today’s customer looks to digital channels to do their market research when evaluating a product and making purchase decisions. Your company needs to have a social presence and information about your product and its features/benefits readily available to potential customers during this “information gathering” phase of the new sales cycle.
- Finding New Business partners – Forming new partnerships is a core part of maintaining relevance and generating growth opportunities for B2B companies. Per Social Media Examiner’s “2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” were over 1900 B2B marketers were surveyed, over 56% said they acquired new partnerships through social media. LinkedIn is the top social media network for reaching new B2B partners and participation in LinkedIn Groups is essential to optimizing this channel.
These are just a few of the ways in which social media marketing can drive results for your B2B company. There are many more ways, in which social media marketing can be put to work for you, but one thing is clear, you should definitely make social part of your marketing mix!
And for all of you infographic junkies out there (we are right there with you!) here is a fun visual review of how B2B marketers are scoring with social media. Enjoy!