10 reasons to get started
Every day, marketers share the latest statistics, best practices, and case studies from and for consumer-focused brands. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable void in terms of similar content for business-to-business (B2B) brands. Unfortunately, the lack of information is seen as a testament to a lack of efficacy of social media for B2B applications. In the following article, I'll outline a compelling case for B2B marketing that disproves this assumption, as well as a list of B2B-friendly social media platforms.
Those of us who have experience with B2B marketing understand there are nuanced differences between talking to a consumer vs. a businessperson. Business purchases are typically more complicated, require longer sales cycles, include a variety of influencers and decision makers, and (allegedly) rely more on features and pricing and less on emotion and brand experience.
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Benefits of social media for B2B
That being said, there are significant similarities in terms of reasons for engaging in social media, regardless of audience. Based on an earlier blog post, I've outlined 10 reasons for B2B companies to engage in social media:
- Your customers and competitors are already there or will be soon. They are joining in droves every day and can't be ignored.
- Social media offers an excellent resource for R&D. Your constituents are helping evolve your products and services, and social media offers the world's most affordable focus group -- if you're listening.
- Social media offers an affordable and effective customer service and support medium, comprising do-it-yourself videos and photos, employee blogs, knowledge-base wikis, and more.
- Social media provides an excellent competitive research vehicle, as it enables you to follow competitors on LinkedIn, monitor trademark and industry terms via Google Alerts, and more.
- Social media platforms are effective tools for managing your reputation online.
- Social media offers a proven platform for customer engagement and empowerment via customer-managed online communities, mobile and social apps, and more.
- Social media offers proven ad platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn, which offer highly targeted and segmented audiences.
- Social media is highly measurable, yet it's difficult to measure. (You win either way, by making your case -- or glossing over the early stage tests if management isn't paying close attention.)
- Getting into the game as soon as possible can enable early adopters to leverage a lack of competition.
- According to research from ENGAGEMENTdb, socially engaged organizations are more profitable.