Many of the B2B marketers we speak with aren’t sure social media is right for them. To them, we say: Get out from underneath that rock! Facebook currently has over 750 million active users. Nearly half of those users are between the ages of 26 and 54. And 50 percent of Facebook’s active users log onto the site in any given day. There are more than 200 million registered Twitter users, and the majority of them are aged 30-49. You don’t need a degree in statistics to figure out that many of your customers and business prospects are spending time on social networks. It’s pure logic; you must be where they are!
Social Media Today recently posted five B2B social media statistics we found quite interesting. Here goes:
• B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010
• 69% of B2B marketers are shifting their budgets toward social media. Source: MarketingSherpa, October 2010
• 41% of B2B companies are acquiring customers through Facebook. Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2011
• 86% of B2B companies are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C companies. Source: White Horse, March 2010
• Social media helps B2B marketers improve search results. Source: BtoB Magazine, July 2010
Beyond the stats
We could make the argument that it’s even more important for a B2B company to use social media, since often the information they’re providing is more technical and harder to obtain than information from well-known B2C brands. Also, it’s refreshing for a company to turn the attention away from itself and onto its customer. Talk less and listen more.
Social networking is a great way to get an outsider’s point of view on what works and doesn’t work about your company, product or service. Learn from what they’re saying and make improvements where necessary. Consider it a low cost, high impact, synergistic ramp up of your marketing plan.
Assign a marketing or PR employee to identify which social networking channels your customers are spending time on, then create your company profile there. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or all four – be there and monitor what people are saying about you. Update your status, tweet, or post when you have something important to say. And if you get negative comments, address them politely and see if there’s something you can do to turn lemons into lemonade. Make it your duty to resolve customer issues quickly so it’s obvious that you’re serious about providing good service to your customers.
Finding it time consuming to keep track of all your social media accounts? Head on over to HootSuite, where you can monitor your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and other SoMe accounts all in one place. You can even use it to schedule messages or create analytics reports.
Customers want to engage with the companies they deal with. Give them a forum to do so. But whatever you do, don’t use it as a one-way promotion tool
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. SoMe users are wise to this and won’t tolerate it.
It’s time to get in the game. Create your B2B social strategy today!