Are You Too B2B for Social Media

Post by Ray Hiltz 2 years ago - Social Business - 6 Comments

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trade show

I don’t deal with customers. I’m business to business.  If my clients want to find me, they can go my webpage or call me.”

Yes, we’re still having this discussion about social media and B2B companies.

I think one problem is the word “social”. It’s a soft word. 

Substituting social media for “digital networking” might be an easier sell to B2B’s.

You’re not just being social, you’re building a business relationship over a “digital golf game” or a ‘”digital business lunch.


I used to be the Sales and Marketing guy for a local theatre company that toured the US extensively. This was long before social media.

Each year we’d fly south to attend performing arts conferences where we’d pitch our shows to producers who we hoped, would present them in their performance spaces.

They, in turn, would sell them to their market – B2B, right?

 

The exhibitions were expensive, time consuming and resource heavy – but indispensable.

The best lead generation and networking was made off the floor –  in hallways, at breakfast, at the bar.

We can do all that now on social media without having to pick up the dinner tab.

Imagine if I had Google+ Hangouts or Skype then?

 

Amy Porterfield says in her case study of Cree;  a B2B industrial LED lighting company:

“Remember that you’re not selling to other businesses or to “consumers,” but instead you’re always selling to real people whose buying decisions are driven by emotion. Speak to that emotional side, as Cree has done.  Find your cause and use it in your messages and share it on your channels.” 

 

In his post: Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media,  Brian Larson summarizes Jay Baer’s answers to some common B2B social media objections.

My Customers Don’t Use Social Media

Forrester research shows that 81% of online adults use social media. Regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C, it is people who ultimately make the purchasing decisions…and 81% are using social.

Social Media Doesn’t Apply to Our Business

Does your brand have a story to tell? If you answered yes, than social applies to your business. It’s a forum to tell your story. The primary reasons any business uses social are:

  • awareness
  • sales
  • loyalty

Social Media Is Not Worth the Trouble

Forrester research found that 86% of business technology decision makers use social media for professional reasons. Social is actually MORE important for B2B than B2C. Why? With longer sales cycles, social can actually reduce the touch points needed to close a sale.

Is social media right for every B2B business?
No.

If you don’t have leadership from the top to propel a social media strategy, then it will fail.

Without sufficient resources invested and the company committed, a business won’t be able to maintain either the level of engagement or volume of content to see positive results.

You can outsource consulting, strategy, monitoring, and even content generation but you can’t outsource “you”.

 

Oli Gardner shared this infographic created by Inside View.

It contains some great ammunition to volley at those B2B social media naysayers.

 

social-b2b

Which social platforms do you think are best suited to B2B marketing?

 

(This is an edited version of a previously published post.) 

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About Ray Hiltz

Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.

5 comments
cendrinemedia
cendrinemedia

To me, the mistake is too believe that providing B2B services is not about pleasing clients. Businesses are clients too.

demi ter haar
demi ter haar

I agree that you can get more revenue with social media, but I have to say that not all of them works great. For example I get 30/40% of my sales out if Linkedin and 5/10% out of Facebook AND twitter.

newraycom
newraycom

FabriceCalando Thanks, Fabrice. Very good point about being a very focussed relationship. I'll be sure to check this book out.  Oh, wedding was amazing; very proud Dad :-)

FabriceCalando
FabriceCalando

newraycom I'll be crass and say every marketer or social marketer should read -- B2B or B2C. Very happy for you and the family!

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  1. [...] This post is a follow up to one I did recently: Are You To “Business to Business” for Social Media? [...]