So we know that social media is valuable for B2C marketing, but what about for B2B? Past statistics have shown that B2B social media marketing is increasing, and becoming important in this arena.
According to a study done by eMarketer, the use of social media in B2B marketing increased by 60%. What are they using social media for? Let’s explore.
- 60% use social media for “thought leadership”. Companies put out content that illustrates their expertise in the industry. Pushing out information that other businesses see as valuable increases the chance that they will approach said company before another company that have not demonstrated their knowledge. Proving one’s value and capability is the best way to advertise a business. Businesses will always be attracted to those that have the “savoir-faire”.
- 49% use social media to generate leads. Social media is a great way to get out there and promote a business to another business that may need its services. Outreaching to businesses through social media can be very effective, as it seems less threatening then a cold call or direct walk in. A water company I used to work for did this all the time. They would contact little cafes and restaurants to let them know about their water and their specials. It worked. They generated a lot of interest that turned into ongoing customers.
- 46% use social media for customer feedback. It is critical for any business to know how they are performing, and what issues might be arising. Using social media to find out what is working or not working is a great way to instantly address and fix an issue in a time-sensitive and efficient manner.
- 35% use social media for advertising. Advertising on social networks is fine, but it is not as effective as engaging and establishing relationships. It is the relationships on a more personal level that are more trustworthy then an advertisement that is only promoting a particular business.
- 29% use social media for market research. Personally, I think that this is one of the best ways to make use of social media for a business. Find out what others are doing, find out what works, what doesn’t, and what opportunities exist to expand or better a business. A successful business is always aware of the competition, and what that business is doing vs. another. It is a great way to find out what the audience is responding to. It is also helpful between businesses, seeing what business relationships exist already, as well as what companies/businesses are looking for.
B2B Social Media is just another space allowing people to grow their business without the huge marketing budget. With more avenues for marketing, business just became a whole lot easier and a whole lot more complicated at the same time.