This is Part 1 of a two-part article written by Ben Leftwich of Anvil Media. Part 2 will appear tomorrow.
93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence, and 85% of these buyers also expect companies to interact and engage with them via social media (via Buzz Marketing for Technology).
We all read about how businesses are embracing social media to reach customers, but nearly every article I run across has to do with B2C and retail companies. Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly innovative social media campaigns running right now for everything from burgers to blue jeans, but I think we can all agree that when selling a 50, 100, or 500 thousand dollar piece of business equipment there are different social media considerations than a 99¢ cheeseburger.
What’s Your Goal?
Any conversation with B2B companies usually starts like this: “what tool should we use? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube?”
In many ways, that’s completely backwards to how B2B companies (and frankly any business) should be looking at social media. Here are the two questions they should start with:
1. What’s our goal with social media?
2. Where’s our target audience?
Goals for B2B companies could range from brand awareness, to leads, or even to sales. If they don’t know what their goal is though how will they ever know if they’re getting closer?
The second question (where’s our audience) is crucial because a B2B company could put together the most amazing Facebook campaign with a custom landing page, integrated photos and videos, links to compelling content, but if none of their target decision makers are on Facebook, then it was all a waste.
But how do B2B companies find out where their audience is? Why not just ask them? A quick survey could easily save companies thousands of dollars in wasted staff time.
B2B Decision Makers are on Social Media
Business decision makers are already on social media. A recent study by KnowledgeStorm found that:
• 90% Participate in Video
• 80% Participate in Blogs
• 80% Participate in Wikis
• 69% Participate in Social Networks
• 53% Participate in Podcasts
In Part 2 of this article, I’ll discuss the efforts of a couple of standout B2B companies making huge strides in social media.