“You need to be where your customers are!” This is the old school mantra that works pretty well in the today’s world of marketing. It means that your business should have representation where your audience is active. Although this might sound simple, it can be difficult to do right. If you’re wondering whether your B2B company need to prioritize social media, this is for you.
Most B2C businesses have gone totally social, with major consumer brands investing a good amount of their time and money on social media, but is it of any worth for B2B companies?
A common myth says that social engagement is a waste of time and money for B2B companies. But stats prove otherwise. According to Biznology, 55% of the B2B buyers search for information on social media. Those searchers are your potential customers.
In 2016, social is more important than ever in the B2B vertical. Here are the reasons why, along with some tips for “best practices” and higher social ROI.
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Why Do B2B Companies Need To Prioritize Social Media
1. Salesman are Getting Less Effective
The problem is not your salesmen per se. Actually customers and the industry as a whole are reshaping and as a result, sales people are getting less effective. According to a report by V3B, B2B buyers are rating pricing as the number one information they are looking for when researching about a product online, followed by technical details and specifications. Surprisingly, product demonstrations are the least valued.
What this means for B2B selling is that you need to be available to respond in real time to their questions. Even if there’s information on your website, many potential buyers will reach out on social when they have serious questions and are buy-ready.
2. Brand Awareness is Both Bigger and More Specific
Of course, potential B2B customers aren’t just looking for information, they’re also looking for a solid brand identity that they can trust and relate to. In 2016, it’s impossible to have a real brand identity without a social presence.
And to prove this point, at ClickDesk, a B2B chat service for SMBs, we exceeded our goal of 100,000 customers/installs only through targeting Twitter and LinkedIn with content marketing and social engagement. Amazing isn’t it?
3. Trust is Shifting
Another change in terms of business reputation is that B2B buyers tend to research not just your company’s content on your website, blog and social media accounts, but they also look for outside verification. Is your business being covered by the top thought leaders in your industry? Are you active on guest blogs? Is the content you produce shareable?
And where do potential leads and current customers look for that info? On social media. That’s a big reason to spend time building your B2B brand there. This is true for “traditional” advertising, too. It’s not that paid advertising is dying, but you might have noticed that the highest ROI on advertising is happening on social now, such as Twitter ads with specific “sign up” buttons.
4. B2B is Moving Online
Did you know that 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018? Since online media is all interconnected, B2B companies cannot relax just by having a website. They need to promote themselves via email, blogs and social media. B2B companies need to prioritize social media to get their brand name everywhere so that as a result they can attract an audience and turn them into leads and paying customers.
5. The Big Buying Decision
Finally, we should all take note of a recent Smart Insight study that found social media to be just as effective as an email sent by a friend recommending a product. That’s a remarkable finding and especially important to B2B companies looking for enterprise clients where a single purchasing decision can change your financial quarter for the better. As more B2B buyers spend time online, you can influence them with a coherent social brand.
So if you haven’t been investing serious time and money in social media, or if you’ve only been doing it halfway, 2016 should be the year you take it seriously. Research on what other B2B companies in your vertical are doing. Build a strategy. Find what works and repeat it. And don’t forget to respond to every mention of your business online. In the end, it’s all about engagement.
Over to you
What are your B2B social media experiences? Have you been seeing some social success or challenges? Do share them with us!
About Guest Author: David Campbell blogs about customer service trends for ClickDesk live chat and helpdesk software. He is an active freelance writer and his other interests include organic SEO and growth hacking.
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