If you haven’t already ventured into the online world of social media and marketing, there are probably only a few reasons why:
These are reasonable responses to the question of “why?” but with a little further research, I think you may just change your opinion as many businesses have, including us!
It can be a little difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially in a business to business scenario. There are several benefits, so maybe now is the time to jump in!
You don’t know how to – It can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have an understanding of what it takes to get involved in social media. The best thing to do is search for one of your clients on these social media platforms, or even one of your competitors to see what they are doing and how they utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Word Press, LinkedIn, etc. Read, read, and read… it will give you more insight in how to join the online world as well as keep you up to date on what is going on in your industry. Who knows, maybe you will have something to say right away. Commenting on other businesses blogs and pages are great ways to introduce yourself and share your knowledge on the web.
You don’t have the time to – You don’t have to dive into everything at once. Maybe you are already more familiar with Facebook than any other site. Start there. If not, just pick one to start with for the first few months and you will gradually gain the confidence to implement others. Setting up a Facebook or Twitter account will not take you long to accomplish, just get it done and you can do some tweaking later. There are actually a lot of great blogs out there that will walk you through the entire process of creating these accounts.
The best in the business are posting and tweeting multiple times a day. They most likely have the resources to have an employee dedicated solely to social media. You should shoot for at least once every couple of days and if you start up a blog, try to start by posting relevant news to your company or your industry once a week, or at a minimum, bi-weekly. The more you do it, the better you will get and thus, take less of your time to create frequent posts.
You don’t think it will benefit you – It is true that social media is more effective for B2C companies but that doesn’t mean that it is not beneficial to B2B. The idea behind social media is to first of all, create more brand awareness on the web. The more websites your company is listed and active on, the easier it is for people to find you, understand you and learn what specifically sets you apart from the rest. These sites show up on general searches through Google and other search engines, so if you post quality content, rich in industry keywords, you will get a higher ranking. It’s all about posting good content as regularly as you can to try to get people involved in your business and your industry. Start a dialogue, talk to people that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to, drive businesses to your website, and ultimately make a positive impact on your business. We’ve seen it work.
Remember— If you do want to get into social media and even after your research you don’t think you will be able to pull it off, you can always outsource it to a trusted company.
15 Benefits of Social Media:
A Few Points on Social Media Sites
What do you do when you are puzzled by something? You google it, like everyone else, since Google is the dominant search engine. Today millions of business professionals are only willing to reach as far as their keyboard for the answers they need. The question is will they find you? Do yourself a favor, Google yourself and find out if you are on the first page. If you’re not, here are some things you can do to increase your visibility on Google:
1. Update your employees’ profiles (photos, bios, links to their online profiles)
Web analytics reveal that the most viewed pages are the About Us and Contact Us pages. Why is that? It is driven by genuine human curiosity. People want know who they are doing business with, their names and faces, and not only that, they want to contact them too!
2. Blog, Blog, Blog.
As highlighted in our previous blog articles, there are many benefits in blogging. You can write about the things your customers want to know, share your insights in the market, and anything else that may interest your clients.
3. Incorporate Social Media on your site.
Social Media creates much larger audience groups for businesses. The Internet is a public and social place and having social media incorporated within your website means you are connected to more people more topics and subjects, thus increasing the chances your website will be picked up by Google’s search engine.
What else do you need? Commitment, Commitment and Commitment! It is a full time job to maintain your website and do it right. Update your website, blog and social media frequently, as a less active site is not going to rank well on Google.
As we were trying to put together some interesting facts about social media for B2B marketers, we discovered this interesting video. Then, we decided why would we tell you something, when we can show you instead. So, enjoy it.
B2B companies are ahead of their B2C rivals when it comes to social media adoption
Source: Business.com – 2009 B2B Social Media Benchmarking Study (http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007404)
And the FTSE 100 are just plain running scared of Twitter
Source: Virgin Media Business (http://ow.ly/1gDTf)
But CIOs could well be the biggest blocker to social media adoption
Source: Robert Half Technology (http://rht.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=131&item=790)
Use of social media by B2B companies is validated by B2B buyer perspectives
Source: Cone Inc – Social Media in business (http://ow.ly/1dLqJ)
And that’s because the B2B buying process is fundamentally changing
Source: DemandGen Report
Source: Buyersphere ebook, Enquiro (http://ow.ly/YbQm)
Source: Forrester Research, How to take B2B relationships from Indifferent to Engaged: Jan 2009
Yet there are differing opinions as to where search comes into play in the buy cycle
Source: DemandGen Report (http://ow.ly/1d82N)
Source: Marketo (http://bit.ly/9O6pix)
If you think C-level executives aren’t active online, you’re sorely mistaken
Source: Forbes Insight – The Rise of the Digital C-Suite (http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/digital_csuite/index.html)
Client marketers are warming to the idea of social media, but many are still to act
Source: The B2B Barometer (http://www.b2bbarometer.co.uk)
The relationship between Marketing and Sales in B2B organisations still remains fractious
Source: 2009 CSO Report (http://bit.ly/7EbaHS)
Source: The New Rules of Sales Enablement (http://tiny.cc/jXRxX)
Source: The B2B Barometer (http://www.b2bbarometer.co.uk)
And if you still don’t get the whole social media thing, it’s worth bearing in mind…
* Note: We have used and abused the above information, as the author insisted. A special thanks for the folks at Earnest Agency.