Mythbusters: Can social media be leveraged in the B2B space?
For many, it seems hard to imagine a world without the use of social media, yet many companies still find themselves questioning whether they will benefit from incorporating social media into their communication strategy. We can all agree, this is especially true in B2B settings. What many companies don’t realize is that social media is a cost-effective tool with the power to positively impact relationships with customers, bolster thought-leadership reputation and enhance the sales pipeline. Below, we dispel three all-too-common myths surrounding B2B companies using social media:
Myth #1: Social media is a B2C tool. As social media was more geared toward B2C use in its onset, many B2B companies were hesitant to adopt these tools. That is a way of the past, with total spending on B2B social media marketing activities reaching $54 million in 2014—an amazing $43 million increase from 2009. In fact, B2B marketers are employing an average of 6 different social media platforms for their companies this year, allowing marketers to connect more with customers, thus developing stronger relationships and empowering prospects and customers to make more informed decisions.
Myth # 2: Social media doesn’t drive sales. Perhaps not a traditional sales tactic, social media helps companies build momentum incrementally by adding to an ever-growing sales database. A recent study showed that 78% of salespeople who use social media outsell their peers. Expanding the reach of corporate messaging, brand awareness and customer loyalty drives sales and generates web traffic. It can also attract influencers in the market.
Myth # 3: The impact of social media activities can’t be quantified. Numerous social media tools are online, so it’s actually quite simple to track and measure the effectiveness of your company’s social media use. The key here is to develop metrics at the outset of the strategy so you’ll know how to gauge outcomes. A few measures companies can use are search engine optimization results, increase in website traffic and additional followers on social media accounts. By monitoring success, businesses can tweak and modify their communication as they go depending on what they find to be the most successful.
How has your company overcome these common misconceptions and incorporated a social media component into your communications? To find out more about how the B2B environment can effectively leverage social media, read our recent white paper here.