Jay Baer writes this in his book, Youtility Marketing about B2C companies, but he could have been speaking about B2B. You ARE now competing on the same turf as your family and friends, yet your audience is much different. You’re not speaking to individuals, but rather, Prospects and Decision Makers at B2B companies. So while the tools you’re using to access them may be the same as your family and friends, your message most certainly isn’t.
Most business owners, CEOs, and upper management types built their businesses and careers without the help of social media, so it may be very difficult to persuade them to use it. Add to that the idea that it’s more for personal use, and your road to getting your B2B company on social media may be extremely difficult.
As a B2B Technology company however, it’s critical that you get on social media. You’re seen as a trailblazer and leader in the Technology industry, so if you’re not using the most cutting edged tools like social media, your prospects may wonder why.
But how do you get your upper management to buy in to the idea of using social media for B2B marketing?
- Social media isn’t just Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. There’s LinkedIn, blogging, and videos too.
- It’s the Number 1 tactic used by B2B marketers (courtesy CMI)
- There are a lot of prospective customers on social media. (see Jay Baer’s quote above) As of June 2013, there are an average of 699 million daily active users on Facebook. Almost 240 million registered users on LinkedIn.
- It’s an easy way to share content. Numbers published in 2012 showed that monthly social media site visits topped 7 billion (that’s with a “B”). Imagine what that number is today? This means that you had over 7 billion opportunities to share your B2B content.
- Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Source: HubSpot)
- 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. (Source: HubSpot)
And my favourite stat:
59% of Twitter users have visited B2B tech brand sites, compared to 40% for the average internet population. (Source: Compete and Twitter)
Looking at these numbers, it’s pretty obvious that getting on social media is no longer optional for B2B companies. You’ve got to get on there now, and start telling your story. However a lot of CEOs and upper management types aren’t used to thinking about social media as part of their B2B marketing plans. They think it’s just the domain of consumers, TV and movie fans, so you might have a hard time convincing them to give it a shot.
If you’re willing to give it one more shot, and go “Once more unto the breach“, then read on. (That’s a quote from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1.)
Reasons to Use Social Media for B2B Business
- Social media lets you connect with your community and build relationships with it. People like to do business with people they can trust and have a relationship with.
- Social media lets you provide awesome customer service to your existing customers.
- Social media provides social proof to your prospects and followers. Social proof is the validation that prospects feel when they see trusted sources talking about you, or using your products, etc. If you’re seen as trusted, others will see that as proof that you’re good to do business with.
- Social media increases your sphere of influence. It gets your brand and product names out there, in front of your prospects. Each connection increases the potential that followers become prospects, become leads, and become customers.
- Social media lets you put a human face on your brand. Just like blogging, participating in social media lets employee or brand personality come through. It lets you interact with followers on a personal level, which creates a stronger connection between you. Check out these replies from CMI and CrashPlan I got last month:
- Social media increases traffic to your website. Every time someone shares your content, your website is getting in front of more people. Search engines like this too, and give your site more “weight” when it returns SERPs. So you start to rank higher for keywords with the search engines. Add some SEO tactics to your social media messages and website, and you’ve got a winning combination for an increase in organic traffic.
As you can see, you can see that using social media for B2B business isn’t optional any more. You want to always be creating new connections with people, and as we’re all on social media more and more, it just makes sense for you to use it too. Remember Jay Baer’s quote:
Are you having a hard time convincing your upper management to use social media for your B2B Technology company? Or are you noticing a change in attitude around the office?