Although B2B companies have a complicated relationship with social media, most organizations have already opened their budgets to this marketing tactic. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 78% of B2B organizations are currently active on social media, while another 19% plan to develop a social media strategy within the next year.
Some companies find success in social listening; others leverage brand advocates and social influence to increase ROI. If you are not there just yet, or if you are part of the 3% who don’t see social media in the marketing mix for 2013, take a look at the latest social media trends, best practices and real-life examples of success so you can be ready when the right fit for your business comes along.
Building online audiences with social
As thought leaders continue to tell marketers that “content is king and distribution is queen”, acting like a content creator and publisher is paramount. But content without an audience would make for a lonely kingdom. Social media enables marketers to reach audiences beyond their email and subscriber databases. By connecting with audience gatekeepers and establishing a network of “promoters of content” marketers can leverage partners found in social networks to continuously drive net new audience to their content.
Social video and webinars
The cost of producing and distributing quality video has dropped dramatically, while video adoption in B2B has increased exponentially. Social media gives marketers an opportunity to take advantage of these trends and use social video to tell and distribute stories that drive action. The key to using social video to drive results is to create an asset that is participatory, engaging and agile: it tells an interesting story, is emotive and easy to share.
With the average webinar length at 42 minutes, webinars are not as easy to share socially. However, social media creates many opportunities for promoting webinar content and driving audience attendance and engagement. Communicate the values of an upcoming event in pre-event updates and teasers. Create a hashtag and live tweet during the event, encouraging viewers to share bits of information, interesting charts and slide grabs. After the event, repurpose your content to increase its reach or promote screenshots and videos of the best moments. These are only a few of the strategies for utilizing social media to increase webcast attendance, attract additional viewers during the live event and keep the buzz going once your event is over – experiment and find the ones that work for you.
Social selling and social business
As business coach and intellectual Tony Robbins recently put it, socially facilitated selling is a gold mine savvy business leaders are tapping into to acquire new customers and innovate and grow their businesses. Indeed, social media is no longer a tactic only fit for the marketer’s toolbox. Its potential for improving business process goes beyond growing online followers and increasing reach through retweets and likes. Building a social business means exploring areas where social media can help create more transparent, more effective and more targeted communications with prospects, clients and employees, as well as provide insight that can lead to more sales, lower costs and increased customer loyalty. Used strategically, social media can transform product development, demand generation, sales, customer service, business intelligence and HR. The examples already abound. Sandy Carter, VP of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM, shares a few real-life case studies on companies creating a social business agenda for greater competitive advantage.
To learn more about the latest social media trends and best practices for 2013, attend the B2B Social Media Marketing Summit tomorrow. Bring your most pressing questions for the expert speakers tuning in live from around the globe and participate in audience polls to see where your peers and competitors stand on social media.