Are your B2B social media efforts failing? Is no one reading your blog, responding to your Facebook posts, or tweeting your stuff? Ugh.

Don’t give up. We know the biggest reasons B2B social media efforts fail and what to do about it. Are you guilty of the following mistakes?

Not Having a Social Strategy: If you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll neverget there. It’s good to be friendly on the social web. It’s nice to retweet other people, share content, and thank people for being fans. But if you don’t have a purpose for being there and aren’t providing valuable content, you’re doomed for failure.

What to do about it: Develop a social media strategy that aligns with buyer personas and their buying process. Identify who you want to reach, what issues they care most about, and then create content against this plan. Valuable content will attract prospects and ultimately generate demand for your services. Content should be built around the different stages of the buying cycle.

Using the Wrong Social Networks: The right mix of social platforms is different for every business. The answer to this question is to know your audience. Don’t be guilty of falling for the shiniest new toy – like Google+ – if your customers aren’t there. Foursquare is popular, but if your customers aren’t checking in to various locations, then it’s a waste of time for you to be on Foursquare.

What to do about it: Know where your customers are spending their time, which platforms they’re using, and then be there. Remember, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are tools, not a social media strategy. Don’t write off Facebook because you don’t think it’s relevant to B2B. The fact is, 41% of B2B marketers are acquiring customers through Facebook.

Measuring the Wrong Things: We are firm believers that businesses can’t manage what they don’t measure. We ask clients to first examine the business challenges they are facing and then use the right tools (social media or otherwise) to address those specific issues. The course of action taken should be measured with the same scrutiny as traditional marketing efforts.

What to do about it: There are a ton of things you can measure with social media – the number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, mentions of your company name in the social space, your influence via retweets and reblogging, etc. Whatever metric you measure should be tied back to a business objective, whether it’s building loyalty (number of fans), increasing awareness (brand mentions), customer service (social sentiment), or something else.

Do Social Media B2B the Right Way

Need some B2B social media inspiration? On Twitter, check out AW Systems, a material handling systems integrator. For blogging, check out Toyota Lift of Minnesota, a forklift manufacturer and distributor. On Facebook, see SteelMaster Buildings, a manufacturer of steel buildings for commercial and industrial use.

What common mistakes do you see B2B marketers make with social media? Let us know in the comments below.