3623768629_d854236b17_mThere were two articles floating around recently that got our attention. Both were directed to B2B companies in general. The first, published in Ad Age, advised B2B companies, especially industrial B2B companies, to take the plunge into social media marketing. The other, published in Forbes, advised B2B companies to jump with greater verve into the world of mobile.

Both articles make excellent points. The Ad Age article notes that while your customers may not be using social media predominantly (yet), they will be there eventually and you need to be ready. It also points out that younger people, who will eventually be your primary contacts in the business world, are much more enmeshed in social media than the people whom you are dealing with now, perhaps. You need to be ready for them as well. The Forbes article notes that for the first time, mobile usage has surpassed desktop/laptop usage for accessing websites. If your website is not mobile-friendly you’re going to run into some serious problems.

Despite the fact that there are some good tips in these articles, we still urge companies, whether B2B or B2C, to base marketing decisions on their very specific situation. This evaluation process includes analyzing your available marketing budget, personnel capacity, available time, overall objectives, the realities of your specific industry, and more. What your company may find is that the points made in the cited articles above make all the sense in the world for you. On the other hand, you may find that after looking at your specific situation, maybe jumping into social media is not a top priority right now. Maybe making your site mobile-friendly is as far as you need to go right now where mobile devices are concerned.

Consider one of our B2B clients as an example. They came to see us a couple of years ago. They knew that we had been using social media for several years and they were feeling a lot of pressure to create a presence on Facebook at the least. They fully expected us to say, “Oh yes, you need to do that immediately.” After talking with them about their business, however, it became clear that Facebook was not anything they would need any time soon.

It was not just a question of whether their customers were using social media. This particular company knows who all of their customers are, meets with them in person on a regular basis, and it is not an industry where the number of key customers will be expanding in a meaningful way any time soon. This client would not experience any meaningful benefit from having a Facebook page, but the time investment would still be significant in terms of creating content for the page, monitoring, and more. We suggested that they keep their eye on social media, but we did not recommend they begin to use social media for their marketing.

When offering advice via posts and articles, it makes sense to offer tips that will apply to the widest audience possible. That is how you maintain readers and increase traffic. However, sometimes nuances get left out when advice is offered to all B2B companies or all industrial companies. To that end, we suggest you already read articles and blog posts with an open mind and with an eye for details that could help your company approach marketing in new ways, but also maintain a strong grasp on what your own specific company needs most. Maybe it’s social media, maybe it’s not. Only you can truly answer how to move forward in the best way possible.

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/karola/3623768629 via Creative Commons