18 Oct

Do Business To Business Companies Need Social Media?

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This past week we came across a few people who asked the following question:  Do B2B companies need social media?  I stopped in my tracks and scratched my head to try and come up with a reason to answer no but I couldn’t come up with one.  The word need is what threw me off because no company needs to do anything other than sell their services.  What they should want to do is sell as many of those services as possible and that is where social media marketing comes into play.

Social media for a long time has been considered a young person’s playground.  It has been thought of as a place to update the status of where your dog is or how cold it is outside in January.  While this still happens the tides have changed and social media is now a place to market your business to those people making those status updates.

Companies, large and small, are putting their brand out there in hopes of creating leads, which will turn into sales (hopefully!)  What companies fail to realize is that setting up a Facebook page or a Twitter account is not enough.  They have to engage their potential clients in conversation through content.  That content doesn’t have to be profound, but it must be relevant and speak to the brand itself.

Now, here is where the answer to the question about Business To Business companies needing social media comes into play.  If you are trying to lure an Executive of another company to purchase from you then content is going to be the way to do.  Create a blog post that is relevant to today’s landscape and then share it through your social media channels.

From here the search engines will pick up the various likes, shares, re-tweets, pins, etc and start moving that blog post up the ladder of the search engine rankings.  Now when the Executive of the company you are trying to attract does a search there is a better chance that they will find you.  Maybe they aren’t on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the multitude of others but they don’t have to be.  They can find your content because you are and you used it to your advantage.

If you look at Cisco you will see how a B2B has leveraged Facebook to help their company.  They have engaging content that gets shared by its followers which means that more people than the 350K followers are seeing it.  They ask questions, they have content that elicits a reaction and they are engaging their customers.  This is a great example of going to where the customers are and allowing them to be a part of your marketing team without having to pay them.

Another company using social media to its advantage is Constant Contact.  We have all seen the commercial from constant contact and they are typically about how one company uses them to send out newsletters, etc but what they don’t talk about is how effective the social media campaigns are.  Constant Contact’s Facebook page in 2011 grew sixfold while their total likes and comments grew 400%.  That doesn’t speak to the 6.5 million views of their posts that took place.

Constant Contact didn’t just use Facebook though.  It also went to Twitter where the conversation can be on-going.  Constant Contact wanted to enhance its customer service while engaging its markets.  To do this they updated their Twitter stream approximately 50 times per day with tips on using its product, marketing advice, and conversation with individuals.  All of this interaction resulted in a spike of 370% in followers, 200-fold increase in clicks on tweets, and a 30-fold increase in mentions.

This may be a simplistic view of it but I think it answers the question of whether or not B2B companies need to use social media.  Besides what is the worst thing that happens?  You do research for a blog post, write and post it and nobody reads it but you have gained knowledge so when you are at that dinner party and the topic comes up you can use the old school social media of talking to them about your research.

Last modified on Friday, 18 October 2013 20:27
Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi is a marketing specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas.  An MBA graduate from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a BS in Marketing from SUNY-Oswego Jason started his career in marketing in the television industry creating marketing plans for Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Clorox, Kraft and Darden Restaurants to name a few.

Jason is not only a marketing professional, but also an Ironman triathlete, which is to say that he knows no limits.  Being able to be creative on the fly is one of his assests and has benefited him and his clients along the way.

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