The Use Of Social Media By B2B Marketers

According from BtoB Magazine, social media is the way to go when considering online business to business marketing. B2B Marketers are expected to allot almost 78.5% growth to their online budgets this year. These includes 70% for website marketing, 68% for email marketing, 62% for Social Media Marketing and 57% for Search Engine Marketing.

B2B marketers tend to stick with their target markets’ comfort zone. However, those numbers suggests that marketers for B2B should at least look on multiple channels to spread their message. A research from MarketingSherpa also shows that Inbound Marketing and Social Media has potentials.

The fact that B2B Marketers wants to spend more on their websites, email and social media certainly means that search engine marketing, database-driven marketing, customer intelligence and especially content plays a vital role to their progress.

As BtoB Magazine writes: “As more and more marketing channels roll out, including social media networks, landing pages, blogs and thought leadership events, marketers must continuously create and maintain content used for marketing purposes”. Many agencies now are having to switch their focus over to this arena more and more.

Social media underused for lead generation and customer feedback (including social media monitoring)

So, what are they doing with social media? More than two-thirds of B2B marketers are already using social media (as of December 2010) and have been focused on brand building via this channel. Social media optimization is a clear priority as well.

Oddly enough, less than half reported they were using social media for lead generation. Many B2B marketing experts still think that social media doesn’t work in lead generation, but we know that’s not true because in practice, we see it does.

So, what’s the challenge? Are they lacking tools to do so? Is it perhaps a problem with not having their online marketing efforts integrated for lead generation? It’s very possible they just don’t know how to generate leads via social media because their channels are not synchronized. In other words, where do I drive people to via Twitter? Do we have optimized landing pages delivering relevant content and strong CTAs based on visitor behaviour?

There’s nothing wrong with brand building, it’s very important and 80% of the respondents are using social media to do that, but less than half that percentage are attempting lead generation. Even odder, only 42% use it for customer feedback! Does this mean less than half the brands out there in B2B are actually listening?

This finding confirms earlier reports that many businesses really don’t know how to listen or initiate quality interaction. If that’s the case, then you might as well go back to leaving messages on executive’s phones.

Building a brand means listening, interacting and incorporating those interactions into your plan. Social media is not your traditional one-way medium, and if you are only using it to talk, you are getting less than half the value from it and your customers are getting even less than that.