Is B2B (business to business) truly prepared for social media marketing?
The quick answer is “no.” The long answer “is about. Lets just say that most commonly, these types of corporations are social media curious. My agency gets a lot of B2B questions from marketing, sales and PR executives with firms that are truly keen on doing something slightly different — you know, funny and more edgy. Half the time they chicken out and return to whatever they were doing before they called us, which typically includes sleep-inducing Product videos and downloadable PDFs that they will no doubt force on company customers who have grown used to this, along with their tasteless breakfast and lukewarm coffee each morning.
My first reaction is to assume they understand their clients better than I do but then I notice how insane that sounds, and decide that they just don?t understand social media marketing. Heres a fast crash course if you need to get up to scratch. Ill go into more detail in a future article.
Social marketing checklist:
1. Build goals
2. Develop a solid social media marketing system
3. Integrate the social media strategy across all departments including promoting, sales and PR
4. Create funny, entertaining, engaging, informative, shareable content like videos, blog content, graphics, updates and apps as social focal points
5. Encourage your target market to share thru social networking
6.Build and nurture an interested fan base of potential buyers
7. Actively engage that audience across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social networks
10. Repeat it
The entire idea is to offer content that may grab peoples attention and get them interested enough in what youre offering to ask more questions, research, learn more. But wait, You are saying. Im intended to grab peoples attention This is B2B, not B2C. Yup, I know but guess what That business thats at last going to buy your stuff is actually somebody with work-mates, pals and a robust social life both on and offline.
B2B is still folks selling to folk, not buildings selling to buildings
Business to business, obviously, is one business selling stuff to another business, but the marketing experts and buyers involved are still folk, not buildings. The purchasing decisions get made by individuals who are influenced by the same fun, cool, shiny marketing and tactics that influence B2C buyers.
The major difference between B2B and B2C selling is that with B2B, there are less decision-makers for us to aim at for each product.
A program developer may sell 50,000 units to one big business but for every 50,000 users there may be one individual or tiny team answerable for finding and introducing the new software option to that business. What if you could reach those 50,000 potential internal advocates without delay and muster them to steer the individual answerable for corporate software buying?
As with B2C, B2B purchasers are training themselves
The buying process is changing quickly in both the B2C and B2B sectors. Folks are looking to educate themselves instead of being sold to. So in essence, they are selling themselves on your services and goods. Your job as the promoting, sales or PR arm of your company is to:
a. Get their interest
b. Differentiate your products and services from the other fellows
c. Point them towards the information they need
Office sharing thru social networks is huge, and good content gets shared and discussed like crazy. Pin your marketing message on the right content with the right social media strategy and your audience will reward you by steering it to your buyers.
John has over 40 years of experience in business promoting sales engineering general management online property planning for the last 20 years John has been an active Meditation Student. He has worked for and with worldwide companies such as IBM Electronic Info Systems and Mahindra British Telecomm. He has a BS from Brown in Computer Science an MA through IBM in Industrial Electronics he also has a PhD in Global Trade and Management from the London College of Business and Trade.