In the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, B2B marketers showed just as much of social media usage, including that of Facebook and cited the following benefits in building their crowd or fan base. (Image credit: Flickr)
- Over 56% of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media (compared to 45% of B2C marketers)
- Nearly 60% of B2B marketers saw improved search rankings from their social efforts (compared to 50% of B2C marketers)
- B2B marketers are more able to gather marketplace insights from their social efforts (nearly 69% vs. 60% of B2C marketers)
- The one area where B2B marketers significantly lag behind their B2C counterparts is in developing a loyal fan base. 63% of B2C marketers found social media helped them develop loyal fans, compared to only 53% of B2B marketers.
With B2B marketers said to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging as some of the primary platforms for engagement there seems to be little to distinguish usage from that of B2C marketers.
While SEO, email marketing, event marketing and webinars also feature prominently among the usage of B2B marketers, it serves only to underscore that businesses are also comprised of people who behave socially whether online or offline. It therefore makes sense to find ways to connect with your audience and most importantly to engage them where they are at.
For B2B marketers building their crowd via social media, needs to be seen as an extension and complementary to existing communication channels. Having metrics based around followers or likes will not provide enough insight into engagement and conversions.
Success however can be found in taking the time to build an engaged fan base, creating and sharing shareable content, capturing leads, making engagement fun and personal. Social media advertising for example through Facebook ads could also help target the right customer profiles.
How would you rank your businesses social media engagement and content at the moment?