Social media accounts for 30 percent of marketing activities executed by business-to-business organizations in 2012, according to research from Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing. The results are based off responses from 400 SMB decision-makers from across industries.
B2B social media exists as a communication vehicle for marketers to reach prospects and deliver messages to sustain or create relationships. Compared to their B2C counterparts, B2B organizations tend to favor a smaller, more highly engaged audience, as cited by 42 percent of respondents. B2B marketers know that their sales cycles tend to be longer, the deals larger, and relationships with each individual critical to lead generation and purchases.
B2B organizations seem to promote as well as engage through social media channels. The results show 92 percent of B2B companies share news about new products or solutions. Additionally, 90 percent share news about their organization, and 78 percent promote content they have posted. Seventy-five percent solicit feedback from customers, 69 percent monitor mentions of brand or products, and 58 percent use social to organize in-person events.
From a Social Media Today post, “B2B marketing is not about selling to businesses, but to the people who work for those businesses. Behind every RFP, procurement team and competitive bidding process, there are people who want to hear your story. They want to understand why your company, your brand, can better meet their needs. The process may not always be glamorous, but it is always about connection. That’s where social media comes into play, and that’s why Social Media for B2B Branding is so important.”
Social media is an invaluable resource for B2B marketers, as it allows for constant contact with clients and prospects. A one-on-one conversation is important to nurture leads and, for this reason, B2B marketers will likely continue to devote a large portion of their efforts to social media activity.