Debunking three B2B social media myths

Posted in Marketing and social media.

By now you would think that everyone has embraced social media as a vital component of their business plan. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are either more than 10 years old, or approaching the decade mark, so why are B2B companies still reluctant to make use of them and their counterparts? It might be because of certain social media myths that seem to have a foothold in the B2B community no matter how much evidence proves otherwise. We take a look at three of the most prominent myths surrounding B2B social media and debunk them:

Myth #1: Social media isn’t measurable or have a clear ROI

B2B companies want to see tangible results to know whether they are successful. That’s why they often steer away from social media because they believe that it cannot be measured or provide observable ROI. However, the opposite is in fact true.

When it comes to measuring social media metrics the focus shouldn’t be on how to measure these metrics but what. Relate your social media goals back to your overall business and marketing goals. This will tell you what information you need to find out from your social media. There are also various free and paid tools your company can use to measure metrics including Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Marketo, and Buffer.

Finding out your return on investment requires you to look at the leads you’ve generated through social media. Calculate the revenue you’ve generated from these specific leads and then remove the cost it took to acquire those leads. Which, you will be happy to find, cost way less than other marketing endeavours.

Myth #2: B2B customers don’t use social media

The majority of adults who have access to an Internet connection use social media. So it stands to reason that within this large number of social media users there are B2B employees and decision-makers who also use social media on a regular basis.

Making B2B-related decisions are overall higher risk than making B2C decisions because they affect an entire business as opposed to a single client. This higher risk means that B2B companies are heavily researched before any contact is made to discuss a potential purchase. B2B decision-makers can easily gain access to reviews, recommendations, case studies and more with a simple Internet search of your company. So it is vital for you to make sure your company is active on social media for the purpose of potential customers’ research.

Myth #3: B2C social media tactics don’t work for B2B

No matter whether you’re catering to a B2C or B2B audience, in both instances you are communicating with people. All people, no matter what industry or level, have wants, needs and pain points. So in that sense B2C and B2B are not much different. It has also been shown that tactics like free gifts, contests and so on work just as well for B2B as it does for B2C.

The only difference between the two is the type of content that you present to them. B2B customers want to see whitepapers, case studies and research papers on social media which is of no interest to the B2C audience. However, the common thread in all content is the human angle – all people want to feel that human touch.
An active social media presence is vital for any B2B company and it’s time to do away with the misconception that social platforms are a B2C-exclusive playground. It’s important to remember that not only is social media for sharing content and building relationships but also for gaining insight into what potential customers are talking about and to get real-time feedback on products or services. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a wide range of social media platforms than simply Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn and Instagram have proven to be specifically great in creating online success for B2B companies so don’t limit yourself to only one outlet.