Changing your B2B marketing strategy is like changing your lifestyle to a healthy one: you have to try before you find out it will deliver you amazing results.
So why do people resist Social Networking in B2B Marketing?
Social Networking has become a well-recognised sales tool but regardless, there are companies who actively avoid it. The 4 biggest reasons we hear for this:
- “It’s too difficult to measure ROI”. The reality is you can measure ROI in the new media if you have clear goals and strategies. For example, you know which of your website visitors, downloads, and newsletter sign ups eventually turn into event attendees and clients. At Lead Creation we measure every piece of every campaign we do, segment by segment.
- “I’ve got NFI!” This is the big one. Social networking is unchartered territory for many. But it is simply another way of communicating with your target audience—much like an email.
- “We’re too busy on other sales activities”. If you’re spending time with lots of unqualified prospects, that’s not surprising. It’s just not very productive.
- “We don’t have time to do it all ourselves”. The key here is focusing. Focusing on a small amount of prospects that have shown interest and starting a relationship with them. And hiring someone to help you—for less than half the annual cost of a Business Development Manager (BDM), we set up and manage the platforms for our clients.
Another part of this resistance is due to…
Misconceptions about Social Media vs. Social Networking vs. Business Networking
The confusion between these very different types of platforms largely accounts for the slow take-up of Business Networking by business. So what are the differences?
Social Media is simply a media distribution tool or mechanism. There are numerous social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, with many others fighting the war for dominance. Typically, Social Media are the tools that are now used by the old style ‘Tell and Sell’ broadcasters who have come from the old advertising industries.
Social Networks are what the name says: a place to network socially. Facebook is the gorilla in this space.
Business Networks are about connecting, engaging and educating the people of value to your business, and the gorilla here is LinkedIn. Their power is in starting direct relationships with your VIPs, and then you can take that relationship offline.
To put it simply…
Who are they, where are they, what do you have to say that will benefit them?
What are the risks? Any risks from engaging with your prospects online are minimal compared to the risk of not doing it. Your VIPs are there and deciding between you and your competitors. It’s up to you whether or not you’re on the shortlist.
It’s completely understandable that some businesses are apprehensive about using Social Media —some are hesitant about its effectiveness, how to use it and whether anyone else is using it.
However, as the statistics show, most big companies, slowly followed by the small ones, are getting on board.
Stay up to date with the fast moving world of B2B Marketing.
Cheers, Ashley [B15]
Ashley is Client Manager at the B2B marketing company: Lead Creation