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Social media is a mainstay of B2C marketing, but ita€™s hard to imagine B2B brands rocking the most popular platforms today. Despite the cognitive dissonance, brands with a solid B2B social media strategy are finding and engaging an audience across social media.
These are the findings of a recent TrackMaven study that tracked over 500,000 pieces of content for 316 B2B brands over the last 12 months. Brands in the Professional Services and Pharmaceuticals industries have a disproportionately high number of followers on LinkedIn.
Perhaps the most incongruous finding in TrackMavena€™s research is that financial services absolutely dominates engagement on Pinterest. Biotech companies like Merck have discovered there is more to Facebook than catching up with your old high school friends.
Notice that Twitter has yet to realize its full potential as part of a B2B strategy, with an average of less than .02% interaction. Conventional wisdom used to be that B2B brandsa€™ social media strategy began and ended with LinkedIn. Check out the full report on TrackMavena€™s site for detailed case studies of B2B brandsa€™ social media strategy. Whilst B2Bs are obviously getting the overall message that social media is good, they are not necessarily attaching the importance to it that they should.  Even folk in the communications industry, such as B2B PR agencies, aren’t paying heed with a surprising number not having any noticeable digital presence at all, with some ‘leading’ companies making attempts at social media that at best could be described as ‘dabbling’. Now, this isn’t meant to be a bitch fest about PR agencies, but it is saying that social media management is a tad more complex than your average guru or ‘digital coach’ might let you believe. Slapping up a Facebook page and leaving it empty simply won’t cut it, and as the market continues to expand at a rapid pace, those not paying serious attention to their digital strategies will get left behind.  Most companies, in our experience, need help in a variety of areas and need a combination of consultancy, outsourcing, training and recruitment advice, to get them going in the digital world.
Most B2B companies simply don’t have the expertise in-house to establish a professional digital presence, and the statistics and evidence on social media sites bear this out. The Media Marketing Company delivers a lightening-fast social media marketing campaign to raise awareness for a new festival in Berkshire.
We started working with TMMC, and in particular Claire, when we were looking for training with our web background work particularly with SEO and social media strategy.
To say this part of the overall exercise for us was successful would be an understatement as we were able to shift through the gears in just a few days and get ahead of target in all the rankings we were looking at in that time.  We used a combination of one-to-one bespoke sessions and follow up webinars. The lasting legacy of good training is still evident with the fact that we can still continue with what Claire taught us because we’ve managed to remember what it was she said! Some business to business (B2B) marketers are still hesitant about investing in social media. In past years I would have recommended a minimum of three social media sites to B2B marketers: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
On LinkedIn you should set up a complete personal profile as well as a branded LinkedIn Company page.
SlideShare has exploded because people find it easier to scan through slide decks (Powerpoint presentations) to get the nugget of information they are looking for, without having to read a blog post or whitepaper or sit through a tedious video.
I put the above recommended social media platforms in the order I recommend B2B marketers implement them.
If you need help setting up and executing your B2B social media presence, contact New Incite today. Strategic marketing consulting, implementation, and results measurement services for (B2B) technology, manufacturing and green companies.
Luckily, there are many analysts and agencies that serve the B2B Marketing industry that do conduct regular research into topics like social media marketing.
Here are 5 meaty reports published in 2011 that can help B2B marketers understand the direction new media and social media is taking in terms of overall strategy, industry trends, unique audience and application differences between social media platforms and measurement.
2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report – How marketers are using social media to grow their business by Michael A. Emerging Trends In B-to-B Social Media Marketing: Insights From the Field from BtoB Intelligence Center. There’s no rule that you need to have an account on every social network, but it’s important for your prospects to get the sense that you’re taking care of the networks you have.2. The challenge for all B2B companies is to find the balance between inbound and outbound marketing today. All-in-all, the study shows the challenge of creating the right Social Media strategy for business when you want to succeed with lead generation via Social Media. Snapback Caps: PixelioVor einigen Wochen haben wir, Heike Bedrich und ich, unsere 3-Saulen-Strategie veroffentlicht.
Maybe for these reasons, many people think social media marketing cannot work in B2B like it is in B2C, or does not work in general.
ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool.
CISCO: Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy.
CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle.
LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities.
OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering.
XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. If you need more convincing, you can download my complimentary eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI. How can you promote sophisticated financial instruments, cloud software, or heavy machinery on Instagram?
Read on to see which social networks are best for your B2B social media strategy, broken out by industry.

Overall, the median social media audience is 109,000 followers on LinkedIn, more than doubling Facebooka€™s second place of 34,000 page likes. While LinkedIn leads in audience size, it has a much lower engagement rate than other platforms. The platform initially became popular for posting photos of food and artfully-filtered selfies. Most users think of Pinterest as the place to find wardrobe tips, home decoration ideas, or recipesa€”hardly the right platform for serious discussion about finances. Their mix of infographics, polls, and links to the Merck blog engage an audience of over 37,000 followers.
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We would advise companies to start taking their digital profiles seriously, and take good professional advice quickly.
They may view social media as a business to consumer (B2C) activity or they may think that their target audience isn’t active on social media.
Now I have to include SlideShare (acquired by LinkedIn in 2012), because this social media platform has exploded, with over 60 million users a month and 215 page views per month by the end of 2013. Post updates about your business on your Company page, including links to blog posts, press releases, product launches and releases, events, awards and other news. You don’t have to do it all at once, so focus on LinkedIn first, then SlideShare, Twitter and Facebook.
We can set up your social media sites the right way and do initial messaging for you to get you started. One of the keys to approaching social media strategy for B2B marketing programs is to understand industry trends.
This report covers why social media matters for B2B, tips on planning strategy, conducting research and establishing guidelines. This report is not free ($149) but chock full of charts (sample pdf) and insights into the current state of Social Media Marketing for B2B by answering questions about budgeting, strategies, tactics, metrics and integration. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing.
We respect your privacy.EmailThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Approach Each Network Differently. If your company is on more than one social network, it’s important to remember that you can use each one differently.
Compared to their peers, this is almost 230% more marketing-generated leads through Social Media than other companies (5%). The average annual company revenue growth of 20%, compared with 8% for Industry Average and -3% for Laggard firms. An increase of 10% year-over-year improvement of marketing leads in average resulting in closed business – versus 3% for the Industry Average and -1% for Laggard firms. A lead pipeline of 44% in sales-forecast generated by marketing – versus 10% for Industry Average and 5% for Laggard firms. A 73% annual customer retention rate – versus 27% for Industry Average and 7% for Laggard firms. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business. They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
It brings to mind an image of, say, a construction crane on the beach, with the caption a€?Sipping margaritas and loving life! Increasingly, though, brands are finding their niche on the more casual, less business-oriented sites like Instagram, Facebook, and even Pinterest. That means LinkedIn is a valuable platform for amplification, but brands can see higher interaction by branching out.
But engineering brands like AECOM and CH2M delight followers with a mix of posts highlighting their corporate culture, charitable projects, and the engineering solutions they provide. Yet staid institutions like Allianz SE and Barclays have breathed new life into their brands on Pinterest. Regeneron takes advantage of Facebooka€™s engagement potential to source new hires with their Regeneron Careers page. If a 300-year-old institution like Barclays can engage an audience on these platforms, odds are your brand can, too. It’s serious stuff that first and foremost requires a strategy that is compiled by people with significant digital knowledge, traditional marketing strategy skills and the dedicated regular attention (preferably daily attention) required to carry it through. It is on social media that marketers are able to share content, and content marketing is what helps buyers find you online.
In this blog post I will share what I recommend to my clients, including what social media platforms to use and what type of content to share on each.
Ask your management team and staff to share what is posted on your Company page with their connections.

Post updates about your company and share helpful content that you and others create that will help your target audience, clients and customers. As of early 2014, there were over 1.3 billion users on Facebook (half of whom are accessing it from mobile devices). If you implement any and all of these, I believe you will get traction (qualified leads) in as little as three months. We can also do the set up and train you on how to use each platform effectively and measure results. Since 1998 Arbitron and Edison Research have conducted a nationally representative survey focusing on trends in digital platforms exploring the expanding digital media and communications landscape. It also proves b2b social media marketing examples including a product launch, demand generation & customer retention. Specific attention is paid to dominant social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Customer Communities and YouTube plus the all-important ROI. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing. This will require more work, but will allow you to use different networks to handle different aspects of your marketing strategy. A new study conducted by Aberdeen Group sponsored by Silverpop and Eloqua, offers some insights in how Best-in-Class B2B companies generate leads through Social Media platforms. It is also the clever combination of using Social Media alongside the right communication techniques like email and SEO, and how Best-in-Class companies succeed here. The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested. Their innovative, visually-striking content fits the tone of the site while keeping their followers informed. Content marketing includes writing blog posts and posting article and other links relevant to what your business does that helps your target audiences.
Post slide decks about your company and what you do, as well as helpful content for your target audiences. There are almost 700 million Twitter users sending 58 million messages a day, so use hashtags (some examples are #marketing #CMO #socialmedia) so that you get found in all the noise. There’s a lack of strategy in most B2B social media efforts and understanding of unique focus and appropriate use for each distinct social channel. This new report includes data from 2011 and covers numerous platforms used in B2B social media marketing from Smartphones to iPads to Facebook.
They are 27% times more likely to integrate email with Social Media than Industry-Average firms, and 33% more likely than Laggards to do so. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download.
Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs.
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Don’t just put your presentations up on SlideShare as you presented them, but add a narrative as necessary so that viewers can get maximum value. Hashtags are one way people search through the volume of messages to find Tweets that are relevant and find the people and businesses that are sending them. Post updates on new hires, awards, photos from trade shows, speeches, company events, sports teams, community and charity activity on Facebook.
If your company makes products you want to show-off, photo-centric platforms may be right for you. And they are also 24% times more likely than Industry-Average firms to integrate SEO with social media (even 69% more likely than Laggards).
The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million. Too many companies keep all their marketing information limited to boring, non-human product and service details. I am pretty sure race diversity studied millennial quality; maybe not gender equality,Always has been!
We can’t see the people behind the products and services, but the people are often why we buy and why we keep coming back!
In my experience using Facebook to showcase the people who work for you and who are your customers and vendors increases engagement and helps build relationships with all of them. It’s the ideal social network for the B2B world, allowing you to make connections and share ideas. But your social media accounts need to be more than just you posting updates.Have a conversation with your followers. Here are a few steps you can take when planning a social media strategy for your B2B firm.1. They’ll be more likely to spread the word about you among their friends, family and colleagues.And pay attention to the things they’re talking about, either on their own pages or in reply to your posts.
Make sure you update regularly, with posts that are well-written and professional-sounding, while also remaining conversational.And be appropriate. You could fill a book with news stories about companies that embarrassed themselves on social media with ill-timed jokes or too-cheery posts on solemn days. Make Facebook a main repository for that kind of content, at least until your testing shows users have tired of it.

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