There has long been a widely held (and incorrect) belief that social media is a B2C sandbox. ‘Stay out B2B marketers, this social thing has nothing to do with you.’ Of course, there have been countless studies that have documented B2B marketers successes in driving results in social.
With the notion that social is only for B2C debunked, in its place now are new myths. Each chalked-full of misinformation and hyperbole regarding B2B’s ability to implement, engage and monitor social. Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert, lead a high-impact and high-energy presentation at the Marketo Summit aimed to call-out and ‘destroy’ some of the more prevalent myths.
The session was titled ‘Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media‘, and here are the 7 myths Jay shared.
1. My Customers Don’t Use Social Media
As Jay puts it, the people who believe this are projecting their own lack of social media adoption. Forrester research shows that 81% of online adults use social media. Regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C, it is people who ultimately make the purchasing decisions…and 81% are using social.
2. Social Media Is Not Worth the Trouble
Forrester research also found that 86% of business technology decision makers use social media for professional reasons. Jay argues that social is actually MORE important for B2B than B2C. Why? With longer sales cycles, social can actually reduce the touchpoints needed to close a sale.
3. Social Media Doesn’t Apply to Our Business
Here’s the litmus test: does your brand have a story to tell? If you answered yes, than social applies to your business. It’s a forum to tell your story. According to Jay, the primary reasons any business uses social are:
Of course, these reasons apply to ALL businesses.
4. If Nobody Tweets About Us, Then We Don’t Need Social Media
If people aren’t discussing your brand in social you shouldn’t use this as a free pass to continue to ignore this platform. In fact, this highlights the opportunity that exists for your business. People should be discussing your brand, but you need to give them something to talk about. Or as Jay more succinctly put it, content is fire and social media is gasoline. Together, they are powerful (and a fire hazard).
5. Having a Page=Having a Social Media Strategy
There’s no participation points or ribbons in social. Creating a page does not equate to have a real social media presence. ‘Don’t do social, BE social,’ says Baer.
6. Social Is Just Marketing
Social is very much a customer relations management tool as well. Businesses need to start thinking of each customer as a reporter. If a person has a poor customer experience, where will they turn? Social media. Consider this, 70% of customer complaints on Twitter go unanswered. Would you ignore 70% of your incoming calls or emails? Your customers deserve a response, regardless of medium.
7. Social Media is Not Measurable
Jay goes on to say, only half kidding, that the most overrated metric in the history of math is Facebook ‘likes’. A much more powerful metric is tracking behavior. For an excellent B2C example of social influencing behavior in a measurable way, Jay shares the story of California Tortilla.
Within social, California Tortilla gives clues or passwords for free or discounted items. So one day the message may be ‘say ‘fresh’ to our cashier and receive free chips and queso.’ With that, California Tortilla is effectively influencing behavior and driving consumer demand, and all in a measurable way.
Some Interesting Social Stats to Know
- In 2010, consumers consumed 5.3 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. In 2011, that number jumped to 10.4.
- 33% of B2B marketers have fully embraced social media marketing.
- B2B customers contact a sales rep after 60% of the purchasing decisions have been made.
What myths or barriers have you encountered while developing a B2B social media strategy? Share in a comment below and let’s see if we can’t take a page from Jay and debunk yours too.