If you think your industry is not killing it on social media, you’re wrong.
Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become the most powerful and effective tool in marketing any product and reaching any niche market. This cannot be argued especially when we focus on B2C.
However, many business owners who themselves have been successful in B2C marketing on social media will still raise a skeptical brow when it comes to using social media in B2B marketing.
When it comes to using social media for B2B marketing, we generally hear the same misconception from business owners:
“B2B clients in our industry don’t look for distributors on social media.”
Yes they do. I wish I can end this paragraph here but we need at least 500 words for our article to rank on Google and I know you want proof so I’ve got stats, I’ve got stories and I’ve got logic.
Let’s start with some stats
Now here’s my story.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re Mr. Wal-Mart. Alright, alright…let’s pretend for just a moment longer as you’re parking your light blue Bentley in your 6 car garage by the shores of Malibu…. ahhhh.
Ok. Mr. Wal-Mart, it’s Monday morning and your staff is trying to figure out which vendor will occupy that coveted shelf in aisle 6. Will it be Barbara who sells gift baskets or John & Jack Inc. who produce trendy tableware? Both companies have great products, boast impressive sales reports, and have had a proven track record when it comes to growth.
But which company has a recognizable brand, growing followers, and higher credibility? What’s the word on the streets? John and Jack Inc., surprisingly don’t have an active social media presence. Their last Facebook post is six months old, their Instagram account is non-active and they don’t exist anywhere on LinkedIn. Barbara, whose gift baskets also sell off the shelf has a big Facebook follower, amazing reviews, addresses all questions and concerns on time. Her gallery of images are liked and shared across Pinterest and Instagram, and her LinkedIn account is thoroughly organized.
The Wal-Mart Corporation doesn’t base their purchasing decisions on Facebook posts. Teams of buyers and accountants make their decision based on graphs that better predict growth. But social media is the closer. These teams are made up of people who are all on social media themselves. People like you who value data but research beyond graphs to avoid making the wrong decisions.
Is this a no-brainer for you or did I lose you at the shores of Malibu?
And finally, logic
I agree that social media is NOT the platform for direct sales in B2B. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need social media. So if the point of life is business and the point of business is sales then why would B2B use social media?
Content marketing through social media platforms has become the number one most effective way of creating brand awareness. This sentence is so important that I don’t think bolding it is enough, so let me repeat: Content marketing through social media platforms has become the number one most effective way of creating brand awareness.
The $4000.00 per month billboard is no longer measuring up to online marketing. Your audience is not looking up, they are looking down; their eyes plastered to their phones, their thumbs twitching for more and more content.
So to the business owner who buys the sky high billboard on the busiest highway but fails to maintain his online presence, I say: What billboard?
Yearly trade shows or major events use to be the only way you could engage with potential customers. Now you can reach them at 6 am.
People no longer trust big corporations. They want to feel like they are buying from people. Influencers now command big bucks for “product placement”. You can invest in extensive research producing white papers that qualify the value of your product but at the end of the day if Kim Kardashian uses it and promotes in on Instagram, it must be good.
Gone are the days of spending thousands and millions bringing awareness to a new product. Will social media it’s instant, it’s on target and it’s measurable.
Monitor and Respond
Statistics are great at answering who, what and where but they can just tell you so much about why your customers are driven to choose you over others. Social media platforms give you a better picture of their motives.
If you still don’t think that your industry is active on social media, I invite you to do a search and see how actively your competitors are using social media.
Now back to my 6-car garage on the shores of Malibu…
Image credit: Larry Sultan
Ganian media is a digital agency with a specialization in online marketing.