This article is part of a series of writings we’ll be posting to our blog that are excerpted from Chris Rosica’s latest book, The Power of B2B Social Media: The Marketing Strategy You Can’t Afford to Ignore. This insightful book explores the often overlooked and undervalued benefits of B2B social media. It clearly demonstrates the advantages that businesses marketing to other businesses realize when embracing this important marketing channel.
It’s true that the most obvious argument in favor of using social media in business centers on generating consumer awareness, interaction, engagement, reviews, and connectivity. The case for business-to-consumer social marketing is well understood, and most successful consumer products and services companies spend a great deal of time, energy, and resources on these activities – from monitoring their social media platforms and managing their reputations to engaging with followers and promoting awareness.
But a different story emerges for B2B companies and [often] nonprofits. When it comes to business-to-business entities and nonprofit organizations, social media is often overlooked and undervalued. If an executive realizes its importance, social media may still be de-prioritized in favor of focusing on sales, fundraising, partnership development, and traditional marketing.
Regardless, countless marketing executives have told us that social media is not a top priority. Other marketing and revenue-generating activities take a front seat to social because no one has taken the time to explain the ancillary value of social media. These executives are not at fault; they do not have the right information to see the importance of investing time and resources to the effort.
There are organizations that do see the value, but they consider social a luxury they cannot afford. Rare is the B2B enterprise or nonprofit that understands that social media should be a priority – and why – and commits the time and energy to deploy a consistent social media program.
And yet, here is something that might shock you: When considering the wide range of objectives a marketing plan might contain, social media can be more effective in advancing a B2B marketing strategy than advancing a B2C marketing agenda. The business-to-business companies that [do] commit to social media marketing use it as a means to an end – not just for social marketing. They view social as an efficacious way of strengthening SEO, disseminating their content marketing messages, and managing their reputations online. In fact, approximately 80 percent of business-to-business marketing specialists who regularly use social media rate it as the single most effective tool of all of their marketing strategies.
These five roles of a strategic B2B social media program are:
- Protecting your reputation online
- Driving website traffic/strengthening SEO efforts
- Giving content marketing its power source
- Increasing your reach through influencers
- Developing and maintaining thought leadership
Look for more from The Power of B2B Social Media by Chris Rosica on our blog in future posts.
Chris is president of Rosica Communications, an award-winning national PR, digital marketing, and integrated marketing communications agency that specializes in the nonprofit, education, animal health/pet product, and healthcare sectors.