Using Social Media in B2B Communications

August 10, 2010
LCWA’s B2B clients are active in the social media arena, and for good reason. B2B marketers know that social media offers another way to engage with target audiences. In fact, a survey by the Association of National Advertisers and BtoB Magazine showed significant growth in the use of social marketing among B2B marketers, with 57% now using social media channels, up from just 15% in 2007. The most popular social media platforms used are LinkedIn (81%), Twitter (70%), Facebook (60%) and YouTube (49%).
Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $4.8 billion on interactive marketing in 2014, more than double the $2.3 billion estimated for 2009.  Bottom line: social media is important and here to stay, and if you aren’t engaged your company risks falling behind.
Despite this surge, experts note that more established online resources – search engines, online catalogs and websites – are still the key venues industrial audiences tap to seek suppliers, products and other work-related information. Continue to invest in these online resources while you begin to develop your B2B social media strategy.
Ready to get started in the social media realm and wondering where to begin?  The following are some tips to help any B2B company, regardless of industry, adopt a social media strategy.
  • Define your vision and establish objectives. Do you want to seek customer feedback, promote brand awareness, improve the company image, connect with a new target audience or another goal?
  • Choose a strategy that complements your existing marketing and online efforts. Your social media goals should support your overall marketing goals.
  • Explore the various social media tools to gain an understanding of how they work, and choose venues based on the time and resources available to you.

Forrester spells out these steps well in its POST (people, objectives, strategy, technology) social media methodology outlined here.

If you’re a B2B marketer, now may be just the right time to get started in the social media arena!