Let me just ask a direct question to you – Are you tired of chasing likes and followers on Social Media? If YES, then it is the high time to understand what social media actually means. There is a single rule to follow:
RULE # 1 – “WEAVE social into your business, rather than just going Social without direction.”
Let’s take up some recent facts for proving this rule:
A study by Altimer Group, 6 Stages of Social Business Transformation found that there is a disconnect between social media strategy and overall business objectives.
- Only 34% of businesses feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes.
- Just 28% of companies we studied feel that they have a holistic approach to social media, where lines of business and business functions work together under a common vision.
- Only, half said that top executives were “informed, engaged and aligned with their companies’ social strategy.”
This study clearly shows that social media should be integrated into the business goals and objectives to realize true potential of social media. Social Media Marketing provides many significant benefits to businesses.
- It helps in recognizing current and potential customers
- Targeted marketing campaigns can be designed for best results
- Reach out to loyal customers and build up brand advocates
- Enables marketers to closely understand the customers and their influencers
- Enables marketers to design other marketing plans
- Reduces cost of consumer research
- Allows for market testing of products and services
- Empowers businesses to reach and engage socially active customers
- Helps build brand reputation more effectively for less money
Just like B2C businesses, a B2B business must have a clearly defined social strategy based on important factors like – target audience, purpose of going social, content strategy, etc. The businesses should decide on which social platform serves as the best social media marketing channel. LinkedIn is the clear winner in the segment of professional networking and businesses relationship channel. Hence, it is important to reap benefit from that space. Still research has to be done about where your customers or clients are. Do not force fit content on social media platforms.
B2B businesses are such whose audience is very much different than the usual B2C product audience. Hence, the way of marketing differs in both. Social Media can prove important in following scenarios:
- For B2B businesses, social media can be looked as a platform for brand extension and relationship building stage.
- One should look out for professional communities, groups and people of related interest and industry type.
- B2B heavily relate to thought leadership for sharing and communicating highly professional and knowledgeable conversations, ideas, projects, reports, etc. Hence, social media offers that platform for carrying out conversations among niche groups.
- Social Media helps B2B in saving their time and effort. Also it is a cost effective mechanism to stay connected with clients and third party associations.
- In B2B processes, lots of conversations and knowledge sharing is required, both pre and post sales of the product or services. Social Media provides the channel for the same and it shortens the sales cycle processing time.
- Social Media gives a chance to improve as it connects you with your audience. In this changing environment of competition, it becomes most essential to stay close to your audience, because if you are not present, someone else is already present to capture the market.
- Social Media provides the best channel for ‘after-sales’ customer service handling. As B2B customer value is higher, compared to B2C customers, it requires proper attention regarding customer relationship management.