One of the many reasons I believe business has not more fully embraced the use of B2B social media strategy as a primary marketing tool is the lack of planning and analytics. You wouldn’t start a national print campaign without market research and planning, but businesses routinely start social media campaigns and just seem to hope they work.
Planning is the key to any social media strategy, and B2B marketing is no different. There are good measurements and statistics on the effectiveness of online marketing, and here are just a few:
* 44% of all shoppers start with a search online for a product
* 84% of all B2B marketers use some type of social media
* 52% of marketers cite difficulties in determining and measuring ROI as their greatest frustration with social media strategies
* 80% of US social network users connect to brands through Facebook
* 43% of all marketers have found a customer using LinkedIn
* 44% of B2B marketers have leads generated through LinkedIn, and this compares to 39% and 30% respectively for Facebook and Twitter
With readily available information, developing the correct B2B social media strategy to provide you with the tools you need to measure your ROI is critical.
Limiting Your Marketing Channels
One common mistake I note with businesses frustrated with the lack of ability to measure their success in hard terms is the use of the spaghetti against the wall strategy. They literally throw everything they have at all the social media sites but have no way to track which are most effective and actually sticking.
Instead, focus your B2B social media strategy on marketing channels that are selected to be a good match for your target audience. As a B2B marketer, LinkedIn should be a primary choice, followed next by your top quality corporate website.
Generate Meaningful Connections
While ROI is often measured in dollars, increasing your customer base through top quality contact generation is also critical. Once you have established a contact, you create a personal interaction, learning more about them as they learn about your company. This allows you to develop a rapport that is much more likely to result in a sale than a cold call.
The key to determining how to measure any B2B social media strategy is to have a clear plan with specific objectives. Once the plan is established, the analytics will fall into place. Analytic tools are readily available through the market channel, social networking sites or available through apps and programs.
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