Social Media - Missed B2B Opportunity

Joe D
Even though social media networking is the hottest marketing opportunity being used on the Internet today, studies show that business-to-business (B2B) companies are still not taking advantage of it as fully as they could be. A survey released from the people at business.com revealed that 73% of the respondents stated that they have been using social media marketing for less than two years. So even those who are using it haven’t been using it that long, despite social media being the top buzz word in marketing for several years.

Even more surprising than the business.com study, a 2010 research analysis was conducted by genius.com and B2B magazine,showing that approximately half of all business-oriented marketers were making it a point to stay away from social marketing tools for their B2B campaigns, even including common tools such as blogging and Twitter. Facebook was by far the most widely-used social media tool in the B2B set, with approximately three-fifths of all marketers claiming to use it at some level. The business-focused social networking site LinkedIn was another widely-used tool for networking, head-hunting and associative work, with approximately three-quarters of respondents using it to some extent.

Missed Opportunities?

It has been proven that there are a wide variety of opportunities provided by both business-focused and general social media networking communities to B2B businesses. Social media helps to improve communication between customers in a B2C (business-to-customer) type situation, so it goes to show that it would be equally as effective in a B2B type situation between partners, suppliers, product development, lead identification and other opportunities.

There are many advantages to B2B companies that use social media tools such as helping them to focus on the goals and results, leads and other essential opportunities that will directly affect their bottom lines. Back in 2009 business.com discovered through another survey that B2B marketers that were actually using social media tools were – at that time – using them much more effectively than B2C businesses. What happened between now and then is difficult to understand, as now more B2C businesses are taking advantage of social media than ever before.

Consistency Counts

The survey from genius.com and B2B magazine also discovered that businesses that had at least one profile set up on any social media site were much more likely to continue a consistent presence on several different social media sites, and were more likely to see increased social successes than B2C companies. This is good news because consumer studies have shown that approximately 90% of online consumers have used social media tools to assist them in making their purchasing decisions. If B2B marketers were to begin tapping into this growing popularity and confidence and use social media to promote their businesses and communicate with their business-oriented customers, they would see substantial results.