If you are a small to mid-sized business (SMB) in the B2B (business-to-business) arena you are likely wondering how to hop onto the social media marketing wave and ride it to success. You are not alone. B2B clients nationwide are listening to the hype, asking tons of questions and seeking guidance on how to take advantage of this emerging trend. There is little doubt that social media is taking the Internet by storm but so much of Facebook, Twitter and others seems to be focused on personal interactions. But most in the SMB B2B space don't have promotions every week, don't hold special events every month and aren't generally doing special marketing blitz's on an ongoing basis. That being the case, what on earth does a SMB marketing to other businesses do with social media marketing?
EMarketer.com, one of my favorite sources of information about online marketing, has done a great job of capturing and communicating information about a variety of surveys that have been done about social media trends. In particular, some interested data exists about how social media impacts those in the B2B space.
This data suggests the engagement level of those visiting a B2B website from a popular social media site isn't very high with the majority of people only viewing one page in the website. This is great for branding and visibility but not quite what B2B marketers are looking for in terms of lead generation. Additionally, another EMarketer.com article reported that the most popular pages visited in a B2B website from a social media site were the About Us page, Blog and the Management Team page. This suggests that social media marketing for B2B SMB's has an impact on visibility but not necessarily lead generation. The article went on to say that these social media visitors aren't looking at products and services. However, this data does suggest that blogging could be an effective social media strategy for the SMB's in the B2B space. We'll get to that point a little later. Finally, a third article from EMarketer.com stated that only 35% of US marketers believed their companies had increased revenues and profits by using social media marketing.
These are certainly some staggering and sobering statistics about social media marketing in the SMB B2B space. But wait - there is some hope. The aforementioned data suggests that blogs are a popular destination from social media sites. Clearly blogging is a social media strategy and one in which a SMB can effectively promote themselves. Think about being a "thought leader" in your industry as a means of gaining credibility and strengthening your brand. You may even be able to attribute a sale to your blogging efforts if you seek out the information. Blogging can be a great way to communicate your message to a wide audience.
Have you won any awards, gained any industry certifications, produced a white-paper or created a smart-phone app? If so, these are tremendous topics to post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Again, you may not be able to attribute a sale to any of these posts, but all of us in the SMB B2B space know that marketing and brand visibility are keys to generating prospects.
In summary, if you are a SMB marketing to other businesses, don't give up on social media marketing. Between blogging, content marketing and communicating other important news about your business, there are many ways you can get onto the social media bandwagon and use this emerging media as a way to strengthen your brand, build your credibility and generate some prospects.