Patrick Osinski : startups advisor, all about Social Media, Marketing, Business Dev, SEO, Design, Digital content, Innovation, Apps.
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Friday, September 4, 2015
5 Myths of Social Media Marketing
Have you tied your social media efforts to a positive ROI?
Or, have you heard claims that social media marketing just isn’t worth the effort for B2B companies?
B2B social media has gotten a bad rap in the marketing community, with many marketers claiming a low ROI and seeing a lack of interest from prospects. A 2014report from Forresterfound that 26 out of 30 B2B companiesfailed to create compelling content that engaged their audiences, losing sales and buyers to competitors in the process. With such dismal numbers, it’s clear that B2B companies need to rethink their content and the way they interest potential customers via social media.
With an increasing number of B2B companies adopting social media marketing, a number of myths about it have spread as well. These misconceptions can be laughable at best – but also damaging to your marketing and sales efforts at worst. In this article, I’ll dispel five myths about B2B social media marketing once and for all, and show you why a robust social media strategy is vital to increasing sales, expanding networks, and growing revenue.
Myth #1: Social Media is Only for B2C Companies
In the past, social media marketing tactics have been hyper-focused
on B2C companies, citing the personal nature of social media as a way to
engage directly and intimately with individual consumers. Since businesses
use digital spaces for professional, not personal applications, the logic goes,
they are not as invested in social media and need to be reached via more
traditional marketing channels.
Not so, says that Forrester report. It found that B2B technology buyers
B2B technology buyers found vendors through the same channels as B2C companies,
with LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook proving the most important and Twitter,
Vimeo, Tumblr, and SlideShare of slightly less interest.
In terms of the content, B2B buyers find case studies/success stories, technology
guides, and white papers to be most the useful when making purchasing decisions
though they also consumed podcasts, emails, blog articles, infographics,
videos and product brochures/data sheets to a lesser extent.
Though B2B buyers may prefer slightly different forms of content, they, like
B2C customers, still gravitate towards content that tells a story, reveals the human
face of your business and fosters relationships based on shared values and experiences.
Myth #3: Social Media is Only about Lead Generation
While B2B technology buyers are most likely to use social media during the pre-sales and initial sales phase of a purchase, a full 25% say they use social media during the mid-sales phase of identifying solutions and considering vendors. Still others use it during the final sales phase
of finalizing the vendor and purchasing the solution.
According to research fromGleanster, about half of leads aren’t ready to buy after an initial conversation.
And for B2B companies, with more expensive products
and services, the sales cycle may be longer, requiring
more long-term attention to prospects. Social media
marketing helps to manage leads and better connect
your marketing initiatives with your sales outcomes. Continuing your relationship with leads and prospectsvia social media helps to cinch sales by learning about the content that appeals to your best leads and then tailoring your efforts to their specific interests.
Myth #4: Social Media Doesn’t Have a Clear ROI
The end goal of B2B marketing – whether traditional or online – is to generate sales and grow revenue. Social media marketing is no different. Companies can easily calculate the ROI on social media marketing by comparing the revenue accumulated through social media leads to social media marketing costs. The reason so many B2B companies have difficulty tying their social media efforts to real numbers is because the tools they use to measure their social media effectiveness – which are usually designed for B2C marketers – focus too heavily on engagement metrics like clicks, comments and shares. Instead,
measures the conversions that your posts and social campaigns generate. If you’re using
a marketing automation platform and/or CRM, integrate them with your social tool so
you get the most precise data possible. (Oktopost and Act-On integrate, which means
marketers using them together can tell which leads were generated by which social posts.)
If you find that your social media marketing is not giving you the results youneed, you may need to rethink your strategy. Always be sure that yourmarketing goals are aligned with your company’s overall business goals. This will in turn guide your social media strategy and determine which social media metrics you need to track to figure our whether or not a campaign was successful. Social media is incredibly measurable, but educated decisions about strategy can happen only when you have the data to back them up.
Myth #5: You Will Reveal Your Secrets to Competitors
Marketing is about staying one step ahead of your competitors by knowing what your customers really want – sometimes before they do.
The truth is, if your social media marketing strategy is working or your products are clicking with buyers, your competitors will likely
try to imitate you. However, refusing to connect with potential buyers
in an authentic way because you fear being impersonated is not
productive. More than anything, a strong social media strategy
that taps into your buyers’ current mindset with relevant content will be very dynamic, and cause your competitors to have far more to fear.
With these five common misconceptions in mind, take the time to reexamine and revamp