[Whitepaper] B2B Social Media Monetization

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There has been an explosion in B2B social media of late. In fact, 83% of all B2B companies now use social media to connect with customers and prospects and to generate leads. …

There has been an explosion in B2B social media of late. In fact, 83% of all B2B companies now use social media to connect with customers and prospects and to generate leads.

The challenge: how do you make your social media investment pay off?

Our white paper B2B Social Media Monetization gives you need-to-know advice for setting social media strategies, measuring the success of your campaigns, and driving revenue.

More in: Business , Technology
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  • 1. 2013WHITEPAPER: B2B Social Media Monetization
  • 2. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeople`There has been an explosion in B2B social media of late. In fact, 87%of all B2B marketers use social media to generate leads and engageprospects1, and 56% increased social media spending in 20132.What’s driving this eager adoption? In large part, B2B buyers.Increasingly, they want to use social media to research prospectivepurchases and connect with vendors—33% do now and 75% plan toin the future3.Savvy companies recognize the power of social media to transform their business and are using it to give theircustomers a seat at the decision-making table. Whether you are just starting out or are looking to take yourefforts to the next level, the following 5 steps can help you make your social media marketing a success.STEP 1: START WITH A STRATEGYWith the recent explosion in the use of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just wanting to get outthere, start a Facebook page, tweet a little, and see what happens. But social media is like every other aspectof your business: it will be more successful when the goals, objectives and strategies are clearly outlined.The way B2B companies use social media tends to be similar to B2C companies. Some of the common usesinclude: Increasing awareness Gathering and responding to customer feedback Customer service Crisis management Generating leads Market research Monitoring the competitionFor most companies, it ultimately comes down to generatingrevenue.B2B buyers have a lot in common with consumers, but thereare some key differences as well. To make sure your socialmedia campaigns hit the mark and achieve your goals, it’simportant to keep these differences in mind.The ultimate customer – B2B buyers are making purchases notjust for their company but with their own customers in mind,and this shapes their decisions.Big investment – B2B purchases tend to be pricey, so businessbuyers are more cautious and hungry for information that canhelp them make the right choices.77% of B2B buyers aremore likely to purchasefrom a company if the CEOuses social media4.SOCIAL MEDIA RESULTSB2B marketers have seen even greater success thanB2C marketers in achieving some kinds of socialmedia goals5.GOAL B2B B2CAcquired new business partnerships 56% 45%Improved search ranking 60% 50%Gathered marketplace insights 69% 60%
  • 3. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeopleValue of relationships – Typically there is a long sales cycle with B2B purchases, so buyers want to work witha company they view as a trusted, responsive partner.Peers matter – The B2B marketplace is very much peer-influenced with the opinions, recommendations andreferrals of fellow B2B buyers carrying a lot of weight.STEP 2: PICK THE RIGHT PLATFORMSThe platforms you choose will obviously have a big impact on your success. You need to be where you canengage with your customers and prospects. Social media monitoring is a great way to find this out.Explic8, powered by Germinate, gives you a constantly updated look at how and where customers seek outinformation and how they engage with your company—insight that can help you decide which platforms arebest for your effort.Keep in mind that different social media platforms offer different benefits: Blogs – 77% of B2B social media companies use blogs to share content, which is great forestablishing credibility with buyers and becoming a go-to resource for insight on current issues6 LinkedIn – The most popular platform with B2B marketers7, it’s 4x better at generating leads thanFacebook or Twitter8. Google+ – Second most users behind Facebook9, it gives you the ability to target content usingcircles. Twitter – Good for building and sustaining relationships, which is key to B2B selling. Facebook – largest network10and it offers ad retargeting with Facebook Exchange.The smart move is to develop a plan that uses multiple, complementary platforms, then measureperformance and adjust as needed.TOP 5 B2B PLATFORMS (Percentage of all B2B companies who use each platform11)
  • 4. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeopleSTEP 3: CONNECT WITH CONTENTMore and more B2B companies are using social media todistribute content. This makes perfect sense given thenature of B2B buying, which involves a significantinvestment and lots of research. B2B buyers are eager forcontent that will help them understand industry trends andmake smart decisions.Using content as the cornerstone of your B2B social mediaeffort accomplishes 3 very valuable things:Helps prospects with research – B2B purchases are typically complex and involve many different variables.With white papers, state-of-the-industry pieces and other informative content, you can help your prospectsfind the insight they need, speed along the research phase of the buying decision, keep your company top ofmind, and frame issues in a way that will naturally lead to your products and services.Establishes your company as a thought leader – B2B customers are buying your expertise as much as yourproducts and services. Driving content with social media gives you the perfect opportunity to show off howwell your company understands the most pressing issues facing your customers today.Starts building a relationship – Since B2B purchases typically have big price tags and long sales cycles,finding the right vendor relationship is crucial to business customers. Start making a connection by deliveringvaluable content that demonstrates you understand customers’ goals and challenges.STEP 4: GENERATE LEADSIf generating leads isn’t a key goal of your social media strategy, you’re missing out on an opportunity. Thereare many ways you can use social media to generate leads, including:Forging relationships – This is especially important when you consider that 57% of the buying process iscomplete before a B2B buyer ever contacts a salesperson and can be as high as 70%12. Business buyers areincreasingly looking to social media for the information they need. By connecting with them online, you startbuilding the relationship before they ever pick up the phone.Offering gated content – Gated content is a great way to reach prospects. B2B buyers will happily give youtheir contact information in exchange for a white paper they really want to read. It’s a three-birds-one stonestrategy: not only do you get a lead, but you also get the opportunity to show off your company’s expertiseand demonstrate that you are a good partner who delivers real value.Consider visual platforms for yoursocial media effort – video,demos, slide presentations andproduct photos are all goodsource of content.65% of B2B companies are acquiring new customers from Linkedin13.
  • 5. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeopleUsing social media advertising – This can be a very effective way to generate leads, especially in conjunctionwith content marketing. Use social media ads to drive traffic to a landing page where prospects candownload a white paper or other useful information. Of course, you’ll want to test to find the bestperforming messages and the best ways to reach your prospects.STEP 5: LEARN AND THRIVEAs with other marketing tactics, you’re not going to put yoursocial media campaign out there and forget about it.Measurement is key to achieving your goals and getting themost out of your social media investment. Take advantage ofthe analytics capabilities that a comprehensive social mediamonitoring tool like Explic8 offers. Explic8 helps youunderstand who is talking about your campaign, what they’resaying, and how they’re responding.To make sure you get the insight you need, it’s important tochoose the right metrics, ones that match up against yourgoals. For instance, if you’re trying to raise awareness, thentracking shares and re-tweets is an effective metric. If yourgoal is to generate leads…not so much. With the right metricsin place, you can accurately gauge your campaign’s performance and make adjustments as needed.Social media itself is always changing and evolving—with new platforms, new strategies, and newpossibilities. Staying on top of these developments can open up new opportunities that will help you moreeffectively reach customers and prospects, drive revenue, and gain an advantage over your competition.BUZZGRAPH: “LOOKING FOR” AND (SERVICE ORVENDOR)The Buzz Graph shows a visual summary of buzzaround the searched query by listing words thatappear frequently along with the search query.Association between different keywords is representedby edges [lines] between them—which can be bold,simple, or dashed—based on the strength ofassociation. Strongly related words, i.e., those whichfrequently appear together, have darker edgesbetween them. The position of a word is not indicativeto its relevance or frequency of mention.COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS Reach based on impressions Buzz Share of Voice Mention v/s Competition Number of fans, followers or friends Sharing / Retweeting Downloads Video views Comments Registrations for Webinars Traffic to website from social media sites
  • 6. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeopleSOCIAL MEDIA AS A STRONG PR CHANNEL(Detailed research report in our next whitepaper release)
  • 7. www.thesocialpeople.net | @thesocialppl f/thesocialpeopleTheSocialPeople is a hardcore Social Media Strategy firm that builds customized solutions for businesses to unleash thepower of Social Media across all their business verticals. Our clients can range from large corporations and nationalnews publications to local businesses and niche blogs. Honestly to us, Size is not nearly as important as the ambitionand the drive to succeed.Some have called us a Social Media Public Relations firm. Others perceive our abilities to run a Marketing campaign onthe social networks. Fact is that we do much more than just marketing which is just one aspect of a business. Ourcompany identity has never been as important to us as results we can bring to your business and its dynamics. To besimply put – We’re TheSocialPeople and we make your business into a Social Entity; we call it a Social Business.1Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends—North America2BtoB Magazine, “Outlook 2013: Marketing Priorities and Plans” study3Pick, Tom, “72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012”, Business2community.com4Pick, Tom, “72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012”, Business2community.com5Mershon, Phil, “How B2B Marketers Use Social Media: New Research,” socialmediaexaminer.com6Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends—North America7Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends—North America8Scott, David Meerman, “LinkedIn 4x Better for B2B Leads Than Facebook or Twitter,” socialmediatoday.com9Gow, Glenn, “4 Reasons Why Google+ is a Killer B2B Social Media Platform,” socialmediab2b.com10Gow, Glenn, “4 Reasons Why Google+ is a Killer B2B Social Media Platform,” socialmediab2b.com11Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends—North America12Marketing Leadership Council and Google, The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing13Pick, Tom, “72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012”, Business2community.comLooking AheadThe potential for social media—whether it’s in the B2B or B2C world—is only just beginning to be tapped. Themost forward-looking companies are starting to use it to change how they do business: connecting moredeeply with customers and becoming truly collaborative, so they can deliver the products and services thattheir customers really need and want. There’s no better formula for profitability than that.