Textbook-Social Marketing to the Business CustomerBy Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman
Why concentrate on B2B Social Media? ◦ Spending on B2B Internet marketing is expected to grow rapidly. ◦ In 2009, 81% of B2B companies maintained social media sites vs. 67% of B2C companies. ◦ Nearly 60% of B2B marketers are using social media.
Difference between B2B and B2C ◦ B2B marketing is more likely to focus on value than experience ◦ B2B buying decisions are usually made by groups B2B marketing programs need to influence multiple people at multiple stages of the buying process ◦ Business buying cycles are longer than consumer buying cycles ◦ Business buying decisions require more commitment than B2C ◦ B2B requires trust and an established business relationship
Difference between B2B and B2C (cont.) ◦ Service and support essential decision factors ◦ B2B require more negotiations and customization to meet each organization’s needs ◦ Channel relationships are complicating factors – striking a balance between selling to channel partners such as resellers, wholesalers, etc. vs. directly to the customers
Why B2B Social Media Marketing is Easier than B2C 1. It’s driven by relationships B2C marketing is largely based on a product and its price. It tends to be a more impulsive or emotional buying decision than B2B. B2B purchasing decisions tend to be more involved and relationship driven, and that suits social media. 2. Your practices can lead to sales Your social media practices can demonstrate your business value which can lead to purchases. Users can see that you are reliable, responsive, intelligent, etc. via your social media practices. 3. You have more control B2B companies tend to have less people talking about their brand than B2C companies. In most cases that means less content, and B2B typically generates less negative sentiment than B2C. That means B2B companies have less content to control and less negative content to deal with. Therefore B2B companies can maintain more control over their social content which makes it easier to get their message through to the right audience. Read more: http://socialmediab2b.com/2011/07/b2b-social-media-easier-than- b2c/#ixzz1u2HfnxUs
Why B2B Social Media Marketing is Easier than B2C 4. B2B purchase decisions are more rational B2B sales cycles can span months or even years. Buyers research products, educate themselves, review competition, seek opinions via referrals or recommendations and in many cases, interact with brands before making a purchase decision. B2B buyers also need the approval of one or more colleagues to make the purchase. Compared to B2C, the B2B buying decision is a much more considered process and it’s based largely on business value. 5. It’s easier to build long-term relationships The goal for most B2B marketers is to convert prospects into customers. Because the sales cycle is longer, B2B companies need to focus on relationships as part of that process. Communication with prospects, engaging them, educating them and leading them towards purchase creates the foundation for a long term relationship. And in many situations, the social media relationship continues past the sale through support, updates and continuing education. Read more: http://socialmediab2b.com/2011/07/b2b-social-media- easier-than-b2c/#ixzz1u2IR2dfI
Why B2B Social Media Marketing is Easier than B2C 6. The B2B market is smaller than the B2C market Compared to B2C, B2B is a smaller, more focused target market. Using social media to identify prospects, connect with them and start building a relationship is faster and easier in the B2B market. 7. B2B buyers trust recommendations and feedback Because B2B purchases are typically more considered decisions, B2B buyers tend to value the recommendations and feedback they receive from colleagues and other industry professionals. Social media provides a great opportunity to solicit product feedback, which can help influence the purchasing decision of the buyer. 8. B2B content has a long tail B2B products tend to change less frequently than their B2C counterparts, so the social content you produce for your marketing efforts will create value for a longer period of time. That can make B2B social marketing more effective (and likely less expensive) than B2C. Read more: http://socialmediab2b.com/2011/07/b2b-social-media- easier-than-b2c/#ixzz1u2IZslCu
B2B Engagement ◦ Engagement won’t work if it is limited to traditional marketing and sales. ◦ Social media marketing is a way to humanize the business ◦ Must be adopted broadly throughout the company This develops trust which needs to be earned from your prospects and customers.
B2B Social Media. Who is in charge of this? ◦ It should not be just the marketing department. ◦ Social media needs a broad approach throughout an organization. ◦ This is not an easy transformation of thinking.
B2B organizations have a lot to gain with social media ◦ Group decision-making – show your expertise and experience to prospective customers ◦ Business buying cycles are shortened when buyers can find information easily through social media ◦ Social media allows for more touch-points in an organization through social media ◦ Open channels of communication – making complicated sales less complex ◦ Channel Relationships are smoother when all parties are clued into what each other is doing
Risks in B2B social media ◦ Requires vision, commitment, and tolerance for error ◦ It may be important to prepare social media policies for your organization. We’ll discuss this in chapter 5.
Steps to B2B Social Media Marketing (from e-book SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS V2.0 by ASUTHOSH NAIR & MARCO Del CASTIllO) 1 ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS • Ask why you need to be in social media. • Formulate your social media goals and objectives. • Align with the business goals of your company. 1a GET INPUT FROM STAKEHOLDERS • Conduct interviews and internal surveys to find out what social media channels
Step 2 - WHERE ARE YOUR BUYERS? • Map your buyers’ personae. • Find channels where the interactions of your team and buyers intersect. • Determine which social media channels will work best in reaching out to them.
Step 3 - MAP INFLUENCES • Use monitoring tools to find out more about your prospects. • Discover the ―influencers‖ of buyer’s purchase decisions —bloggers, partners, and even competitors.
Step 4 MAP RESPONSIBILITIES • Distribute key roles among stakeholders. • Set up a social media ―task force‖ around key responsibilities. • Encourage employees to blog/post/upload content/respond
Step 5 - SET UP YOUR CHANNELS • Use the internal survey results and buyers’ personae to determine which channels you will engage in, (e.g.: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest, blog, etc.)
Step 6 - ESTABLISH YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY • Source for existing content and re-purpose it, e.g., whitepapers, case studies, opinion pieces, videos, etc. • Indentify topics that align with key marketing focus areas. • Research to determine relevancy by searching for brand name, competitors, and target keywords. • Amount of content shared is proportional to the amount of engagement.
Step 7 - ESTABLISH YOUR METRICS • Create and align metrics and the monitoring framework with strategic objectives. • Some key measurement goals include Reach, Buzz, Sentiment, Influence. • Measure only what matters to the business.
Step 8 - CUSTOMIZE YOUR CHANNELS • Set up, customize, and optimize your channels e.g., multi-author blogging platform, customized FB page, YouTube channel, etc.
Step 9 - SET UP ENGAGEMENT FRAMEWORK • Work out who responds, how, where (what channel), and how often. • Constancy and immediacy are keys to a well-managed social media engagement.
Step 10 - DEVELOP A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY • Based on best practices, what’s acceptable, out-of bounds markers, confidential information, business vs. personal capacity, etc. • Document everything to avoid grey areas that may hinder engagement.
Step 11 - PUBLISH YOUR INITIAL CONTENT • Develop an editorial schedule. This should indicate the various topic themes, who will write the content (posts, tweets, status messages) and when it will go live. • Populate your channels with appropriate content. • Establish content syndication mechanisms across social media channels. This means posting once and then publishing everywhere. For example, when you put up a blog post, it should automatically send a tweet so that it gets discovered early and propagated quickly.
Step 12 - 12 MONITOR & MEASURE • Set up monitoring and measurement tools based on the metrics established earlier.
Step 13 - HARNESS THE POWER OF YOUR INTERNAL NETWORKS • Time to get your team to provide the initial ballast. • Propagate, publicize, promote.
Step 14 – Time to Begin • Analyze, Adapt and Improve: Adapt any new findings into current processes, and improve efforts as you navigate through this social media journey. • Always keep in mind that this is an iterative process.
Now you have a strategy You now have a strategy, you know from your research where to focus and you have the basic guidelines for everyone to follow. The only thing left is to implement your action plan. It’s not enough for an organization to just make itself visible on a social media platform.
Create value through the content Make content valuable for your readers and consumers and you have to be regular and consistent with your content creation and distribution. Offer insight into your expertise through well-written and meaningful articles on your corporate blog.
Establish your position ◦ Becomes thought leaders and proven experts as it increases customer confidence. ◦ Any organization that embarks on a social media campaign needs to actively participate in conversations relevant to the brand and its goals. One way to do this would be to start your own community through blogs and forums. ◦ It’s important to remember that the organizations
Monitoring and Measurement Tools • Social Mention: a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. • Google Alerts: a free tool to monitor millions of blogs and new sites using target keywords as well as receive streaming or batch reports. • Radian6: a robust social media monitoring tool with configurable dashboards, broad and narrow topic definitions, and features such as custom alerts and engagement workflow management. Licensing fees apply. • TweetDeck: a free desktop app that combines Twitter and Facebook monitoring with search for a multi-dimensional social application that also allows for publishing. • Viralheat: a social media monitoring tool that tracks hundreds of video sharing sites, Twitter, blogs, social networks, groups and forums in real-time by geographical location.
Measurement Metrics • Buzz and sentiment - Who’s talking about your company right now and what’s the tone. Useful if you want to manage your company or brand reputation. • Influence - Are compliments/complaints coming from isolated individuals or people with huge followings and influence? A factor that could lead to financial impact. In fact, you may want to think about looking at ROI with a different perspective - Return on Influence! • Reach - how far are your messages spreading? how many users/ viewers are interacting with and consuming the blog-generated or twittered content and comments? • Virality -The speed at which a conversation moves through the social media ecosystem.
Common Ways to Use B2B Social Media ◦ Product launches ◦ Lead/Demand Generation & Customer Retention ◦ Brand Building & Management