Social media in B2B. The current debate.
Social media undoubtebly has the potential to win friends and influence people but many B2B organisations have still to grasp the essentials of how social media techniques can integrate strategically with their marketing communications. Often, the challenge is to join in the social media revolution, because company X's competitors are doing it. Little or no comprehension of the objectives or outcomes are considered. 'Everybody is doing it so we should too' is the rallying call. Then, investment in hard costs, resources and time is often underestimated. Yes, it's a doddle to set up a company Facebook page, join in with LinkedIn or create a Tweet or a Blog...or stick the company video on YouTube...but what these techniques deliver in terms of audience reach, communication value, relevancy and calls to action has clearly often not been thought through.
The irony with social media is that many businesses don't use the more traditional marketing communications techniques properly. There are literally hundreds of examples where serious money is wasted on poorly executed trade advertising, direct marketing and PR programmes. And if ever this was best exampled, take a walk around any trade exhibition and see how many companies are saying the same things...there's no distinction in their strategy or their messaging. So, put social media in the mix and all you achieve is additional 'noise'.
At Moggs, we believe in the principals of strategic business planning before applying any form of marketing communications tactic. For example, we do a lot of work in the building materials industry, where typically the end user target is the builder, the plumber, the electrician, the tradesman. He or she obtain the materials they need through the wholesaler or distributor. These well established channels provide immense opportunities for effective marketing communications but the challenge as always is to be distinctive, relevant, entertaining and motivating with your promotional messages. Social media undoubtebly has a role to play in the marketing seduction process but how it's applied, the cost of application and measurement of results needs to be part of a structured programme. It's not a given that a Facebook page or a daily Tweet is a pre-requisite! For those in B2B considering social media there's a natural first step to take, before committing to any cost or resource; take a proper look at what your competitors are doing...look at their Facebook page or Tweets and see how many followers, 'Likes' or contributors there are...then put this into the context of a market size. I guarantee it will be an enlightening!
If you would like to understand more about the roloe of social media in your business, come and talk to one of our experts. There's no obligation and we guarantee the time you spend with us will provide a clear indication of how social media may or may not be a viable contributor to your business.