86% of B2B marketers already use Social Media, according to a recent study by digital marketing firm, White Horse. Yet, surprisingly, only 32% of B2B marketers take advantage of the interactive media and engage their audience on daily basis. Why?
The 4 main reasons why the 54% of the respondents drop off are:
- An insufficient personnel to maintain (approprimately 50%)
- A lack of organizational knowledge (approprimately 45%)
- A preference for traditional marketing (approprimately 45%)
- A perceived irrelevance to your field (approprimately 45%)
Understandable, yet resolvable! Thanks to the article of Ian Smith of Intelegia.com, here are some solutions for each one of them:
Insufficient personnel to maintain
The workload marketing department faces when managing content on social networks can be reduced by using tools such as HootSuite and Ping.fm. Creating a concrete plan how to manage these networks in a team (who does what and when) and setting reachable objectives keeps the project reasonable and realizable. For more information on HootSuite and Ping.fm: ” Using Hootsuite To Manage Your Social Networks and Pre-Scheduled Posts” and “Ping.fm – Manage Your Presence On Social Networks In Five Easy Steps”
Lack of organizational knowledge
One word: Training. Since we are talking about new media, many of the key decision makers do not even know what Social Media is. Give them a brief overview on Social Media and its advantages, inform them the competition is already taking advantage of them and wake up their interest by talking about all the benefits it will bring to the business. Show them a concrete, realizable plan and offer them a short training: get them involved in B2B professional networks, blogs, message boards…If they do not use the media themselves, they will not believe others do.
Preference for traditional marketing
There is no conflict between the two: Social Media marketing can compliment traditional B2B marketing and even strengthen it. According to the demographics, the majority of users of social media sites are in the 35 to 54 age group and the professional use of Professional networks is exploding, you only have to see recent growth of the LinkedIn, Xing and Viadeo users. Ignoring the new media will not only leave you behind your competition in innovation, but ignoring your potential online clients can decrease your annual revenue. Stop thinking it is only a trend.
Perceived irrelevance to your field
Social Media suits for every industry, company and business, but you have to think which Social Media to use.
1. What (or who) do you want to sell/ promote/ protect/ recruit/ elect?
2. Who do you want to influence?
3. What influences them?
4. Which Social Media Tool/Channel/Network your target audience uses?
There is no point investing in a Social Media Channel your audience and potential clients do not use. However, believe me, there is a little, medium or big market niche for every industry. You just have to see where your target audience/best customers move. There are message boards, blogs, tweets, groups, consumer opinion forums, chats, social networks, etc. Maybe the target is not involved in any, but he surely uses google search, which brings these channels to his fingertips.