Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why social media is an important tool for B2B Marketing

Social media is an example of how information technology has made the world to be so small. It is no doubt information technology is revolutionizing the way we live and work. Information technology is guiding us and helping us to shape the future.

Social media marketing is a term that describes use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Some of the common social media marketing tools include blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. People are interlinked and connected easily using these medias making it easy to embrace B2B or B2C marketing. 

Business-to-business (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. B2C is a contrasting terms referring to business-to-consumer (B2C) (Nemat, 2011). B2B branding is a term used in marketing.

As for businesses, in order to survive and beat the competition in today’s competitive world, they have to manage the future. Managing the future means managing information thereby keeping in track of the changing world and technology as well.

Social marketing makes it easy for your prospects and customers to share your message. According to a recent Forrester research report, 70% of consumers trust recommendations from a friend, whereas only 10% trust advertising (Forrester, 2013). B2B Marketers now have the power to connect with their customers in ways they never could before as more and more social media outlets come up.

In today’s world, B2B companies are decreasing their marketing dollars and spending more online. A recent survey by B2B Magazine revealed that over 48% of those surveyed were increasing their online marketing spend (B2B Marketing zone, n.d).

Social media marketing has three important aspects as highlighted by Lead Views, (2014). These are:
  1. Creating a buzz - It is about creating buzz or news worthy events, videos, tweets, or even blog entries that attract attention, and become viral in nature. Buzz generation is what makes social media marketing work, it replicates a message, not through purchase of an ad, but through user to user contact
  2. Building of asset - It requires building of assets that facilitate fans of a brand or company to promote it across multiple social media channels. Fan pages in Facebook or Groups in Linkedin are ideal examples.
  3. Demands a democratic approach - Social media marketing is successful only when it is designed to allow customer/user participation and dialogue, with little or no control by the organization. If a company has something to hide, then maybe social media marketing is not for them, because honesty is required.  

So what are the advantages of B2B Marketing on social media?

Efficiency - social media marketing provides an instant connection between the company and its target audience. As soon as a company puts information up on the internet, it immediately becomes easily available to a large number of people.

Cost - Social media marketing is extremely cost-effective when compared to other marketing methods. Many social networking platforms charge little or no fee to register, allowing companies to utilize their services to locate and interact with their target audience without having to spend large amounts of money.

Effectiveness - Social media provides a lot of flexibility, when it comes to reaching out to the target audience. It can be used to connect with both the masses as well as a company’s niche segment. All one has to do is to ensure that they use their social media channels and assets carefully.

Personal Connection - Social media allows companies to open up a conversation with their audience, allowing them to provide feedback and express their ideas and suggestions about their business in real time. This is unlike most traditional marketing strategies.

Information technology social networks have certainly presented an important media for marketing. The cost and availability of information resources allow easy linkages and eliminate information-related time delays which is key in any supply chain network.

Works Cited

B2B Marketing zone, n.d. B2B Social Media Marketing –Is it relevant?. Available at: http://www.b2bmarketingzone.com/survey/wiki/  (Accessed 4 March 2014).

Forrester, 2013. How branded content will unlock the key to consumer trust. Available at: http://www.forrester.com/How+Branded+Content+Will+Unlock+The+Key+To+Consumer+Trust/-/E-PRE4784 (Accessed 4 March 2014).

Lead Views, 2014. B2B Social Media Marketing. Available at: http://www.leadformix.com/blog/2010/12/b2b-social-media-marketing-%E2%80%93is-it-relevant/
 (Accessed 4 March 2014).

Nemat, R., 2011. Taking a look at different types of e-commerce. World Applied Programming, 1(2), p. 100.


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