B2B social media marketing

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B2B social media marketing
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Social media consists of Internet-based applications that work by using the ideological and technological basis of Web 2.0 and enable the creation and share of User Generated Content [1]. Social media are commonly used as marketing tools. The purpose of social media marketing is to boost website traffic or brand awareness, through the use of social media networking sites [2].

According to Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen “B2B social media marketing is a new set of marketing tools that integrates with existing marketing strategies to help you work smarter instead of harder”. The use of social media marketing in an appropriate way, may reduce marketing expenses and increase lead volume[3].

B2B and B2C companies in social media marketing

Some authors suggest that business-to-business companies usually have difficulties in identifying and integrating the platforms into their digital marketing mix. In contrast, business-to-consumer companies are adopting social media marketing smoothly and immediately recognize it as an important strategical tool[4].

On the other hand, Bodnar and Cohen claim that “B2B companies are better suited for social media marketing than B2C companies”.They give 5 reasons to support their claim[5]:

  1. Clear understanding of customers - B2B marketers know much more than B2C marketers about the behavior, habits, and desires of their prospects and consumers. They also have clearly defined details for every prospect they are working to reach. Achieving this level of familiarity and clarity is a large benefit in social media marketing.
  2. Depth of subject matter expertise – B2B companies develop new industries or innovate in existing ones. It means that B2B companies' workers are the main specialists within a particular industry. Possessing the depth of knowledge is a significant advantage in the quest for social media marketing success because social media is usually used as a tool for educating prospects through content and relationships.
  3. Need for generating higher revenue with lower marketing budgets – B2B marketers are continually searching for value on a quest to maximize cost per lead. “Social media acts as a lever to help reduce cost per lead”. In other words, social media allows to do more with less.
  4. Relationship-based sales – B2B sales are based on relationships. Building strong relationships is very important with huge purchase prices and lengthy sales cycles. Improving lead quality and reducing sales cycle length is possible thanks to the social web facilities relationship building throughout the sales and marketing cycle
  5. Long experience in this area – B2B marketers have been social media marketing pioneers, although they probably have not known it. These marketers were publishing newsletters, monthly magazines, or other promoting strategies that refer to key social media marketing techniques, long before the social web. They also have experience in telling business-focused stories and educating customer with a particular content.

Footnotes

  1. A. M. Kaplan, M. Haenlein 2010
  2. A. Andrews 2014
  3. K. Bodnar,J. L. Cohen 2011
  4. J. Järvinen et al. 2012
  5. K. Bodnar, J. L. Cohen 2011

References

Author: Joanna Pawlik