Why Doesn’t Social Media Work for Traditional B2B Marketers?
Social Media is one of the hottest trends today and many people are using the different forums to market all kinds of products and services. Many businesses are having great success, however there are also many traditional B2B marketers who have tried it and ultimately rejected social media because it wasn’t working for them.
The problem wasn’t social media but rather how these traditional companies were using it. Many attempted to use old fashioned marketing techniques in the new media like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Many strategies that worked in the old marketing world don’t work in social media. Just as you can’t use a phone to send a traditional handwritten letter, you can’t use traditional marketing strategies with social media.
The big mistake that many traditional B2B marketers make is treating social media as another form of outbound marketing, which is all about buying access. In the past outbound marketing worked very well. They figured out the target market for their product or service, and then bought access.
They filled papers and magazines with print ads. They bought time on the radio and television programs. They embraced telemarketing tactics, developing customer lists and calling people repeatedly trying to make a sale. They put together countless direct marketing mailings that they knew would be thrown out by a great majority of their market. All these traditional B2B marketing tactics had enough success to make them useful for many businesses.
These traditional marketing tactics will not work in social media.
If you use social media has an online catalog or product information broadcast you will have few followers. If you do not share interesting, fun or helpful content on your Twitter or Facebook page you will have little traffic and very few sales.
Instead of rejecting social media, traditional B2B marketers should change their strategy from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. While they may feel their target market is not as social savvy as customers of the typical B2C business company that is no excuse to avoid the powerful marketing potential of social media.
There are several benefits that traditional B2B marketers can gain from successfully using social media and these benefits are not specific to either B2B or B2C companies.
Benefit Number 1-Listening
Every company must listen if it wants to be successful. It does not matter what product or service you are selling, you need to listen to a wide audience if you hope to connect and make the sale. This means listening to customers and competitors, as well as prospects and the community.
Benefit Number 2-Reach
Reach is an important tool for any marketer. It refers to the number of people that you can communicate with directly and it’s necessary whether selling to businesses or customers. This reach includes all kinds of channels such as email or telephone. Social media helps businesses to increase this reach to build larger potential prospects lists.
Benefit Number 3-Nurturing
Nurturing refers to building trust between yourself and your customers and is critical to a business’ ongoing success. Social media helps create nurturing relationships with customers.
Traditional B2B marketers who had unsuccessful experiences with social media should consider trying again, this time using inbound marketing strategies. This change can help them reap the many benefits of marketing with social media.