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Dispelling the 3 Biggest B2B Social Media Myths

Dispelling the 3 Biggest B2B Social Media Myths

Right now, many business-to-business (B2B) companies still question social media’s value, not realizing what they are missing out on. Some of the most popular reasons cited by B2B marketers is the belief that social media is only for the business-to-consumer (B2C) market, that it is impossible to monitor the results of social media campaigns, or that their customers are not really using social media for business purposes. In this blog, we will dispel the most common myths around social media and present how a strong presence on social media can boost commercial sales.

Myth #1: Social media is not for B2B

According to a leading B2B social media survey, in the past 5 years, the importance attributed to social media by B2B businesses has increased significantly – from 60% in their 2009 survey to 79% in 2015. What’s more, the trend is that B2B companies are getting more social with 8 to 10 brands already incorporating social media into their marketing activity. [1]

The survey analyzed the social activity relating to 200 B2B companies for two months on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The activity analysed was generated either directly by the companies or those in the social sphere relating to the brand. In total, it revealed over 5 million online conversations, which resulted in [2]:

  • One new post about a B2B brand every second
  • 3,960 posts an hour
  • Over 31 million mentions of the 200 B2B brands per year

Currently, social media discussions about B2B brands present extraordinary opportunities for customer service, lead generation and recruitment. However, only 16% of B2B brands interact with their customers via social media, while 69% of them regularly broadcast their news via this channel. This means that the majority of brands use social media as a one-way distribution channel for their marketing and PR.

It is particularly important to have a two-way conversation when your audience has concerns or raises criticism. In the social media survey, more than 140,000 negative mentions were collected about the 200 B2B brands and less than 1% were answered. According to the survey, one negative review on social media is estimated to equal a loss of 30 customers. [3]

Myth #2: You cannot generate sales leads from social media

Analysis of consumer conversations reveals that the most commonly discussed topic relating to the product purchase cycle is the price and value of a potential purchase. Actually, the social media survey found the 200 B2B brands analyzed received 72,756 intent-to-purchase mentions over a year. That means, on average, brands receive 363 potential sales opportunities each year and 23% of these come from executives. [4]

By social media monitoring you can predict future sales and capitalize on specific conversations by the rule “identify – engage – cash in”. Remember that 84% consumers will take action based on reviews and recommendations above all other forms of advertising. [5]

Myth #3: It's impossible to measure results on social media

Measuring results effectively on social media can be a tedious task, which explains why only 50% of B2B brands can effectively report on their marketing activities. However, the bigger problem is that even if companies do, they are struggling to measure it right. What is stopping them?

There are tools available that can effectively calculate the numbers of intent-to-purchase and customer service mentions and evaluate them into dollars. Apart from ROI, these tools allow you to listen to what the social media audience is saying about your brand. Taking time to digest this information can ultimately help you match the language of your communication to your customers’, having a big impact on traffic from search engines. Moreover, it enables you to better understand what they are looking for and engage with them more effectively.

Get in touch with ABI team to learn more about the success stories from B2B social media campaigns.

[1] Circle Research and B2B Barometer.

[2] B2B Social Media Report, Brandwatch 2015.

[3] Convergys Corp. Study, 2015.

[4] B2B Social Media Report, Brandwatch 2015.

[5] Under The Influence: Consumer Trust in Advertising, Nielsen, 2013.

by Paulina Malinska