Benefits of Social Media for B2Bs

I was recently talking to an old client of mine about social media, they were looking at creating a Twitter account for their business, they knew that it was something that they should do, but didn’t really know why!

I know that there are loads of businesses that are perplexed by social media and what benefits it can be to them, these networks have traditionally been used by teenagers talking about the latest bands or gossiping about each other, surely they don’t have any real value for businesses - do they!

Make no mistake – B2B Social Media is a valid channel to market, if they are not already then your competition will soon be using it – do you really want to give them an unfair advantage over you?

Stark Facts!

Social Media users are highly engaged with the people, groups, companies and brands that they follow and/or like.

Within businesses it’s not just the marketers that have access to and use social media sites, finance managers, IT managers, CEO etc all use them.

Social Media is the most cost effective method for getting your message across to an audience this is willing to engage with you.

In the report “Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer” in 2011, revealed the following:

  • 59% of buyers engaged with peers online who addressed their business challengers. 
  • 59% of buyers shared their learnings from research on social networks. 
  • 48% of buyers followed industry conversations on topics that directly affected them. 
  • 41% of buyers followed online discussions to find out more about specific topics that were interesting top them. 
  • 37% of buyers posted questions on social networking sites looking for feedback or suggestions. 
  • 20% of buyers connected directly to potential solution providers via social network channels. 

Still not convinced about this game changing opportunity?

Ten key benefits of Social Media for Business

#1 – B2B Social Media can extend your brand and relationship building efforts
Social Media is somewhat personal in that that individuals decide whether or not they want to connect with you, and it’s a two way relationship

#2 – B2B Social Media can expand the reach of your companies brand
Literately thousands of new buyers can find you and engage with you online, each of these has the opportunity of purchasing from you.

#3 – B2B Social Media allows you to tap professional communities
B2B Professionals actively network online to solve problems, share knowledge and build their professional networks. If a professional connects to you and they share your details with their network then you suddenly reach many more contacts that you could at an event for example.

#4 – Increased third party influences
If someone in your network does mention you or praise your business then this is an instant referral to their network. This favourable WOM (word of mouth) is worth it’s weight in gold.

#5 – Be seen as a thought leader
B2B Social networks allow businesses of all sizes to become thought leaders as they can demonstrate their expertise through text, audio and video,; these in turn can feed rich , in-depth conversations across a professional network.

#6 – Reduce Marketing Spend
Social media is the most cost effective media. Apart from a little of your time, start up costs are virtually zero; and even if your network takes off quickly the costs associated with fuelling social networks is no-where near as high as it is with other channels.

#7 – Decrease the sales cycle
The B2B sales cycle can be lengthy; much of this purchase delay is around the buyer wanting to research the market and potential vendors. Social media aids this research like never before. Buyers can become educated very quickly as B2B social networks act to provide vast amounts of knowledge to the market.

In providing two-way communications, B2Bs not only inform and teach prospects, but they also build trust and credibility in such a way as to increase sales in shorter periods.

#8 – Gain competitive advantage
It’s always been the case that B2Bs must continually work to identify ways to strengthen and improve their competitive advantage. This is true of their offerings as well as their marketing strategies.

Since many B2Bs tend to be slower to adopt social media techniques, many companies can leverage first-mover advantages within their industries.

As great insights can be gleaned through monitoring online conversations, companies can identify new offerings and needed improvements around which to strengthen their competitive advantage.

#9 – Reduce the complexity of solutions
When I first started out in telecoms it was pretty obvious that our solutions were complex, and you almost needed to be a telecoms engineer to understand most of them, this increases the buying cycle!

The information that is exchanged between parties, and relationships built, through these conversational media help to decrease confusion and, in turn, increase the purchasing rates of B2B products, services and offerings.

Educating and helping prospective buyers through social media channels can help to position B2Bs as trusted and knowledgeable advisors and decrease the concerns associated with high learning curves.

#10 – Strengthen CRM efforts
I’ve talked a lot through this post about engaging with prospects and customers, and this engagement is at the core of what a traditional CRM program aims to do.

When you have a direct link into your customers you can improve your communications to them; extend customer service and provide knowledge sharing opportunities.


If you want to start to build your own social media footprint but really haven’t got a clue how to start, then get in touch with me ( and I’ll help you.


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