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  • I’m a B2B, is Social Media Really for Me?

    Posted Aug 24th, 2011 By in Social With | No Comments

    If you’re among the hold-outs who still think that social media is only for edgy sports drinks, trendy fashion brands or designer coffee chains– think again. It’s time to recognize that social networking has forever changed how brands communicate with a target audience. Whether that audience is a construction site foreman, a SMB or a Fortune 500, online engagement is transcending CPGs and is making its way into the strategies of business to business (B2B) marketers.

    A Google study of B2B marketers found that with the economic downturn a full 67% believed that customer loyalty would decline in 2011. As such customer retention would play a large role in marketing strategies with 87% of B2Bs investing in keeping current customers. And while search remains the number one digital channel for reaching B2B audiences, (81% for SEO, 85% SEM among those surveyed), 40% of B2B marketers believe their target audiences frequently use social media for business purposes. Social connections were considered to have a positive impact on a brand or business by 42% of those surveyed.

    Moreover as business owners, executives and front line purchasing agents continue to be bombarded with the daily deluge of solicitous emails, the B2B shift is afoot towards a greater focus on inbound marketing, in other words, activities which connect users to the business through engaged activities:

    (Source: eMarketer)

    Social influence is further being recognized as an effective means for enhancing a brand’s search visibility. BTB Magazine reveals that B2B marketers are finding the value of social networking to extend beyond connecting with potential customers and into their search efforts.

    “Social media improves my search results via”

    •   48% increase in links
    •   45% increase in rank
    •   40% influence organic SEO
    •   26% influence keyword purchases

    If the only constant is change, then the rules by which all marketers must live is to remain deft to the ever changing methods of communication, engagement and ultimately selling.

    So where do you begin, recognizing that social networking has come of age for B2B marketers, is a good start. Hop over to LinkedIn to build your company’s profile, join some relevant groups and do a little research on your customers and competition and learn what they are up to. If you haven’t already been monitoring what is being said about your company, now is the time. A quick and easy way to do so is to set up Google Alerts. From there you may want to do some internal company “soul searching” to determine what makes sense and what is sustainable for your organization. Stay tuned for what comes next.

Contact YPM today to discuss the best online marketing mix for your business. PRINT. ONLINE. SEARCH.

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