Social media marketing is largely seen as a tactic embraced by B2C businesses to connect with audiences across multiple platforms. Contests, community building exercises, and product promotional posts are the norm on Facebook and Instagram when it comes to marketing to end users in the B2C environment. This aspect of online marketing has proven to be very effective for ecommerce businesses in particular, with Pinterest being noted as a great source for generating referral traffic. However, social media marketing can also be beneficial for B2B businesses looking to increase brand awareness and generate viable leaders. In 2013, the top five preferred social media platforms among B2B companies were:
These five channels represent significant opportunities for brands to leverage the content they produce to generate leads and the networking capabilities on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn in particular has become a popular vehicle for people to interact with other users in their respective verticals, creating avenues to generate new leads and business opportunities. The stats presented in an infographic below prepared by Real Business Rescue support the fact that LinkedIn is an effective vehicle for marketing:
- 47% of B2B marketers actively use LinkedIn.
- 83% of marketers prefer LinkedIn for distributing content.
- 57% of B2B brands have generated sales through LinkedIn.
- 26% of fortune 500 CEOs have a LinkedIn profile.
- 45% of B2B brands have generated a customer through LinkedIn.
On a general level, social media marketing is proving to provide a number of benefits for B2B business professionals. Some of the core benefits generated from social programs include increased business exposure, increased web traffic, and improved insight into industry-specific marketplaces. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, social marketing allows businesses to generate trust with their targeted audiences and develop brand advocates.
Do you agree that social media has a significant role in online marketing for B2B companies?