As b2b marketers, our industry has been slow to come around to social media. My guess is that a lot of businesses thought people only used these kinds of media for social or commercial purposes.
Kirk Peterson from Social Media Today agrees, saying that “the hardest thing about b2b social media is getting around the word ‘social,’ which is sort of a synonym for ‘not business.’ But once someone understands that b2b social media IS for business, the term helps reinforce… that markets are conversations.”
At motum b2b, we already believe that markets are conversations. That’s exactly how we approach messaging for our clients and their businesses (see The Buying Conversation™). But we also realize the potential in extending the conversation via online networking. It’s great way to not only be heard, but to hear as well. We can learn a lot from what other people have to say.
As it turns out, we’re not the only b2b marketing firm to get into the social media movement. Right now, b2b is in the midst of a turnaround. Even though the percentage of Fortune 500 companies who run a corporate blog rests at 12 percent, we’re seeing more and more advertising dollars spent on b2b networks. As much I dislike using American statistics in a Canadian entry, I think it’s significant to mention that, according to eMarketer, advertisers will spend $40 million to reach a business audience via online social networks in the US this year. And the projections for the future are even better: ad investment will reach $210 million in 2012.
If the numbers are true and your business is in the first generation of social media marketing—if you’re just starting or still deciding whether or not social media will work for you—you should think about jumping in.
If you’re still not sure, consider that you’re dealing with well-defined, niche communities. You already know your audience and they, presumably, know what you have to offer. They already assume that they’re on your site to be sold to, so you can be transparent with your messaging—no need for trickery or faking.
Dive right in…the water’s fine.