Let’s look at the numbers first. Of companies who use social media, B2C companies generate more leads via Twitter, Facebook, and company blogs than B2B. B2C companies generate half to two thirds of their leads from social media (51% from Twitter, 68% from Facebook, 26% from LinkedIn, and 57% from the company blog). B2B companies generated one third to almost half of their leads from social media (38% from Twitter, 33% from Facebook, 45% from LinkedIn, and 43% from a company blog).
Note that B2B companies have an edge when it comes to LinkedIn, which makes sense since it’s a social networking site specifically for professionals.
Are B2C companies posting better, more interesting, and more useful content? Are they interacting more with their audience? Or maybe they just have a better understanding of where to find their audience?
Before we go farther, let’s first define social media marketing. It allows a business to directly connect with a defined target audience, interact with that audience by sharing compelling content, and encourage that audience to share information about your business with others.
The interactive nature of social media makes it the single most powerful marketing medium out there. It forces you to listen to your audience before responding. And because you know what they’re saying, you know what information to share, how to share it, and how often to share it.
Based on the messages posted by B2B companies vs. B2C companies I “like” on Facebook, I honestly think B2B companies have a hard time thinking of information to share and sharing it in an exciting way. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but it’s easier for Veuve Clicquot to gain followers on Facebook because their product is a fun, high-end luxury item, and the events they sponsor are really cool. (Prince Harry played on their polo time this past summer.)
So what are us B2B companies to do? Whether you run an IT company or law firm, or are a management consultant or financial advisor, the answers are the same.
- Find your audience. Use social media monitoring tools, like Google Alerts, to figure out what your audience is talking about. Once you know what they’re saying, you know what information to share.
- Spread the word about your online presence. Add links to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn group everywhere—website, marketing collateral, email signature, blog, newsletter, etc.
- Regularly post relevant content that is useful to your audience. Deliver the information in a social, upbeat, human tone of voice. With time, your social media presence should grow and produce leads organically.