It’s no secret how the B2C industry has exploited (in a productive way) the power of social media.
Every day you see products on Facebook and Pinterest, read reviews via Twitter, and watch demonstrations on YouTube.
But why is it that, albeit knowing that B2B prospects also engage in social media, companies in the B2B industry still hasn’t taken a full grasp at how it could work for them?
If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between B2C and B2B lead generation in terms of utilizing social media, and B2B even has a clear advantage when it comes to knowing the features of their products and which group of people would be interested.
They’ve been able to come up with stories around their goods, produced wonderful images, engaged with peers on LinkedIn, and hosted multiple contests and promos.
Still, B2Bs cannot significantly show, let alone prove that social media has returned their investments.
That reality doesn’t stop marketers from embracing social media, though.
According to BtoB Magazine’s report entitled Emerging Trends in B2B Social Marketing (April 2013), only 6% of US B2B companies have no involvement whatsoever in social media, and that rate is expect to go even lower to 4% in 2014. The percentage of companies which are “very involved” in social media is currently at 22% this year, and the projected increase next year is at 37%.
Even without a clear return, companies are somehow “trapped” in the social media bandwagon, leaving them no choice but to concede to its obvious power.
But that power is only limited to exposure; customers almost “expect” a company to be on social media, and if your competitors are all doing it, a company would be silly not to respond.
Social Media Examiner went deeper into understanding why companies can never let go of social media.
In their study entitled 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (May 2013), they found out that the top 3 reasons why they do it are: increased exposure (89%), increased traffic (75%) and providing marketplace insight (69%). The least reason: Improved sales at 43%.
Perhaps in the near future marketers will be able to figure out how to wrap a tape measure around their social media efforts, but for now it seems that they are committed to maintain their social presence out of sheer necessity, and not (yet) for the sake of productivity.