Trends in B2B Social Media
As any B2B marketer knows, the challenges faced by B2B organizations require different strategies and technologies than B2C companies. To help B2B companies understand the opportunities they have, especially in social media, Oktopost’s co-founder and CEO, Daniel Kushner, was a recent guest on TechnologyAdvice’s Expert Interview Series. He and host Josh Bland discussed a variety of challenges specifically facing B2B social media marketers including social media ROI, employee advocacy, and the best time of day to post.
Some of the most interesting points raised were about the differences between B2C and B2B social media management and where B2B marketing is focused right now. Daniel offers some interesting insights into what B2B social media marketers can do to improve how they manage their social presence, increase their brand awareness and get employees involved.
The full interview is available at TechnologyAdvice, but here are a few highlights from the episode:
TechnologyAdvice: What’s the difference between B2B and B2C in social media management?
Daniel Kushner: There are two main differences that I see. The first is the amount of posts that are going out onto social networks in the B2B companies. Let’s take Nike for example, a typical B2C brand. If we look at their Twitter account, they’re going to tweet every day, maybe every two days. That’s it. So they have like 30 tweets a month. But every single tweet goes out to two million followers and gets retweeted thousands of times. The exact opposite is happening in B2B because of the content, because of the number of product lines, and because of the different geographical areas.
With the B2B companies, they’re posting hundreds if not thousands of posts every month. We need a social media marketing platform that enables us to manage these huge editorial calendars. It’s just like if you’re a freelancer and you have ten clients, you can use a spreadsheet to management them. If you have 100 clients, then you’re going to have to use a different system. If you have a 1,000 clients, you’re going to need a CRM, like Salesforce.com, or some other CRM. So you need the right tool for the job. And the size of the social editorial calendar in B2B is much, much larger than B2C. That’s one difference.
The second difference is in measurements. The social media metrics marketers are used to are numbers such as likes, retweets, shares and comments. I need to correlate those numbers to how I’m generating leads or how I’m helping my organization. If I can’t, then when the tough times come, they’re going to let me go because I can’t show the value that I’m bringing to the business. So what am I measuring? What are my KPIs in social media?
TA: Obviously, I love that you guys are focusing towards B2B. What are some trends right now in that world and how are you guys looking to address them?
Daniel Kushner: A majority of what we’re seeing now in the mid-market and enterprise — they are looking for ways to get their employees involved in social. If you look at the marketing organization within an enterprise, they are pretty small compared to how many sales people you have for example.
I may have 10 marketers and 500 sales reps. The marketing is all around how much noise and how much buzz I can create. Marketers are looking for ways to get the employees and sales organizations to start sharing and talking and being available in this social ecosystem. So although this has been discussed for many years, lately we’ve seen this push from the marketing department to find ways to use their employees, partners and resellers as social advocates. It’s no secret if a person is recommending or talking about a brand that it’s much more effective than the brand talking about themselves.
TA: Is this sort of advocacy a win-win with not only brand awareness but potentially lead gen?
Daniel Kushner: Definitely, and especially when you look at the sales organization. Not necessarily on Twitter but LinkedIn. You can just imagine how every single sales person, as soon as they leave a meeting with someone, they’re connected already.
LinkedIn is this huge rolodex of all the people that they’ve ever met in their whole career. Now, social advocacy platforms enables corporate marketing to push messages down to individual reps who can share the social contents on their own LinkedIn. This results in the reps becoming thought leaders among their LinkedIn network. And secondly, somebody that I spoke to five years ago will now see relevant content, and they might re-engage and become a lead and then part of my sales pipeline.
This interview was conducted by Josh Bland and published by TechnologyAdvice.