While this commentary isn't my own, it's far too important to pass by.
Originating from Maria Pergolino, Marketo B2B Marketing, she reports that a staggering 86% of B2B companies use social media. Further, B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3% in 2010.
However, Ms. Pergolino believes most B2B companies misunderstand social media or end up implementing tactics without any strategy. To fully utilize the power of social media, marketers need to understand some of the basic reasons why they fail and how to solve their problems. Ms. Pergolino then looks at some of the problems and solutions:
Lack of Engagement Strategy
Many B2B companies understand creating content, syndicating content from places like blogs and following up with prospects, but many lack an engagement strategy. To become successful with social media, you must engage with prospects and customers or they may be drawn to a competitor who does understand the value of engagement. It takes more than opening accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. It takes an overall strategy to listen and build relationships with prospects and customers. You have to listen to conversations going online while interacting and creating conversations with these same prospects and customers. Intead of always pushing out content, ask questions or comment on others' comments on places prospects and customers frequent.
Relying Purely on Social
Social media isnt' everything. It's just one part of an overall B2B marketing mix. No matter the amount of planning or engagement, a mix of both traditional and social media marketing will produce the greatest returns. Share data in both directions, maintain consistency across communication efforts and ensure that your marketing and sales teams work together.