Does Social Media Marketing Work for B2B?

It may seem strange that something as seemingly free-spirited and ever-changing as social media can have tangible B2B marketing results including a solid ROI. But two of marketing’s core components are education and customer service — each of which is also a key element of social media.

Thus, social media can benefit B2B marketers by providing a dynamic platform from which to continually educate their customers and provide a heightened level of customer service — often in a real-time format. Such efforts can in turn enhance customers’ trust and loyalty.

“Marketing can now be more about educating potential customers or using social media for customer service than about the carefully crafted message,” writes Amanda O’Brien for Social Media B2B. “Listening and responding to users’ needs is much more powerful than the best crafted marketing message.”

Because social media sites foster dialogue, you can educate your customers about what you offer and get their comments, feedback and questions — and immediately reply. Suddenly you are having real conversations with your customers, who begin to see you as a credible, trustworthy business partner.

B2B marketers are rapidly gaining confidence in social media’s potential benefits. contributor Maribel Lopez says that almost 90 percent of companies believe social media marketing will benefit business, and B2B companies are just as interested in social media as B2C companies.

Social media use by the individual businessperson is spreading, too. According to the IDC State of Social Business report (January 2010), 57 percent of U.S. workers use social media for business purposes at least once per week, and a growing number of executive-level managers and IT personnel are adopting social media for business use.


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