Doubtless, your target customers probably have a Facebook profile, but do they want their social downtime interrupted by your ‘targeted’ messages? Would you?
They might be using Twitter. Professional services and big finance will certainly have profiles, but most industrial manufacturing and engineering businesses haven’t bought into it yet.
Are the customers you want to reach active and easy to find on Linkedin? They may have a profile but the degree to which they engage and be visible through Groups, Answers etc is probably difficult to quantify.
Tapping into the need for information
So it would appear they need a little more teasing out. What we do know is that business professionals use the Internet increasingly as a source of information. Search is dominated by requests for information about products, services, suppliers, distributors and recruitment. Much of this still channels browsers to corporate sites rather than faddy social media sites despite search engine optimisation via social media growing as a credible online strategy.
Targeting customers using social media tools is further hampered by the fact that for all the search that goes on, most browsers stick to a routine, clearly defined, and limited set of websites for their information. Why? Perhaps, because there simply isn’t the time to take in the scope and scale of information that the Internet can now provide – and because personal security online makes browsers nervous of trying new sites.
So, for social media in b2b marketing, I believe we’re talking about providing information. Useful, timely, relevant and engaging information. It isn’t social media in the way the term is flagrantly used. To me, we differentiate and focus on smart, content marketing.
That means making best use of blogs, white papers, presentations for Slideshare and webinars, video and Linkedin. All generated from material should already exist within your business. It goes without saying that there is an archive of press relations material to delve into – giving you something to specifically ‘refine, refocus and repackage’.
Posts will follow on why I think these are the best social media tools for b2b marketing. Bookmark the social media thread to stay up to date.
Image credit: http://realtimetoolbox.com/marketing-tools.html