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Social Media Podcast for Social Business by Shane Gibson Speaker and Author

Shane Gibson; Author | Professional Speaker | Sales Trainer | Social Media Analyst

Social Media for B2B Marketing and Sales

Internet Marketing and SEO, Leadership, Managing Complex Selling Relationships Blog, Marketing and PR, Sales Management Blog, social media, social media podcast, social media tips, social media training

Social Media for B2B Marketing and Sales

A common question I get from business to business focused marketers and sales professionals is: “Does social media marketing and social networking really work in the B2B space?”

I posed this same question to Jeff Booth CEO of Builddirect.com and here was the answer he gave me:

“Social media is not really about B2C or B2B it’s about P2P or person-to-person communications and adding value.”  – Jeff Booth CEO Builddirect.com (the worlds largest online wholesaler of building supplies.)

The reality is that the majority of decision makers or their direct influencers use the web to find information on a vendor and the individual employees they are dealing with. I have compiled a short list of resources and blogs that you may find useful in deciding is social media marketing will work for your organization.

Here are some statistics and quotes regarding social media in the commercial space:

…69% of B2B buyers use social networks “primarily for business networking and development.” (About.com)

…Stereotypes may have C-level executives delegating research to others, but the study reveals that 53% prefer to search the Web and locate information themselves. – Google and Forbes Insights Study (2009)

Social media is not a separate silo or discipline, in fact, companies in the Business-to-Business space like Builddirect.com, Oracle, SAP, Intel, Accenture, GE, and Siemens have found that is most effective when integrated with existing sales and marketing processes. They also have found it has given them a significant advantage over their less socially engaged competitors. (An entire engagement study can be found at http://engagementdb.com )

B2B Social Media Reading and Resources:

  1. Video: “Vital Statistics for B2B Marketers”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQdy-22TXM
  2. 20 Support Cases for Using Social Media in B2B Marketing” http://www.savvyb2bmarketing.com/blog/entry/122161/20-support-cases-for-using-social-media-in-b2b-marketing
  3. “A fascinating B2B Social Media Success Story” http://businessesgrow.com/2010/06/20/a-fascinating-hardcore-b2b-social-media-success
  4. “5 B2B Social Media Success Stories” http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2010/05/b2b-social-media-success.html
  5. “30 B2B Social Media Resources” http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6379/30-Awesome-B2B-Social-Media-Resources.aspx
  6. “The Definitive Case for B2B Social Media Marketing” – Fast Company http://www.fastcompany.com/1665075/the-definitive-case-for-b2b-social-media-marketing
  7. “7 Reasons Why Social Media is for Sales” – http://bettercloser.com/7-reasons-social-media-sales/
  • http://productivityjunkies.com Darin Persinger

    Thanks Shane!!! I just got done sharing with a B2B Fortune 500 today and what you said “Social media is not a separate silo or discipline…” is the biggest challenge AND opportunity for a business in this space.

    That's what they need to figure out though. How to break down the silos and to get departments collaborating with each other to maximize their presence in this space.

  • http://twitter.com/JonJennings Jon Jennings

    Jeff's right of course.

    If you approach a B2B or B2C strategy by thinking “great – now I have a new tool I can use to make sales” then you'll probably fail.

    The right mindset is “great – now I have a new tool to make it easy for me to reach and communicate with my customers. Oh, and it might make them want to buy more from me too”. In a large organization that might make it trickier to get funding though :-)

  • shanegibson

    John,

    It's the same challenge that all marketers have in my opinion. Realizing that rapport and trust come before the pitch. Big companies also have layers of management to appease before they can “do the right thing” as well. When someone up top can support true engagement strategies and buy into the cultural change needed the organization can really make it work. Ford has done a good job of this in their retail division.

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  • http://www.simply.ca David Doyle

    Great post Shane. Lots of golden nuggets in your comments and the links you provided.
    David Doyle
    VP Sales
    Simply Computing

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